horse and rider on watery beach inspiration - your reflection can change your life

Your reflection can change your life

I know we haven’t met yet, but I bet I could name five things about you that are totally amazing. Sure, it’s a little unconventional to compliment someone you’ve never met, but let’s admit it – we could always do with a little more love in our lives! But here’s the deal: If I get any of these right, then you agree to say them to yourself for a whole week whenever you look in the mirror. Why? Because your reflection can change your life. 

If you say loving things to yourself in the mirror often enough, you’ll start to believe them, and belief in oneself has the power to change worlds.

Do you want to change your life?  

Do you accept the challenge? 

Five Amazing things that make you shine

Here are five things that make you shine: 

  1. You have an amazing laugh that makes other people smile.
  2. You notice things that others don’t.
  3. You are smart.
  4. You are resilient – it doesn’t matter what comes your way: you figure it out.
  5. You love deeply. Your love has changed people’s lives (and your own) for the better. 

How’d I do? Did I get any right? I hope you’re nodding. I hope you’re remembering these truths about yourself. 

Why complimenting yourself matters

I was reminded recently about how easy it is for women to lose sight of what’s real and good about themselves. There are so many of us who struggle to name five or ten positive things about ourselves. At some point in our lives, we direct criticism inwards. Eventually, we start to believe that criticism. Eventually, we forget the light that we are. 

I know, I’ve been there. I’m still there, sometimes. That inner critic is always lurking until I shine a light in her face and say that those thoughts don’t serve me anymore. The inner critic has no choice but to be quiet when I decide to speak differently to myself. 

Beautiful spirit, a huge part of loving ourselves involves speaking gently to ourselves. We must build ourselves up just as much as we build up our kids and those we love. This is even more important as mothers. We’ve become experts at being hard on ourselves, but to give our daughters the very best shot at operating differently, we must first change ourselves. If we can learn to love ourselves, we set our daughters up with a huge head start in doing the same. They learn first from us. 

We’ve become experts at being hard on ourselves, but to give our daughters the very best shot at operating differently, we must first change ourselves.

-Ashley Fisher www.gomama.love blogger

Motherhood and the Self Esteem Nosedive

Being easy on ourselves about how we mother is another great place to start, when it comes to self talk. Tell that mirror you’re an amazing mom, because you are!

Psychology Today has a nice article where counselor Megan MacCutcheon talks about self-esteem, and the toll that trying to do everything perfectly takes on women, especially when we become mothers. We fill so many roles, and we strive to be good at every one of them! We have this idea that not being “perfect” (whatever that is) means we’ve failed. 

Being a mom is actually an ideal place to start noticing self-talk that hurts our inner psyche and hearts. I say this because life is more in-your-face than ever before. So maybe we can notice our inner life a little different, too. Maybe now is the time to change. 

Your turn

I did win, right? Are you ready now to fill your end of the wager? (I know at least one of the compliments we started with were right. Hint: You have an amazing laugh. You’re resilient and smart. Your love changes people’s lives.)

Actually, the way I see it, there are only winners on this one. I wouldn’t set you up to fail. 😉

Your reflection can change your life, starting now. Every time you see your face in a mirror, look into your eyes and say kind things to yourself. Tell yourself what a good job you just did getting everyone to school and work. Tell yourself how strong and independent and smart you are. Tell yourself how great your laughter is. Tell that woman in the mirror that you love her. She needs to hear it. She’s probably been waiting to hear it for a long time. 

***I’m curious, what’s something you love about yourself? What will you tell your reflection, and are you ready for those words to change your life? Write it in the comments. May our loving, positive energy lift each other up. go mama!

A rainbow as a symbol that everything's ok. We don't have to live in the past or be hard on ourselves about it.

Living in the past? Here’s what to do.

Have you had days where you replay a past mistake over and over, as if reliving your embarrassment will sometimes make it better? Me too. Sometimes I replay scenes that surely everyone else has long forgotten, or at least they’ve ceased to care. And what do you do to get out of that internal re-play? Have you found a way to make it stop? If you often find yourself living in the past, this article is for you. 

