What would it be like to live life fully on your own terms?
What if GUILT and FEAR were elements of your former self?
What if health and wellness were high priorities in your life?
What if you were not a victim of your emotions?
Those particular questions were at the core of the conferences I attended this past weekend. Here’s what I gave, and what I got from being part of the conversations.
It’s no secret that I fall in love with women all the time. I can’t help it, because the more I focus on trusting my process, the more these women show up in my life.
Sometimes they walk alongside me, sharing similar goals… Sometimes they walk ahead of me, reminding me to just keep showing up… Sometimes they’re behind me, steadily nudging me forward… Sometimes they’re heckling from the sidelines, expecting me to fail (which reminds me that I’m doing something right if they’re paying me so much attention)… Sometimes they’re in my life for brief chapters, to give and get love before we both move on…
But in some shape or form, women show up and remind me how to love, trust, and juice this journey.
HOW ABOUT YOU?
Do you find that resources are showing up more often in your life?
If your answer is no——don’t fret. You can change that today by focusing your thoughts and actions on one word…
That one thing most of us never want to experience.
HOW DO YOU EXPERIENCE VULNERABILITY? What does it feel like?
I challenge you to sit with your thoughts about being vulnerable, asking yourself whether you’re willing to risk being vulnerable to get to the root of your realest needs and your realest fears.
Because on the other side of vulnerability is truth.
Let that move through you, and if it settles somewhere that could use a bit of light, then let the vulnerability of the women below guide you through to your truth.
Vulnerable moments in writing
Monique Halley shared her experiences as a parent of a child with health challenges here, and my God she got open!
Alisha Sommer wrotea sweet, simple piece about her need to be called by her name. As women, we get called many things, and though some of them make us smile, others yank us into a reality that can leave us feeling vulnerable, involuntarily “re-defined”, and struggling with our own need to simply be ourselves.
Here’s a great TED Talk on vulnerability by storyteller and researcher, Brené Brown:
“Parents, let’s stand up together and open up to our kids. Allow them to see you for who you really are. Stop hiding or trying to hide because they’ll know. The best teacher is you, the real you, the raw and uncut you. Your kids will learn to live openly and freely and will not feel as if though they have to hide as well. You don’t want that, now do you? You don’t want kids who grow up feeling ashamed of who they really are.” ~Lisa R. Charles
That’s a fantastic example of Life Design in full swing, and when I read Lisa’s juicy post this morning, I needed to pass the nutrients on to you, of course!
You probably know as well as I do that parenting is one of the biggest traps for our Presenting versus Being Present tendencies to surface.
Lisa’s words definitely echoes the environment Kris and I consciously create for our daughters, and for ourselves. Our daughters are 8 and 6, and we’ve already had conversations about sex, sexuality, sensuality, drugs, politics, and a host of other topics deemed taboo by many parents of children under age 10.
Our philosophy is that we’re raising adults, not children, and our goal is to impart the life skills we believe they will need to thrive as adult women.
Our 3 primary focal points are:
Self-governance – learning how to manage themselves when our availability is limited. We work from home, so there are many times when Kris and I are hitting deadlines, or I’m on a coaching call, or preparing for a project. During those times, we tell them (and have done so for about 2 years) they need to be in self-governance mode, whereby they limit their calling on us to emergencies only. Usually, I say something like “If no-one’s bleeding, stuck, dead, or being kidnapped” deal with it yourself until daddy or I tell you we’re done working.” Believe it or not, it works 99% of the time.
Radical Self-expression – Not unlike most of the work I do, this stems from my own life experiences as a woman, mother, wife, daughter, friend, student, lover, and creative being. I’ve always been in touch with my “outside voice” as I like to call it, and I believe it is in large part responsible for what sustains me in my life. We remind the girls that no questions or statements are off limits, and we lead by example where this is concerned. The girls are always privy to the type of mood their dad and I are in, and we tell them openly that we have the right to feel how we feel, and that it won’t always coincide with what they want, but it will never compromise what we know they need.
Listening Inward – this is the one that can be a real challenge for me in particular, but I know I must do the work. Kris and I know unequivocally that our daughters are not “ours”. They chose us to come through, and Creator trusts us with the blessing and task of nurturing them, but they are their own people, and must cultivate self-trust if they are ever to truly thrive. At this age, this can be difficult because their life experiences are limited. However, their divine connection with Source Energy is fully formed, and so we trust them to guide us just as much as we guide them.
