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!

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!