Hi Mama~I find it’s easy to feel disconnected once you become a Mom. Our ambition can take us one direction, our marriage another, and our children in a completely opposite way. That’s why I want to have a conversation with YOU. I want to bring conscious modern moms together in an easy and supportive way to bridge the gap between the busy-ness of our lives and our true purpose.
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’ve missed you. I’ve been a little MIA these past couple of weeks. I don’t want to bore you with details, but I will sum it up as: LIFE happened. Things got moving fast, and I couldn’t slow down. Maybe you can relate. It wasn’t until I went on my date night with John last night that it hit me.
Now what? You’ve declared how you want to feel or what you want, and might have even gone as far as setting a goal, but have you noticed how quickly life gets in the way? Suddenly, that thing you were going to change gets shoved to the side, and before you know it, 2017 is starting to look a lot like 2016.
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.
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,
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.
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.
Aaaah, I love the holidays. Genuinely. I know what you’re thinking, how can that be? The decorating, the gifts, the events for work, children, and family–the season starts out fine, but by the second week of December, it’s overwhelming and stressful. What if you could let go of your expectations of what you think the holidays “should” look like and dare to enjoy the run-up.
If you know me, you know that building community is a cornerstone of how I live my legacy. I constantly speak and write about tribe. About community. About sisterhood. As more women are joining an amazing group-coaching experience CWM is starting in Jan, it got me thinking about sisterhood more.
The new year is one of my favorite times of the year—the blank slate, the feeling of freshness and excitement about the year to come. It’s one of the best times to set goals and create a vision for the year. I’ve gone through so many processes of goal-setting: making resolutions, burning what I want to release, creating a vision board, writing down my goals, eschewing goals altogether in favor of a word of the year.
I recently wrote about the power of reflecting on 2017 as a foundation for 2018 goal-setting. I find this process so powerful partly because of the inevitable light of truth that it brings–you may realize you learned much more than you thought you did, or were more powerful, or more brutally honest, or that you deceived yourself, or any of a million epiphanies my clients have shared with me about their 2017 experience.
This time last year, I joined 750,000 other women (and men) in the streets of Los Angeles to come together in womanhood, in solidarity with groups who felt threatened by the incoming government. It was thrilling to be part of such a large expression of collective voice.
Our Valentine’s Day Gift Guide is here! We’ve curated our favorite items (as of today) for your significant others, children and most importantly you. We’re so conditioned to think about others on this holiday, but please don’t forget about yourself! It all falls under self-care for the soul and it’s what will allow you to come from a place of fullness, instead of not enough.
Everytime I sit down to write about this experience, I get a bit giddy inside. There are two things I LOVE in life: surprises and adventure. Why? Because it ignites the feeling of wonder, play and aliveness inside of me. It takes the days that can start to feel very routine, mundane and dare I say groundhog like and put them on their head.
Do you ever feel overwhelmed, disheartened, and angry by all that is happening in the world? Do you wonder how on earth you could make a difference in redirecting our world, when some of the issues feel so gigantic? For me, I instinctively feel emotional, but when it comes to trying to be a part of the solution instead of the problem, where does one start?
I have been thinking about how the word ambition loads lately and what it means in 2017. The word conjures different images and feelings for different people, but almost universally there is an understanding that ambition looks like ‘going big’ and ultimately proving yourself in the broader, external world.
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.
I love the Olympics, and this winter Olympics in Korea did not disappoint. I was amazed, inspired, moved, and motivated. In the past, I felt like I would lose two weeks of productivity because I would get sucked in to watching every night, and then once they were over it was a bit like I lost two weeks of my life.
Do you feel like you could do your job with your eyes closed? Stuck going through the motions because each time you start to consider any other possibility that would feel more purposeful, impactful –heck FUN– you can’t imagine starting over? How would you make as much money? What would you actually do? Before you know it, you’re right back where you’ve started; only this time you might be convincing yourself, “It’s not so bad. The hours are okay. The pay is good…”
This is what I call unconscious living. And as a result, parts of us start to feel unfilled because we’re living in mediocrity.
In service to helping my CWM community, I got to the point where I felt like I was dying inside. I had hit a glass ceiling in my career and wasn’t making the impact or living on purpose in the way I had dreamt about. You might be thinking, “what dreams?!” Exactly?! My dreams had slipped away because I was choosing to live unawake, unengaged, and out of alignment. Maybe you can relate. Or maybe you’ve experienced justifying these feelings because other areas of your life you do feel completely alive and awake – your marriage or your role as a mother seem perfectly in tact.
