Sisters, I have something really important to share with you. Something that creates a lot of fear and doubt and anxiety. But you are my tribe and my community and I am so grateful for you.
I feel that I am incredibly blessed. I have actually figured out not only my main mission on this planet, but I know how I am supposed to communicate it: I want to write and speak and lead retreats. I want to help us all overcome our loneliness and wake up to our hearts' desires and not just succumb to the matrix. Sounds great, right? But the real truth is that I am completely overtaken with doubt. I have had tears of fear no less 4 times this week alone. Tears that question my worth. Tears that talk down to me. Tears that cripple me and keep me from writing.
And yet when I get quiet and still, I know my truth.
You see, friend, I feel like I have failed so many times. And probably like you, I don't feel good about failure. Even though plenty of greats tell you that failure is the way, failure makes me want to run in the other direction. Good girls don't fail. Am I right? And I am a good girl. I got good grades. I was polite. I went to college and grad school. I married a cute boy and have pretty babies. Failure is icky.
Nothing was lost and nothing has been taken from me. Every decision I have made has been on my own terms and free will but starting new just gets scarier and scarier. On one hand I can completely see how everything has set me up for this very moment right here. But then there is this other side that questions what if this isn't it... again. What if I am crippled with angst? Wouldn't it just be easier to get a job, bring in some steady income, climb out of debt, and just do that. Or just stay home and embrace mom life. I am peering over the gates and the grass just looks greener.
But wouldn't it just be easier?
Maybe. Maybe for a little while. But there is no greater pain than not living in your truth.
I feel that I am standing at this crossroads of life and it's time to make a decision. I have learned from Rachel Hollis that the cost of your new life is your old one. This has never hit me harder than this moment.
So I tell you all of this sister, because:
1) I believe if you are reading this that you believe in us. You believe that I, and therefore you, can and should be following what's in our heart.
2) I need accountability partners. Don't let me let myself down. And I won't let you let yourself down.
3) I am so tired of shame and unworthiness and I want you to know that you are not alone in your feelings either.
I feel like I am trudging through the mud of self-doubt, but I am doing it anyway. Because I would want you to do it too.
Last year, I took a little break from so much business personal development and started to embrace the beautiful words from women I admire. Brene Brown, Joanna Gaines, Glennon Doyle, and Shauna Niequist to name a few. Shauna's book, Present over Perfect was the first time I really heard the busy mom talk about the crave of the slow down. I had just returned from a trip to the lake where my life was that - slower. Mindful. Easy joy. It was still kids and chaos. But it was this delicious quiet. Poor internet connections. No TV except for maybe an evening movie in the kids' bunk. Slow mornings with coffee and watching the water. Puzzles in the afternoon. Easy jogs before it got too hot. Happy hour and lots of laughs. Go to bed when you're tired. Wake up with the sun or the first kid.
I craved this feeling. All year round. I wanted more. Because my soul was happy. I had no idea how to get more of it. So it started with Sundays. Pancakes and a slow simmering sauce fill the air. Chores are complete for the day. No agenda. No stress. No to-do's and commitments.
And yet when Monday rolled around, I would rejoin the alarm clock club. Up and atta 'em. Time to beast the day.
Can you feel the incongruence in my life?
My soul calls for one thing and yet I am forcing another. Why? Because that's what they say you have to do. (Who 'they' are, I am not sure because no one walks around inside my body but me).
I do love mornings though. I am more alive. And I do love the opportunity to get myself fully awake before my kids. But who says I have to pop out of bed, grind out a workout, scribble in my gratitude (I am so happy and grateful, that I am not grinding out my morning), and light myself on fire to have a good day?
I actually much prefer some deep breaths, a little stretch, and the casualness of opening my curtains. I love walking through my quiet house with reflections and visions for a new day. I like leisurely drinking my water. I love sipping in a breath of gratitude and exhaling my intentions for the day. I love when the day feels challenging but does not create anxiety with a never-ending to-do list.
I am realizing that my badge of honor does not come from winning the Busy Contest, but rather from clearly defining what I want from my day and to whom I am going to contribute. So if you are following me in IG stories, you will likely see a different pace. One that is allowing me to get present with what will bring my joy and gratitude next. It is time to stop adding fuel to the busy fire and start really getting clear on what will bring y life joy, peace, and accomplishment.
Did you know that connecting with you like this is a dream of mine? I want to write the words that touch your soul. That help to wake us up and unify us. If this blog touches and inspires you, would you consider sharing it out? I know it takes a village and I value mine big time. I know each of us has the power to help all of us and your shares may not just change my life, but the lives of so many others. xoxo, B
I often dream of moving somewhere else. To the country. Out of the country. Around the country in an RV. The dream is all about getting away. Simplifying. Out of the noise and into peace. But there's always this looming question: Why can't I find the peace I seek right here?
