It’s here!

Today is the day! The free webinar at 8:30pm kicks off the opening of the cart for Create Peace, a 12 week course for the mom who loves her career AND her family but craves more peace.

For this week’s blog, I asked Sam to guest post. She just completed the 12 week course that ran June-August. I’ll let her words speak for themselves:

I have a good life. I have been through a lot in my years but overall, I am so grateful. I have 2 amazing kids, a loving partner, wonderful friends and family, and an awesome job. But who doesn’t need a little more peace in their life? Let me tell you, this course, will give you just that. WHEREVER you are looking for it. My life is changed forever.

This year started out super crazy. For most of the world. For me, personally, it felt extremely hard. Early February, the love of my life had a bit of a health scare. The next week, one of my best friends passed away due to ALS. I miss her laughter, wit and smile daily. Also in February, my father took a fall that almost ended his life. He was in the hospital for months and we weren’t sure he would ever be coming home. And just when you think you’ve hit your quota, enter COVID.

Now, with 2 kids at home trying to finish the school year (yay e-Learning), our office being shut down, and trying to work from home while I teach KG and 4th grade to my kids, my father being hospitalized and not being allowed to see him, and trying to figure out what was going to happen if he got to come home (Spoiler alert: dad is doing well. My amazing sister moved him in her home and cares for him every day while she runs her house and works full time)… I was losing it. Completely losing it. Every single little hiccup became a major issue. The slightest thing made me feel completely frazzled. Every night was a struggle to sleep. I was not taking care of myself. Taking care of myself felt like just one more thing on my plate. And every day I would think, “that one more thing may make me snap.” I was stressed, and sad, and not healthy.               

In May, Sophia approached me about her course. I was very authentic with her and told her that I didn’t think I was in the frame of mind to take on “one more thing.” She understood completely and recommended I do a small exercise in her newsletter just to see how that one thing made me feel. I printed it. And set it aside. I had already made up my mind and was just trying to be nice. Jason, my man who knows me oh so well, picked up the packet and within the first page he set it down and looked me in the eye and said “This is for you. This was meant for you. Right now. You need to do this” So, without even reading the rest of it, I agreed and let Sophia know. So, thanks, babe. Thank you so much.                

At first, I wasn’t completely into it. Trying to figure out what I wanted to get from the course. Feeling like I didn’t know how to answer some of the questions it posed.Really, it was my stubborn self… resisting out of principal. Anyone else like that? But then I had a coaching call with Sophia (if you are ever lucky enough to do one of these… OMG!) And it was the most eye-opening thing ever. Essentially, I knew what I needed… and she helped me get there. She quoted me passages from the book that I loved, and helped me see why they touched me and how they applied to me.

After that, I was hooked. I soaked up all I could and was ready to find some peace. Some of the things I learned and read, I apply daily. I quote the book to people and have used what I learned in many situations! Now, I am not going to share any of the amazing nuggets from the course because those may not speak to you like they did to me, plus, I don’t want to give away all the goods!

But I will tell you this… No matter where you are or what is happening in your life, SOMETHING from this book and these activities will scream out to you. It will hit you in the face, stick in your brain, and change you! If you could take just ONE thing away from this you will be a better person. I literally cannot rave about this enough. It saved me. It saved me when I didn’t know I needed some saving.

Sophia is offering a free webinar to just go over some basics of how to create peace for working moms. I highly recommend spending an hour of your life to get some of these tips totally for free.                

Click the button. Register for a time. Watch the webinar. Invest in yourself. I promise you will never regret it.

Is this for you?

It’s been a long time in the making, but I am super excited to share with you guys that I am offering a FREE WEBINAR called “Create Peace: A free webinar for the mom who loves her career AND her family but craves more peace” You can choose which next step is best for you. There are two ways to plug in:

1. Sign up for the free webinar. It will be offered 4 times over the course of a week to accommodate everyone’s schedule. Register here:

Sunday, September 13 at 8:30pm

Wednesday, September 16 at 8:30pm

Friday, September 18 at 8:30pm

Monday, September 21 at 8:30pm

2. Help a mom out by sharing the free webinar with her so she can benefit from the content. Do you know a mom that could use more peace, either internally or externally?

