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?


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.

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.

 

Top 5 Organization Tips from Your Hot Mess Friend

If you are O.C.D. or super organized, just skip this post. It’s not for you. Or better yet…forward it to that person in your life who drives you absolutely bonkers with their ability to live in clutter.

I am that hot mess friend. Well…at least I was. I have gotten so much better. I am never going to be the person who can maintain a color-coded calendar, even though I have tried several times. Shopping for the cute pens and pretty journal is so much fun, but keeping up with it just isn’t happening.

Over the last few years I have managed to go from functional chaos (with many things still slipping through the cracks) to actually living a mostly organized lifestyle. I know where all my things are, and there is a system to everything in my life. I can actually have company drop in unannounced and not be embarrassed by the state of my home.

Just like I teach in my twelve week course, Create Peace, everything changes when you change one small habit at a time. As Tom Ziglar says, “the fastest way to success is to replace bad habits with good habits.” Here are the top 5 habits I have created over the last 5 years that have brought so much peace into my life:

1. Everything has ONE place to belong

Previously, things just landed somewhere. There was a little rhyme and reason, but scissors could be in one of three places. Which means, when I needed a pair I was wandering around the house to any of their potential homes. I would regularly lose 15-20 minutes per day looking for my car keys. They were always wherever I happened to set them down the last time I came home.

In 2015 I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and learned that all items should only have one place to belong. Now we have a key rack installed on the first wall you see when you come in, and that is the only place all keys are kept. There is only one drawer where all scissors belong. And so forth. There is no more searching. Either something was put back where it belongs or it’s lost. There aren’t other options for where it could be kept.

2. Get Rid of Stuff

I have both Marie Kondo and The Minimalists to thank for this one. With tips from both of them, I learned how to let go of things that just don’t need a place in our home. I’ll share my favorite nugget from each author.

From Marie I learned to ask if the item brings me joy. It sounds silly asking if a three-year-old juicer brought me joy, but the reality was every time I looked at it, I felt stress. It was so much work to clean after I used it, so I always used the Ninja since it’s so simple. Therefore, the juicer had to go. It added guilt (for lack of use) and stress (for the intense cleaning) in my life. I gave it to a friend.

From the Minimalists, I learned how to let go of items I only kept for sentimental value. They have an awesome challenge where they encourage people to box up their whole house like they are moving, and then only take out things as they use them. The average person only uses 20% of what they own in a 30 day period. I realized so many unused items were taking up space. We were just going to keep them in a box and then move those boxes from room to room and home to home. So I have looked for ways to digitize the memory or give it away to someone. If it doesn’t add value in my life, then I don’t need to hang on to it.

It’s a WHOLE lot easier to keep a clean house when there is simply less stuff in it.

3. Cube Shelves and Bins

If you have been to our home then you know cubes are everywhere. Nearly every room in our home has cube shelves and bins in them. Our home feels much cleaner without clutter on display. Very few items actually sit out. Almost everything is tucked behind a cabinet, drawer or storage bin. It takes little effort to put things away, and keeps the home feeling organized.

4. The habit of never making the mess to begin with

As an Enneagram 7 this one is SO HARD FOR ME. We like to move on quickly to the next thing. But, I choose to feel the very uncomfortable emotion of following something through to the end and cleaning up a mess before I go to the next thing.

Can you hear the pain in my words? This is SO HARD guys. We sevens like to do a thing, check the box and move on to the next exciting thing. Little details at the end are THE ABSOLUTE WORST.

Acknowledging this is just my brain, and not actually something that’s serving me, helps me to put the cap back on the toothpaste and put the toothpaste back where it belongs before exiting the bathroom. It forces me to hang back up the sweater I decided against instead of throwing it on the bed so I can more quickly try on the next item. The easiest way to keep my house clean is to avoid leaving a trail behind me.

5. Being Home More

Previously, I would keep a robust calendar and allow it to get filled to the brim. I couldn’t understand why my house stayed so messy, but the problem was I was never home. Now, we heavily prioritize being home.