This also means that anyone living under our roof gets to be themselves, and the rest of us work toward actions that honor that knowing. For example…
open affection between Kris and me
showing unfiltered anger
saying no to a request of theirs simply because I don’t feel like it
allowing them to openly express how they feel about something Kris or I said/did
not altering my sleep schedule to match theirs o_O
Those are some of the ways we show our daughters that we are people first, and their parents second.
That realization was one of the integral saving graces for my own relationship with my mother. I had so many expectations of who/what she should (or shouldn’t be), and how she should have been as a mother. Over the years, I learned to value her own life experiences, move past her poor choices, and focus on the ways she was and is incredibly resilient, unabashedly expressive, and such a fine example of the strong, vibrant women I love and admire.
Overall, I think as parents we can either succumb to the ills of being fear’s bitch (remember that?) and guide our children with the long staff of Idealism, with a side of socially-acceptable displays of emotions, etc.
we can surrender to Creator’s wisdom in granting us the gift of parenthood, and juice the journey by learning who our children are, supporting them along their paths, and (this is important!) remembering who we are in the process.
Now to leave you with two wonderful related resources…
Ownership of the life you experience. Ownership of your pain. Ownership of your regrets. Ultimately, ownership of your capacity to be truly well.
This past Saturday, I co-facilitated a Lifestyle Management and Emotional Wellness workshop with a fellow Big Giver, Carolyn Hartfield of Lifestyle Management, LLC.
We were amidst a group of women who attended the health and wellness conference entitled, Behind the Scenes, “I Am Still A Woman”. The free community event, hosted by the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health, Region IV (HHS OWH), and the Medical Network for Education and Research, Inc, was held in celebration of National Women’s Health Week.
During our workshop, Carolyn and I met a woman who told us as soon as she entered our room that she came to our workshop to get some feedback and ideas for how to be stronger, and how to regain what she called her “freedom”. Let’s call her “Barbara.”
Barbara shared some personal struggles with which she was currently wrestling. She had a potent cocktail of resentment, anger, frustration, and disappointment stemming from some decisions a close family member had recently made.
Barbara resented a particular family member for “not living up to the life that was prepared for her”.
Barbara was angry that her family member had made such poor choices, despite Barbara’s best efforts, and that “because of her family member’s choices”, Barbara no longer got to enjoy her freedom.
Barbara was frustrated with constantly having to “rescue” her particular family member from their drama.
Barbara was terribly disappointed and extremely embarrassed that her family member had caused the family to be viewed as “flawed”.
I’m sure you know a thing or two about every single one of those emotions Barbara shared with Carolyn and me. I’m sure you’ve poured time, love, money, and hope into people who’ve dropped you on your head. Hard. I’m certain you’ve “said and done all the right things” just to have someone or something go damn-near irreparably WRONG. Right?
Me too. But in all the pain, hurt, disappointment, horrible surprises, and all around Suck-tivity, you and I always have the option to shift our attention to one thing:
OUR CAPACITY TO CHOOSE.
When we choose ourselves—not to spite or hide from others, but to nurture our relationships with ourselves and our loved ones—we walk the path of emotional wellness.
But it’s not always the easiest path to walk, is it? It can feel like a sudden brick wall against our faces when we get dished heaping piles of dirt from people we’ve showered with love.
But there is something you can do to work through that in a healthy way. As a matter of fact…
Here are 4 Things To Do (and why you should do them) When Folks Dish You Dirt
TIP # 1 – Back up and love them from a distance. Learn how to practice the art of getting what you need in any given moment. Getting them out of your daily flow (even though they may still be in your thoughts) helps you get well.
TIP # 2 – Risk Expression for you. If you’re thinking you can give them that powerful insight or that reality check to bring them back on track, you’re probably WRONG. When you express your emotional response that person’s actions, do it not for change, but for the value and catharsis that often accompanies outward expression. They might not change a single thing after your noble outpour of truth, but it gets the feelings out of you, off your chest, and that helps you get well.
TIP # 3 – DO: See yourself as separate from them and their experiences. Yes, their decisions affect you, but to what extent? If you are not dependent upon that person for food, shelter, or medical care, recognize that you CAN CHOOSE to acknowledge that their decisions will always be theirs (not yours!) to make, and that just as you can support the decisions that make sense to you, you can separate yourself from the decisions with which you don’t agree. If you view your experience as separate from every other adult in your life (including adult children, your spouse, partner, colleague, or friend), then you release some of the burden that comes with the consequences of their decisions, and that helps you get well.
TIP # 4 – DON’T: Keep viewing the person as separate from their decisions. Work hard to forgive if you can, but remember that if this person has shown a pattern of ill-made decisions, then that is their life, their energy, their experience, and if you stay with them (in whatever capacity), it will trickle over into your life. It has no choice, since you’ve placed yourself in its path. That might hurt to hear, but if someone repeatedly shows you what they choose, then you too CAN CHOOSE to revisit Tip #1, and take care of YOU.
