15 Self-Care Practices that are Essential for Working Moms

The personal spoke on the wheel of life is so important, yet is one of the most neglected for working moms. It’s so easy to lose ourselves in the needs of those around us. We give our best to our careers, make sure our children are fed, clothed, staying alive and then try to be a good partner. It can be utterly exhausting.

At what point are we supposed to take care of ourselves? Do you end most days feeling like the to-do list of demands is much longer than the hours in the day?

Well sister, I’m here to tell you, it’s not optional.

You cannot keep neglecting yourself. It will end up catching up to you in ways that are not pretty. Personally, when I have neglected my self-care, I’ve seen my body shut down, my ability to focus on any task deplete, my relationships get rocky and frankly, my attitude go down the drain. I can become quite cranky when I’m running on empty fumes.

How do you feel when your needs are neglected? Do you feel weak? Do you feel exhausted? Do you feel empty?

In contrast, how do you feel when all your needs are being met? Do you feel stable? Do you feel strong? Do you feel fulfilled?

Now, imagine caring for those around you from each of these places. When you are stable, strong and fulfilled, it’s rewarding to support others, provide for their needs and give. You’re able to give your best both at work and at home.

When you are already weak, exhausted and empty, trying to care for others is a burden you can hardly bare.

Stop what you’re doing right now and say out loud “It’s important that I take care of my needs first.”

How did that feel? Even now, when I say it, it feels uncomfortable.

Our culture has taught us that beliefs like this are selfish. There’s a lot our culture has gotten wrong, and this is one of them. This is the old airplane analogy. You have to put on your mask before you can help someone else with theirs.

The words “self-care” can often be associated with pampering, “me” time or other luxuries. While those things are nice, and they are self-care, there are several areas of self-care that are crucial to our well-being. I’ve compiled a list of 15 essential self-care practices:

  1. Setting boundaries around your time, energy and resources 
  2. Paying for professional help with a therapist, counselor or coach
  3. Staying home if you need to be alone 
  4. Making plans with friends if you need to be around others 
  5. Investing time with people who mirror back love
  6. Allowing yourself to grow apart from people who do not appreciate your worth or are toxic in your life
  7. Healing from your past 
  8. Extending grace to yourself for your mistakes 
  9. Sharing the stories that bring you shame with someone who is a safe space 
  10. Focusing on something that brings you hope 
  11. Finding a form of exercise you ENJOY doing
  12. Giving yourself permission to rest without attaching the word lazy to it
  13. Trusting your intuition 
  14. Taking a break from social media and/or the news
  15. Unfollowing accounts on your newsfeed that bring negativity into your spirit

These are just the tip of the iceberg in self-care practices, but they are a great place to start. When you read this list, was there one that jumped off the page to you? If so, drop a note in the comments and let me know. I’d love to hear what may have resonated with you.

Thanks for making it to the end of this blog post! Two options to keep going if you want more:

Looking to create more peace in your life? Then I highly recommend downloading the free E-book from my site, Create Peace. Just drop your email below and it will be sent to you.

If you enjoy reading these posts, then drop your email into the box at the footer of the website and you will get an email from me each Wednesday with a new post.

Have You Heard?

Have you heard of third way thinking?

I have been talking about third way thinking for a few years now in my conversations, and I almost never encounter someone else who is familiar with the concept.

First of all, before you chase down the wrong rabbit hole…don’t start Googling the term. You’ll find lots of different political interpretations. I am specifically referring to Jesus’ Third Way. He was the original model of this concept. So, toss his name into your Google search and you might land on some relevant material to this conversation.

Third way thinking is the concept of an alternative reaction to violence. Most of the time violence looks like this:

Country 1: I bomb you.

Country 2: Oh yeah! You wanna see a BOMB, take THIS. (Bigger bomb drops)

Country 1: Oh really…well, now I am going to spend several months or years preparing something even more violent that will hit you where you least expect it

Country 2: Oh no you did not! Now you are REALLY going to pay.

You get the point.

It just keeps violence in cycle.

Most of the time, people think they only have two options when responding to violence (or insult or any form of mistreatment). Pay them back, or do nothing and walk away.

In the Christian circles, a lot of the teaching actually centers around Jesus’ peace approach being the “do nothing and walk away,” but that’s not what he taught.

Jesus led a non-violent revolution. His existence began the demise of the Roman Empire, one of the largest empires in the history of humanity. He broke the system. But how? Folks…it was NOT by killing them with kindness.

Let’s take the example of “turn the other cheek.” We hear that one a lot.