Your life on repeat

I bet a number of things are happening to you when you obsess over the past in a negative way. Unkind words toward yourself are likely running through your head. You’re probably giving yourself a really hard time for those mistakes or imperfections. You’re probably forgetting how divinely loveable and worthy you are. I bet precious minutes go by that you could be using for something (anything!) more enjoyable, but you’re lost in the past, hurting your heart. Meanwhile, your body is in a stressed state of flight or flight, which will take literally hours to come down from. 

According to a Success article featuring Erin Olivo, Ph.D., assistant professor of medical psychology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City, there’s no emotional difference between living an experience and re-living it in our minds. In other words, we create stress when we ruminate on a past event over and over. And what is stress? It’s triggering our bodies into a state of fight or flight. There is no danger in most of our waking moments, yet we create stress for ourselves by reliving our pasts. 

it’s ok now

Dear, bright spirit, let’s take a big breath, you and I. 

(yes, right now – big inhale…. and let it go….)

If you’re reading this, it’s because you’re on a journey to heal your heart. To heal into the now. It’s because you want to feel fully alive, and you want that joy to expand into an example that your children will follow. 

I want that for you, too. 

4 Techniques to stop living in the past

Here are a few things that can be done to help curb this habit of living in the past. Keep in mind that these suggestions should be done with love toward yourself, never as an opportunity to be hard on yourself when you realize you’re living in the past again. 

  • Notice when you are ruminating, and say some sort of mantra that calls you back to the present. I often use a mantra by Tich Nhat Hahn: “I have arrived, I am home/ In the here, in the now/ I am solid, I am free/ In the ultimate, I dwell.”  This works for me, but you might have a different one that calms your heart. 
  • Forgive yourself as quickly as possible. On Puttylike*, Emilie shares that she makes a practice of allowing herself to feel embarrassed when something happens, and then she chooses to forgive herself within hours of the event. Isn’t that beautiful? She makes a choice to let go, and in doing so – she never even forms a habit of reliving a mistake or embarrassment. 
  • We choose the thoughts we think and sometimes our minds just need a nudge in a different direction. Ask your mind to help you in not reliving moments. Tell it that these thoughts no longer serve you, that you choose to think about things that feel good and you could use it’s help in doing this. 
  • Consider the possibility that there are no mistakes, only learning experiences. What we consider a mistake is just a sign that we are growing, and there will always be more to learn. There’s flow in language like “learning experience.” A mistake sounds serious, unfixable, unmovable – but our lives aren’t like that. We move on, we grow, we only ever have “learning experiences.” 

Feelin better already 🙂

Aren’t we blessed? We live in a world where safety and beauty fill our days. It’s a choice to think hard thoughts, and we can choose again in every moment. We can forgive our pasts. We can be grateful for who we are right now. Why, we can even look at ourselves from the perspective of those who love us: they want only happiness and ease for us, in the end, and they would never spend much time dwelling on our mistakes. In their eyes, it’s all part of the story, it’s all ok.  

I hope the rest of your day has moments where you notice the deep peace all around and within you. I hope you feel the love that surrounds you. You are an amazing human being, a light in this world, a good friend and an amazing mother. Thank you for being. 

***I’m curious, is there a mantra or quote or calming technique that is powerful to you? One that helps you calm and center yourself? Make sure to write it in the comments. You never know who you will help by sharing. May our lovin’ energy inspire and lift each other up. Go mama!

tasty breakfast pic to inspire batch breakfasts

55+ tasty, speedy breakfast ideas

Dear readers, dear friends – one thing you should know about me is that I put my money where my mouth is. The speed-up-your-routine ideas I provide are only on this blog because I’ve tried them, they actually work, and my life has been made better by them in some way. I want this for you, too. So today, I offer you 55+ tasty, speedy breakfast ideas.

How do breakfasts work in your house? We all know the importance of breakfast, but I bet most of us would raise our hands if we were sitting in a room and someone asked, “Who here struggles to find time to make a good breakfast?” 