Here’s what you can expect to learn during our one hour together:

  • What your strengths and your areas for improvement are
  • The 7 Spokes of the Wheel of Life and how to create a balance that will help you thrive
  • What area of your life could be holding you back and what to do about it
  • How to create habits that will alleviate stress and bring more peace
  • How to let yourself off the hook where you need to
  • How to manage the constant “back and forth tug” between work life and home life

And many other tips that will help restore peace in your life.

The webinars do have a cap on their attendance so reserve your spot today to guarantee you have a slot.

The “Balance” of a Yo-Yo and Seesaw Life

Let’s talk about balancing ALL THE THINGS when you’re solo parenting.

In case you don’t know my situation, my husband is in the film industry. What this means is that he goes between extremes. When he is not on set, he is Super Dad. He has extreme flexibility in his schedule and mostly works from home. He carries almost all the weight of grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning. Yes. I’m aware I have it made.

But there’s a trade off.

When he’s gone, he’s GONE. Like, he physically leaves and isn’t around to help with one single task.

So what does that mean for me? Solo parenting. Much like the spouses of so many other careers. From military and first responders to business professionals who leave the state or country for trade shows and meetings. Many of us face this seesaw lifestyle.

When I have to wear the hat of solo parenting, here’s how I manage the different priorities. I’ll go through each spoke of the Wheel of Life:

Mental

I do not complain. It doesn’t help anything. I choose to have an attitude of gratitude and pour all my energy into the tasks in front of me. Some days are harder than others (like when he left for most of my extremely challenging second pregnancy, and I had a three year old, and we both got sick, but I had to store my days off for maternity leave). On those hard days I try very hard to check myself. I may lose my composure and complain about the situation but never about him or his career.

If it gets overwhelming, I have found the most calming thing I can do for myself is put the kids to bed, turn on a favorite podcast and deep clean something. This usually will reset me. Something about a monotonous task and a completed project are cathartic. I always choose a podcast that will leave me better off than it found me.

Physical

This is where the life coach is expected to say, “I wake up at 5am before the kids so that I get in that workout because it’s so important for all the reasons.” Nope. Not true. The motivation behind my blog isn’t to hand out advice because I’ve got it all together. The motivation of my blog is to share my stories so other women know we are in this together, and I’m next to you in the trenches.

The reality is, this is the spoke on the Wheel of Life that gives up the most when he’s gone. I try to take great care of her when I can because I depend on her like a pack mule when I’m solo parenting.

The yo-yo I play with my body is I will take a fizz stick with dinner around 6pm to give me the bolster I need to survive bedtime routine. Then, after the kids go to bed I do the picking up and the prepping that’s necessary. Not to mention the basic daily tasks like showering and replying to personal emails or paying bills. Or writing this blog.

When I realize it’s getting too late, I reverse the effects of the fizz stick with melatonin usually around midnight or so. Then I’m up with the kids generally around 6:30am.

I need 8 hours of sleep, so often times what it looks like is two nights in a row of pushing it and then the next night I don’t do one single task and I crash with the kids and get 10 hours of sleep.

I typically eat pretty well when he’s gone because I know that if I’m not always getting a full night’s rest and I’m not exercising (chasing them around is my exercise) then I definitely cannot afford the additional burden of poor eating choices.

Spiritual

My best spiritual experiences are my quiet time. I would love to tell you that I put the kids to bed and go meditate but that’s b.s. I go wash the dishes. My meditations typically happen in the bathtub. I can rest my mind. This is my time to reflect and to listen to anything God has been trying to get through my cluttered brain and busy lifestyle.

Pre-Covid I would try very hard to make it to church since I found my happy place. Especially since they would take the kids, and I could have a moment to pause. The sanctuary at my church feels so holy that just stepping in the building I feel the peace of the Spirit. But childcare is still on pause thanks to the virus, so we aren’t churching it up right now.

