As an ambitious Mom, do you often feel like you’re spinning plates and cups all the time, trying to find the ideal balance? It’s impossible isn’t it? Yet, even on the good days when you experience some sense of ‘balance’, do you still feel burned out and craving more happiness in your life?
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 love the start of the school year. Seeing familiar faces that we haven’t seen in a while, renewed energy amongst both the children and the parents, and a curiosity about what the year will bring. I even take comfort in the anxiety that creeps in as I watch my boys find out which teachers they received and hunting to see if their friends got in the same class.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org?
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.
In nearly every conversation I have throughout the day, I hear the word freedom. I hear it referenced by my working Mom clients, stay-at-home Moms, and young professionals – everyone wants to experience more freedom.
This weekend, I mustered up the strength to visit our storage unit with all three boys in tow and found myself on a mission. In the past I would hem and haw over each item. But, not this time. I had a ‘take no prisoners’ attitude and loaded up our car with things that have been collecting dust since we returned from London 6 years ago. It became clear to me that I want to feel lighter and, by doing away with these last few items from a European move, I can do that.
Where are you craving freedom?
Freedom to express what’s on your mind and in your heart?
Freedom from overwhelm, anxiety, and sacrifice?
Freedom to experience something new?
Freedom to do what you love and get paid for it?
Freedom to change your mind?
Freedom to be spontaneous?
Freedom to do nothing!
If freedom and a life you love from the inside out is what you’re after, then the best place to start is your mindset. It’s so refreshing to know that you don’t have to be a victim of your circumstances any longer and can chose how you relate to each situation you’re in. The freedom will come in knowing you have a choice in every moment you experience.
Grab the same juicy 2-step process I use with CWM clients to experience as much freedom you’re able to receive:
What are your core values? It’s super important to pick words and phrases that you feel connected to. Do not pick words that you think you need to have on your list. Try and narrow down to five.
Display these values in front of you daily and, each time you make a decision, run them through your values. You want to discover if that choice supports your governing philosophy and how you want to experience your life OR if it constricts you.
What’s fascinating to me is that corporations do this religiously, yet as individuals I find most of us waffle when it comes to sharing our top five values. It’s no surprise that we feel out of alignment, compromised, overwhelmed, unexpressed, under-utilized, and exhausted because we’re not acting in our truth.
It’s time to start living the best version of you. I’m nudging you a bit to try this on because what’s on the other side is happiness. Calmness. Intimacy. Fulfillment. Inspiration. Love. Aliveness.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com OR if you feel comfortable, you can post it in the notes section for other working Mamas to read and support you.
Hi Working Moms,
I wanna know what’s a typical day like for you and how do you experience joy and success amongst the demands of motherhood and your career? When do your start, and when does it end? Regardless of whether you run your own business, go into a corporate office, or have flex hours, there’s often a feeling of wanting to accomplish as much as possible in order to feel successful, which we expect to produce happiness.
Most working Moms are very busy getting as much done as they possibly can during their awake state.
Here’s a typical day of one of my dear, working Mom friends.
4:45 – 6am: get up and work for an hour
6 – 7am: hit the early morning workout class
7 – 7:30: get kids started (dressed, breakfast etc.) before nanny arrives at 7:30
7:30 – 8:30: shower and get out the door
8:30 -9:30: sit in traffic
9:30 – 6pm: work
6 – 7pm: Networking related work event 2x a week or meeting for volunteer organization 1x a week
7:30 – 8:30: get home, check homework, make dinner, make lunches for next day, figure out children’s needs for following day, and add to the never-ending to-do list for the weekend
8:30 – 9: get kids down for the night (teeth, stories etc.)
9 – 10:30: work/ read
10:30 – 11pm: talk to my husband and go to bed!
My hunch is that you have your own variation of this schedule; every minute feels accounted for. Do you find that you consistently try to cram one more thing in pursuit of what feels like success to you? Or happiness? Note, what works for one of you, could absolutely not work for other other.
