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 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.
The other night I woke up from a dream and couldn't fall back to sleep. My heart was beating out of my chest. I was disoriented. Where was I? What was reality. As I lay in the dark, next to my husband, I was having the calmest panic attack of my life.
You see in my dream we were getting a divorce. And I don't do Divorce. I am a latch-key kid raised by a single mom. I have seen all the divorce. I was not going to be a statistic. My kids were not going to experience the repercussions of divorce. I would fight to the death. And yet in my dream and after I awoke, the fear of the divorce. The hard of the divorce wasn't hard at all. My husband and I were civil through the process. We were sad but accepting. We were in good communication about the children. And even as our lives began to rebuild, we maintained a healthy, loving, though a-typical environment.
And as I laid in bed, having all of the fears that have haunted me about divorce laid to rest, that's when I really got scared.
Holy shit. I have been holding onto my marriage out of fear. And if I am no longer afraid, what's left. What does this all mean.
I spent days sitting with this. Wrestling with this. Does this mean I am supposed to get a divorce. Is this my sign that everything will be ok and I don't need to have these fears. That my idea that the nuclear family was best isn't so and that really any family dynamic that is filled with love is actually the better way. Communication and reassurance and collaboration trump any pre-historic notion of what makes family right and good?
You see upon the many things in my life that needs some repairs, my marriage is at the top of that list. Working together for six years served us well. We learned teamwork and communication. We had fun working on projects together and building things together. We were passionate about growing and were doing it alongside one another. On the other hand these things also taught us diplomacy and how to not fight. How to brush things under the rug. How to focus on projects (or parenting) over our marriage.
And after we were no longer working together, it was clear that there wasn't a whole lot of "us" left. Coparenting and roommates became the forefront of who we were.
And yet because we didn't fight, it didn't feel all that bad. I saw knock down drag-outs that ended in divorce. And before I got married, I declared I would never get divorced. Clearly, I thought step one to preventing that was just not yelling. So I don't. And while my mom made sure I was equipped with all the latest counseling tips of those times, (It's not your fault, we still love you, no one is going to replace your dad) I still felt the blows of what I have interpreted as a bi-product of divorce. The money stresses. The challenges of parents picking me up. Missing games. Kids pointing out your deficiencies. And my adamance to never be a statistic. To never let my kids experience this lack. To fight for my marriage.
But in a moment. In the short time that is a dream and yet the power of all of the feelings of this setting to feel so real. To take away all of my irrational fears in one night. To leave me in a state of panic wondering what the hell I do with this information.
Because for the past several months we have been attempting to repair our marriage. We have done date nights and check-ins after the kids go to bed. We have have tried sexy months and scheduling. We have listened to podcasts and read books. And I have even scheduled that initial couples therapy appointment. Knowing full well that we know all the skills and tools but somehow we are just not using them in synchronicity.
And then in a moment things can change. On Friday I got a flat tire. Mother fucker. And with zero question in my mind I knew I could call my husband. I knew he would drop everything with no questions asked. I knew he would show up and he wouldn't make me feel small or weak or useless. He wouldn't make me feel bad in any way for being careless or disrupting him or for the cost of new tires. He would show up. He would fix my tire. He would make sure that Luca and I were safe. And he would take care of it all.
And it was in that moment that I remembered why I will fight for my marriage. Because this is the kind of man he is. He's the one who will drop everything when I need it. He will always put my safety and the safety of the kids first. He will never put me down or make me feel like a silly girl. He won't feel inconvenienced by me. He is incredibly smart and just knows stuff. Stuff that I don't know. And he is always willing to work harder, to do more, to learn more, to grow. And he's strong. He cries more than any man I have ever met and to me that makes him stronger than any man I have ever met.
After spending years trying to follow the systems that were supposed to get me the outcomes. After ignoring my heart and my instincts, I have spent much of this year getting present (sometimes too present) to the callings of my heart. And while at times it feels like they are leading me on this wild goose chase, I now can see clearly how everything is connected.
How a fucking flat tire can be the best marriage counseling I have ever received.
I just wanted to say thanks for reading. In a world with so much content, that you're reading mine. I don't take this light. Thank you, sister. Did think connect with you? Speak to your heart? Maybe it will speak to someone else you love. If so, I want to thank you in advance for sharing it out.