Everything is spiritual. We are spiritual beings having a human experience. So the more I am willing to slow down, enjoy the laughter around me, and take in the beauty of the small moments, the more peace in my soul I can find. Last weekend I took the kids on a nature walk, which for me, turned out to be a beautifully spiritual experience. (And it had nothing to do with the monk who rode by on his bicycle whilst holding an umbrella, but he did make me smile)

Career

When I’m solo parenting, my time has to be spent very efficiently. I try my hardest to stay focused at work and get the projects completed on time each day because I have to jump through way too many hoops to even stay half an hour late.

I rely on my hard boundaries. When I am at work, I am fully present there and give 100%. And then when I leave the building, I give 100% to my family. In February, hubby was gone, and it was our busiest month of the entire year at work. I relied on my support system to help watch the kids to get me through. (By that I mean that my kids spent 3 out of 4 Saturdays in February at my mom’s house.)

In speaking with many moms about their ability to succeed in their careers, a strong support system is a necessity. Many women do it away from families, but they build up networks of reliable babysitters, nannies, friends, church groups, etc. If we are going to succeed at work and at home, it will not be alone.

Financial

I feel like this is one of the major things that separates solo-parenting from single parenting, and why I will never say that I “single parent” when he’s gone. The reality is, this is the spoke that doesn’t look any different. Even when he’s not physically here, his paychecks still hit the checking account, for which I am so grateful .


Family

Our kids are used to it at this point. “Daddy is away at work and we get to see him again on ______.” Our six year old has it down, but the two year old still gets a little confused. Fortunately, they’re still at the age that they cling to mom the most, so dad being gone doesn’t rock their world as much as it may later.

Also in this spoke falls our marriage. This is probably the hardest part of him being gone. I can manage the household, regardless of how chaotic it may get at times. But he is my person. At the end of every day, I unload my thoughts on him. I married a listener because I am a person who processes through conversation. The biggest hole I can’t replace when he’s away is our discussions after the kids are in bed. I just keep everything in and when certain weights become too much to bare I may email about them.

Eventually, the storing up of all these thoughts and emotions usually manifests as me over reacting and lashing out over something completely asinine like a broken glass or the dog peeing on the floor. This is where the next spoke comes in.


Self-Care

I try to stay very in-tuned to this need when he’s gone because I know the gravity of its importance.

If I do not take care of myself, the whole house of cards comes crashing down. There isn’t someone else to carry the load.

I try to listen to my mind, body and spirit’s greatest needs and priorities. These usually change day-to-day. One day I may need nothing more than a clean house because sanitizing that kitchen gives me a sense of peace and control. Other days, I will let the dishes go unwashed so I can soak in the bathtub and unwind.

Other self-care needs will arise like having to say no to LOTS of things and decline invitations. Or I may make plans and have to cancel them if I get to the weekend and life is too chaotic. Sometimes there isn’t room for anything other than cleaning, grocery shopping and meal prepping.

In contrast, sometimes the only thing I need is quality time with a girlfriend, and I just say I’ll figure the rest out later.

I try very hard to stay in tune to what the most pressing need is to help me feel empowered to make it through another day.

Solo-parenting is something that many of us face. I have also seen the strain that it places on marriages lead to divorce. It can definitely be exhausting, but I hope you are able to find your coping mechanisms and best balancing as we have done.

Unfortunately, I have seen many wives of film industry professionals become angry or bitter at their career needs. They can’t deal with how unavailable their spouse becomes (physically and emotionally) when on set. If you ever find yourself approaching a breaking point of frustration, reach out. I get it mama. Send me a private message, and I’m happy to chat.


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.

How to Reduce Your Stress During Election Season

Election years are always challenging on social media. We feel bombarded with information we didn’t ask to receive and often times it can ignite anger, frustration, sadness or other emotions.
 
One of the spokes on the Wheel of Life is the mental spoke, and I think I would be doing my readers a disservice if I didn’t start a conversation about how we will make it through the rest of 2020. The mental strain of the pandemic, the racial and social justice movement, and the election are taking a toll on our collective mental and physical health.
 