We all can agree that there’s a general pressure for all of us to do more in order to be successful and feel happy. For Working Moms, it’s not about doing more, it’s about being more. This is a huge paradigm shift compared to the way the corporate world has traditionally encouraged us to operate: work first, be second. Meaning, if you succeed in work, you will then be happy and traditionally speaking, society focuses on what you should accomplish, instead of who you are as a person.
In a nutshell, I’ve discovered if I really want to feel like a success and experience loads of happiness and fulfillment, I have to let my ‘being’ inform my ‘doing,’ not the other way around (cramming one more thing into my schedule or multi-tasking, resulting in exhaustion and resentment).
Here are 4 simple tips to help you experience success and joy through letting your Being influence you Doing:
Check-in with yourself. Are you experiencing exactly how you want to feel each day? Fulfillment? Inspiration? If not, follow steps #2 – #4
Give yourself permission to live in the flow and flexibility of life, instead of controlling every minute of your day. By embracing flexibility, you will strengthen your ability to reside in your being vs. doing.
Ask yourself each morning morning, what is the one thing you can do each day to support the way you want to feel (answer to #1). Make that your main priority for the day.
Practicing self-compassion when you veer from your schedule. The goal is to enjoy life and “be” in it vs. watching from the sidelines while you try and “do” more.
Being a working Mom can feel grueling. It can also feel incredibly rewarding and inspiring as we model who we are and exhibit our gifts for our children.
If you can relate to the working Mom who’s still trying to do just one more thing each day, so that she can feel like a success, then I’d love to talk with you. I’ve been there and I’ve also burned out from it. I’ve helped women replace the pattern of doing more with strengthening their being, so that they can experience success defined by a living a full life with grace, joy and with plenty of abundance.
Let your being inform your doing. It’s through this lens that you will experience a lot more joy and the kind of success I think we all want. Not to mention new opportunities will come to you because of your new ability to not only see and receive them. This can come in the form of a promotion, a child, or finding your soulmate. Try these tips and let me know how you define success in my comments section. I’d love to hear from you! Remember, there’s no ‘set schedule,’ to define success, it’s really does come down to what feels right for you, so listen to your intuition and course correct if need be.
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.
I stumbled uponthis video from Tina Turner’s 76th birthday celebration, and oh my. It lit me up inside. She taught me something powerful. While I’m pretty sure I knew it on the mental level, I felt it throughout my whole body. Something just clicked — especially at 27 seconds when she does a little skip!
Even if you watch just the first two minutes, my hope is that you’ll experience something similar. From the moment you can see her feet, there’s…
She exudes such humble confidence and owns her magnificence. It’s absolutely brilliant. Imagine a world if more of us women showed up this way?
What if you walked into your next networking event, board room meeting, or even just a restaurant, that way? Okay maybe you wouldn’t strut, or maybe you would! Imagine being so accepting and enthusiastic about who you are, leaving no room to hold back?
I can remember a time when I was in grad school — six months pregnant, getting my Masters, working a full-time, corporate job all while also coaching on the side. I would get comments like, “You’re so amazing. How do you do it?” I’m telling you this not to gloat, but because I didn’t own it; I downplayed it.
Can you relate? How many times have you sat in a meeting and not really gone for it? Not shared that million dollar idea that you know could have solved everything? Or maybe you’ve taken the backseat in a conversation with your husband because you just felt that was the ‘right’ thing to do.
No more. Imagine waking up, embracing your greatness, your uniqueness and celebrating it?
Instead of collapsing, channel Tina and try this:
Celebrate yourself — in your mind, energetically, and in the way in which you talk with others.
Trust that there’s room for everyone to experience success — you having a win doesn’t take away from someone else’s.
Brene Brown said it best, “Courage starts showing up and letting ourselves be seen.” CWM, it’s time to own your magnificence and be seen. If you need to strut. Own it. Do and be whatever it is you need to in order to ignite that spark inside and own who you are… it’s time. It’s from that place we can really make an impact.
And…I promise you’ll have a lot more fun along the way.
Today, I feel full possibility. Inspiration. Excitement for 2016.
But, I have a confession. Last week when my husband and I were trying to get our three boys dressed for school, lunches made, and get out the door by 7:45, I felt anxious.