Prior to understanding the social and cultural context of the story, I always thought it meant that when someone harms you it’s better to let them harm you more than to fight back. Nope…that is not what he was saying. At all.

Here’s the scripture for context (Matthew 5:39 KJV)

But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.”

This scripture is often interpreted to mean that if someone is mean to you, it’s better to keep taking it than to retaliate. Human nature is that if someone slaps you, you slap back. But there is so much more happening beneath the surface of the scriptures when we dig deeper.

What I have since come to learn is that Jesus was talking to his followers in his sermon on the mount. These people were all oppressed by the Roman empire. At that time, a slap on the right cheek would have been from someone with authority over you. You slapped a peer on the left cheek.

Meaning, what Jesus was saying is, if a Roman soldier slaps you on the right cheek, turn your left cheek to him. It’s not violent, but it sends the message of “how about you treat me like an equal.” It bucks the system. We all know that Jesus bucked the system so much that they ended up killing him for it, even though he only used non-violence to spread his message.

This message is absolutely relevant to every single one of us today. When we are faced with a situation where we feel our options are to mirror back someone’s wrong actions or to walk away and do nothing…maybe neither is the right response. Maybe the response is a third option that lets them know we see their behavior but we aren’t playing their game.

Third way thinking friends.

The 15-Minute Morning Mom Hack

Mornings in our house are always an unpredictable hot mess. Not only do I need to get myself ready but there is a toddler and six-year-old. When I finally arrive to my office, I sit down and breathe. I pause for a moment in the peace and quiet because before I ever showed up to work I already ran a marathon.

Moms…you know. No matter how well you pre-plan and streamline, you never know what meltdown, lost item, pet disaster or diaper blow out is going to sabotage your efforts to have a calm morning.

With so many uncontrollables in my life, I needed to maximize the one thing I could control…me. I work with the business community, so I need to look professional. I do not have time to stand in front of a mirror and debate on whether this blouse or the other is a better fit for the pencil skirt or which pair of earrings coordinate the best.

I have mastered getting ready in 15 minutes and making it appear that I put in more time. Here are my hacks to how I can appear to look put together when we all know my morning was chaotic:

1. I only buy clothes that don’t need to be ironed

If it has to be ironed, it’s not ever going to be worn, so I might as well not waste my money. I also don’t like spending my discretionary income on dry cleaning. So I only purchase clothes I can wash, air dry and they are ready to go

2. I almost always wear a dress

I can walk to my closet and throw on a dress without having to spend any time laboring over what does and doesn’t match. It’s one decision to make

3. I only buy dresses that can be paired with black or nude heels or flats

I also don’t have the time to labor over which shoes I should wear. So I toss on a dress and look at the floor of my closet and ask myself “Black or nude? Flats or heels?” Done.

4. I get haircuts that are low maintenance.

I have no time for styling. So my hairstylist knows that if I can’t just brush it with my hairdryer brush and be done, I will never wear my hair down

5. I wear my hair in a bun most days

A bun is so easy. It looks professional but requires less than five minutes. I brush out the tangles and then swirl it into a French twist and use four or five bobby pins to secure it for the day

6. Dry shampoo

I wash my hair every 7-10 days. I use dry shampoo to get rid of the oils. When I wash it, I always do so at night so it can air dry while I sleep and not be a big chore in the morning

(Side note on 4, 5 and 6) For my Black mama friends, I recognize those points all applied to this basic white girl. So I did a search to find a working mom blogger who shared her hair tips that are better inspiration than I can give.

7. The same makeup

I LOVE make-up. I have two huge bins of it in my bathroom. But I do not have time to search through all the shades and find that missing lipstick that I know is in there somewhere. My makeup routine is


CC Cream with SPF


Red Lipstick

Black eyeliner on top


And a little black eyeshadow on my brows. Yes…I have used pencils. They’re fine. I just find that I grow through them quicker and the eye shadow is a softer look and lasts foreeeeeeeeeever

And I’m done. Well sorta. I still have to get the kids ready, pack the lunches, feed the pets and all the other things it takes to hit reverse in the driveway.

By the way…I timed myself this morning (the outfit pictured in this blog post). It was 17 minutes. And that’s because I got interrupted by an almost-two-year-old who decided to throw a tantrum at my feet because…I can’t even remember. That was 13 hours ago. I just remember I was up with him from 11:30pm-1:30am and it was the result of a tired child.

This is motherhood. As much as I would love to sit on my quiet couch and drink my hot tea and read my book again like I used to enjoy every morning, I’m not in that season of life right now. And I’m okay with that.