And another question we’d probably raise our hands for: “Who here wishes they could enjoy their breakfasts a little more?” I don’t know about you, but the food I often grab to eat on the way to work hardly counts as something I’m enjoying. 

Today, I offer resources that will put some flavor back into your mornings and make it easier to get out the door. You heard that right, getting ready to leave the house will be faster. 

55+ tasty, speedy breakfast ideas

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, batch cooking is a huge time saver. You get lots of meals made at once, and you minimize the amount of dishes later in the week. Surprisingly, most batch breakfasts work really well as a freeze-then-thaw meal. So why not batch for breakfasts? The below blog links have over 55+ tasty, speedy breakfast ideas. One of these should strike your fancy!

Kristin Appenbrink on thekitchn.com has a great article with 30+ batch breakfast ideas. The range from carrot zucchini pancakes, egg muffins, frozen burritos, muesli or oatmeal with fruited yogurt mixes, and for a little fun – yogurt and fruit breakfast popsicles. All of the 30 meals look delicious and are worth a try! 

Kristine at Kristine’s Kitchen Blog has a fun article with some smoothie recipes as well as a breakdown of smoothie basics. You basically get the idea of what you need on hand for smoothies and the different flavor and nutrition directions you can take them. 

Or try this one by Julie from Julie’s Eats ‘n Treats. She’s put together over 25 crock pot recipes that are sure to be easy to throw together, tasty, and filling. 

New habits take time, but you’ve got this

As with anything, it takes a little time to start a new habit like how breakfast is handled. But we both know that it’s something worth doing. After all, if you can do it in a way that not only keeps you and your family feeling full, but saves you time?! That’s a win all around. And I can tell you from recent experience as I’ve made changes in my own kitchen, it gets easier and easier. 

And hey, know what else? In the end, if you pan out a hundred miles, the big picture is that you are doing an amazing job at being a mom. Be it cereal or casserole, the breakfast menu pales in comparison to this monumental thing you’re doing in raising humans who know they are loved. Well done. 

***I’m curious, what are your family’s favorite go-to breakfasts? What fills your bellies and tastes good, to boot? Please share in the comments! May our lovin’ energy inspire and lift each other up. go mama!

camouflage bird is like this parenting secret hidden in plain sight

This parenting secret is hidden in plain sight

There’s something hidden in plain sight in every day moments. Something that says you and I are amazing parents. It can be easy to forget it, too, when so much of our focus is on our little ones.

At day-care pickup, my husband and I often try to steal a quiet moment watching our daughter before she notices we’re there. We’re so curious what she’s like out in the world, with other people.

Once we’re all home, we shift into more familiar spaces and dynamics. A routine that involves the obligatory snack and diaper changes and playing together (or averting a tired melt-down) while somehow getting dinner on the table. Where do the days go? And did you catch the melt-down bit in that last sentence? They’re getting more common. Full-body-on-the-floor tantrums, following me and crying loudly for minutes on end when she’s been told “no.” Is there ever a way to feel less frazzled in these moments? 

But still, we move on and watch from a distance when we can, eager to know what this person is like when she’s not in mama-and-papa-are-right-here mode.   

Who Our Kids Are

A family friend made an interesting comment recently. She shared an old saying: Who your kids are with other people is who they will be. The sentence has lodged solidly in my mind and I know I will be watching differently now. Looking for how she brings her home-self into the world, and also for how she shows up without that home-self version that I know so well. What a beautiful mystery she is!

The sentence also seems to resolve a common theme among moms of judging our own parenting. There’s this scene in a Netflix show I’ve been watching that drives home the point. The show’s called “Working Moms,” and it’s got laugh-out-loud moments around every turn. There’s one scene in particular that I think we can all relate to. There’s this mama who is wholesome to a fault when it comes to her children – but one day something goes wrong in public and she breaks down, telling the other moms around her how being a mom is her one job and she’s failing at it. They can’t believe their ears that this wonderful parent would say that about herself.