Deep down, I know the sound of less car noise or the neighbor's kids playing isn't the peace I am after. The peace that I seek is internal.
I recently heard a story of a man who's condo burnt down in the massive downtown Raleigh fire in 2017. He was asked where he saw his life 5 years from now, to which answered, "I don't know. Had you asked me this question 19 months ago, my answer would've been entirely different." Through the 19 months of losing all of his possessions, wearing the same outfit for weeks in a row, sleeping on couches to rebuild, his soul went through a rebuild too. He went through the journey that he's taken and the blessings that he's found a long the way. His counterpart in the conversation reflected, "Won't it be cool if sometime in the future, you look back and think of this time as a blessing," to which he replied, "I am already there. If I knew then what I know now, I would have lit the match myself."
While we were making plans for our RV adventure, my soul made some new plans too. A certain level of peace began to take shape. When we back away from the plans, I found gratitude in all that I had learned in the process, grateful to take my newfound values with me in the future. But it didn't take very long for me to fall in the trap of the "normal American mindset," where I decorate my front porch in Fall festivities, less because I think it's cute and more because it follows the code by Pinterest and my planned community.
So here I am. The stirring in my soul to get away but realizing no matter how much I fight the keeping up with the Joneses syndrome, I am still subscribing it. No one is making me compare myself to the local moms group. No one is telling me that my daughter must be in private school. And no one is going to fine me if I have less than 7 pumpkins on my front porch. Yet it seems that if I am not "off the grid" I don't have the inner strength to be free in all the areas that I long to break the chains of normal society.
I think there is this piece in me that puts up these outer walls in hopes that you will like me. That maybe my inner love isn't good enough. Maybe if I can distract you with how good everything is on the outside, you will judge me less. My stuff becoming my shield.
But how well is this working for us? As a society we seem more dissatisfied and disconnected than ever before. We play our highlight reels on social media because who really wants to air all of their dirty laundry? That was never meant for the mainstream. And quite frankly, I don't like to pollute the world with negative energy. But because you watch me on social media, you think you know me. You know my story. And I know yours. So we just try to live up to that persona, never really letting anyone into the inner world.
I think right now I am in a season of learning. I am meant to stay in my planned community as the ultimate lesson on finding peace. Packing up and leaving is too controlled. I need to light my match to societal expectations, and rebuild brick by brick right in front of you.
I've recently been contemplating homeschool. The idea emerged as my sweet kindergartener started coming home as the devil. Overtired and surrounded by other sassy children, she would have the attitude and will of an apathetic teenager. Sure, she can do the math of an 8 year old, but consumed in her worries of others' opinions and riddled in self-doubt, had me examining my main priorities for parenting my children.
I never believed that I could be cut out for homeschool. I love a break. It's good for all of us. I come back a more patient and loving mom. And yet sometimes when I am feeling less confident, I find myself hiding behind my babies, dreaming of the Joanna Gaines inside of me. I let motherhood be my shield and put these little tiny humans on as my coat of armor. Like somehow, I don't think I'm quite good enough all on my own and you know, because I'm too busy momming to be the full expression of myself. So at least look at them. Aren't they beautiful? Aren't I at least doing this thing right? Why do I have to rock the boat and put myself out there? Why don't I just go all in on this mom thing?
But the truth is, my soul's purpose is just a bit more multi-dimensional. Isn't yours? I often try to talk myself into it when I'm scared. When I have doubts. And when I feel like I am failing at all the things. But I can't hide behind my babies forever. I have to learn to be outside and be seen as me. As Brook. To walk in my purpose with confidence and learn to embrace that there are so many layers to me, to us, and that's the beauty of this whole thing.
I love the idea of homeschooling and unschooling. And who knows where that will lead. But I also love me. I love contributing to other people. And I love showing my children how far they can take this life.
Have you ever felt like you need to reinvent yourself? I remember after having Lyla and barely showering. Any sort of styling my hair or makeup or structured clothing went out the window. Why bother? Until I started catching the glimpses of myself in the mirror and seeing myself as unrecognizable and no where near the woman I envisioned myself showing up as. So I took some small steps. Started styling my hair, wearing jeans.
This past year I had been feeling a similar itch. Now closer to 40 than 30, two kids later, and a major career transition, it was a good time to take a look at who I was and who I really saw myself being. I was tired of seeing a tired face. A tired face that translated into a tired mom. A tired mom that was starting to drag through my day. This is not the woman that I strive to be. This is not the mom I know I am inside.
So I decided to treat myself to a mini makeover. Fresh health, fresh face, fresh clothes, fresh hair, fresh perspective. Because I am worth it.