Change Your Story

In almost every 1:1 coaching call I have done in the last six months there has been a resounding theme. The same issue is keeping nearly everyone stuck.

Limiting beliefs.

We’re going to talk about them today because once we can recognize them, we can override them.

In case you are not aware, a limiting belief is a belief you adopt about yourself or the world around you. We treat them as facts, when in reality, they are usually stories we are choosing to tell ourselves.

Because we have control over our thoughts and beliefs, we also have the ability to override the dialogue in our minds. If we’re telling ourselves a story, we can flip the narrative. We can write a narrative that works in our favor.

Allow me to demonstrate a few examples…I will put myself on display first.

Old Story:

I am over weight. If only I could drop X number of pounds, then I would be beautiful.

New Story:

I am beautiful.


The ideal weight for my age, height and body type is about 20 pounds less than what I weigh. However, the ability to see myself as beautiful is not connected to that number.

I taped the new belief to my mirror and read it every single morning while I brushed my teeth for over a year before I TRULY believed it. It was uncomfortable and awkward to look at myself fresh out of bed, or naked about to get in the shower, or after an exhausting day and TRULY believe “I am beautiful.” But eventually, I adopted it as the new reality. And I still weigh the exact same I did a few years ago when I held a different belief. Same body, different perspective.

Second example:

Old Story:

I am too bold. I make people feel uncomfortable and am too much. I need to remain quiet.

New Story:

Being bold takes courage, and I am brave.


This was creating massive internal conflict because I was silencing myself and not living authentically. I had to get comfortable being my true self, even if it meant some people may not like me. I couldn’t maintain not liking myself.

Recently, I encountered a few limiting beliefs with some clients, which I will share anonymously.

Old Story:

I cannot make a difference because I’m introverted.

New Story:

My strength is being an introvert. I will use my gift to find the most effective way I can have impact.


Extroverts are loud and heard. Introverts are usually the ones taking action quietly and getting the job done. They don’t need to be heard to make a difference.

On this particular call, this client was feeling heavy and weighed down by the weight of the world. It was affecting her mentally and spiritually as she felt unable to help because she’s quiet. We discussed the differences between introverts and extroverts and how this would make her stronger in certain roles. Once she realizes she is enough just as she is, watch out world. Her impact will create mighty ripples.

Next Example:

Context: After many years of a struggling marriage, the couple realized they needed to get divorced. Despite the relationship ending, they were still sharing a home many months later.

Old Story:

Because my daughter is going into her senior year, we can’t separate.

New belief:

Now is the perfect timing to start our new lives.


The daughter is already living in the home with the broken marriage. This isn’t new information. But you do have the next year to allow her to see how a woman supports herself independently and how adults can grow, change, develop and do hard things. When she’s older, this year can serve as a living example of how she can face hard things too. It was the action that needed to happen in her family. She possessed the power to choose the story she told herself about it.

When you feel yourself stuck in an area, try to reflect on what beliefs you may be holding that are opinions, not facts. They are usually our only limitation to living our best life. And…if you can’t see them for yourself…hire a coach. That’s what we’re here for.

Thanks for making it to the end of this blog post! Two options to keep going if you want more:

Looking to create more peace in your life? Then I highly recommend downloading the free E-book from my site, Create Peace. Just drop your email below and it will be sent to you.

If you enjoy reading these posts, then drop your email into the box at the footer of the website and you will get an email from me each Wednesday with a new post.

Is summer the time to lean in to fitness or relax?

In conversations with friends, I hear the push and pull of the pressure summer puts on our relationships with our bodies. It’s nearly impossible to avoid comparing our bodies to the bodies around us at the pool or beach. You may feel motivated to hit the gym and discover that six-pack underneath those layers.

And yet, vacation feels like the most appropriate time to stop watching what you eat and indulge. So which is it? Is summer when we should be crushing it and getting in shape or YOLOing it up?

What if I said it’s the totally wrong conversation to be having?

Loving and caring for our bodies doesn’t come and go with a season. The things that are best for our bodies are the best all twelve months of the year. Approaching our health with an on-off switch will not lead to maintainable results.

The best approach to any improvements you want to make in your physical health is to take it one habit at a time. That is always the most sustainable approach.

There are many great habits to consider; here are a few I recommend:

  • Getting enough sleep. Try just focusing on your rest for a few weeks
  • Are you drinking enough water each day? Try just monitoring your intake for a while.
  • Are you a late night snacker? Maybe take the summer to commit to no foods after dinner and see where that new habit gets you.
  • Daily exercise, even if it’s only 10 or 15 minutes, the consistency of the daily is more important
  • Increasing raw vegetable intake
  • Keeping your sugar to the recommended daily intake (36g for men, 25g for women)
  • Limiting processed food, increasing whole foods

What if you take the next 4-6 we have left of summer and commit to replacing ONE bad habit with ONE good habit? If that good habit stuck with you permanently, what would the results look like three months, six months or a year from now?