During the week, we each try to be home in the evenings. It’s highly unusual that one of us is gone more than one weeknight each. It happens occasionally, but it always creates stress.

It’s rare to do something on a Sunday. Sundays are when we catch up the laundry, grocery shop, meal prep, make sure all the bedrooms are cleaned, etc. By the time the kids are in bed at 7:30pm on a Sunday night, my husband and I like to sit down to a fully organized, clean home and listen to the knock-off brand Roomba do its thing while Alexa plays jazz music. Yes, we actually do that. We have become old fuddy duddies who spend our evenings listening to jazz music in a quiet, clean house. And it brings us immense joy.


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, 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 Day I’ve Been Waiting For…

Guys…you don’t even understand. This announcement has been years in the making. I’m talking YEARS!!!!!! I’ll tell you where this is all going and you can decide if you want to hear the dirty details of the “messy middle” it took to get to today.

The BIG ANNOUNCEMENT is that I have OFFICIALLY LAUNCHED my 12 week course! The cart is open for enrollment and it will close at 10pm on Memorial Day, Monday, May 25. Keep reading below to hear the story of how I birthed this over the last decade of my life. If you want to jump to the details about the course, all of those are on my site at:

Answers to all the questions you have about the course

Does anyone else here have a side hobby of listening to entrepreneur success stories? Is that just me? Whether it’s by book or podcast, I cannot get enough of hearing the stories of others’ journeys from absolutely nothing to major impact.

I think the reason I love hearing them is that I am always encouraged by the messy middle. I’ve noticed a repeat pattern and it usually goes something like this:

Idea is birthed with passion and excitement.

Passionate entrepreneur eagerly begins their path and hits a road block.

Road block leads to a dead end.

So they pivot,

which leads to a mistake.

Then, they find just enough hope to keep them going.

They suddenly take three steps backward.

The lessons learned lead to major breakthroughs back to back to back. WOOT!

They feel some whiplash.

They recover stronger than before and end up accomplishing a different goal than they originally started with but are totally loving.

———-

When I heard this pattern repeat over and over again in story after story, I strangely felt encouraged that I was hitting roadblocks, having to pivot, taking steps backward and barely clinging to my ray of hope.

My story begins in 2011 when I discovered that my purpose in life was to help others grow. (Side note: Comment below if you think I should teach a mini-course on the exercise I used to discover that). I knew I had to find a way to create a business in the personal development space. I could see myself blogging, speaking and coaching. But I wasn’t sure what about. Or to who. Or why I was qualified to teach it.

So I started dabbling. I bought my website domain and WordPress template in 2012. I have built and rebuilt this site so many times as I tried to figure out what the brand would be. What kind of coach? What niche audience? Who even cares about what I have to say? Why am I qualified to guide others?

It felt like I was growing a baby in my womb, but my mama instincts knew it wasn’t time to go into labor. So I just focused on the nursery and buying items that I may never need, taking care of myself, and devouring books, blogs and podcasts from parents, knowing one day I would be one.

Between 2011-2017 I made so many mistakes. We started and shut down two different businesses. We experienced financial success and financial devastation. I experienced poor health (fatigue, brain fog, weight gain, etc) to health highs (energy, clarity, finally hitting a healthy BMI). We had our first child and morphed into brand new people. The roller coaster finally started to settle in 2017, and I announced my brand launch of sophiahyde.com, only to find out I was pregnant days later and had to put it all on the back-burner again.

Through those rough several years I not only experienced obstacles, but also figured out how to overcome them. I not only experienced failure, but how to rise from it like the Phoenix. Those years I spent feeling shame…healing from it spurred me into extreme self confidence. That messy middle prepared me for today. Those struggles are why I feel perfectly qualified to guide others from where they are now to where they want to be. Ironically…I’m most grateful for the hardest days.

And then a contraction. Everything was different this time. Time to get ready. That’s how this past fall felt to me.

I said to my husband in August 2019, it’s time for me to sign up for coach training. With his support I started researching schools. I created a detailed Excel spreadsheet cross-comparing every detail I was looking for in a school and not one checked all the boxes. I knew it was time to commit, I just had no clarity on where.