A parenting secret hidden in plain sight

Do you ever feel like that? It’s a crazy thing, isn’t it? Judging our own parenting when there are literally no guidelines, no criteria, and no grades. For me, the old wisdom that “who our children are in public is who they will be” brings comfort to the craziness of self-judgment and doubt that threatens the edges of parenting. It’s a parenting secret hidden in plain sight.

Think about it – we know our children deeply, in a way that no one else ever could. And yet, we somehow still can only scratch the surface. There is a vast spectrum to who they are and who they will be that we can only guess at, only hope for. In the end – because of and in spite of our lovin’ efforts – they’re already picking up the ball and running on their own. 

During my daughter’s first year, I often felt like the center of her universe. Part of me thinks now, though, that as moms, we’re always the backdrop. The solid place to come home to. And we know how to do that. We do that easily. We do it well. This, my friends, is how we know absolutely that we are doing this parenting thing right. 

***I’m curious, how do you talk yourself off the ledge when you start to doubt your abilities as a mom? What parenting wisdom has come your way? Please share in the comments. May our lovin’ energy inspire and lift each other up! go mama! 

3 ways to joyfully say goodbye to summer

It’s September – can you believe it?! I feel like fall crept up on me this year. It’s my favorite season but it’s hard saying goodbye to summer this time. Something shifted in the past month and I’ve felt more energetic and awake than I have since becoming pregnant two years ago. I feel like myself again. I’ve missed this. 

There are a whole slew of reasons I’m feeling so good, and I know they won’t stop with the onset of fall. Vitamins and fish oil pills, my daughter finally sleeps through the night, I’ve probably doubled my intake of vegetables, and I’m running for longer and longer stretches. (Don’t get me wrong – this means I can go up to a mile now without a break. We’re not talking marathon runner here, but hey, I’m feeling awesome!).

Maybe this all boils down to that old theme of resisting change. And in this case, it’s the weather: resistance is futile. There’s this new blogger out there in the world named Ingrid Fetell Lee who spreads the idea that, “our greatest source of joy is the world around us.” Her monthly joyletter (aka newsletter) is seriously inspiring. And in honor of this idea that joy is all around us, I’ve dug up some ideas that will prompt some creative activities that honor the transition into this season that is as full of abundance as it is beautiful. It might sound a bit rambunctious, but we really can joyfully say goodbye to summer.

Celebratory Fall Planting

Make this a just-mom project or loop the kids in:

  • Make a fall outdoor planter for your porch or balcony. Fill it with textures and colors that make you smile. For a little inspiration, check out this post by Pam Kessler in House of Hawthornes.
  • Plant bulbs for next spring – tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, and irises are great options. The DIY gardener has some other pro fall-gardening tips for your list. 
  • There are tons of vegetables that thrive in a fall garden – chard, kale, broccoli, beans, the list goes on….Jill Winger at The Prairie Homestead can get you started with her detailed descriptions for what to plant and how to keep each vegetable happy. 

Artsy fall projects

There are a million fall craft ideas out there and I can say that usually I have more ideas than a single human can handle. I maybe get to one or two. So with that in mind, here are some super easy and fast fall projects that we busy mamas can probably squeeze in! 

  • For some fun with the kids, Frugal Mom eh! Suggests we try these pumpkin apple stamps. A halved apple is the stamper – using orange paint it makes a pumpkin shape on the paper. Paint in a stem and leaves and wolla, pumpkins abound! 
  • 10 Minute DIY Pumpkin Soap looks like a lot of fun. Heck, you could invite some other moms over and make it a hang out session! Heidi Kundin at Happiness is Homemade has the instructions. 
  • Make a wreath for your door. Personally, I just rummage through thrift stores for cast off wreath bases and fake flowers. Then I tie ‘em on with some ribbon or twine and wolla! 10 minutes and Done. But if you want something a little more fine-tuned, these are some beautiful and affordable ideas from the Prudent Penny Pincher.

Get out of the house

If there are any trips you’ve been wanting to do but haven’t, now is a great time to plan them! We’re squeezing in some late season camping over here in Wisconsin, hitting up those last farmers markets, and keeping our ears open for word of the area’s best pumpkin patches. I do love fall. Ahhh, yesssss…..