Have you ever tried to be all the things to all the people?
Because I certainly have. Someone thinks they are more qualified to tell you what they think you should do or who they think you should be...
And then a very smart friend once called me out, "So you're just going to abandon yourself like that?"
That one comment hit me. Wow! That's exactly what I have been doing. Forever. Abandoning myself. No wonder I have this chronic feeling of loneliness and unworthiness. No wonder I find myself scattered and jumping from one thing to the next.
What would it actually look like to stick by my own side. To defend myself and love myself wholly?
The truth was, I had no idea. I didn't even know what I truly wanted. You see, I have forever been the steam roller in my own life. I am really good at fixing things and helping people and lending advice and support. I have been repeating mantras like, "action cures fear," and "ready, fire, aim." I think I have been spending a whole lotta time getting in touch with my heart... which I have.... but as soon as she gets courage enough to speak up, my head comes in like your tough guy boss. All loud and ready to take over the meeting. "SO THIS IS THE PLAN THEN. THIS IS WHAT WE ARE GOING TO DO." My heart is sitting there in the corner trying to raise her head but no can even see her anymore over my boisterous (and somewhat obnoxious) head. Apparently getting in touch with my heart was an activity to do just so the smarty pants head of mine could come up with a plan, create something, take us there. As if the heart is incapable of moving and guiding. Or maybe that's just my chronic impatience, lack of faith that we will eventually navigate our way there.
All of this also leaves me vulnerable. Victim to the opinions of others. Often making choices based on what others see in me or think I should do or be good at.
Let's take coaching as an example. I can't tell you how many people, both close to me and strangers alike tell me that I should be a coach. Makes sense. I have a therapy degree and can do some motivational interviewing like a boss. I have both the training and experience which is a rarity in an over-saturated field. I have lots of testimonials and sure, I could coach. But there is a reason that I open up the doors and close them almost immediately. I thought it was fear. Then I thought it was money. So I try and try again like maybe if I solve one of those, it'll work for me this time. When the truth in my heart is that I don't want to coach. At all. I like my freedom too much. I love connecting and impacting but coaching surely isn't the only way to do that.
I want to write. Last Summer was the first time I actually opened up my heart and let the words fall out. And you know what? The response that I got was some of the most fulfilling in my life. Why did I stop? Oh yeah... coaching. (eye roll)
I like speaking too. So yuh. Blogs, books, podcasts. And I want to make a lot of money. There. I said it. I want to make a lot of money writing and speaking the words that just fall out of my heart.
Let's go ahead an cue in the naysayers, the negative Nancy's. All the critics that say this is too hard too do. Too specialized. And I listen. I let their doubts creep into my mind. Instead of the mindset, "Why not me," I always have had the thought, "well, who do I think I am..." You know the not good enough stuff.
How have I responded? By coaching, of course. I have literally abandoned me, my voice in exchange for a voice that's more coachy with a 1-2-3 system that I believe deep down to be bullshit. Because the only thing that's real in this world is your own human experience. No one is a one size fits all. Now, I don't entirely mean that because I actually like coaches too. There is so much value that comes from our teachers and guides, but IT'S NOT ME. And that's ok! Praise Jesus.
So I have battled this story through lots of personal development, lots of conversations with different coaches (see I told you I like them), lots of manifestation work.
And you know what? I actually 100% believe that I will do it. I will make money writing.
Because in order to get paid to write... I should probably do what?? WRITE MORE.
Yet something always interferes with my consistency with writing. If it's not fear anymore then what is it???
AHHHHHH. Yes. That's right. I am still one of those normal humans that has to pay normal bills. Actually, I am one of those extra special humans that is in a mountain of debt from bad business decisions. And as much as I sit and manifest wealth and genius words, there is another elephant in the room called reality.
You see what so many of these hopeful coaches forget to leave out in telling you that you can have it all tomorrow is that you also have to pay attention to today. To what's right in front of you. Sticking my head in the sand and pretending that I don't have to deal with my debt or just sitting in wealth manifestation isn't going to work until I commit to changing my habits.
So while I learn all of these lessons, I too, have to make a living.