Which habit is top on your list?

Thanks for making it to the end of my blog post! Two options to keep going if you want more:

Looking to create more peace in your life? Then I highly recommend downloading the free E-book from my site, Create Peace. Just drop your email below and it will be sent to you.

If you enjoy reading these posts, then drop your email into the box at the footer of the website and you will get an email from me each Wednesday with a new post.

Toss Your Goals in the Trash Can

They’re not helping you affect change

Last night I was on a coaching call, and my client was struggling with setting her goals. She had a story in her mind that she needed to lay out her 5-10 year plan, and I was going to help her achieve it. I mean, I’m happy to do that for someone…but that’s not what most people need.

In our culture, we reward and incentivize the goal setters. We’ve all heard the training…set S.M.A.R.T. goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound), but did you know this is completely useless information for 80% of the population?

Most people are not motivated by goals. They are motivated by solving problems.

Don’t get me wrong…about 20% of the population loves goals (my hand is raised right now). We get a high off writing down our plans and checking the box when they’re achieved, but for many people, words on a sheet of paper are not motivating.

Let’s go back to the example from the coaching call. I asked her why she even signed up for the 12 Week Create Peace course with me. She said that initially she thought she wasn’t a fit at all. She thought it was irrelevant timing to where she was at in life, and she wasn’t really in a mental-space to focus on personal growth and development or goal setting (a very common misunderstanding of the work I do).

However, she downloaded the free e-book Create Peace and printed it out because “Who can’t use some more peace?”. Her partner happened to see it lying around and read the first page. He said to her “This is exactly what you need,” so she decided to take the plunge and see what happened.

Naturally, I asked her what was preventing her from living in full peace. She went on to describe some challenges she is facing in her personal life, especially the inability to help an aging parent because of Covid-19, and the emotional toll it was taking on her. She described how she can easily swing back and forth from doing really well to emotionally dark places.

Right there.

It was that simple.

She was struggling to set an intention (a.k.a. goal) for her 12 weeks in the course, and it was right in front of her.

I shared with her how 80% of people are problem solvers, not goal setters. I asked her if instead of trying to set a goal she could pick ONE PROBLEM that if solved would bring so much peace into her life.

Her response was finding coping mechanisms on how to manage the low-lows of the emotional roller coaster. How many of us can resonate with that? How many of us have absolutely been there?

That was it. I encouraged her to set that as her intention for the course, that by the end of our 12 weeks together she would feel more emotionally stable and equipped to handle the day to day stresses of life.

She didn’t need a five year plan. She didn’t need a vision board with vacations and new cars and a fancy house to motivate her to make her life better. She just needed to make the decision that she was going to be intentional about creating some new habits to help her sustain a healthy mental space on a regular basis. And that is enough.

So, what about you? Are you a goal setter or a problem solver?

Thanks for making it to the end of my blog post! Two options to keep going if you want more:

Looking to create more peace in your life? Then I highly recommend downloading the free E-book from my site, Create Peace. Just drop your email below and it will be sent to you.

If you enjoy reading these posts, then drop your email into the box at the footer of the website and you will get an email from me each Wednesday with a new post.

Let’s Talk About Weight Loss Struggles

Before I get too deep into the weeds, let’s see if we have anything in common in our weight struggles. I’ll share with you some of my unhealthy habits and then share with you what has worked for me in creating a healthy lifestyle. 

Have you ever:

  • Gone to a public pool/beach and spent most of the experience comparing your body to the bodies all around you
  • Struggled with your weight for more than 10 years (mine began in third grade. Yep. 9 years old)
  • Done something extreme and unsustainable to lose lots of weight (Subsequently put it all back on)
  • Used food to manage emotions like stress, sadness or procrastination
  • Made many promises to yourself about the healthy habits you’re going to adopt, only to break them
  • Looked in the mirror naked and had all negative thoughts about yourself

If you resonated with any of those points, then I hope my words today can bring you some encouragement.

First of all, you can see by the photos I post regularly that I’m not Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition material. If you were hoping for the secret to getting skinny, you came to the wrong blog.

But if you want to chat about having healthy blood work, high levels of energy, a positive self-image when you look in the mirror and patience with yourself, I might be able to help.