Recently I was listening to an interview with a neuroscientist who was talking about this very issue in our nation. Several of the points he made were so powerful that I couldn’t resist sharing them with you. Here are just a handful of points he shared*:
 

  • The brain takes up a small percentage of the body’s weight and mass, but it disproportionately consumes energy. Just to get through a standard day with no challenges, the brain consumes 20% of our calories. On a particularly mentally straining day, it can consume as much as 40% of our energy.

  • The brain gravitates towards patterns. It cannot equally process all the information coming at it in every moment, so we survive by compartmentalizing. This causes us to rely on labels, stereotypes and assumptions to categorize information. Unfortunately, it will lead to us believing perceptions as facts.

  • When we come across information that we love, something that reiterates our belief system, the brain releases “happy hormones” like serotonin or dopamine. They give us a quick win and that feeling will last in the body for 5-10 minutes

  • When we come across information that angers us and makes us feel powerless to do anything about it, the brain releases cortisol. This is our “fight or flight” taking over. Cortisol is the stress hormone, and is released into our blood stream and will linger there for 3-4 hours.

  • The cortisol becomes particularly concerning when we consider how much time is spent on social media and the evening news. It’s possible to continuously receive “stressful” information over and over again throughout the day before the body has even stabilized from the last “hit.”

  • There are two main physical concerns with this ongoing release of cortisol in the body. First, it can lead to cardio vascular issues. (Think people who have a stress-induced heart attack). Second, over a prolonged period of time this will degrade the synaptic connections in the brain. The doctor then humorously said, “so basically it makes you physically unhealthy and stupid at the same time.”

So what do we do with this information? He had two recommendations:

  • Maintain a state of curiosity. The brain’s tendency to create patterns and labels creates problems not only in politics but in our ability to have healthy communities. By choosing to respond to a new piece of information with a desire to understand someone else’s perspective, we can grow.

  • You need to make sure you are giving your body a healthy break. Plan large chunks of time in your day where you are not exposed to the news or social media. One simple word can be enough to trigger your brain to release cortisol if you have a strong emotional reaction when you hear that word or phrase.

By sharing this information with you, please do not think I have mastered it. My personal opinion is that the good of social media outweighs the bad, but it still requires a unique discipline to navigate through it. I also personally value staying informed about local, state and national politics so I cannot unplug entirely from information.

I am sharing this with you because I believe it’s important that we try. As Tom Ziglar said, and I often requote, “the fastest way to success is to replace bad habits with good habits.”

I am fully aware that I need more boundaries around my intake of information, and I am working on them. The two positive changes that I made years ago that helped me tremendously were:

  • I do not watch any news stations. I consume all my information through written word. The articles tend to have less “drama” added to them (outside of the headlines) because they are competing for clicks, verses news stations that need to keep viewers glued to the screen. In addition, TV media need to keep their stories short and sweet. Online articles can fill the text with more information and hyperlinks to more resources. This helps me get a clearer picture of the full story than TV.

  • I unfollow people on social media who trigger me into stress. I enjoy having connections to people with a variety of political opinions, but there are certain things that cause me stress. I didn’t realize it was a cortisol release, but I did recognize I didn’t like the way it made me feel and the feeling lingered. Personally, my triggers are memes that haven’t been fact checked, screaming at “the other side” like they’re stupid, and posting daily (or more often) about your viewpoint. These things cause me to get all worked up, so anyone who triggers me gets unfollowed because social media for me is something I do for fun, not to induce stress.


There has never been a more important time to evaluate our habits around receiving information. For our physical and mental health, we have no choice but to address our habits and boundaries around receiving information during this very volatile time in our society.

*I paraphrased his information for the purpose of this blog post. The interview I was referring to can be found on the Independent Voter Podcast from July 15 titled Paul Meshanko and the Neuroscience Behind Political Behavior


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.

You can’t tell, but there’s icing hidden in that bun

Yesterday I went to work with icing (or plastic I’m not actually sure) stuck in my hair. I hid it in a bun so no one could see, and at 11:00pm I spent 35 minutes in the shower with multiple shampoos and conditioners trying to get it out of my hair.

Ultimately, I lost about as much hair as one of those shower experiences I had in the weeks following my daughter’s birth where my hormones were out of whack, and I thought I was going to end up bald. 