***I’m curious, what are your favorite parts of transitioning to the fall? How do you say goodbye to summer? What are your traditions, and what new things are you thinking about doing this year? Do share a comment. May our lovin’ energy inspire and lift each other up. go mama!

Pro Tips to Turbocharge Dinner

What do you love most about your evenings? If you’ve had a day at the office, are you getting some sweet time with your kiddos and/or getting dinner on the table? If you’re a stay at home mama, do you get a much needed break? Whatever your situation, I bet you are the heroine who gets at least half the dinner meals on the table each week. I bet you’d also love some pro tips to turbocharge dinner.

I enjoy cookin’ dinner. After working at a computer all day, it feels so good to feast my eyes on colorful vegetables and immerse my hands in interesting textures as I chop, rinse, and stir. But I’ll tell ya one thing – I do not love how long it takes to cook! Love doing it, but wish it could go faster. 

For today’s blog, I’ve done some scouring of the internet to bring you pro tips to turbocharge dinner. In other words – it’s time cooking dinner went faster! I’ll share a few of their ideas here and also give you links to the full articles. You should also check out this earlier post with 5 essential time saving tips for your kitchen.

Straight from the pros: turbocharge dinner

Sarah Crow at Eat This, Not That! recommends that we: 

  • Use “mise en place,” which is a french term that means “to put in place.” In other words, get everything ready, chopped, and prepped before you start cooking. Your meal will turn out better and feel less chaotic as it’s prepared.
  • Get some kitchen shears to make cutting faster
  • Make one-pan meals that roast meat and veggies together

In a bon appetite article with a sweetly playful voice, Christina Chaey suggests we:

  • Stock up on ingredients that feel fancy, but are super easy to cook. Ground lamb, anyone?
  • Consider the freezer our best friends. Use it for leftovers, for extra bags of tomato sauce, for extra bags of pre-prepped fresh herbs, for pre-sliced fancy bread that you can throw in the toaster. You get the idea. 
  • Cook grains in extra-large batches. The leftovers will inspire other meals during the week, and the grain part’s already done!

Taylor Isaac at CookSmarts has our backs with an article that talks about saving kitchen time on the cooking and cleaning side:

  • Keep a trash bowl or trash can near you. We waste precious time going back and forth to a trash can!
  • Prep dry ingredients first. This lets you re-use your measuring cups and spoons without washing in-between. 
  • Batch prepping = batch cleanup. (Notice a batch theme across these authors?!)  Batching makes meals big enough for leftovers, and means you’ll have less dishes to wash on those leftover nights. 

Let’s do this!!!

Well, there you have it! Straight from experts who have shortened their cooking time. I’m going to be intentional about employing some of these points in my own home, especially the “mise en place,” – aka prepping before starting to cook. We’ll see how it goes!

***I’m curious, what are your go-to tricks for making dinner quickly? What’s your turbocharge dinner secret? Make sure to write it in the comment box! Give this go mama community some inspiration – after all, we could all use a little more time in our lives! go mama!

How to say “no” with class

Hey there! We may have never met, but let me tell you something I know about you: you’re a class act. You probably show up every day determined to do your all, and let me tell you – whether you know it or not – it’s working.

Speaking of doing our all, that sometimes mean we let the things we most want to do slip to the wayside because we take on a lot. Saying no can be really hard to do – especially for women. We grow up being taught the importance of pleasing other people and it creates invisible chains on our time. Then, we become moms, and our time is precious in a way it never was before. But saying no?!? It’s hard!

Today, let’s talk about how to say “no” gently and well. In other words – learn how to say “no” with class! We can say no in ways that don’t hurt feelings and that honor ourselves and our needs. We can say no so that we make space to all the things we care most about. 

Three Ways to Say No with Class

Here are some suggestions that you can riff off of. I’ll follow up with an explanation of why they’re good!