Overwhelm set in. No time for meditation at the early hour.
I’ve noticed this is when I have thoughts of feeling like I need to be in control of every situation in my life to ‘make it work.’ Especially in the New Year. Sound familiar?
The desire to have it all figured it out. Your next professional move. The children’s Spring Break planned. Your girls weekend in the works. Oh, and add: be more patient with your partner and children to that list.
I’ve been seeing this frantic energy and desire to know that everything is going to be ok amongst many of my clients this past week and, admittedly, myself; it doesn’t feel good.
So, I could tell you what my track coach would tell me: shake it off.
Or, you could try a completely different approach. What if you fast forward all the way to the end of the year…New Years Eve. Take five minutes and pretend that you’re sitting with your best friend. You’re so excited to tell her about your year. It’s just as you imagined it. Professionally, you really went for it. You did that one thing you’ve been dying to do. Personally, you stretched beyond your boundaries. You took your relationship to a whole new level you didn’t know possible. As a Mom, you feel even more connected to your children in a way that you didn’t know was possible.
So now, how would you answer the question, “2016 was my most favorite year because I experienced ….”
From this place, what’s one action step you could commit to to move yourself forward and experience the year that you really desire?
Mama’s, let go of the control. Instead, replace it with how you want to experience this year. It might feel a bit slower. It might feel a bit uncertain. Focusing on the experience, you will expand and gain clarity vs. tightening up the reigns and constricting yourselves to a life of frustration, overwhelm, anxiousness, and, dare I say, exhaustion.
Today marked the beginning of a new chapter. After six years of always having at least one of our boys at home, our youngest son Gus started preschool. While this might sound insignificant compared to the days when they move out for good, it feels monumental to me. And here’s the funny part: I’ve been through this before…twice! But this time felt different. As I was walking out of Gus’s classroom this morning, I could hear him choking on his tears. I had a pit in my stomach. I started to play back the choice I made to become a working Mom, especially during my boys’ early years. I had been warned that time would fly by and before I knew it they would all be in school. And now they are.
As a working Mom, have you ever questioned your choice to work, even during the moments when you find your groove? Feeling like maybe you “should” be at home? Wondering “Was it worth it? Am I worth it?”
There are so many reasons why each of us work. During my discussions with working Moms, I often hear women say that they work because it’s what they know how to do, or that they’re the family breadwinner or that they couldn’t possibly imagine staying home all day with their children. I find that many working Moms feel that they have to work. I’ve observed that many working Moms struggle to claim their ambitions, as if following their non-motherly dreams prevents them from being amazing Moms.
This morning’s event made me question for a minute whether I can be the Mama I want to be and see my ambitions through in this lifetime. Do you remember the dreams you had when you were a little girl? For as long as I can remember, I dreamt of making a huge impact in the word and knew it would be made in a variety of ways—through motherhood, service to others, creative expression….I could feel it.
Yet, when you feel like you might have missed out on one of your child’s memories, it’s so easy as a working Mom to ask yourself if working is worth it. Just remember, you can be any kind of working Mom you want to be. It is so important to remind yourself every day that YOU can be exactly who you want to be and you can walk in this world exactly how you want to walk.
Some tips for walking your walk:
Replace “I should” statements with “I am”
Practice gratitude for all the gifts (lessons) you’ve received, both while being a Mom and throughout your career
Give yourself permission to have YOUR all and live a beautiful, purposeful life
I had a moment this morning when I questioned my choices. But after checking in with myself, I realized I’m exactly where I want to be. I’m feeding my soul the way I want to and making a huge difference in the lives of working Moms and women everywhere. The joy I get from watching these women grow into their best versions and step into their dreams is mind blowing. For me, I’m where right where I want to be.
If you’re feeling a bit stuck, but want to get clear on who you are, how you want to be and how you want to live it, let’s talk. Remember, how you show up in the world is a reflection of your inner reality. With my gaggle of boys all back in school, I’m opening up five more spaces in private practice, which means I have more room to make a difference. You can email me here!