I have spent a lot of time dwelling in this. Like should I get a job? What would I do? Am I even qualified to get a job? Hell yeah I am. I am super smart and skilled. Ugh. What would that look like? Ok day care full time? Who will pick Lyla up? When will I see Chuck?
Reminding myself I have a sweet little gig at my fingertips and should probably just go rock that. As hard as staying home with my children is at times, I really feel that I chose this. This is my hard right now. So here I am.
For a long time, I have been swirling all of these thoughts around in my mouth, feeling desperate for a plan, for a course of action, for something that I could feel really good about. And for months, I have started to run on a path and hit a dead end.
And then I finally had a realization. That it's actually ok to have a means to an end. It's ok to use my network marketing business for what it is - like so many people use their jobs everyday. It's ok to not be passionate about shampoo but to show up and be the best me possible. It's ok to have fun. It's ok to write and not make money at it (yet). It's ok to build an incredible residual income so that I have the freedom to write freely. To get help and outsource life's tasks. And it's ok to work less right now so that I can focus on other areas of my life that just trump work right now - like raising these babies, taking care of my health, and recreating my marriage.
I'm tired of living my life for others. Trying to fit into some mysterious box of what I think others see in me. I am tired of forcing creation before it's ready (and then feeling like I am not good enough). I am tired of neglecting the things right in front of me that I don't want to sacrifice. I am so tired.
And when I finally started to live out this decision, it's like I came alive. I started waking up again with purpose, yet patience. I prefer to get up before my kids and set my intention for the day, but damnit if I don't love a serious cuddle sesh with my 2 yr old. I am flexible with my flow, but stern in my productivity. I act everyday with love and grace - first and foremost for me. Second for my family. And third with my team. I am back to working out, a daily personal development plan, and fueling my body. I am letting go of perfection. Sometimes that means Luca gets plopped in front of the TV while I have a call. Sometimes that means I'm late for a call because I am kissing an unexpected boo-boo. And sometimes that means naptime hustle looks more like naptime for mommy (happening today).
Who knew that letting go of a little control and a little of this stranglehold that I have had on my dreams would actually be the first step to not abandoning me. To loving all of me. And since doing this, we've begun to turn an industry on it's head. I have had more tears and compliments from team members from showing them a no bullshit system. For helping them get real results in their business. I have felt a greater sense of peace and ease, nicely balanced with challenge and growth. I have more confidence in the twisty curvy way that my path is going. And I have finally been able to identify what exactly it is that I do best - a memoirist. Just writing these little words from my life that spill out of my heart and into yours.
Did this speak to you in some way? Maybe consider sharing it out on social media or leaving me a comment. One thing that I know is that the messages in our heart can spread and heal the hearts of others.
This question. It comes up over and over and over again.
What would you do if you weren't afraid?
I don't know!!
Well what if you did know?
I have answered this question so many times. And always a new answer arriving. Do I just not know what I want? It can definitely feel that way. Half the time I don't know if I am seriously onto the secrets of life - upleveling my subconscious like crazy - or if I am just bat shit crazy.
Because that's how this feels.
The unraveling of your life. Letting all the things that aren't true to you fall by the wayside. It's like someone came along an dumped out all of your things on the lawn and you are left there naked throwing a tantrum, scared AF, slightly relieved because you hated most of that shit anyway, and scrambling to pick up a few pieces. Not this one! It's my favorite. Oh yes, this is still totally me. Some you dismiss later. Some you regret that you let go of at all.
When you're left to follow faith, you learn to follow the next right thing. But the next right thing almost never takes you to THE THING. And sometimes the next right thing actually leads you "backwards" to the same thing as before because that thing is actually your path but you hadn't really seen it, couldn't really believe it, so you needed an extra lesson.
Does this make sense?
Ok here's the story...
I leave a network marketing company and sign up with a new one. I am convinced I am going to take the thing to the top but I promise to do it differently but I don't really do it differently and so then the bottom falls out from under us and then I stop.
Like for real.
I look up to the heavens and say WHAT THE FUCK, GOD. And then I just let myself crack wide open. Unknowing of why things are happening and fully embracing that it's all happening for me. So then I start to write because I always wanted to write and think maybe I should start writing now but if I finish a book how am I going to get it published. Everyone says this is really hard. And expensive and when they talk to me they all have this super jaded look like the world really needs one more aspiring author. And here is where my old self- talk comes into play, like, who do I think I am? Obvi I'm not good enough or special enough to be a real writer. You need a platform or money or something. Probably both. I don't have those things. Not on that scale.
