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.
This past Saturday, I experienced millions of sisters and (and brothers) coming together in friendship, laughter, solidarity, and support. All around me, I witnessed mother/daughter combinations, friendships that looked like they dated back to before the arms march in the 60’s, as well as new friendships that signaled the beginning of something special.
Have you ever had the experience of really feeling seen and heard by another person? When someone just receives you without agenda or judgment, but instead, with compassion and acceptance. So much so that you feel comfortable enough talking to the point where you are tripping over your words because you can’t get them out fast enough?
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.
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I can hardly contain my excitement when it comes to sharing the story of my new friend, Robin Smalley, with you.
Robin exemplifies what it means to be a conscious Mama, playing full out. She exuded confidence, calmness, elegance, and a sense of grace about her. She immediately struck me as someone who is as much alive on the inside as on the outside.
Through Robin’s own awakening process, she became the co-founder of mothers2mothers, an remarkable non-profit headquartered in South Africa, on a mission to end pediatric aids. Side fact, over 600 children are infected with HIV a day. This issue is very real and their work is much needed.
In this edition of Conscious Convos, you will hear from a women who had it all. A Mom of two. A wife. She had the successful job in entertainment and all the perks that come with it – only something was missing.
Robin and I had a candid conversation, and she shares with us:
How she know’s when she’s living consciously and when she’s out of alignment.
Three tools to help experience the best version of yourself while pursuing a life of purpose and motherhood.
My intention is that this ‘Conscious Convo’ will inspire you to wake up, plug in, and play full out. It’s time to start experiencing the highest version of who you’re here to become. Remember, there’s only one of you, and you have something that nobody else does.
Here’s to getting Conscious, feeling alive, and experiencing all of who you’re here to become with grace and ease,
Do you ever feel like everything is a struggle? If you’re like me, from the moment you get out bed, your list of responsibilities is a mile long. To name a few: Morning routine, which includes a thousand steps. Taking the children to school, which I consider a privilege, but one that involves time and energy.
Summer is one quarter away and are you starting to get hit with questions like, “What are your summer plans?”, “Which summer camps are you signing up for?”, “Have you figured out which days you’re going to take off for the summer?”
Have you started to receive emails about camp deals and heard chatter from other parents as they frantically start to sort out their summer plans?
In my world, I can say yes to all of the above! I also have a small confession: Until recently, I use to dread summer holidays. Here’s why: Summer would arrive, school was out, and I couldn’t be home with my children! The initial thought went against all of my visions of being a Mom and experiencing summer’s with my children. Interestingly, when I got really honest with myself, I wasn’t sure if I could handle being home all day with my highly energetic crew and the exceptional amount of patience that it requires. However, I also was operating under the misbelief, that if I wasn’t home with my children during the summer, that none of us would experience an idyllic holiday. I have vivid memories of long summer days at home with my school teacher Mom, playdates with friends, berry picking, riding bikes, week long holidays at my grandparents, long car trips to visit my cousins, and many days where I had enough time to get bored and lounge around in the hot sun. I did attend the most wonderful summer camp, but it was over a condensed amount of time, so I was at home with my family the majority of the break. Oh, the memories. Fast forward to the life of a working Mom, and I simply couldn’t imagine creating the type of summer experiences for myself or for my children because of my full-time work schedule. I also fell into the comparison trap, believing that stay at home Moms were having a lot more fun come summer time and that their kids were too because their Moms were at home.
Can you relate to any of this? I have to tell you, three boys later, I have done a 180 turn, and it feels incredibly liberating and refreshing. I’ve grown to love summers and, instead of feeling stressed, anxious, and anticipating disappointment, I feel excited about the upcoming season and all the new experiences in store for both my kids and me. Here are my 5 tips from moving from summer blues to summer bliss:
1. Update any misbeliefs around being a working Mom – assure yourself that you and your children can experience your summers just as you imagine!