  • “I’m flattered that you asked me. However, it won’t be possible for me to help out with X.” 
  • “Oh, that [insert activity] sounds wonderful. I’ve been feeling spread thin lately with everything going on and need to take a pass. I hope it goes really well and I’ll be thinking of you!”
  • “You know I value our friendship/this cause. Unfortunately, I can’t be there. As a rule, we keep Sunday afternoons for our immediate family to spend time together and get ready for the week.”

(More examples for saying “no,” can be found at this blog post by Marie Forleo. Her focus is primarily the business world, but the basic concepts still apply). Using her advice, we can see that all of the above points are great examples because they:

-preserve the dignity of the other person

-are kind

-are honest

-allow you to set your boundaries without apologizing for them, and

-don’t leave an opening for the person to push back

If for some reason the person does push back, take a firm stance and remember that you are a kind and loving person and it’s going to be okay. Say, “I’d rather not,” or, “I’m not able to, but thanks again for thinking of me.”

Remember Your Body Language

While you’re at it, keep in mind that your body language and tone are speaking even louder than your words! Keep your shoulders down and stand confidently. Make your voice drop at the end of a sentence instead of letting it rise. This keeps your statement a statement instead of some sort of iffy question that someone will try to poke holes through. 

Last – don’t for a second feel guilty about honoring yourself and your life and your needs. After all, in the end, whoever you are talking to also wants you to live your best life. You’re a class act. You do you!

***I’m curious, what activities in your life are you ready to say no to? And how will you say it next time the opportunity comes up? Tell me about it in the comment section. May our lovin’ energy inspire and lift each other up!  go mama!

A love letter from your future self

To speak from the heart can be a hard thing. To speak truth to yourself from your own heart can be even harder. Today, the truth that I am wrestling with is about how beautiful this life is with and in many cases because of the things that I call mistakes. I bet you can probably relate. We are hard on ourselves and yet, if we step back for a moment, we can see that this thing we’ve made is so incredibly beautiful. In fact, if the future could speak, your future self would write you a love letter. Today, I invite you to listen to your future self – give yourself a whole lot of appreciation for everything you are and for exactly where you are. Your path led you here, and none of it was wrong.

A love letter from my future self

The habit of beating ourselves up over past mistakes – which includes the pain of reliving them – it’s a real joysucker, am I right? I’ve been thinking about that lately as my husband and I begin to renovate our upstairs. We moved in a year ago and have been living on only the first floor, as the upstairs was gross and honestly not livable. The current regret is that I didn’t invest in Bitcoin when I learned about it. Affording this renovation would be sooo much easier with that investment cash. 

What was I so afraid of? I’ll tell you what: I was afraid that I would hurt my future self by spending money now. And I’ll tell you something else. If I’d been wise enough to ask her, my future self would have shouted a love letter from the rooftops, “Everything is great over here! I’ve got this life thing covered and you’re going to be FINE! You do you!”

If I’d been wise enough to ask her, my future self would have shouted a love letter from the rooftops, “Everything is great over here! I’ve got this life thing covered and you’re going to be FINE! You do you!”

Ashley Fisher, gomama.love blogger

My dear friend, your future self is every bit as confident and thrilled with her life. Your future self is in love with you and all the mistakes you’ve made and the life you have and will have because of them.

Buy the latte

There’s this new investment company out there that markets to women – it’s called Ellevest. I’m not yet a client of theirs but I saw a photo of theirs on Twitter that I just loved. It stuck with me. Sort of a future-self shoutout, if you will. It was a photo of a travel coffee mug and it said, “Buy the f***in’ latte.”

Their point is that women are told all sorts of things about how to be wise with money that is actually gendered and can be disempowering. Among them, “don’t buy coffee and you will save so much money.” I’m not a financial expert, but I love this idea they presented. We are 100% capable of taking care of ourselves even in areas where we may have been unconsciously taught otherwise. We can be as brave and daring and bold with money or anything else as we want to be. So buy the latte. Future you is going to be just fine, and present you could use that little joy moment. 