Then one day I was listening to the Ziglar podcast and heard they launched a new coaching program that sounded exactly like the material I wanted to teach. I filled out a contact form to learn more and scheduled a call. They were interviewing for the first 20 coaches qualified to teach the program. I had nothing to lose so met with them.

It was divine intervention. We could both feel the electricity of how perfectly in alignment I was with the course. It was a moment I will never forget. Back to the birthing analogy, the contractions were so intense I knew it was time to go to the hospital (or in my case, call the midwife, you can read my actual home birth story here). I took the leap of faith.

My plan had been to start a program in January but this started mid-October and ran through December. My peak busy season, personally and professionally. For those of you who are spiritual, you know exactly what I’m talking about when I say God made it glaringly obvious I had to trust. That pounding heart feeling. The pit in the stomach. The sweaty palms. The moment where your mind says no but your heart says “you don’t have a choice, go!”

So I said yes. When you’re determined to make something work, you just do it. No matter how many obstacles get in your way.

In January I enrolled my first five clients. I am forever grateful they trusted me, fully knowing they would be the guinea pigs because it was my first time teaching and coaching. But they said yes to themselves and the program and we all learned so much.

Fast forward several months and it’s time. I have taken all the lessons I learned from guiding five different people on this path. I have listened to the feedback. I have tweaked and worked the material to best match my personality and my audience’s needs.

And the time has come. I am officially executing a vision I first imagined NINE YEARS AGO! Today I am launching my community for growth. A membership group for people who want to grow together.

The cart is officially open for CREATE PEACE! A 12 week course to bring more peace into your life. All the details are over here. I know that the next twelve weeks are going to bring transformation, growth, peace, reduced stress and more confidence for a lot of people and I CANNOT WAIT.

Today, announcing to everyone that you can click here feels like I am birthing a child, and trust me, I know. I’ve pushed out two almost 10-pounders.

When confidence is repulsive

During the quarantine I read Glennon Doyle’s latest release Untamed. There is so much to love about this book, but today I want to talk about these quotes:

“I have noticed that it seems far easier for the world to love a suffering woman than it is for the world to love a joyful, confident woman…

…I have been conditioned to mistrust and dislike strong, confident, happy girls and women. We all have…

…We become people who say of confident women ‘I don’t know, I can’t explain it—it’s just something about her. I just don’t like her. I can’t put my finger on why’…

…Their brazen defiance and refusal to follow directions makes us want to put them back into their cage.”

Raise your hand if this felt like a punch in the stomach to you? I highlighted the heck out of this chapter because I have not read many books where I resonated so deeply.

I have dealt with this my entire life. My mama raised all three of her kids to be confident. Whenever we would come home from school and tell her someone didn’t like us or wasn’t nice to us she would say “Oh, don’t worry about them. They are just jealous of you.” Every. Single. Time. We would roll our eyes and tell mama she was crazy, but you know those words sank into our subconscious.

Have I been walking around the earth thinking everyone is jealous of me? HAHA! Heck-to-the-NO!!! But, I have been walking around giving little to no energy toward what others think of me for a verrrrrrry long time.

My M.O. is that I get super attached to a mission I am on, and then I go get it done. Along the way I don’t play victim, I never ask for a pity party, I never give energy to someone else’s worries and concern, I just keep trail blazing.

At the end of my high school senior year I was offered the editor position for my local magazine, and I accepted. At 18 I was managing a staff of freelance writers who were mostly in their 40’s-60’s. It required learning curves for me and them, but my bosses (a husband and wife team) were always so encouraging. I ended up working for them for seven years and held several different positions in the company. One day I asked them “why on earth did you hire me at 18? I was a BABY!” He said ‘When you were 16 years old you called and asked to be a writer. Your very first writer’s meeting you showed up, took a seat, and believed you belonged at the table. You volunteered to write the feature, having no idea that was reserved for the senior writer, and when he dropped the ball on the deadline, you threw together a great piece in less than a week. We knew then we wanted to keep you around.”