2. Allow yourself to imagine your IDEAL summer experiences – set aside 30 minutes and write down all the difference experiences you’d like to have during the summer for both you and your children. Think about your senses. How do you want to feel, what do you want to see, taste, and touch? Get a big piece of paper and write out those experiences. Remember, experiences don’t have to require money. It can be spending an evening with your family taking a walk once a week.
3. Gather all your facts – if children are old enough to have opinions – ask them what they’re most looking forward to experiencing this upcoming summer. Ask your partner. Gather info on trips you want to take and summer camps you want your children to experience. Any and all information around experiences you desire.
4. Get tactical – Do you have a budget for your summer holiday. If so, review it.
5. Make decisions & move on – As you start to make decisions, cross reference each opportunity (experience) with your ideal scene of how you want to the experience summer. If an experience feels like a fit, then go for it. If you feel resistance, set it aside. Don’t fight it.
6. Engage a village – as a working Mom, take pride in setting up a village that can support you in making your life easier during the summer – carpools, play dates, etc.
There you have six, important tips to help you ease into the summer season with grace, ease, and organization, so you can experience just the way you want it. This exercise wholeheartedly supports you in in making self-honoring choices and leveraging a village, two very important themes that make up the Conscious Working Mama Wheel.
Don’t forget to revisit your self assessment, so you can check in with yourself around your own level of consciousness and look for areas of opportunity.
Recently, I’ve had a surplus of good friends move – most of them back abroad or to NYC. This week, a very dear friend is moving to Connecticut, and I have to share something so amazing that she did that helped increase my capacity to receive.
My friend, Sarah Snow, set the intention to connect all of her favorite women with one another prior to leaving, knowing that because we were special to her, that we’d find common threads with each other and additional friendships would be born.
To initiate this, she hosted an evening for all of us to share our favorite things. We were instructed to select a favorite thing of ours and bring five of them, wrapped and ready to shre why that item was meaningful in our lives.
We each wrote our name on five pieces of paper and dropped them into a bowl. The person presenting their favorite thing would draw five names to receive that specific gift. I left with beautiful a gratitude journal, an incredible pasta sauce, luxurious hand cream, and heavenly organic tea.
This thoughtful gathering wasn’t about giving; it was about receiving. While I was initially caught up with the giving process –did I get the right thing? Will others like it? — I realized that it was more about learning to receive the other women’s gifts and personal anecdotes. Being able to take it in, see what they saw, and connect with them through an appreciation of their gift. While the gifts were lovely, I experienced meaningful conversations, authentic connections, and the birth of friendships.
How do you receive joy in your life? Are you available or is there something standing in the way?
I want to hear from you. Post your comments below. I promise, if you’re thinking it, one of our amazing, Conscious women is also feeling it. Connect with your tribe here! For me, being a Conscious Working Mama is lifestyle. A way a life. Join me.
How many times have you caught yourself saying in the heat of the moment, “it takes a village to raise my child(ren),” followed by an apology or some sort of explanation about how you can’t do it all? First things first Mamas: there is no explanation or apology needed. We are conscious women, choosing to experience the best version of ourselves and, in order to do that, we sometimes to choose to gift our children to other people, because we simply can’t DO it all.
The purpose of a village has existed for centuries, and the essence is the same regardless of what country you’re in. In my experience, the meaning of it was the same in London as it’s been in LA. It’s your community, your people, your tribe, and together you have the choice to lean into it, dock with it, bounce off it, huddle within, draft off it, and most importantly receive support from it.
I was thinking about my own Village this week because I rely heavily on it. I had a moment of how would I be and who I am without my village. Do you have a village? Do you use it? I mean really give yourself permission to use it?
As a working Mom of 3 boys with limited family around, there is absolutely no way I could do what I do, be who I want to be without the amazing support of my neighbors, friends, stay-at-home Moms, our nanny, and my husband. There have been a few times when I just can’t get to school pick up on time, and I’ve sent that text five minutes prior to pick up, “Can you pls grab Levi and let him know I’m on my way….”