Ready for the secret…it’s an inside job. The outside of your body is reflecting what’s happening on the inside.

Most of us are fighting a battle with the stories in our minds. It’s not a secret that significantly upping your vegetable intake, lowering sugar and processed food intake, and increasing exercise will lead to results. Implementing that is a completely different story…but why?

Well, a myriad of reasons that are complicated and not fixed easily. Here are a few things that have worked well for me over the last few years:

1. Positive Self Image 

A few years ago I attended a workshop that used the Wheel of Life. My physical spoke was one of the lowest, and the coach helped me realize that a significant part of the reason why was because of how I perceived myself. She challenged me to write “I am beautiful” and tape it to my mirror where I would see it every time I saw my reflection. It was extremely uncomfortable to speak those words to myself for a long time. Eventually I said it enough times that I began to believe it. 

Is this going to make you lose weight? Well, not directly, but definitely indirectly. By believing you are beautiful, you will increase your self-worth. When you love your body you will have an increased desire to make healthy choices because you know you are worth it. 

2. Small daily habits 

Many programs I have followed, and even taught, require many changes all at once that are usually not sustainable for the long term. Most of us can use will power to push through something we don’t like for a short stint, but if deprived too long, we will overload on the pleasures we avoided.

For that reason, I have found that the most sustainable weight loss comes from focusing on one healthy habit at a time that I’m willing to make a lifestyle change and mastering that before overloading myself with others. A few daily habits that I have mastered one at a time have been:

  • I drink 100oz of water a day
  • I keep my sugar intake at or below the recommended 25g for women per day
  • I eat high quantities of vegetables
  • I create a 12-14 hour break in eating between dinner and breakfast
  • I get 7-8 hours of sleep a night.

Notice that none of these habits are what I’m “not” doing. To be fully transparent, I have food allergies with corn, peanuts and soy so those create enough avoiding in my life. By focusing on small, sustainable habits, the weight I lose stays off because there isn’t a period where I go off the program and return to my normal ways. I just make changes that I am willing to make a lifestyle.

3. Counseling

Many of us are using food as a coping mechanism for emotional baggage we are carrying around. Over the years, I have poured massive amounts of time, energy and resources into my personal growth and development. I’m not talking about motivational ra-ra. I’m talking about digging deep into the why behind my behaviors and emotions. It’s very uncomfortable work, but absolutely worth it.

I did this work slowly over about an eight year period of time. I have multiple friends who expedited their success by hiring therapists or counselors who specialize in this work. Yes, there are weight loss coaches who are actually counselors. Behind many people’s layers of weight gain is childhood trauma, lack of self-confidence or self-worth, abusive language planted by someone else or many other issues. There is no quantity of vegetables or sugar that will help you heal those wounds.

I highly recommend investing in counseling or therapy as part of your overall health and wellness plan.

4. New Coping Mechanisms

In a similar light, many of us, myself included, turn to food when we are stressed, sad, bored or any other situation where we are avoiding our feelings. To be honest, this is one I am still working on. I am much, much more aware of when I am doing this than I use to be, but I have not mastered it yet. At least I have replaced my comfort indulging of ice cream with hummus and pretzels or frozen berries covered in almond butter.

For some reason, many of us don’t like to feel our feelings. When they start to come on, we look for a distraction rather than sitting in them. A major part of weight loss for me was to recognize when this was happening and to look for other coping mechanisms. Depending on the emotion, I have tried to create new habits to resort to when I feel it coming. Feeling stressed? I go take a bubble bath. Procrastinating? Pivot to other work, go on a walk, or drink water. Sad? Meditate on the root cause and let the tears flow.

5. People Pleasing

Man…if I had to pick one pet peeve that bothers me the most, this one would be HIGH on the list. So often when someone proclaims they are making healthy choices, the people around them will peer pressure them into falling off course. I hear it all the time. “Oh c’mon! It’s your birthday, you HAVE to have a piece of cake.” “It’s just one glass of wine, it’s not a big deal.” “You are seriously missing out, this is the best spinach dip I’ve ever had in my entire life,” etc. You get the point. Rather than supporting and encouraging the people around them with their goals, so many people would rather help them justify why they should break a promise they made themselves. It infuriates me.

The ability to say no to the peer pressure is a strong muscle that for us people pleasers, can be a tough one to overcome. I’ve learned to just avoid the conversation in general. If I tell people I’m being healthy, they may resort to the taunting. If I just say “no thanks” or “I’m not in the mood” or “Maybe later, but not now,” I don’t deal with any push back.  