We carry our mothers with us

I have strong memories of asking my mom for a $1 burger on our way to or from the big city that had the amenities our small town lacked. When she said yes, it was a big deal. Usually, she wasn’t interested in shelling out what I considered small amounts of cash to feed our ever-ravenous teenage bellies. I was so angry that she wouldn’t pay a dollar when I was so hungry. 

Now, to be clear, I am blessed to have been well fed through my childhood. These are first world complaints I’m sharing. But they have a point:

I want my daughter to grow up believing that everything in the future is going to be ok. She does not need to spend her life afraid of not being able to get by someday if she spends money on herself in the present. How I feel about money, talk about money, and think about money will inevitably filter down to her. She will do one of two things: she will pick some of it up, or she will throw it to the wind because it doesn’t resonate with the truth she was born knowing. That truth is that everything is going to be wonderful in the end. 

What to do?

So now what? I’ve labeled the problem: my worry over the future, as evident by beating myself up over past mistakes. And I’ve labeled a secondary problem: my relationship with money is my mother’s relationship with money. I picked up on my mother’s preference to avoid spending money on small delights, much to my chagrin. So for my daughter, and for myself, and perhaps even for my mother, I must change. 

Change takes time, but I do love the fact that it is possible. For me, this means getting financially savvy (through the wisdom of women such as Suze Orman and Elizabeth Warren), starting to invest, and an allowance for just-because purchases. While this blog post has focused on my trust in the future and my relationship with money, the concept applies to anything. Trust in the future and our relationship with our children, our spouses, our work, our play, our dreams.

Remember the love letter

Today, let’s give ourselves a free pass. This is your permission slip to thank yourself for past mistakes next time you start reliving something and beating yourself up about it. Remember that your future self has written you a love letter for your mistakes. You deserve a little self-kindness, and you deserve the amazing things ahead because of what you learned by those mistakes. You are kind, you are smart, and you are a powerful creator. You are an amazing mom and friend and a light to those blessed by your love. 

I’m curious – what new adventure are you ready to start, now that we’re sure we’re in the right place and we’ve made the right choices? Tell me about it in the comments. I’d love to know what you’re conjuring up. My our loving energy inspire and lift each other up. go mama!

3 questions to make family gatherings 10x better

Hey you! You’re a great mom, you know that? Whatever you’ve done or haven’t done so far today, it’s just the right amount. Give yourself a big hug and some personal encouragement because today and every day, you are giving your all. Speaking of giving your all – it’s hard to do that and catch back up with yourself sometimes, especially when it comes to self care at family gatherings.

Am I right?!! No matter how quirky or dramatic or smooth sailing your family may be, I bet you can relate when I say that wonderful wonderful wonderful as family gatherings are, they often leave me feeling tired and drained by the end of day 2 or 3! Good news is there are things we can do to prevent that fatigue.

There’s this quote – maybe you’ve heard it – that if you don’t plan, you plan to fail. Today I invite you to plan for your own self care during the chaotic hubbub of communal or family gatherings. Especially since these things are supposed to be fun!!

I cracked a family gathering self care strategy

As I write this blog post, I can tell you that I cracked a strategy and I’m walking the talk. I’m in the midst of a family reunion. This trip, I planned for my own care ahead of time and I can report that so far, this plan has made me feel so much more present and happy during these precious days together. While I could not presume that what works for me will work for you, I’ll share any way in case it inspires your own course, whatever that may be.

My family gathering self-care items:

1. I will go to bed at 10:00. I commit to excusing myself from conversation or games so that I will be rested for the next day.

2. I commit to going for a run after my daughter is put to bed.

3. I will set my intentions and energetic boundaries for the day before leaving the bedroom (I’m an empath, so setting energetic boundaries is huge!)

4. I will write a couple of blog posts.

5. I will make space to start and enjoy a new book.

I can’t tell you how much better I felt as I packed for this trip, knowing exactly how I would preserve my energy over the next several days. I want to show up with people as my full self, and I firmly believe that I can only do that if I first attend to my own self-care.