If you’re like Barbara, reeling from the onslaught of negative emotions, remember your responsibility to yourself. Think about what it’s costing you to hold on to the feelings, then decide if it’s worth holding on to. If it isn’t, then practice using my emotional wellness tips to take care of the ONLY person who can keep you emotionally unwell—YOU.
How do you handle the emotional roller-coaster that surfaces when loved ones dish you dirt?
You get to make a decision based primarily on your own needs. And the Spirit of You Can choose to show compassion to those who are bothered by your decision.
You get to fall in love with an idea, explore it, then decide it’s not for you after all. And the Spirit of You Can choose to be gentle with Self and not put any negative labels on that decision.
You get to hold out for the type of partner who will love your ass off; even in your most illogical moments. And the Spirit of You Can choose to smile, nod, and move on when people tell you you’re too picky, and that what you want in a partner probably isn’t out there.
You get to define (and refine) success based on your own evolving needs. And the Spirit of You Can choose to do what’s necessary to sustain your emotional and financial needs as you make your Success Journey.
And the Spirit of You is divinely supported
And the Spirit of You is a badass when she needs to be
And the Spirit of You can cry as often as she needs to
And the Spirit of You is both masculine AND feminine enough to handle ANYTHING.
When you nurture the Spirit of You, you stay aligned with your God-Goddess-Self, and the people, situations, and relationships that are ill-aligned with that YOU will fade away, seeking their own likeness somewhere else.
But there are other things in life that have nothing to do with patience and stillness, and everything to do with your fear of the other side of it all.
What have you decided NOT to decide about?
A friendship that has run its course? A career move that has now gone stale? A partnership you now see was meant to be a short chapter, not a book? That extra weight that calls for significant lifestyle changes? That conversation you need to have with him? With her? With them?
Whatever it is, find a mirror and ask yourself some tough questions.
1. What’s the real reason I’m staying? 2. Whose response do I fear the most, should I decide to move on? 3. What do I risk losing if I continue to stay?
As Robert Half once said, “Asking the right questions takes as much skill as giving the right answers.”
If you commit to asking those questions, and truly sit in silence with the answers that come, you may find that your reasons for enduring are more about fear than faith, and if so, ask yourself this:
What are the potential fears and rewards I face, should I choose to risk expression?
My family and I spent our Sunday afternoon wrapped in the warmth of great conversation, delicious food, and plenty of joy. We visited friends who introduced us to their community Land Trust filled with beautiful plants, old-fashioned rope swings, a tree house, ducks, plenty of Serenity Now seating amidst towering trees, and even a friendly, coarse-haired emu.
But of all the things we experienced as we soaked in the much-needed reconnection time with our friends, that simple sign is what spoke the loudest.
Less Judgement. More Curiosity.
I took it in, and used several deep, cleansing breaths to allow the words to flow through all of me. I told my friend how much work I’d been doing in the areas of curiosity-embracing and judgement releasing, and we both nodded in agreement about how the universe sends reminders to support our intentions.
Here’s what came to me. For me. And for you.
I judge you if you’re the parent that gives your toddler a Coke.
I judge you if you speak negatively to me about your other friends.
I judge you if you’re severely overweight and still eat pizza and ice cream.
I judge you if you sleep around a lot (well…my definition of “a lot”)
I judge you if you say things like “racism is over” and “I don’t really like books”
I judge you if you are always late for shit. Even your own shit.
ALL OF THAT IS TRUE.
ALL OF THAT IS ALSO WHY I pray. fast. meditate. practice Life Design. listen to my daughters. and my mother.
I am WORKING at HAVING aDIFFERENTEXPERIENCEwith JUDGEMENT.
I SURRENDER my JUDGEMENT and REPLACE it with CURIOSITY…
Larie’s book reminds me to use less judgement and more curiosity about promiscuity.
Ivy’s blog post reminds me to use less judgement and more curiosity about women who’ve endured pain from weight loss/gain turmoil and body image concerns.
The work Ev’Yan does reminds me to use less judgement and more curiosity about self-exploration (and expression).
My best writing to date, when I truly surrender to Her, reminds me to use less judgement and more curiosity about women in deliberate motion toward clarity, confidence, and the courage to risk expression.
How will you embrace the Less Judgement, More Curiosity vibration?