I had been hearing so much about Burn Bootcamp from all of the mommas. People who would just go on and on and on about their gym were Burn Sisters. A Facebook question on how to lose weight? All the pings for Burn Bootcamp. And then when I finally saw a momma that I new was struggling with weight, turn trainer, turn RIPPED, I was like OK OK, let's see what ya got. I took advantage of their two week trial. Let me get real with you. I'm a gym snob. I have skirted all over this town and tried every big box gym, all the yogas, and every boutique HIIT/Barre/Cycle studio around. I like them. I get a good workout. But all the ladies are right. Burn is different. I got a great workout. Check. But there are two game-changers here. 1) FREE CHILDCARE. Can I get a hallelujah. There is no studio style fitness out there that offers free childcare. And good childcare. It's an amazing setup with a cute little window so the kids can watch you when they're new or just want to see what the excitement's about. The do what you do, mommas. And whether the gym loves it or not, when class is out, the kids kind run like crazy through the spring mat and my heart swells. I love that this space doesn't make me apologize whatsoever for being a momma with normal children. 2) Never have I ever had moms and kids come up to me and introduce themselves when we are out in the community. Surely we have all crossed paths but instead we just kind of divert eyes or do the awkward but acknowledging nod. Not one, but TWO moms approached me. One at the pool and one at church and asked me if I worked out at Burn. When I told them I was on the trial, they welcomed me and introduced themselves. Y'all. If you are looking for a tribe, your #burnsisters are there for you.
Step 2 to my health was switching out some of my supplements and smoothies. I played with several different protein powders and smoothie plans over the month but have fallen in love with Coconut Collagen Coffee and The Fab Four Smoothie.
Coconut Collagen Coffee
1 Scoop Vital Proteins Collagen
1 Tbs Coconut or MCT oil
Fab Four Smoothie
1 serving Vanilla Protein (I am in love with Tone it up. No artificial sweeteners and very yummy)
1 Tsp Spirulina
1/4 Cup Blueberries
Next Up... My Hair
I have always been more of a short hair girl than long. I love the idea of long tousled, waves, but hate the reality. The maintenance. The weight. It's too heavy and high maintenance. My hair was beginning to grow like a weed after starting Monat products and just about as soon as I thought long would be fun, I knew it had to go. I also hadn't colored my hair since before getting pregnant with Lyla. Fortunate for me (fingers crossed) I only have two little gray hairs, which I have so fondly named Lyla and Luca. But why not add a pop of color for fun!
If you think I'm a gym snob, the gyms have nothing on my hair. I have been using salon products since I was six and I trust almost no one with my hair. I have been seeing Natalie from Loxxe on Jones since 2003 (I was like 12) and she's beyond phenomenal. When I started sending her texts of what I wanted to do, she got excited.
And I have to say, I LOVE the results!
Light up my Face
I had been saying for months how badly I needed a facial. My face was just starting to look so dull and tired. The dark spots felt darker and pores felt like craters. So when my friend, Emily said she was looking for influencers to share about some services, my hand was raised so high. Pick Me!!! After a brief consultation, we determined that the right path for me was RF Microneedling and Laser Resurphacing.
I arrived a Synergy, which is a treat in itself with the spa atmosphere. Emily was so great at walking me through the steps and what to expect. She used a numbing gel on my face and the treatment took approximately two hours. While I really didn't know what to expect after, the upcoming days (and weeks) completely blew my mind. As old sun damage and hormone spots began to lighten up, I fell so in love with my skin. Most days, I don't feel self-conscious about not wearing makeup! My skin is even and bright and has a glow to it. Without a doubt, this was the best thing that I could have done for myself.
It's true. Most of my family clothes budget and energy goes to the kids. So my wardrobe is often a haphazard mix of something that I grabbed from Target on the way to the diaper aisle or the $8 Old Navy Dress when I'm shopping for the kids. And with changing sizes so many times over the years (feet included), it seems like the options in my closet were just abysmal.
Now your girl is mostly a minimalist... or a simplest. I don't really subscribe to the need for excess. But a few pieces of clothes that I love. Like really LOVE. So that when I look at my options, I LOVE all of them. The best way I have found to do this is by creating a capsule wardrobe. A capsule wardrobe just focuses on having your wardrobe staples with a few fun pieces. Gap Jeans, a few Target tops, and some fun pieces from my favorite local boutique, The Flourish Market. I'm still working on gathering some new shoes, but so far, I'm loving what I have.
As a momma where some days the most exciting place I go is the car pool line, I realize that I don't do this for anyone else. I do this for me. Heck, I do this for my favorite people- Chuck, Lyla, and Luca. Because the 4 of us are the ones that deserve the best parts of me. And momma, when I look good, I feel good and show up as my best self.
If you could start your makeover, what's the one thing you would start with first?
I'm a messy hair lovin' - soulful book junkie - mompreneur who's totally addicted to helping women design a life they lovI'm here, simply, to share my truth so that it inspires you to live yours! To be your boldest, most authentic self, to find your tribe that supports your soul, and to go after success in every area of your life. e.