But years of personal development come into play and I puff up chest and put on my cape and start mantra-ing myself " Why not me?! I can do anything I want..." blah blah blah, all the while really wondering if it's possible and vowing then to build this platform and make that money.
Everyone around me continues to tell me that I should be a coach. Coaching. Y'all. It's like coaching is the new 'it' girl. Sure some people should coach. But not everyone that has something to say and wants to make money should be a coach. I start following a few coaches because I want the inspiration to write but so many coaches are just telling you to coach and selling you the most insane overpriced programs and I start thinking well if they could do it then maybe I should do it. Apparently it's easier to make money and help women charging overpriced programs than it is to sell a lot of $15 books.
You see where this is going right?
What would you do if you weren't scared?
And suddenly I start believing that if I wasn't scared I would go all in on coaching so I can generate some money to pay for my book all the while repeating the story that I am not going to get rich writing books so clearly need a new path.
What would you do if you weren't scared?
With tears streaming down my face, like peeling layers of the onion.
What would you do if you weren't scared?
I would write. I would be a fucking writer. I would write all the things. And then I would travel. For a while. To all the places that are beckoning me to explore. I would go and be with my family.
But who actually gets to do that? How in the world am I really going to do that.
What would you do if you weren't scared?
I would do that. I would do that without questioning the how. I would stop listening to what everyone else thinks I should do. I would stop thinking so much. I would love me more and nurture my tired head and I would write.
And wouldn't you know... as soon as I finally arrive at this conclusion, the gates of heaven open up and answer the how...
Y'all. I don't know about you but all of this chatter about purpose and finding your purpose is really confusing. Especially when you're over here like Yo, someone's gotta pay the bills. I want to live within my purpose but I also want to get out of debt. And sometimes the ability to accept what is, is the first step to really walking into your calling. So I have given myself permission. I don't have to have all the answers. I don't have to be getting paid for my purpose. I can do my purpose things and also do the things that need to be done. And you know what, there's nothing wrong with that.
For those that don't know, I have been sorting through an autoimmune issue for years. I use the word "issue" because I hate doctors and every time I go, my blood work comes back normal. And because of said disdain and my stubbornness, I am a nomad in my health and trying to figure out how to best heal.
With that said, this all started after I had my daughter. Pizza Fridays has been a staple in my life for as long as I can remember. We would order pizza, maybe some salad, and a glass or two of wine. This has been fine (and delicious) until it wasn't. I started to feel awful on pizza night. Like I was hungover only hours later. I thought it was the wine so pulled back there. But then I had all of these aches, what I have come to find out are more tissue related, but so hard to describe to a health professional. "It's kind of muscular, kind of joints, idk..." I started seeing chiropractors and acupuncturist with no avail. I was also exhausted and my anxiety started climbing the charts. Looking back, I chalked that up to sleep deprivation of motherhood, but these are also big symptoms as well.
By chance, I decided to cut out gluten to see if that would help and it did! Pretty much every symptom cleared up. Until I had my son. Dairy was the next culprit that I have identified. But damn if giving up cheese isn't hard. I had cut back dramatically, the only dairy in my life was the occasional cheese (hello GF pizza friday!).
As the years progressed, it's been harder to really even keep up with the triggers and the symptoms. All the while, you feel like a crazy woman. I mean all of my symptoms are invisible - joint/muscular/tissue pain, anxiety, and fatigue. Oh! and the definition for autoimmune disease is basically that your body is attacking your own tissue. And it's triggered by food. Do you have any idea what it feels like to think that your body is attacking you when you eat food. Scary AF. Talk about anxiety and exhaustion just from that.
This past year, I have really tried to get a hold of it. I have picked up the Medical Medium book series and follow him on Instagram. I have tried his protocol twice, but both times I blew up like a bloated balloon. In defense, it's also because I tried giving up meat at the same time, which drastically increased my bean and grain consumption, which are triggers as well. For the love....
