I type words as they spill from my soul. They are the downloads from the universe, the lessons in action, and the truth as I am seeking it.
I type words as they spill from my soul. They are the downloads from the universe, the lessons in action, and the truth as I am seeking it.
Parenting is hard. But I am going to say the thing out loud that I am afraid to say: Right now, for me, It's hard because I am not finding as much joy in the day in day out of parenting that I thought that I would. Coming to terms with this is hard. It makes me feel inadequate as a mom. It riddles me with guilt. And saying it out loud makes me feel like I need to definitely preface it with how much I love my children and all the things that make me a great mom in order to shield myself from any backlash. We all have our issues, sister.
I am just not sure what crack I was smoking when I got pregnant and created this ideal in my head of what I thought it would look like to be a mom. I guess I hadn't been around any babies in a very long time and really was out of my league. But I entered into something way over my head in how I was going to approach motherhood and entrepreneurship, believing that I could do both effortlessly without help from anyone other than dad. And all I did was create this perfectionistic expectation that didn't exist and caused me to fail time and time again.
We experienced our fair share of financial battles while growing our business and babies. So after setting this expectation for myself, we left no room for the financial option of hiring help. And this is where we've stayed. I have stayed steadfast to the course of staying home with my children while also building (and now rebuilding a business).
So much of me wants to take greater advantage of this time, because I see what everyone raves on about. Actually, I wish I could strike through that first sentence. I don't actually want to... I just feel like I should. I do see how fast it goes. But the truth is I am 1 million times more present when I have had a full day of work. When I have been able to connect with like-thinkers and impact other women in their journeys. I come home alive, energized, and excited to see my babies now that mom's cup is full. Now that I have had a chance to miss them... and honestly, they also come to the table more excited to see me.
I am an achiever and I hate having to apologize for that as a mother. I hate that in some way by staking claim in the love for my work, that I feel the need to overcompensate in my claims of loving my children.
Of course it's easy to tell me, "Yeah girl. Be a working mom." But why do we feel like this? Where does it come from and why the guilt? Because I know how our psyches work. If I don't uncover the root and just say yeah, work, I will still be struggling with the guilt. I am not looking to replace one unhappiness for the other - the lesser of two evils. I am looking to find the joy.
For me, I have reconciled with the fact that I was raised by a single mom. Being a latch-key kid was hard. Some times... a lot of times it sucked. I hated the level of self-sufficience that was required of me and I resented that other kids had more present parents. But maybe even harder was that I know my mom hated it too. She would have a week off of work for her vacation time where she would make my lunch or pick me up from school and she would always say, "See I was meant to be a stay at home mom." Her desire to be home and my desire to have her home has subconsciously impacted my decisions.
But I have always been an achiever. I loved the pats on the backs for good grades. I loved sitting at the front of the room, learning, and being on the teacher's good side. I loved that my mom used to buy me unlimited books as long as I read them. And I loved adding a graduate degree to my resume.
As an achiever, it can be really hard to learn when it's time to ask for help. Too often we can take that all on ourselves. And this is exactly the piece that was missing. Not only do I need to make the step to ask for more help. But I have had to reconcile that spending less time with my kids is actually what is going to make me a better mom. A mom that is filled more joy filled.
What is it for you?
What's that thing? That hard thing that is keeping you from loving your life? Is it your soul-sucking job, some measure of parenthood, feeling detached from friendships?
Joy can sometimes feel like this unattainable feeling reserved for empty-nesters, but I know we can experience joy everyday. However, in order to experience it, we not only need to uncover what will bring us more joy and the path to go after it, but we need to understand why it's that thing that will work, and not just a grass is greener mentality.
I'm not sure anyone would have considered me your stereotypical nice girl. I have never been afraid to speak my mind and challenge the status quo. But within the past year, I have taken note at the frequency in which I am out to please others. Mostly the women closest to me. My mom, teachers, mentors. Post my business on social media and get a few unfollows? No prob. Follow a different path or different plan than what those closest to me think I should and I want to crawl out of my skin. This has been my number 1 form of self-sabotage: check-in with my heart. Decided to go a different route. Disappoint someone. Run back with my tail between my legs.
I've internalized messages like I'm not a team player or I'm not consistent, continuing to feed my negative self talk that it's me. That I'm not good enough. That I am unworthy because of these skills that I haven't developed. That I am unable to trust myself because these people know better. That this is the love I seek and how I can show love. By being a good girl.
But within the past year, I have followed faith. Only faith. A twisty, windy, zig-zaggy path that was only lit by faith. This path allowed me to see very clearly how I was people-pleasing. How I was abandoning myself for likes and approvals and pats on the back. Whoa nelly. Here comes the next lesson that life is about to teach me.
Just this past Sunday in church and then last night at a book launch, the message was consistent. What does it mean to be a nice Christian? Y'all immediately I thought this didn't really apply to me because I am the opposite of a nice Christian. I am a kind person who is toe-dipping into this church thing (not all church... my church) and still can't scream out Christianity because I am not ready to be grouped in with nice Christians. So how could this message apply to me? I don't know, but I have learned that when you continue to get hit with the same message, best you pay attention.