Can you relate? Guess what…there is nothing wrong with us! We are human beings, doing the best we can do. Our plates are full.
I’ve realized my village extends beyond my quaint neighborhood in LA. There are my Mom friends abroad who I call upon late at night for parenting advice, or the ones I message across town at random hours in the day, and they always take two seconds to respond. All around me I’ve created a community that supports me. I have a sense of a team behind me, helping me, and creating space for me at times so that I can stop. I still operate the mission control tower at peak times of the day, though, I take great peace in knowing I don’t have to do it all.
Here’s a little a secret I’ve also discovered. I not only feel amazing when I allow myself to receive support but also when I also show up for others. There’s a sense of trust, camaraderie, and sisterhood. It’s just one more way of opening myself up to receive a sprinkling of joy throughout my day.
Here are four ways in which you can quickly strengthen your village and start using it. How freeing does that sound?
First things first. Give yourself permission to ask for help. Let go of any self-criticism you have around not being able to do it all.
Be intentional and look for people you energetically jive with. Nurture those relationships, same way you water a garden. (Note, the kids of everyone in your “village” don’t have to be best friends). You put into it what you get out of it.
Pay it forward. Simple acts of kindness are always returned in spades. Spiritual Law of the Universe.
Keep your village organized in your phone so you can readily call upon them. Make sure you have all their details, first name, last name, correct email, and mobile phone.
Keep your village organized in your phone so you can readily call upon them. Make sure you have all their details, first name, last name, correct email, and mobile phone.
The ambitious part of you who is eager to enjoy more of the world and step into who it is you’re here to become will appreciate the part of you who is relinquishing control of the idea that you have to do it all.
In fact, we will be talking about the theme of amplifying your village during the entire month of October in the CWM Circle group. If you want more tools, the chance to receive one-on-one coaching, and an easy way to grow your village with very like-minded working Mamas, join the Circle now!
This is your chance to walk your talk and not just say, ‘It takes a village,’ but to actually leverage your village and feel what it’s like to truly be supported. No more being a martyr and saying, “I do it all….” Time to let that go. It’s not serving you. Time to receive some help.
This weekend I had a dear friend take her life. She was the person on the other end of the line a few years ago when I felt like my life was flipped upside down. She was there when I felt disconnected from my husband, when I had reached a glass ceiling in my career, when I felt overwhelmed by the responsibilities as a working Mom, and when I couldn’t remember the last time I had a dream. She was the coach that helped me navigate the rough waters and see that there was another way of living.When I got the call that she couldn’t meet for our scheduled walk because she had transitioned to the Spiritual world, I went into an old thought pattern questioning myself. Did I DO enough?
I’m a mother of three boys. I’m a wife, married to an entrepreneur. I run a thriving business. I was tired. So, did I drop the ball? Could I have saved her? If I had only been more available. What if we had scheduled our walk for last Friday instead of this Tuesday. Would that have made a difference? My mind was racing. This was a similar feeling I had experienced for years as a working Mom. Constantly questioning, am I doing enough for the children, for my husband, for my clients? I was left feeling like all my efforts still weren’t enough.
I took some time yesterday to work my own process since this is what I talk to many of my clients about and had ah-ha moment. I have an opportunity to be gentle with myself and practice three simple tools that I coach other women into using and that have given me so much mileage in my own life.
1. I did the very best I could do in every correspondence with my friend at the time. Do you operate under that spiritual law in every situation you’re in?
2. By listening and supporting my own responsibilities first, I was able to show up and just BE loving towards my friend. I never offered advice. I just listened. It wasn’t a matter of me DOING anything for her.
3. I’m only responsible for myself (and my children to a certain age). I can’t assume responsibility for other people’s choices. Do you assumer over-responsibility?
As a working Mom, I find it’s so easy to question myself (after all we have a zillion decisions to make throughout the day) and often I’m left with the biggie, “Am I doing enough?” when I feel like I’m in downpour of overwhelm and responsibilities. However, I have found using tools like these is an easier path to feeling whole, and calm with much less resistance. I encourage you to try them on.