Your turn

You, dear reader, are a light in this world and a great mom. You are worth every bit of self care that you can muster. Remember that today and all days, there is space for your self care.

Are you committed now to making family gatherings more fun for yourself? Here are three questions to help you plan a self care strategy of your own.

1. What do you want to make sure you do for yourself over the course of the gathering? (Important: it can be more than one thing)

2. When are you going to do this activity?

3. Is the time you do this thing negotiable? If yes, what are alternatives that you are also ok with?

***Your turn! I’d love to know – what do you do (or what will you do) for self care while you are at family gatherings? What keeps you grounded and present with those around you?

Picture from Pexels

Your dynamite daughter needs these five skills

I’m about to share some ideas about self image that I think most women need to hear, including myself. I need to hear it over and over until it’s not something I know, but something I do.

But before I share, I want you to know that these ideas are not a reason to be hard on yourself. We only ever do the best we can and if for some reason your life has led you to a place where you experience the self-doubt described below by Paula Stone Williams – or if you have learned to communicate nonverbally in ways that don’t express “strong woman” – it’s not your fault. Your dynamite daughter needs these five skills, and so do you.

How women and girls are taught self-doubt

In the TedTalk by Paula Stone Williams, called “I’ve lived as a man and as a woman, here’s what I learned,” Paula shares a powerful story about how different her experience is as a woman, compared to when she was a man. As a man, she was given respect and trust off-hand. As a woman, she is second-guessed all the time. Most powerfully, she said, “When you are second-guessed all the time, you begin to doubt yourself.”

What woman hasn’t experienced this? An incessant drive to do everything just right, so that you can tell the people who question you that you are sure what you’ve created is correct. So that you won’t feel your self-worth somehow diminished if you are wrong. When did it become a problem to be wrong? Isn’t that how we grow?

I am determined to ask “Are you sure,” as she grows up as little as possible. Maybe that will help. But in the mean time, there are other things I can work on that will also make a powerful difference.

Nonverbal communication is our ticket out

I know my body language is reflective of this learned, unconscious self-doubt. And the scariest thing about this, for me, is that my daughter is going to learn how to move and operate as a woman in this world first from me. What will my body language teach her?

Enter, Sari Di la Mote. Sari is an expert at nonverbal communication, and happens to be most passionate about teaching nonverbal skills to lawyers.

If I was a lawyer, she would have all my money.

Since I can’t benefit from her courses as a lawyer, I’ve done all I can to learn from her through her blog and the free resources she offers. From Sari, I’m learning how to command space. How to own a room. How to show up in my full power.

While there are a lot of things she challenges her students to do, a handful rise to the top. Our dynamite daughters need these five skills, and so do we:

-allow our awareness to fill an entire space before a presentation.
-use open, inviting body language when appropriate, and closed off language for things that aren’t open to conversation.
-take notice of when your voice pulls up at the end of a sentence (evoking uncertainty in a listener), or down (evoking confidence from the listener).
-Influence a tense space by breathing deeply. Become the source of calm in the space.
-She asks you to notice the story you’re telling yourself about a person or situation, and notice how that story influences your body language.

We can set the example

I’ll admit that driven as I am, I could benefit from making it a daily habit to incorporate these lessons. Not just for work presentations, but to the point that it’s second nature to do these things. If not for myself, then for my daughter.

What about you? Do you find yourself in the same boat? You know you show up with your game face on, but your words and body language sometimes sabotage you.

Remember, I’m not sharing all this as another reason to be hard on yourself. All of your experiences have led you to becoming the wonderful, loving, smart human being that you are. This is something worth feeling good about, that we’re here and finally thinking about these things.

Let’s you and me pick one of the bullet points above to work on. Just one. And each morning, set the intent to live that lesson. For example, you might say, “Just for today, I will breathe deeply whenever I feel worried or people around me are tense.” One day at a time, whatever we choose to focus on will be the habit we start to live by. We will become our vision for our daughters.

I’m curious – what bullet point above resonates most with you? What non-verbal skill do you want to work on? Share in the comments below. May our loving energy inspire and lift each other up! go mama!