I am forever grateful for my first “real” bosses and the potential they always saw in me. But other people, not so much. The same exact scenario from some of the other writers at that table were:

“Who the hell does she think she is just showing up and pitching ideas?”

“Where did she even come from…I’ve never heard of her. Who are her parents?”

“Well…that was bold. She has guts.” (With an eye roll)  

A year into that job several of the writers had overturned. Interestingly enough, I can distinctly remember two female writers who couldn’t handle my presence. The men were actually very kind, tolerated my youthful management learning curves and helped show me some ropes. But my very existence made multiple women uneasy and they left the publication.

In my twenties, this repeating experience deeply bothered me, and I would try to alter my personality to make other people feel more comfortable. When we live out of alignment with our authentic selves, this causes an inner war. I’ve written about this in the past. Eventually I had to just take off the lampshade and let my light be too bright for some people.

If you are a person who is “too much” for some, I want to encourage you to keep shining.

My husband is a feature film Director of Photography. This means he is a lighting EXPERT. He knows the science behind when and why you use every kind of light. He will intentionally dim, brighten, cool and warm up lights. He knows when he needs to bring out the green filters, orange filters, blue and so on. Every single shade, color and intensity is needed to tell a story.

Each. One. Matters.

If you happen to have a super confident and intense personality like I do, we are simply too bright for some people. I want to encourage you to shine at your highest settings. Just like the world needs the soft lights and the cool lights to help people feel comfortable, the world needs YOU to help inspire people outside of their comfort zones.

You do not need a lamp shade, sister. They need to go buy sunglasses.

It’s not your problem. It’s theirs.

Shine on. (As Glennon would say….you’re an effing cheetah.)

*Written by Sophia Hyde. Sophia is a certified life coach specializing in helping people create the peace they crave in their lives. Her 12 week course is currently open for enrollment and will close on May 25. There are three ways to participate: self-coaching, group coaching or 1:1 coaching. For more info, visit her website.

*To receive an email notification any time this blog is updated, subscribe by visiting the website and downloading her free e-book “Creating Peace.”

I QUIT, and am proud of myself for it

I don’t know about you, but I grew up in a world that spoke this message into me over and over again:

————-

Quitting is not an option

Winners never quit

The only way to fail is to quit

————

So. Much. Quit. Shaming.

I have loyalty written into my DNA. When I decide I care about something, I am ALL IN. My family and friends know this about me. “Oh man….here she goes again…she’s got a new thing.” Once I’ve committed, I can be clingy.

I’ve been in the same relationship since I was 18. I’ve been using the same brand of skincare since I was 20…I’m 33. Our last three car purchases have all been the same brand, and we intend to keep it that way.

I struggle with quitting.

Some of the greatest suffering I have caused myself is not acknowledging when a seasonal friendship was ending. Aren’t all friends supposed to be for life? What is happening here?

Written into my core belief system is that you aren’t supposed to quit. Suffering is part of the experience. You just push through.

Well….at least it WAS part of my belief system. It is no longer.

A few years ago I had to make a decision to quit on a goal I was pursuing with all my might. I spent FOUR YEARS waking up every single morning with the same goal as my main focus. That is 1,460 days of my life that I pushed, pursued and refused to quit.

I had set a goal for a business I was growing and revolved everything in my life around that goal. Every. Thing. And I loved the pursuit. I loved the race. I loved the growth I went through.

Until one day I didn’t anymore.

It wasn’t actually one day. It was a gradual experience. Moment by moment, small experiences occurred that made me doubt if I was in the right alignment for my future.

I slowly came to realize I was on the wrong airplane. I had to get off.

Have you ever flown Southwest? I love their model. When you book your ticket it will tell you if it’s direct, 1 or 2 stops, or 1 or 2 transfers (Side note…who actually books the two transfer options? That just sounds awful. I always elect to give away more of my money to avoid that.)

I have done all three. Direct from Tampa to New Orleans with no interruptions. Easy, breezy experience. I’ve flown Tampa to Vegas and had to wait while we stopped in New Orleans for some people to get off, others to get on, and I just kept my bum parked in the seat. And then of course, I have had to get off at an airport that is not my destination and switch planes to get where I needed to go.