I have so much for my friend and the journey she is on. I’m thankful for the opportunity I had to just BE with her. I do believe we have a choice to be conscious working COMPASSIONATE mamas, even in the midst of all the chaos at any given time.
My three boys and I were on the Washington coast last week with my parents and experienced lazy summer days riding scooters, swimming, and combing the beach for treasures. As I often do, I shared my daily intention with my six year old son, Levi, as I think it sets a good practice. For this particular day I said, “My intention is to find a beautiful sand dollar that I can take back to LA.” Levi didn’t know what a sand dollar was, so he asked a few questions. We had lovely conversation about what they are and their purpose.
Fast forward a few hours to our morning beach walk. When we were leaving Levi came running up to me, and we had the following conversation:
Levi: “Mama, I make dreams happen!”
Me: “ What do you mean?”
Levi: “I found you a sand dollar!”
My heart was full. I was so appreciative of this one little sand dollar that he found. I didn’t think anything of it. It seemed so simple and possible. Fast forward about 30 minutes later. We left the beach, walked home, and settled into our cabin. The conversation continued with Levi:
Levi: “Mama, I have a surprise.”
Me: “Oh yeah, what’s that, Levi?”
Levi emptied his pockets, and out came one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine sand dollars. He said, “I have nine more for you…which makes ten! Are you so happy?”
I was SHOCKED; in disbelief. While they were absolutely beautiful, and his excitement was palpable, I didn’t believe him. I didn’t trust him. I doubted him from the minute he started emptying his pockets. My mind immediately second guessed him and assumed it couldn’t be true. How could he have found nine more? I started interviewing him. Where did you find them? Tell me exactly where? How were they in the sand? I took what was his victorious moment and turned it into an interrogation.
As he started to tell me the details, my mind started to catch up with my heart, and I realized that he was telling the truth. I could indeed trust him.
Sand dollars live in clusters. Levi had been digging and had discovered an entire cluster. To surprise me, he packed his pockets full, and carried them back.
I had an aha moment that afternoon and realized that my lack of trust in Levi jeopardized what was meant to be a spontaneous, joyous occasion. It made me think about those moments when I don’t trust myself, second guessing my decisions as a Mom, an entrepreneur, and a wife. It made me think of how those doubts do not serve me.
Food for thought: Do you enter situations trusting others with an open heart and mind or are you full of doubt? If so, what does this reflect back to you, and how do you feel about yourself? Start by creating an awareness around it, so you can be open to receiving as much fun and joy as there is in every experience for you.
I use to LOVE getting on planes. It almost didn’t matter where the plane was headed, I would settle in to my seat with a People magazine and away I’d go. Fast forward to life as a working mom with three boys at home, and I now have very mixed feelings about it. Can you relate? I’d be lying if I said I didn’t look forward to a few nights of uninterrupted sleep in a hotel, and, I’ll go ahead and say it, some time to myself! I’d also be lying if I said it’s easy to leave my children and my husband, even if I’m only gone for one night. Something happens to me leading up to a trip, regardless of whether I’m leaving for 24 hours or 5 days. The caretaker in me goes into overdrive, and I feel the need to over–organize, plan and prep in effort to keep everything running as smoothly as possible. My inner-voice starts mumbling things like, “Can my husband handle all the extra work? You sure you want to leave town because the boys really need you? Who’s going to pick up the slack if you’re not there?”
Travelling for work would stir up all kinds of issues for me. First, I would feel guilty for leaving my children and my husband with all the responsibility. Second, I would go into worry overdrive that things wouldn’t get done the right way. Third, I would have anxiety over my return because I always felt a sense of disconnect from my husband and children, despite being very excited to see them. Finally, I got fed up. It didn’t make sense to me how travelling for work could stir up so many of my issues. I started to look at the choices I was making and the pattern I was living out each time I travelled. I had an epiphany: I am in charge of my thoughts and, ultimately, my experiences. I can make different choices, some inner and some outer, to change my current experience when I travel. These different choices make the travel a more positive, guilt and worry-free. They also make the return an easier, love-laden re-entry.