Like many of you, this is an ongoing journey for me. The more time goes on, the more I am able to feel comfortable in my own skin, love my body, prioritize taking care of the one body I get, and increasing my self-care healthy habits.

Thanks for making it to the end of my blog post! Two options to keep going if you want more:

Looking to create more peace in your life? Then I highly recommend downloading the free E-book from my site, Create Peace. Just drop your email below and it will be sent to you.

If you enjoy reading these posts, then drop your email into the box at the footer of the website and you will get an email from me each Wednesday with a new post.

Pick Up Your Brick

How much can you carry?

Recently I reached out to a friend of mine who was experiencing a lot of pain. She is a powerhouse Black female business owner who I have watched over the last four years grow, blossom and burst through glass ceilings. She is a true inspiration. But in this moment, she had run out of tears to cry and her pain had turned to anger.

She expressed her exhaustion. She expressed her frustration with ignorance. She expressed her disappointment in leaders she personally had relationships with who were completely missing the boat on how to rise up and follow through during this time.

I didn’t blame her. If I had spent my whole life trying to tell my perspective to anyone willing to listen, only to have people respond to it with words that told me my experiences weren’t relevant, believable, or worthy of change, I would want to scream too.

My heart hurt for her, but I was fully aware I didn’t have the capacity to feel the depth of her pain. I haven’t walked a day in her shoes. So I made her a different promise, one I hope you will join me in.

I will pick up my brick.

She has been carrying a heavy load, but it’s not possible for me to relieve any of it from her. What I can do is pick up my own load and go join her to get the work done.

It is so easy to hold an opinion. It’s even easier to click “share” on someone else’s opinion. What is not easy is taking action.

I would say it’s pretty near unanimous agreement that our world is hurting right now. Our country is broken. If for no reason other than we have developed deep-seeded divisiveness of one side against the other.  But the solutions do not rest elsewhere. The solutions for a better future for America rests inside each one of us.

We are in the process of building a new house. A structure so large it can hold and support the diversity our beautiful melting pot of a nation has grown into.

And right now, we have a lot of people who are sitting in lawn chairs, sipping on Arnold Palmers, and telling the construction crew how to do their job. I can hear it now,

“You missed a spot”

“No, not that direction.”

“Hmmm…..I really disagree where that wall is being placed. Should be two feet that way.”

Not. Helpful. At. All.

If we want to live in a more beautiful version of America, then we all need to roll up our sleeves, put on some clothes we can get ruined, and start carrying some bricks over to the construction site. The crew doesn’t need our commentating, they need our help.

I am not here to tell you what your role in the project should be. When building a house someone has to bank roll it, someone has to be the architect, the plumber, the project manager, the landscaper, or even the babysitter for the guy/gal with a bunch of kids at home who wants to put in a 12 hour day. It takes a unified team effort.

It takes personal responsibility.

We each have a role to play. We each need to pick up our brick and contribute.

It may look like getting involved in initiatives in your local community. It may mean finding an organization whose work you fully support and sacrificing a few conveniences to donate to their work, or volunteer with them. It may mean something completely different.  

If we want to unify our country and heal our country, it’s our job. There is no one else to blame. We have to each take personal responsibility for helping this nation through these most challenging times.

As Ghandi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

P.S. Personal responsibility overflows to EVERY area of our lives. I chose to write about current events today, but we could take this exact same conversation and apply it to relationships, health, career frustrations, or any spoke on the wheel of life that is struggling.

It’s no one else’s job to fix something in our lives. If we are experiencing frustration, the conversation of blame has GOT TO GO. There is no 50/50.

“Well, I did this but they did this, this and this.”

Nope. Their actions are not relevant. We need to own 100% of OUR END of the deal. Release any mental conversations around blaming anyone for anything. What action was within our control that would have created a better outcome? Own it. Period. End of story.  

Thanks for making it to the end of my blog post! Two options to keep going if you want more:

Looking to create more peace in your life? Then I highly recommend downloading the free E-book from my site, Create Peace. Just drop your email below and it will be sent to you.

If you enjoy reading these posts, then drop your email into the box at the footer of the website and you will get an email from me each Wednesday with a new post.

The Actual Problem Tearing Apart America Right Now

Are you exhausted from feeling like our country is being ripped apart? Me too. Does hearing attacks where people accuse “the other side” for being stupid just sound like nails on a chalkboard? Same.

The moment I read something that starts with “those idiot liberals are…” or “the foolish conservatives” I check out. And when it comes from someone in a leadership position, I’m sincerely disappointed.