OK! That gets us up to date. It's January 2019, I am in the post holiday -I ate whatever I want and feel like shit- coma and have jumpstarted the medical medium again and feel like an Oompa Loompa. Identifying that grains could be a culprit and needing some sort of accountability, I jumped on the Whole30 train. I just needed something. I needed something to commit to with a start an end date, to get the dairy out of my life, to stop using wine as a crutch for the witching hour, and to really figure out what my body needs.
Here were my biggest takeaways:
1) Week one I felt amazing. it felt like the easiest thing in the world. I was completely gluten and dairy free. My energy was through the roof, my balloon belly went away, and I was so happy that we committed (yes, I drug my husband and neighbor along with me). The kids were eating healthier too, because the daily Christmas treat habit had faded for them, and most of our meals were just more nutrient-dense. This was exactly what I was looking for. Praise Be.
2) I had also picked up that eggs, pork, and even some FODMAP veggies were big no's for me. Identifying my food triggers before whole 30 was starting to feel impossible (because there are lots of them) but by clearing out all of the other damaging foods, it made it very clear which ones I had aversions to.
3) I love to cook. I like it more with a glass of wine. I hate cooking 21 meals a week. It was a lot of fun trying some new recipes in the beginning. I was having fun pinning new recipes and following new accounts on Instagram. But the meal planning and grocery list process became incredibly time-consuming and tiring. It's hard when you have to re-learn all of your foods, the ingredients, and where to go for your specialty needs. And by the end of the whole30 haul, I was just tired of the work. My cooking suffered and then so did my desire to eat the food. I like good food. Don't we all. I have to enjoy the process of making the food and give myself more breaks for this to be sustainable.
4) I have other issues. I check out around 3-5pm. It's the witching hour. The kids are crazy and whining and fighting and tired and hungry... and I am about 1/3 of those. And I am just done with the madness. So I check out. Wine was my checkout tool and when I don't have an evening glass of wine, I usually have an after dinner sweet treat. Now that both of these were gone, I went to social media. I would scroll in the afternoon and then usually when the kids went to bed. This stuff is like crack. I get that sometimes we just need to get though the day, but this is not the life I want to live. I don't want to be dazed under booze or social crack. So somehow, I have to find a way to make that time more enjoyable. I'll get back to you.
5) So now what. In the last week, I started fantasizing about pizza night and a heaping plate of nachos with an extra large marg, but I can't. I didn't start this for some kind of crash diet, I started this to launch me into a new phase of my health. I have got to say good bye to the foods that hurt me. I literally feel like I am breaking up with cheese and could cry. CRY. In the upcoming weeks, I will start to slowly reintroduce beans and grains and see which ones are my nemesis, but then I have to say goodbye to those foods...
6) The hardest part about saying good-bye to these foods is that now I'm that person. I was an incredibly picky kid and used to get so much grief for it. When I opened up my pallet in early adulthood, It was so liberating. I liked just about all foods. Some I would rather not eat, but for the most part, I didn't have special requests and never complained about food. This is a fun way to live your life. And now I am the girl who can't eat anything... because there are very few meals in this world that are gluten, dairy, and egg free. Sharing a meal, attending a party... all of it just got a little more complicated. And well, I just don't like being an inconvenience. It's like here's me: I don't want to take up too much space, be too loud, or off-put anyone in anyway. But this is my health. And when I am triggered, I can be a heaping mess who's too tired and too weak to really be productive. The anxiety can make it feel like my head is on fire and my face is too heavy to move. My body can ache so much that it hurts to stand up straight...
7) Food is absolutely my biggest trigger but it's not the only one. Stress will trigger my symptoms in a flash. Priding myself on being able to function under chronic high stress has caught up with me. High stress triggers high anxious symptoms. Anxiety triggers my aches. My aches trigger the fatigue, and the fatigue brings on the brain fog. It's like my body has finally said, enough already. Stop fucking around. Live a beautiful life, not one that you grind out.
So I am sorry. I am sorry that my food is now an inconvenience. I say this in a genuine way, not in a #sorrynotsorry way.
But I want to live. I want to take up space. I want to be seen in my greatest expression of myself. And so I am going to work very hard to stay away from the foods that will dim my light.