You see, similar to nice Christians, I am indeed a people pleaser. And the most dangerous kind. I don't like people to be mad at me. I would prefer people like me. I definitely don't want to disappoint someone and I would be mortified if I hurt someone close to me. People pleasing has served me. It's served me to stay in other's good graces. To be the teacher's pet. I get things that way. I get more approval, which I conveniently have mistaken for more love. But love isn't this you scratch my back, I scratch your back kind of thing. Love is getting to the root of who you are and then loving that. Love isn't self-serving. Pleasing the masses may be exhausted, but pleasing those you hold most dear is trading approval for love.
So by relinquishing people pleasing, I am relinquishing a drug that has felt good for a long time. I am relinquishing this false sense of approval. I am opening myself up for rejection. To people not liking me and agreeing with me. I am opening myself up to being cast aside and out of the circle.
But I am also opening myself up to real love. To the kind of love that knows me, would never abandon me, and loves me because of this. That honors and admires the strength and courage it takes to Brave the Wilderness, as Brene Brown would say. To stay steadfast in my truth and then allow the right people to come along because of that.
Overcome Pleasing and you will overcome loneliness
True love starts from within. We all know that. But when was the last time you checked in with yourself on your self-love meter? Maybe you've overcome your body image issues or your mom guilt, but if you are a human being, this is a relationship that needs constant nurturing. If you want to feel truly included in this world, you have to start by first accepting yourself. Accepting that your desires, opinions, and feelings may not look like everyone you love. And that's ok. You need to go momma bear on standing up for yourself vs. abandoning yourself. Love>approval. Yeah?
I have to shoot you straight. This is hard. Why? Because it hurts. It hurts to muster up the courage, be vulnerable enough to be the real you, and then not be embraced. It hurts to realize that a relationship you wanted to work might not be working. It hurts to feel the job you were so excited about might not be the right fit. It hurts to accept the friendships you were building may not have the same values. Disappointment and sadness are ok. They are ok to feel and experience and are totally normal. Grieve if you feel it. But just like the Bachelorette has to break up with the runner up to get her proposal, you too have to end the barrier that's keeping you from truly loving you. And when you do, and you see your one and only (that would be yourself) ready to love you through and through for the long haul, sister that's the greatest acceptance you will ever feel in this world. And no group, team, committee, or even family can give you that love we all are so desperately seeking. But guess what does happen? You won't always be sitting there all by your lonesome. No. Those who always did love you, will come to admire you. And you also now have room for those that were always meant to love you the right way. And you, them.
I have this longing. This unsettling in my soul. I have been carrying it all day.
It started with my morning meditation. Anxiety. That's what I felt. Why anxiety? What is this here to teach me? That is the question I have learned to ask myself. Through so much trial and error, I have realized that everything that doesn't work out, doesn't for a reason. So a constant reminder when my feelings bubble to the surface, What is this here to teach me.
For a long time the answer was that I was on the wrong path. Then the path was right but I was still a hair to the left or the right. In this moment, I can say with absolute certainty that my compass bearings are solid. So what was it?
My mantra repeating over and over, what is this here to teach me.
I walk in the house and hubs can tell I'm despondent. What's wrong?
Want to talk about it?
I ramble on for a minute with the complexities and he offers solutions. For the first time since I ever wanted to employ myself, I am certain in my direction, in my action, in my work. So what is it?
Tears roll down my face. I look at him clearly and let him know that I don't want him to sooth or fix in this moment. I want him to let me have this. These tears. That they have been building and they need to be released.
He helps me process and strategize and I pull a few things that are helpful. And I get curious. Maybe this is why. This is why I am anxious so that I could cry and have this conversation and get just one more strategy that could be helpful.
It's in this moment that I remember the value of emotions as our best teachers.
Sister, if you are not crying over your goals then you are not pushing yourself to grow. But as a high achiever, we are in this thing together. So often I have cried over my woes and the thing I felt first was loneliness. That I am the only one going through this feeling and therefore, I am the one that is missing something. That loneliness leads to lack. The feelings of not good enough and not worthy enough. I can't tell you how often the ole "who do you think you are" text has played through my head. And that lack leads to anxiety.
What made this all more intense was the fear. The fear that if I carry this negativity that I am going to manifest more negativity. So let me just smile, listen to another podcast, and try to PD my way out of this. All the while attracting shit and wondering what the hell I am doing wrong.
Can you feel me.
Spiritual Bypassing. Mindfulness. Manifestation. Oh My.
Following your truth is just that: Your truth. On the Gram, our truth is supposed to look like purpose and good lighting and only aftermath of our lessons. But following our truth can also lead us down some dark holes. Unknown. Uncomfortable feelings.