Stress is a natural part of life, right? So how come it can feel like such an unnatural, and at times extremely painful part of our lives as women, mothers, and entrepreneurs? Well, I might not be able to answer that “how come” question, but I can offer you a seasoned resource on stress management and emotional wellness. My guest blogger, Jeff Cannon, helps individuals create a profound shift toward ongoing happiness and greater success by following their own Simple Truth. Delicious, right?! I thought so too. Dig in!
Welcome to the 21st Century. It’s filled with luxuries, freedoms and opportunities our parents and certainly our grandparents never had. That doesn’t mean life is a cakewalk, in many instances it means quite the opposite.
Why? Because we may have changed the world drastically around us in the past 40,000 years, but our bodies are basically the same they were when modern humans first appeared on the earth. This means our wiring is still throwing us into an auto-response based on our original fight or flight response mode, when it may not be necessary in today’s world.
Its why, when your boss or client calls you into a meeting your heart beats faster, you start to perspire, and you may even fumble with your words. It is why, when you have to give a presentation your body panics, even when you know you need to be at the top of your game. At the moment when you should be calm so that you can be at your best, your mind and body panic – sending you into stress overload.
Don’t get me wrong, stress is a part of life. It is part of the human condition. It kept us alive when we first crawled out of the trees, and is so ingrained in us, it will continue to be a part of how we live well into the future.
Just because it is a part of who we are, doesn’t mean it has to ruin your life. With the proper techniques, you can learn how to manage your stress so that you can win your life back and live the life you love. The way to do this is quite simple actually.
First, understand that stress is part of your natural programming. Deep inside your brain is a tiny organ called the amygdala. Its sole job is to pump out hormones to keep you alive. If it gets a signal that you might be in danger, it sends your body into fight or flight mode [i.e., stress]. This was an extremely useful tool 40,000 years ago when we were in a constant state of danger. But in today’s world it just sends you reeling out of control; usually at just the wrong moment. Like when your boss calls you into their office or when you’re heading out on a new date.
To break this cycle, you need to learn how to hit the pause button before your 40,000 year old programming sends your blood pressure soaring and puts you into a full bore panic at just the wrong moment. So the next time you feel your blood pressure jump or your brain start to spin out of control, hit the pause button, slow the world down, and start spinning it at your pace.
Here are some easy exercises that can be done anywhere to help you do just that.
Breathe 8-2-8. I cannot stress enough how beneficial proper breathing is. If you feel your heart start to race, take three deep breaths into your stomach as you focus you attention on your belly expanding and contracting. Feel it move against your clothing as you slowly count to eight on each inhale, let your breath settle for a cont of two, and then exhale for a count of eight, again letting your breath settle for two before inhaling again. It will center you and help you regain your mental footing.
Ground yourself in your setting. Rather than trying to escape, close your yes and listen to the world around you. Listen to the hum of the lights, hear the sounds of the people and equipment wherever you are. Embrace your environment as a reality, but not your reality. Know that you are separate from it, that the fear and angst it breeds is not something that you need to be a part of. Relax in the knowledge that when you open your eyes it will all be there, but that it will only touch you if you let it. You, and only you, have control over how you respond to the world around you.
Learn Your Triggers. Identify and monitor the triggers that cause you stress. The next time you feel your stress growing, think about what happened to cause it. Turn your mind inward and review the emotions that were set off when that trigger was activated. Try to remember another time in your life when you had the same emotional response. Remember, the way an event affected you is as much a part of your past as it is your present. Use that insight to help you separate the present event from past associations to reduce the way you escalate a small event into greater stress.
Own your stress. Don’t try to pretend it doesn’t exist. Admit to it and embrace it. Then let it go with a great big inhale. Running from a problem only makes it worse, and only prolongs the stress it brings.
Stress is part of life. But it does not have to ruin your life. Let it out. Release it. Fill the empty space it leaves with the kind of positive energy that will help you live the life you love living.
Jeff Cannon is the author of the book The Simple Truth: Mediation for the Modern World. He is also the founder and lead instructor for The Simple Truth Project. Today he works with individuals and entire companies, teaching them how to minimize stress and distractions while improving focus. His work helps people and business owners transform their personal and professional lives by living their own Simple Truths.
Larie unabashedly serves her readers, listeners, and clients through her commitment to using all of her life experiences to empower others in their times of need. Her first-hand experiences with promiscuity, drug and alcohol abuse, chronic illness, and her battles with self-value serve as powerful testimonials for how to move from victim to victory through God’s love.
If you’re up for a good read that it simply stated, devoid of filters, and purposed to reveal big doses of truth serum on the mindset, sexuality, and spiritual journeys of millions of young girls worldwide, then Larie’s latest installment, My Heart Speaks…of Boys and a Girl, is ideally suited for you.