I think the most powerful part about Whole30 for me was seeing these opportunities for growth in my life, beyond food. Ever since I first identified a mind/body connection with food, I became obsessed and it's always been my first line of defense (or attack). Let food be thy medicine. But sometimes there are circumstances outside of food. I'm achy because of the dairy or I'm tired because of the wine... maybe. But what I saw was that I'm achy from anxiety too. I'm tired from boredom too.
So here we go. My diet will probably mimic a more paleo-style. I am excited to have a glass of wine this Friday. And I am on a mission to decrease stress and increase joy.
I have made infinite mistakes as a mom, but have always gotten one thing right: I love hard and deep. I'm sure this is not unlike you. I mean, we don't care for these tiny humans day in and day out and not love them with every fiber in our bodies. But even with that I have felt this disconnection. This invisible thing that keeps me from them. From really serving them with my soul.
I have few regrets in life. This is a symptom of being a person that lives in the future versus the past, rather than someone who's given herself grace in her mistakes. But I live with one regret as a mom and it's that I stopped trusting and loving myself when my daughter was born. I know people try to prepare you but it is just downright impossible to prepare someone for what motherhood really feels like. I really didn't understand that when this tiny person came out she would immediately have her own preferences. And her preferences were very different from the plans I was making in utero. I like sleep. I read all of the sleep books. I planned that she would be a great sleeper. I thought that I could transition easily from mom to business as she played nicely on a rolled out blanket. I thought that I would immediately find my momma tribe and we would plan baby + me yoga and coffee dates. None of these things happened.
And I started to feel broken. I looked for answers outside of me. I begged for advice in mom groups. I envied the mom gangs. I resented portions of motherhood that kept me from building my business.
But the truth of all of this is that I stopped loving myself. Stopped trusting my ability to listen, even to the things I didn't necessarily want to hear. And has continued to ebb and flow in various stages of motherhood. While infancy with my son was different, part of this was second time around, part was an easier baby, part was the lesson of what not to do, I have still seen the same signs and symptoms rear their ugly head. Impatience. Frustration. Ok, losing my shit. While, I don't want this to turn into some falsehood of patron saint motherhood, I do want to bring attention to when this is them and when this is us.
Motherhood is hard. But it might be a little easier if we loved our selves more. Ok, life would be a little easier if we loved ourselves more.
So, yeah, that's step 1. You. Love you.
But then step 2. Find your breath. Your center of gravity. Your heart's calling. What is it saying to you about motherhood. About the kind of mom you want to be. Then we need to ask ourselves a critical question. A question that we reflect on often and yet never with motherhood:
What is your intention with mOtherhood? What do you want your outcome to be?
I ask this question in one shape or form in all areas of my life. What do I want my intention for the day to be? What are my goals for the year? What is my desired outcome with anything work related or with conversations I am having. And yet, I had never thought to ask myself the question, "What is my desired outcome for my children." Or maybe I have but haven't been brave enough to really consider the steps. The daily action. The intentionality that is really required.
One of the most important outcomes that I want for my children is that they feel rooted in this earth. That they are not like tree branches blowing in whatever direction social media is taking them. I want them to feel solid in who they are, which will not come from an impatient mom or a mom who is not solid in who she is. I want them to know true love so they don't just need attention. And everyday, I know that I need to breathe through my children. Find the rhythms. Feel the heartbeat of where they are developmentally and respond with intention.
This is motherhood from the inside out.
I remember when I first started dreaming about starting my own business. Business actually had nothing to do with it, as so many budding entrepreneur stories go. I knew I had an idea for how to serve people and if the job wasn't there, I was determined to create it. Remember this actually surprises me because I don't remember myself being bold, but I guess I have always had a little spice in me.
My first concept was to create a holistic wellness center. You know, like counseling, yoga, nutrition, maybe massage. Things that create peace and enlightenment from a mind/body/soul level. I tried piecing it together. I tried looking for partnerships. I even went on a rampage with the Pepsi Refresh competition and bombed a presentation in front of Angel Investors.
I had no idea how much money I was going to make or even how much money it would take to live the life I wanted to live. I didn't understand the kind of work that it would take and what that would look like alongside motherhood. I just knew that I couldn't work a job that didn't bring me great joy. My money story was all a mess. Little did I know then, that not being solid in the MONEY part of business would inevitably steal joy and also get my vision for how to serve really murky.