Here are my tips for when you travel for work:
INNER CHOICE – In your mind, trust your partner, their capabilities, and the love they have for your children.
INNER CHOICE – Surrender to the requirement of travel and let go of the need to control every aspect of the children’s experience while you’re gone. They will be just fine in the hands of others you trust.
INNER CHOICE – If you’re feeling guilty about leaving, practice compassionate self-forgiveness (if you’re not familiar with this skill, sign up for my newsletter to receive a complimentary video on the 5-step process; it’s life-changing)
OUTER CHOICE– Compliment your partner BEFORE you leave town on their ability to take care of the children and all of their needs as well as manage the house duties
OUTER CHOICE – Be transparent with your children about your upcoming travels – talk to your children about your trip 3 days prior and share details (where you’re going, why you’re going and when you will return
OUTER CHOICE – Take care of basics – stock the fridge, set up playdates and communicate with caretakers about your trip details
OUTER CHOICE – Let your children know when you will be calling or video-calling them, so they have something to look forward to. Remember, even 2 days can feel like a long time to children.
OUT CHOICE – Leave a love note for your partner – either on the mirror in your bathroom, under their pillow or slip it in their work bag. Just something to remind him you LOVE and APPRECIATE THEM.
Even when you think travelling for work is going to include me time, inevitably it doesn’t. So it’s time stop relying on it for that. Make time in your regular day-to-day life to building a pattern of me time. For the next three days, I’m going to take 15 minutes for myself and spend it doing something that brings me joy (reading, power nap, walk around my neighborhood, cup of tea). I know it doesn’t sound like much, but patterns (especially mine) are deeply rooted, and it’s important we be realistic and take baby steps to establish new ones. I’d love for you to join me!
I know this might sound wackadoodle, but I don’t bring presents back for the children and they have stopped asking! My main reason for doing so is, I don’t want my homecoming to be tied to receiving a physical present, but rather focused around the excitement, hugs, conversation we have when we first see each other after being separated. In my experience, it makes for a much more authentic, exciting, lovely reunion.
When I was 7 months pregnant with my 3rd son, I decided I wanted more out of my life. I was feeling very stagnant. On a bit of a whim, I applied and was accepted to the University of Santa Monica. Two years later, I’m on the tail-end of receiving my Masters degree in Spiritual Psychology. The reason I’m telling you this is because, up until two years ago, I had no idea what it meant to live a ‘conscious’ life, let alone a ‘Conscious Working Mama’ life. I was 98% focused on satisfying my ego, until finally, I arrived at a place where I realized that that is an unattainable goal. Regardless of how idealistic my life might have seemed, I felt that something was always missing, and my light was dim. I was ready for a change, and I knew it had to happen inwardly, no more chasing outwardly experiences to drive happiness and fulfillment.
Fast forward two years and, for the first time, I feel awake — I feel conscious. I’m evolving on every level: spiritually, mentally, physically, and emotionally. Interestingly enough, my day-to-day routine hasn’t changed much, but, when I reflect inwardly, there are 3 practices that I now incorporate everyday that support and honor me as a Conscious Working Mama. They include:
Acknowledging and embracing that, as long as I’m alive, school is in session, and life truly is about learning.
If something is upsetting me, it has nothing to do with anyone else. Since I’m the only person who has dominion over how I choose to react, it’s up to me to explore the judgment that sits beneath my initial upset.
Assuming that every person I come in contact with is a loving, compassionate soul. This has completely changed my reactions to potentially upsetting situations.
Being a Conscious Working Mama has no end. It is the longest days, shortest years; its an ongoing exploration. I invite you to wake up your consciousness’ and examine all areas of your life with this question in mind, ‘Where can I make small changes to experience more joy and meaning in my life, regardless of how many hours I work and how many children I’m raising?’ Keep checking back with CWM for easy tools and processes to help get you started.