This language of “them vs us” and “right vs wrong” and “foolish morons vs the smart people” is absolutely destroying our ability to have constructive conversation that can move us forward.

Today, I want to talk about what is happening at the spiritual level when you hear this dialogue and how we can all be part of the solution verses continuing the problem.

But first, I want to give you a real world example.

Over the last few weeks, I have made a few unapologetic posts on my personal Facebook page regarding current events. I made multiple posts regarding white privilege, getting educated on systemic racism and why discussing the #blacklivesmatter movement on social media matters. Then, mixed into those posts, I made two different posts that supported some positive things our local Sheriff’s office is doing.

The feedback this generated, mostly in one-on-one conversations, was quite interesting to digest.

On one hand, I was personally thanked by more than one Black woman actively working and speaking out about systemic racism, and was also thanked by an HCSO officer and family members of officers.

On the other hand, I was told I am not trustworthy to the Black community, and I simultaneously ruffled the feathers of more than one white person.

So which is it? Was I helping or hurting? Whose “side” am I on here?

Over the years I’ve been told that “you are my most liberal friend” and also “you are my most conservative friend.” I just laugh. What am I supposed to do with that information?

[Quick rabbit trail…I have fully released myself from holding any opinion or expressing any opinion based on what someone else is going to think of me. So the feedback I am receiving is just that, feedback. I hear it. I reflect on it because sometimes I can learn something from it. But I do not take it personal. I understand it’s someone else’s reaction to my words. Their feedback says more about them than me.]

Why did I share all that with you? Because it matters. The feedback I received from some individuals was reflective of them trying to fit me in a label they are using to categorize people. Some of those labels may be:

  • Is she a Republican?
  • Is she a Democrat?
  • Is she sold-out to “the other side”?
  • Is she trustworthy?
  • Is she safe?
  • Is she “woke”?
  • Is she an intelligent resource for me to learn from?
  • Is she a fool? If so, I’m going to unfollow her now
  • Is she right?
  • Is she wrong?

And at the core root of it…

  • Is she like me?
  • Is she like “them?”

This is a VERY NORMAL process for the brain. It’s called Dualistic Thinking.

In simple terms, this is a black and white way of thinking. In this way of thinking there is no gray area. There are two categories: those who are right, and those who are wrong. There is no room for anything in the middle, or for both things to be true at the same time.

I spent my entire adolescence thinking this way, which is quite normal. It’s how the brain learns. “This is safe, and this is dangerous.” It’s a protective mechanism…until it becomes damaging in and of itself.

The reality is…most of the world is gray. Hard statements that apply to 100% of situations are very rare. Almost every rule has an exception.  

At some point, we have to get comfortable living in the gray area. And unfortunately, many people are not supportive of the gray area. It’s not concrete. It lacks clarity. It involves critical thinking. It involves active listening. It takes work.

I like to say, I moved from black and white, to gray, to a world of color.

Therefore, when I come out and say “Thank you for protesting and using your voice to be heard on such an important issue plaguing our country” and also “Thank you to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office for already having so many measures in place that prevent police brutality” it’s frustrating to some. But I am here to tell you friends, you CAN actually be both things at the same time, despite what anyone else tells you. And this applies to an endless amount of topics in religion, politics and life in general.

The world does not need to be divided into two sides. There does not need to be “us” and “them.”

Nondualism is the difficult, challenging work of releasing the labels. Being able to look at people as just that, people. Releasing the categories. Releasing the judgements. Just observing. Just witnessing.

Richard Rohr, one of my favorite priests said it best when he said “The opposite of faith is not doubt, it’s control.”

Can you release control and judgement of others and just observe and listen? Can you release the impulse to try and figure out which box each person fits in?

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Finding Your Peace May Not Feel Peaceful

Well…this is a really ironic time in history to have decided to launch a coaching business based on “how to create peace in your life,” but I did commit to publishing a blog each Wednesday, and I know my only option is to discuss the current events in our country.

As I type this, there is a protest two miles down the road from me with hundreds of people. After I tucked my children into bed, I turned on Facebook live and watched a stand-off between the protesters and a line of officers wondering if this peaceful gathering was going to turn violent. Peace is not what I feel. I feel fear. I feel pain. I feel anger. I feel frustration. But I do not feel peace. And I know so many others in our country can relate to this too.

I didn’t want to write this post. It felt too heavy. I tried more than one way to get out of it. I feel unqualified. I’m about as “woke” as the mother of a newborn baby who hasn’t had her morning cup of coffee yet. I was really hoping I could just copy-paste some beautiful words from a black woman, amplify her voice and not have to risk getting this wrong.