My husband on the other hand has always had the entrepreneurial mindset and vision of making a lot of money. Somewhere along the way of my visions of a wellness center and his vision of getting rich, we joined efforts and went into business together. I can confidently say now, that this was an incredible learning experience, though it didn't take either one of us to our end goal. Some would call this a failure. Others would call us quitters. But the truth is that we weren't happy. And the reason we weren't happy is because neither one of us were in alignment. My husband really wasn't that interested in helping people in the industry we were in, but he wanted to make a lot of money. I, on the other hand, just started to follow his passions and caught a money vision but lost my initial outcome of how to help people.
Business works well when your vision for impact is in alignment with your vision for your earnings.
In order to have a business that I would deem a success, meaning it brings you great personal fulfillment and brings money into your pocket in the amounts that you desire to live your best life, while also giving you the freedom to live that life.
So, here I was, years later. I am not making the income that I wanted to at this stage in my life and so much has changed with becoming a mom and lessons that I have learned and the evolving internet that I started to feel kind of lost. Who was I and who was I meant to serve? What is my money story? How much do I want to make and what feels honest in terms of earnings? Because while I love woo-woo stuff, I don't actually believe that money is just going to fall out of the sky.
So bit by bit I started to put the pieces together. I started to learn who I was. I started to remember my true voice and distinguish that from being a parrot. I started to embrace the stage of life that I am in right now, today. Not the stage that I anticipate being in.
I learned that I love to write. Like really love it. I learned that a one-size-fits-all is bullshit. With everything. Diets, relationships, parenting, business. There might be some commonalities, some systems that work for more than one person but there is nothing that's tried and true for everyone. And I learned that I REALLY liked to talk about that because that and only that is what will help women get to where they want to be.
And now to put all of this together, right? And monetize it. Because as I told a friend of mine recently, who asked if I needed to make money writing, YES! I LIKE TO MAKE MONEY. I do! I think it's fun. I love when money hits the bank account. I love pouring myself into the things I love and knowing that all of my financials are taken care of and abundant. I love being generous. I love traveling. I love exploring. And I absolutely love not having money problems. I love how the energy that once went to stress and anxiety and worry, that used to be a source of tension in my marriage, is gone. I love that. I want more of that. I want others to have more of that. Can you imagine? Imagine if everyone who had money problems could suddenly free up those emotions and put them to good.
So, Yes, girlfriend. I have to make money. i want to make money. i love making money.
But as the story started, money, to me is in proportion to my worth. And my worth is connected to my truth. So if I want to make money, I best get connected to what is connected to my heart. And sister, if you want to make some serious money, I suggest you do the same.
Joy. Definitely not a word that I would use to describe myself. Something I might experience on occasion, for a moment or too. But joy is rare. Laughing continues to get replaced with stoicism. Peace and stillness are often as close as I get, because true joy, the lose yourself in the moment joy, deep belly laugh joy, time stands still joy, heart bursting joy... well that just seems too far away.
But, dear friend, this is about creating a life you LOVE, not a life that you kind of feel peace with.
So in my effort to create more joy, I am going to start with this sweet reminder of the things that bring me joy.
1) A good book, curled up with a soft throw, and a warm cup of tea.
2) Al fresco dining on a warm Spring day. A crisp glass of sauvignon blanc and meal that makes you moan out loud.
3) Moaning out loud (did I really just write that).
5) Outdoor concerts. Singing every word and dancing because you just can't not.
6) Girlfriends. When your inhibitions are lowered enough to laugh til you cry and cry til you laugh.
7) Writing. The way words feel like a waterfall from my brain to my mouth and into the key board
8) Naps. The Spa. And lounging poolside. Just laying there. Breathing. Taking in the peace.
9) Long walks as a family.
10) Nourishing my body. Eating a meal that I know is pure fuel and medicine.
11) Creating a room in my home that is complete and exudes love, nourishment, and peace.
12) Catching up with an old friend. I am always looking forward, so when I can catch up with a friend or family member to collect memories or learn a bit of family history, it fuels my soul.
13) True connections with like-minded people.
14) Growing. I don't know if there is anything more exciting than knowing I've crossed another hurtle and am that much closer to living out my soul's calling.
15) Going for a drive with my husband and just dreaming.
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.