I thought of own middle and high school days when my adolescent ignorance found me judging and even loathing the promiscuous girls in my school.
“Why is she so nasty?”
“OMG, she is crazy for sleeping with him!”
“She’s a total ‘ho’!”
Never considering what void she was trying to fill, who or what had exposed her to sex at such a young age, and the fact that that girl was just like me, but with different ways of expressing her hurt, her fears, and her natural exploration of her feelings.
“That girl” was doing the best she could with what she felt, and though the path was unhealthy, the more important thing is the WHY.
Larie’s books remind me to talk to my own daughters and their friends about healthy forms of self-expression and allow for open questioning and discussions about “awkward”" topics like molestation and sexual requests.
Ever faced a situation that made you want to drown your feelings in something?
A stiff drink. 18 brownies. Exhausting sex. The sound of a cash register. A long drive. Just something…anything…else.
Sometimes, we just want to escape the feelings that bitch slap us, and render us this|close to the lesser side of Surrender. Been there! But here’s the thing…
“Whatever we content with, has to contend with us too! Stare it down; let it face you; work on through it.”
It’s been nine weeks since I’ve joined The New FastGirls (TNFG) movement, and ho-nay, let me tell you— meeting Jasai (the movement’s founder) has truly enhanced my practice of being present!
The quote above came out of a conversation about the complexity of our findings when we take on the task of self-exploration. You know I had to juice this experience for us, because self-exploration is that bold step toward the ultimate good-good I call
Ever since Jasai and I had that conversation about honesty, I became reunited with my enthusiasm for the power of stoppage. Every week, from bedtime on Sunday, until the sun rises on Tuesday, I, in the company of the other TNFG ladies JUST STOP.
We stop judging everything. We stop going at full speed. We stop overriding our internal cues. We stop eating physical food.
This refrain practice (and it is a practice, so we’re none of us are professing perfection), combined with more mindful eating, and a deeper dive into Life Design has carried me to this reminder for me and for you.
SIT WITH THINGS MORE.
Let whatever you’re contending with, contend with you too. When you feel like you can’t deal with it any longer, or you can’t stand not to do something about it, that might be the perfect time to simply STOP.
Let your points of contention know that they have to contend with you too; and sometimes, your best weapon is to simply STOP.
Read (or re-read) this excerpt from my reflection post during my last trip to Jamaica, then carve out some STOPPAGE time for yourself. Okay? Pinkie-swear?
I believe that most of you have earned that right as well. I also believe that without that STOP, you will not have the chance to USE what you’ve been given, because you (like me, at times) will get so caught up with being busy (often disguised as being driven/amazing/goal-oriented), that you drown out the message that is already there.
The message that since birth, is what Creator put in place for each of us to walk our path, live our story, and have the things we want, not just for ourselves, but for the lives we’ve been put here to touch.
I would never have thought that I’d be posting recipes on my site! But, since Life Design is about daily action, deliberate choice, and ideal lifestyle, we’ll need these sorts of lifestyle management tools to do our Dragon Slaying & Other Epic Sh*t, so I’m delighted to share this with you!
I spent this past Saturday afternoon at a “Chat & Chew” (don’t you love that title?!) with some wonderful women from the REFRESH Women™ Atlanta Facebook group.
As we chatted about our habits, our needs, our food, and our bodies, the subject of breakfast came up—specifically, what we eat for breakfast, and how it serves (or doesn’t serve) our bodies.
As a Life Designer, I believe that anything we do with our time is facilitating the design of the life we live. Whether those actions support or hinder our ideal lives depends on us, because we are never NOT designing. This is why when the topic of breakfast came up, I became particularly aware of how my own breakfast habit serves me, and how that was not always the case.
Like a few of the other women at our Chat & Chew, I’m not a big “breakfast person”. I’m not a fan of cereal, and I’d rather not spend any significant portion of my morning standing in the kitchen, so I don’t. I have a fruit smoothie just about every morning, and it serves me in several ways:
It’s easy to make, and I can make it in less than 5 minutes
It’s high in protein, which gives me the energy I need for the morning
It’s portable, so I can take it on-the-go if necessary
It’s nutrient-rich, which supports my body and brain
…and perhaps most importantly—it’s delicious!
Those benefits are important parts of my daily Life Design because they support my goals of a healthy body, mindfulness in my daily practices, and simple ways to support myself throughout the day.
What are you doing for your temple in the mornings, so that it can adequately support you throughout the day?