TRUST THEM. Because even the ones that don't feel so fun contain your truth. Trying to get them to go away by sticking your fingers in your ears and going "LA LA LA LA LA" will only continue to attract more shit because you still feel it. You haven't processed it. It's OK to feel and to process. That's mindfulness of your emotions. Being able to just notice and see the lesson. And processing it is how you pull the weeds from the root so your garden can harvest.
So today I felt anxious.
Because I desperately want you to feel less alone.
And today after chatting with hubs, instead of texting me a Gary V podcast he text me Jason Mraz.
And today, even through the anxiety... BECAUSE of the anxiety... was a good day.
I believe to my core that you, and all of us, were born with two gifts that will absolutely transform the world as we know it. Two gifts that we have been taught to doubt. The very gifts that will eliminate the fear, anxiety, and loneliness that we all feel everyday. The very feelings that keep us playing small, doubting ourselves and our worth, and that overshadow our light can be gone so all that's left is truth. Your truth and gifts that you are meant to share with the world.
This first gift is your intuition. A mother's intuition. A woman's intuition. This is not called upon and world renowned for no reason. This is pure and it's true and it's honest. A woman's intuition is genius and it's your light. The answer to every question in your heart, lives in your intuition. But over the years and decades from sexism and patriarchy we have learned not how to trust this gift, but how to doubt it. How to question ourselves. How to look outside of ourselves and please others. We have been taught that we are meek and not the genius goddesses that we are. This intuition, my sister, is all knowing. And that power can change the world - starting with yours.
The second gift is our instinctual drive for collaboration. Fight or flight isn't the instinctual response for all; it's the instinctual response for men. For women, our instinct instantly goes to leaning in. Nurturing and mending bridges. The irony is that we have been trained to not trust one another. To put each other down. To feel a constant inadequacy and competition among our fellow sisters. This is not our truth. Our truth and our brilliance is when we collaborate. When we celebrate each other's victories. When we recognize that by being strong in some areas and weak in others doesn't mean we are deficient; it means we are greater than the sum of our parts. That it takes a village. And that we can do more together than we can apart. Because you are good with words and I am good with numbers, does not mean that I am not good enough because I am not as good as you. Instead it means, THANK YOU. Thank you for providing this strength in an area that I am weak and in turn, I will lend you my strengths and together we can both be celebrated and both contribute to solving the problem at hand. We are sisters.
So you see, sister. The very answer to all of our problems is right here. Right here inside of each of us, yet also among all of us. Why? Because we are not meant to do this life alone. We are not meant to feel lonely. We are not meant to be riddled with doubt. We are meant to unify the force of our individual strengths through the all-knowing intuition. And we are meant to change the world.
I am entering almost a decade of being an entrepreneur. Insane. And y'all, I was not the little girl with the lemonade stand. I knew nothing about business and had no desire to learn. I had a desire to solve a problem - helping women live their best life, which started my path in wellness. I would've happily taken a job in that niche if there was one. And since there wasn't I decided to make one for myself.
That's it. No interest in sales and marketing. And (shhhhh) no interest in building a business for big revenue. But if you want to employ yourself, excel at the parts you are good at, keep food on the table and abundance in your heart, you have to learn those other pieces. So I did.
I learned marketing and social selling. I learned how to network and build relationships. And I have even learned everything about building websites and shooting pictures and about a million other skills that I had no desire to learn - all to help women.
But guess what happened along the way. While you are learning these skills. You learn that FEAR SELLS. Think about it - everything we are fast clicking on these days is because we have this fear. Fear of missing out on the deal. Or fear of missing out on the results. Fear that we will be less than if we live without. Fear that there is something wrong with us that needs to be fixed.
I have sold everything from nutrition shakes to haircare products and my first online course was called FEARLESS, but guess what I really sold- the fear of being tired, fear of being fat, fear of bad hair days, fear of missing time with your kids, fear of not being enough...
This fear-based marketing isn't new. I remember the first presidential election that I was capable of comprehending. George Bush vs. Michael Dukakis. I don't remember much but I do remember an ad campaign or maybe it was a debate where George Bush attacked Michael Dukakis and all I remember thinking was how icky that was and felt. Why couldn't he just stay in his strengths. Why did he need to attack someone else to make himself look good? My little 7 year old self was able to pick up on Love over Fear.
And now here we are in today's world where Fear is our main method for capitalizing on others.
But as I started to identify the real problem I am meant to solve - helping women overcome fear, anxiety, and loneliness, I realized that I cannot in good conscious be the creator of more fear in anyone's life - even if it means that they inevitably get to me and I can help them, which I know is the rationale for good-intended business owners. I cannot condition people to make choices from a state of fear. So that has been a marketing commitment for me.
I share this with you, not as a way to get a glimpse in my marketing strategy, but really as a way of bringing light to this area. A way for us all to call on greater awareness of how we respond to our emotions and to begin assessing our reactions that are rooted in fear. Because when we stop making fear-based marketing successful, we actually open a new path of love.
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.