But alas, I knew better. That’s called plagiarism. And by the way, when I actually asked a black woman to guest blog she called out my fear and told me I had to write this. She reminded me these are the times you lean in, not step back.

My dear friend Victoria (a powerful, bad-ass black woman I must add) who has been fighting for social justice every day for nearly twenty years gave me the best advice. She reminded me of the immense struggle I faced several years ago when I felt forced to stay silent. She reminded me how little peace there was in my life during the days that I was holding so much inside. She reminded me how much peace I invited in my life when I opened up. She reminded me of the cathartic experience I had when I started living and speaking as my authentic self. And she encouraged me to share my journey of the inner peace that can be gained from speaking your truth. Because, she said, there are a lot of people whose best pathway to peace is to use their voice.

If you have followed any of my writing, then you have probably already heard that starting in 2011 I knew I wanted to be a blogger, but I spent YEARS trying to figure out where I fit in.

I CRAVED community and yet I couldn’t find it. I didn’t belong anywhere.

I was too conservative for the liberals and too liberal for the conservatives. I walked with God and shaped all my belief systems around the teachings of Jesus but had left the church. I tried the moms groups, but I was an entrepreneur hustler whose husband did the cooking and managed the bedtime routine. I felt like they had laser beams and could see through me and were thinking “She’s a phony. She doesn’t belong here.”

One day on a walk through the neighborhood with my husband I started crying and said, “I just feel so alone. I don’t belong anywhere.” I was craving a label to place on myself and none of them fit. Every term I knew out there that helps place people in a box didn’t fit me.

Later that night, we started talking about the root issues. The reality was, I had some REALLY strong beliefs swelling inside of me that I felt I couldn’t share. And I am not a quiet woman.

“If I speak my truth, I will upset them,” is what I told him.

All I could see was the loneliness getting even worse. That I would be shamed. That I would lose people close to me. And my husband, who is one of the calmest people on the planet, got so angry that he started dropping eff bombs on me (in the nicest way). To kindly paraphrase his comments to me,

“You mean to tell me that you walk around all the time preaching about how people need to live out their purpose and fulfill their dreams and you are not pursuing yours because of what a handful of people will think? So what you’re saying is that you have a deep desire to write and could potentially impact hundreds or thousands of lives but those people don’t actually matter. What actually matters is what a couple people think of you? So you will let a couple people stand in the way of the lives you want to impact? Do you realize how hypocritical you sound?”

He was angry. And he was right.

I sat on the couch with tears streaming down my face. Because the truth hurts. The truth stings.

In that moment, I knew things would not be the same anymore. I would make people around me feel uncomfortable. And I didn’t know where this would lead.

But I started talking. I started talking about how I am a person of faith and also an ally for the LGBTQ community. I started talking about white privilege. I started calling the church out for strange behaviors I couldn’t tolerate anymore.

I read A LOT of Brene Brown. I taped to my bathroom mirror a quote from her book The Gift of Imperfections,

“Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.”

And do know what happened?

It did cost me relationships.

It did cost me my community.

It did make me VERY uncomfortable for a VERY long time. Who am I kidding? It’s still uncomfortable on a regular basis.

But do you know what happened?

I gained new relationships.

I gained new community.

I found peace. Deep, rich, genuine, inner spiritual peace.

My exterior is in alignment with my interior, which is in alignment with the path I hear God calling me toward. And it feels so effing good.

Last week I had coffee with my priest, who happens to be a female, and we talked about current events and the state of the church, and the vision of what God can heal it into becoming. It was a beautiful conversation. And I didn’t utter one word that I thought was what I was “supposed” to believe to be a “good girl.”

That was peaceful.

A couple years ago, when I was in the heat of the pain and everything was shifting, I was able to spend some time with one of my mentors, an old college professor of mine. As I vomited words all over him to describe my inner anguish he said, “What I am hearing is that you are grieving the loss of your tribe and you are searching for your new tribe. Ah, yes. That’s a difficult journey.”

And it was…but it was so worth it. The space in between the two was lonely. It was my wilderness.

My encouragement for you tonight is to find that alignment. What is the still small voice inside you calling you toward? I call that voice God, but I am totally okay with whatever name you want to give it. Many people like to call it your “knowing”. It’s what you know in your gut to be true. Are you listening to it? Or is your brain dominating the conversation? Is your life dominated by the comments from people “shoulding” all over you? Does your life align? Do the words you speak align with your inner voice? Until your knowing, your heart and your words are in alignment, you will not have peace.

May you find your voice. May you live your truth. May you create peace.