I’m certainly not saying that it isn’t easier just to grab a muffin or a doughnut, or a cup of coffee and keep it moving—I’ve done all of that before, so no finger-pointing here. But you know what…women like us want more than that for our bodies, our lives, ourselves. We want to do better, and perhaps this simple recipe can help you set that better version of your morning habits in motion.
Akilah’s Morning Mojo – The Breakfast Smoothie
Essentially: grab a bunch of fruits, add some almond milk (great protein source), and the other ingredients below, blend them until they’re nice and frothy, and enjoy the energy it gives you.
For my REFRESH Women homies who asked for my specific blend:
Occasionally, I add one Activia yogurt for the creamy flavor, and I use Whey Protein powder, but only when I’m exercising regularly; otherwise I don’t find that I need any more protein than the peanut butter already provides.
As for how much of each…um…a bit.
I know that’s terribly unspecific, but that’s what I’ve got for ya. Just put enough to make the amount you want, geesh! *smiles* If you decide to try it out, let me know.
Oh, and if you really want support and accountability in adding nutrients, deliciousness, and ease into your daily eating habits, do what I did—invest in a session with Health Coach and Wellness Educator, Takeyah of Core Connection Lifestyle.
Her skills have truly helped me reconnect with how to make food choices that support my body’s unique needs. #ILoveMyVillage
Have you considered how your breakfast routine ties into the design of your day?
2012 has already ushered in significant changes in my Work-Life flow. Some of the changes feel like nearly-crippling losses, and others more like incredible gains. I’m doing my best to stay present, and to juice the experiences for welcomed opportunities to uplevel the various facets of my life.
This is some pretty heavy shit, and I’ve had to shore up my spiritual resources in efforts not to lose myself in this process. Let me let you in a bit…
Preparing for the transition of the oldest living matriarch of our family
Holding my mother’s hand as she learns to be more present in my her own life
Setting more clearly-defined boundaries around my relationship needs
Getting professional help in supporting my daughters through their academic and emotional journeys
Learning how to stay in my lane and excel in my strengths by integrating a business/brand manager into the Agency’s business model
Positioning The Agency to serve more women, mothers, and entrepreneurs by attaining additional training/certification
For me, Lifestyle Management isn’t about a complicated set of to-dos, or making the list of Top 10 Whateverthehells. It’s simply about a woman’s emotional wellness. I ask myself the same question I ask any women—client or colleague, friend or fellow passenger:
When you put your head on that pillow at night, do you feel fulfilled? In other words, does what you do with your days accurately reflect the life you deeply crave?
For some, the term “Fulfilled” feels abstract and more of a luxury than something to make a part of her daily focus. I think that’s a skewed perspective because we often mistake being productive for being fulfilled, and they are not synonymous.
A woman can have a kick-ass day at the office, and still feel bad about her life when she gets in the car to drive home.
A woman can be in a healthy, happy relationship, and still feel less-than when it comes to her professional offerings.
A woman can be a good friend, and a good woman, and still feel like a bad mother.
A woman can be at the top her career, and still feel detached from her body and her physical/emotional wellness.
Those statements are all true, and they are the WHY behind my insistence on learning, applying (in my own life), and sharing (with you) the life skills that help women like us define, design, and live in emotionally well mental spaces.
As I continue this process of self-prioritization from both internal and external perspectives, I become better equipped to define myself on my own terms, and create a network of support and skill-building for women who desire to do the same.
For me, this intention is not accomplished when I gain my 1000th client, or my first $5000 speaking gig, or my Ipanema Sand colored Range Rover—but I damn sure used to think those were my barometers for success. ).
I know better now, and I’m sharing because you need to know this too.
When I am fully aligned with my emotional wellness, I still falter, but the recovery is swift, intentional, and always guaranteed.
I am fulfilled when I experience a strong sense of harmony among all the facets of myself, including open conversations with my daughters about their emotions, needs, and concerns, an increase in ideal clients for my coaching and workshop facilitation practice, and access to my family from a resentment-free space.
An incessant desire to incite riots in the souls of women. A riot that
…starts with adamant questioning …is seasoned with a hankering to experience authentic joy …results in her emotional wellness …shows up as radical self-expression.
That’s the intention I held when I wrote this book.
This Kit counters the conditioning set up to support a system that doesn’t quite yet know how to support women like us. So we must create our own system. Page 20
As women, mothers, and entrepreneurs, our days can fly by at warp speed. Terms like Work-Life Balance appeal to us in theory, because they conjure up feelings of stability, structure, and—if we’re really lucky—happiness. But there’s a sore spot in all of that…
Aiming for a “balanced” life wreaks havoc on our capacity to priority ourselves.