I have a confession (which will not come as a surprise to my husband): I have a hard time saying NO to things, especially during the Holiday season. Some might refer to this as an over-commitment problem, but I prefer view it as a habit of saying YES. There’s just so much I want to do, experience I want to take in, and so much to be a part of in this amazing world we live in.
I finally met my match recently with the amount of YES I had agreed to. For the past 7 years, I have been heavily involved in a volunteer group that is very near to my heart. I had spent easily 10+ hours a week dedicated to this group and was carrying a lot of responsibilities (organizing meetings, calls, project managing a major annual event). Things in my life started to take a turn; I was experiencing a major bandwidth issue and was starting to experience anxiety over how I was going to get everything done.
Here was my issue: I had said YES, and just the thought of backing out gave me a near panic attack. My inner critic was saying things like, ”You gave your word. People are counting on your. How can you let them down? You’re going to disappoint everyone!”
I knew in my heart that I needed to create space in my life to grow and, while it didn’t mean that I was completely stepping away from my volunteer group, I needed to pass the baton. I needed to have the conversation. Woah, scary! This got me thinking: how do you back out of commitments gracefully, so that you feel good about your decision?
Here’s what works for me:
1. Set a clear intention for how you want the conversation to go. How do you want to experience the conversation?
2. Have the conversation from a neutral place; ensure that you are internally 100% resolved to the decision you’ve made. Some things I consider: What doors does this decision open for me? What doors does this open up for others?
3. Always have the tough conversation in person or over the phone. Email should be a last resort. And, text is absolute no no.
4. Honesty is the best policy; keep your respect in tact and doors open.
5. Show Gratitude – There’s always an opportunity to show appreciation. This can be in the form of finding your replacement, writing a note, or making a call.
Warning: you might experience mixed emotions when you back out of a commitment gracefully, especially if it’s something that’s been a part of your life regularly. That is OK. Rest assured, that is natural, and I encourage you to take note of how you’re relating to those feelings.
I attended the big annual concert for my volunteer group this week and noticed I felt a bit of sadness (missing my tribe), distance (because I hadn’t been a part of the day-to-day), joy (incredibly proud of what they accomplished) and most of all gratitude for the amazing experiences they’ve all brought to my life. I allowed myself to sit in those feelings and actually experience them, albeit some of them uncomfortable, which is a pattern change for me. To my surprise, the next morning I was left with pure gratitude and joy for this amazing group of volunteers and all the life lessons I’ve learned from them.
Maybe it’s time to take inventory of your commitments and ask yourself, are there any commitments that are not serving you for your highest good? If there are, now you have some tips on how to back out gracefully.
We live in LA, and I can hardly remember the last time it rained prior to yesterday. This is bizarre for me because I grew up in Seattle, where it rains all the time I have been nostalgic for seasons, particularly the rain, absolutely craving every element it delivers: grey sky, sweaters, wet grass, and, most of all, the puddles!! So, a few days ago I woke up to a downpour. I could barely contain my excitement. My boys were parked in front of the TV on an early Sat morning, and I hustled them into whatever rain gear I could find since it’s a bit like Christmas decorations, we pull them out once a year. After a mad scramble, we got all three boys dressed and headed out in the rain to pounce in the puddles. At first, my intentions were strictly for the boys to absorb this event. However, once I got out there, the familiar feelings all came back to me. I found myself as excited as they were to explore the rain. Any worry I had disappeared, any to do list I had faded away, and all I could think about was skipping along with my boys, bouncing in and out of the puddles, and being one of them. Time stood still. For a few moments, I felt free. Free from all my motherhood responsibilities, free from my job, and free from my own worries. The little Sarah in me had come out to play and make no mistake about it, she was loving it. It was like she was celebrating right along side of my sons; the joys of being a child.
I also had time to reflect on motherhood and how it’s layered with opportunities for new beginnings. By getting in touch with “little Sarah,” I was able to tap into a new way of experiencing joy that stayed with me all day. How about that?!
I ask you, what does the girl inside of you love to do? I invite you to take her up on it!
Have fun and play hard,
PS: We’ve given CWM a few updates, so make sure to check it out!