Now what? You’re dying inside and, with a snap of a finger, another year will go by. No more “fake it until you make it” attitude.
Here’s a secret game I use to play to help me wake up and start to get real clear on what it is I want and how it is I want to experience my life. I always knew time was precious and I wanted to live BIG, otherwise what was the point? “Go big or stay home,” is what an old sales boss use to tell me when I was 20 something.
So, I would write out my obituary just as I wanted to read it. This might sound silly, but when you read it out loud something powerful happens. You’ll see. I don’t want to spoil it, so I’m asking you to trust me.
15 MIN EXERCISE TO WAKE YOU UP
Take out a piece of paper.
Set timer for 15 minutes
Writing assignment: Write your obituary from the place of how you want to be remembered.
Consider these questions:
What kind of impact do you want to leave? How do you want to be remembered? What are the qualities people would use to describe you?
It is from this place, I’m inviting you to take stock in how you’re experiencing your day. Your life, your career, and trust what comes forward.
For me, I couldn’t believe what I found on the other side. A sense of freedom, empowerment, ease, impact, creativity, prosperity, and joy that I didn’t think was possible.
In support of your own awaking and experiencing the fullness of your life,
I just gave myself and my oldest son the most amazing gift: a week long holiday together; just the two of us. We chose to go to London because he was born there and was also turning 6. It was important to me to share his birth experience with him now that he’s old enough to see and understand his roots. I’m first to admit this took months of planning, saving, and communicating with my husband. But, my oh my, I can wholeheartedly say it was one of the most profound experiences I’ve ever had. Bear with me over the next few months because I have a feeling I will draw on this experience quite a bit, but for the sake of this post, I want to focus on one major awareness and share it w/ you Moms who have more than one child. I’m an only child and, while I loved the attention I received, I always knew that I wanted to have several children. I wanted them to experience a life of constant of sharing toys, parents, and love.
Keeping that in mind, I remember when I had my second son, Felix, my pediatrician’s main advice was whatever you do, make sure you spend at least 10 minutes a day with each son, so they feel special and connected. While I’ve always done my best to squeeze in 10 minutes, which can feel like an impossible task certain days, spending a week with my oldest son was incredibly eye opening.
As the trip got underway, I noticed he was naturally happier because he had me to himself; my undivided attention. We had time to play Legos on the floor, we could walk at a normal speed to wherever it was we were headed that day without rushing and, when it came to the evening, he didn’t have to share me at bedtime. As the trip went on, this happiness turned to strength. Over the course of few days, I saw a more confident version of my son. He didn’t seem to mind that he had to get acquainted with an old friend he hadn’t seen in a few years, nor was he bothered by the unfamiliar house or accents be spoken around him. He still seemed assertive and yet didn’t need to be first. Throughout the week, I noticed so many changes in his behavior. This new found strength fostered a greater sense of independence, and he was alright with it. In return, I experienced a sense of a freedom. I could carry on with conversations without the regular interruptions I experience when we’re together.
This entire experience reflected back to me how important it is for my children to feel loved, independant from one another.
I offer to you a few realistic suggestions on how to create this experience. Again, I’m first to admit, it takes a bit of planning, saving and mixing of responsibilities:
Communicate with your partner and ask for what you want. Discuss your desire to create this experience and requests that it be a four night minimum. This will allow you time to settle out of the daily stresses and into the flow of a proper holiday.
Decide on the location. Pick somewhere by plane, train or car that has some sort of meaning to you and your child. This will add sentimental value to your experience, which will make it even that much more meaningful.
Make it manageable: Be realistic. You don’t have to break the bank. If you have an option to stay with friends, then do it. You will still have plenty of time with just your child.
Communicate in advance to your other children: Leading up to the trip, remind your other children you’re taking a trip with child X, and that everyone will get a turn to have a special trip with Mama. The purpose is to spend one on one time together.
Plan a special activity for your other children while away: Work with your partner, to plan one activity that gives them something to look forward to. Doesn’t take much for children to get excited, so don’t over think it.
Involve your child in the trip planning: allow them to have a say in how you spend your time. This will also bring you closer together.
Lastly, set the intention to have a safe, special trip knowing that the whole purpose is to spend one-on-one time together, so whatever happens along the way, is truly for both of your highest goods.