Do you feel like the top priority in your own life? Or is the priority less you and more
…your budding business? …your children? …your partner? …your issues with your perception of yourself?
It’s impossible to prioritize yourself when the design of your thoughts and daily actions are focused in the wrong direction. That’s what this book, and the entire kit, explores. But it’s only part exploration. The larger part is about solutions.
Most of the blockages to our authentic joy fit into 7 categories:
Fear. Relationships. Authenticity. Balance. Money. Excellence. Joy
Those are the seven categories discussed throughout the 12 chapters of this book, which is one part of a 4-piece kit. 1 book. 1 audio version of the book. 12 pages of worksheets. One introductory sheet. All created under one belief: Work-Life Balance is a Lie.
Order your kit and learn how harmony, not balance will lead you to your Authentic Joy.
Want to see what others are saying?
Read the comments on my Kit-inspired posts here:
I’m using this month to shine a light on BIG DOSES of Empowerment + Self-Expression!
Yesterday, I featured the first in the series of Women Who Give Big, and gave you a glimpse of how their skills and gifts might solve some of your most incessant needs.
Well, it’s still Women’s History Month (learn more), so I’m keeping it going!
Women’s Education —— Women’s Empowerment
Let me introduce your NEEDS to a few SOLUTIONS by way of some more members of my village.
Each of the products or services below come from a woman looking to enhance your life by giving you work from the highest place in hers. Take some time to breathe in her offerings, and if you’re so moved, please do invest.
[Click each woman's photo to see what her work SOLVES]
Takeyah A. Young offers you a chance to Get Clean.
Ivy La Artista offers you a reward for using your Super Powers.
Sandra Hicks offers you private moments of Natural Therapy.
It’s Women’s History Month (learn more), and this year’s focus is on:
Women’s Education —— Women’s Empowerment
The focus on education as a tool for empowerment offers the perfect segue into an introduction I’ve been longing to make.
Let me introduce your NEEDS to a few SOLUTIONS by way of some members of my village.
I know you and I share the priority of nurturing a village of women warriors who value emotional wellness and aspire to risk expression.
Each of the products or services below come from a woman looking to enhance your life by giving you work from the highest place in hers. Take some time to breathe in her offerings, and if you’re so moved, please do invest.
[Click each woman's photo to see what her work SOLVES]
Shelley Chapman offers you a Belly Breakthrough™
Jamie Fleming-Dixon offers you opportunities to shine
Natasha Liburd offers you ways to invest in your future (Georgia)
The constant societal nudge toward the pursuit of Work-Life balance never left me feeling accomplished or fulfilled in any way. In fact, it did the exact opposite. I felt incapable of “handling my business” well, and feelings of Not-Enoughness were always front and center.
In connecting with hundreds of women over the years on this very topic, the pattern was/is irrefutably clear: The vast majority of us are not able to sustain a feeling of balance between our time spent nurturing our families, and our time spent building our careers.
My friend and fellow Execumama, Denene Millner , saved space for me and my spirited opinions over at her parenting and lifestyle hub, MyBrownBaby.com. I used the space to show more women how to ditch the myth of Work-Life Balance by way of my latest lifestyle resource for women, mothers, and entrepreneurs, (now available for pre-order with an arrival date of March 8, 2012) The Execumama’s Survival Kit. Check it…
If a woman spends too much time focused on herself and her own needs, then she’s bound to neglect her other responsibilities, i.e. her job, her partner, her children, her dearest friends. Right?
Instead, we women are told we should seek to stay in great physical and mental health, attract and marry a good man, raise well-behaved, academically-on-point children, find a group of great women friends with whom to swap recipes and giggle over drinks, and if she’s particularly badass, make a name for herself in a respectable career.
Basically, Mrs. Michelle Obama has effectively replaced June Cleaver as the epitome of the poster child for stage play: Woman, Thou Art Freakin’ Perfect!
I doubt that Michelle Obama herself is as Michelle Obama-esque as we think! Clearly…
This Kit was not created to provide a space for co-lamenting about our Work-Life woes…it’s much more than than.
This Kit counters the conditioning set up to support a system that doesn’t quite yet know how to support women like us. Page 20 —KitQuote
It’s about how to show up in your life (and in the world) as a more harmoniously sound, less hurried, worried, and muted version of yourself…all without guilt and/or apology.
Significant growth usually comes at a price: Risk. It’s not likely that playing it safe will yield the returns and rewards that come with a heightened risk tolerance level. If you’re an entrepreneur, you know exactly what I mean. We step out a bit, look left and right, realize how many other folks are heading down the same lane as us, then we deepen our resolve, step further out, and realize that indeed, the road to success (and fulfillment) has far fewer travelers than we originally envisioned.