My friend’s response to my story when I told her I was at work with matted icing hidden in my hair was, “this is why working mothers make such great employees. They are quick problem solvers because they have no choice but to be.” 

I loved her comment because it’s so true. It’s amazing how much less I overthink things now than in my twenties. I don’t have time to debate, belabor or procrastinate anymore. The only way I can manage my plate is to be quick to take action because there are too many balls juggling in the air that I have to catch. I have to release each problem quickly so I can catch the next one before they all fall on the floor. 

So when I had five minutes to solve a hair crisis, the solution was to hide it and keep going.

For those of you wanting to know how I ended up in that circumstance, here’s the full story line:

Sunday Noon:

I did my hair for a 4:00pm wedding. I have bone straight hair so I used a wand and two different types of hair spray to get those curls to last. They lasted all day, but my hair was hard as a rock. There was 0 chance I could run my fingers through it. I spent the entire time either chasing around my toddler son or carrying him on my hip. He was glued to me the entire event and wouldn’t go to any other family member. 


Around 6:00pm

I changed into jeans and a T-shirt and threw that hair mess in a ponytail to help clean up.

Midnight

By the time we were climbing in bed after the event, I was exhausted. I fell asleep with the pony in my hair. 


Monday Morning: 

I woke up around 8:00am and had to be out the door at 9:30am to catch our flight. I had to get two small children ready, fed, and the bags from our 10 day trip packed up. 

Needless to say, when I walked into the bathroom to finally get myself ready, there was no time to brush out that product-filled, hard-as-a-rock hair. I just reset the pony so it didn’t look like bed head and got out the door.

We pulled out the driveway at precisely 9:30am. That was a HUGE win. I felt very accomplished. 

Monday Evening:

After flying by myself with two small children and unpacking us, I was beat. I still had to do the thousand tasks required of you when you return home from a long trip and to prep for returning to routine the next day. I collapsed two hours passed my bedtime still not done with all the things. 

Tuesday Morning:

First day going back to work and I had to get my six-year-old ready for camp and my nearly two-year-old ready for daycare, flying solo. It was the morning chaos of feeding them, dressing them, teeth, hair, all the things. 

After they were all set, I put on the TV babysitter and went to get myself ready. That’s when I took the ponytail out. I started brushing my hair, that rough brushing where it’s filled with hairspray and stuck together. The not fun kind. But then I hit a point in the back where the brush wasn’t going anywhere. 

I finagled a way to look at the back of my head and there it was. A HUGE matted mess of something a little bit white, a little bit yellow, dried up, crusty and STUCK. 

I paused. 

What do you do? I had absolutely no idea what was matted in that mess, but I did know it was only coming out with shampoo and conditioner. It was 8:15am and my goal is always to be out of the door before 8:30am. 

If you remember, I recently wrote this post about how I get ready in 15 minutes and only wash my hair on the weekends. This wasn’t in my plan. 

I grabbed a handful of bobby-pins, positioned my hair in such a way you couldn’t see the matted mess and invented a bun shape that could be held in place.

The picture shown on this post was when I said to my co-worker “Take a picture of me with my new standing desk!!!” I 100% hid my cosmetic emergency. That juggling ball got tabled for later. 

Finally by 11:00pm I was able to climb into the shower. Guys…I don’t know if it was icing. My son ate more than one cupcake and lived on my left hip. He’s right handed. So it definitely adds up that something transferred from his right hand to the back of my head, but I don’t know what it was. It was 35 minutes of trying to get it out, and it had the texture of plastic. I think it was icing mixed with two kinds of hairspray, but it felt like someone melted plastic with an iron and then stuck it in my hair before it re-solidified. It was awful. 

I finally went to bed at midnight and went on to live another day. 

For the record, a patch of my scalp is still soar from all the pulling and tugging. 

Working mom life. We are quick on our feet and just roll up our sleeves to get the job done. 

If you have your own get-it-done story, I want to hear it. Drop it in the comments.


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.

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

Primer

CC Cream with SPF

Blush

Red Lipstick

Black eyeliner on top

Mascara

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.

Reality:

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.

Reality:

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.

Reality:

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.

Reality:

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.