Why? Because it’s scary as shit, that’s why!
It’s scary to trust that what you think you know is actually a useful life skill.
Here’s my BIG GIVE, available for pre-release today through March 7, and primed for immediate download on International Women’s Day, March 8th, 2012.
Everything you read will offer a direct correlation between your daily challenges, and your capacity to choose something better. I call that Life Design. Page 6 —KitQuote
Head over to MyBrownBaby.com to read Part I and Part II of the inspiration and urgency conjured up to craft this Kit. Be sure to share your insights on life in balance versus life in harmony. If you dig what you read, buy a copy for yourself, and perhaps one for your sister/friend who could use this as permission to give up pursuing an impossible goal—constant balance.
I am my best self when I allow myself to risk expression as often as I can, and in spite of doubts and fears. I can recall every major instance of my life where I allowed my voice to be muted, and I’ve made a conscious decision never to let that happen to me again.
How about you? Can you recall the feelings you experienced when you allowed someone to put your voice and your feelings on mute? Soul-rocking stuff, right? It hurts like hell, and sometimes it feels nearly impossible to return to ourselves. We lash out, or shut down, or blame someone else, or blame ourselves–and ultimately, we feel like less than ourselves before we remember our right to express ourselves, and then take action from that space.
My e-homie, Christie is risking expression big time this month with Project #Flawless12. I’ve been tracking her progress and cheering her on from my little corner of the online world. Though I haven’t publicly responded or posted on each of her prompts, I’ve definitely been in this expression energy with her, and today’s prompt hemmed me up and demanded that I share this one “out loud”! Christie wrote:
Do something…or plan to do something…that scares you! You dream about it. You can see yourself doing it. And then you let fear take over. Fear manifests itself in so many ways. It’s in the excuses you make. It’s even in the seemingly completely legitimate reasons for not taking the chance… for not stepping out on faith… for not leaving your comfort zone.
Go back up to the top of this message and read the first six sentences again… You have everything you need to do what is in you to do. Believe! Now…go do some epic shit!
Tell it, Christie! Dragon slaying is not for the faint of heart, and she who embraces that journey can use all the support she can get! I know how to lean in on my vision for my life even when I’m afraid, but it doesn’t mean I don’t get the occasional dropkick from fear and end up in an emotional time out where necessary action and expression are concerned.
So, today I’m slaying my dragons by stating my Epic Shit intention for 2012:
I commit to embracing my goal of a location independent lifestyle by living in Jamaica for a minimum of 120 days this year.
What epic shit will you endeavor to achieve this year?
Even it you don’t share it with me–say it out loud and think of what your day would look like were you to achieve that goal. Let the vision marinate, and then by all means, go ahead, risk expression!
For more on Project #Flawless12, including all of the previous prompts, CLICK HERE.
We’re certainly not without moments of heightened pisstivity, and the occasional thoughts of “okay, this might not work out!” But far surpassing those moments is the truth of what Kris and I share—a deep love, a mutual respect, and most importantly, a well-nurtured friendship. For us, marriage is NOT about sacrifice and putting ourselves second, it’s about support, celebration, fun, partnership, and of course love.
Kris and I believe in honest, open dialogue around marriage. It’s important not just for us as a couple, but also for us as individuals, because it reminds us that we are free to express and explore our feelings authentically, while still holding someone else’s feelings in high regard. We shared our struggles in Real Simple Magazine, and we’re not stopping there!
Our fellow Happy Marriage promoters, Ronnie and Lamar Tyler (the masterminds behind BlackandMarriedWithKids.com and Tyler New Media), will be releasing Still Standing, another installment in their series of powerful love proclamations, on May 1st 2012.
The official word:
A diverse group of couples provide transparent, insightful conversation about what it takes to have lasting power in current day marriages. Through infidelity, chronic illness, financial crisis and more these couples explain WHY and more importantly HOW they are STILL STANDING.
Here’s the official trailer
And another trailer with me and my supa-dupa-awesome hubby!
I’m a huge fan of Ronnie and Lamar’s work because they effectively counter the barrage of negative images about black families. That is a reality, and instead of complaining and blaming, Ronnie and Lamar took the initiative to experience something BETTER, hence this and their other DVDs.
To view and purchase Tyler New Media’s powerful works, click here(affiliate link).
A hearty congratulations to Ronnie, Lamar, and the entire Tyler New Media team for defining, designing, and living in a space that supports and celebrates healthy, soul-nurturing LOVE!!