One isn’t right or wrong. They’re just the best option we have to get where we are going and the price we are willing to pay for it, right?

I came to realize the goal I set for myself was no longer the right fit. I had my eyes on the final destination, but the longer the flight went on, the more and more uneasy I felt. Something didn’t feel right.

And then one day, the plane landed at an airport, and I got off. I just exited. I didn’t know where I was going. I didn’t have the ticket for my next flight. I didn’t know my next destination. I just knew I had to get off that plane.

Have you ever been there?

UGH! That time at the layover airport is the actual worst, isn’t it? You’re not on the next flight, you’re not on the old flight. You’re just sitting. In a state you don’t want to be in. Disconnected from your bags. Not at home. Not at the new place. Just hanging out in limbo.

When I chose to walk away from a goal I was so tied to, it hurt.

The voices in my head told me I was a quitter.

The voices told me I might be making a giant mistake. But the louder voice told me the bigger mistake was going to be to staying on the wrong airplane.

I may have done it with a career goal, but I’ve seen lots of people around me do this too.

Have you seen someone walk away from a marriage and you’re totally shocked? How on earth could this be?!?!? But then five years later you see them with a new spouse and a new life and you go “Ohhhh….wow….THAT potential was sitting inside them and they knew it. They were matched with the wrong person. This person is such a better compliment to them. I’m so happy for them.”

But did you actually talk to them when they walked away? Were you actually happy for them when it was really ugly? The shame. The guilt. The comments people made. The criticism.

As of today, 2020, I’m on the next flight. I spent 2.5 years walking around the airport. Eventually, I figured out what city I wanted to go to, and then I had to find the right plane to get me there.

And I have to say….I am SO PROUD OF MYSELF FOR QUITTING.

Now, am I telling you to let your kid quit two weeks into soccer practice because they decide they don’t like to run? Maybe. I don’t know that answer. I think what I am saying is “Maybe, maybe not.” Maybe they need to learn physical fitness, commitment, teamwork and some other lessons. Or maybe this was a terrible mistake and if you pivot quickly enough there is still a chance to grab a spot on the chess team that practices at the same time and is a much better fit.

Recently I hosted a free webinar event where I talked about how to live a peaceful life. Do you know what one of the most important components is? Being in alignment with yourself. Listening to that inner voice calling out that there is more than this. Listening to the voice telling you that maybe you are a square peg in a round hole. There is nothing wrong with square pegs or round holes, they just don’t align.

Dear friends, what I want you to hear today is that if you are misaligned somewhere in your life…

YOU

CAN

QUIT

There is no trophy for she/he who endures the most suffering. There is not a martyr prize for the one who is so loyal to something/someone else that they lose themselves.

If I had not gotten off the plane three years ago, I wouldn’t be here tonight investing in this blog and building this brand. I am on the right plane now. And it feels oh so good.

P.S. If you are reading this blog and you want to be notified when things like free webinars come along again, or you just want to get these posts delivered to your email inbox, then drop your email below. Oh! And BONUS…you’ll get a free e-book downloadable PDF when you do called “Creating Peace.” I wrote it just for you. I hope you enjoy it.

Until next time,

Sophia

My husband and I don’t share a bedroom

*Cue all the judgements and gasps and strange looks* 

I’ve been taking flack for this lifestyle choice for six years, so I decided to share with you why my husband and are quite happy with this decision. 

First, I realized long ago that the reason so many people are uncomfortable with this information when I share it is because most people can only understand someone else’s life through the lens of their own experiences. When they respond with a strange look or comment, I’m able to understand what they are actually saying is “that would never work in my marriage.” And that’s totally fine. 

I am in no way on a mission to convince anyone to copy us. It’s probably not a good idea for most people. What I am on a mission to do is to encourage people to think independently, get comfortable with being different than everyone else, and to advocate for what’s best for your family. 

So, now for the part many of you are sticking around for…why do we each have our own bedroom?

Short answer:

In our family, we prioritize a solid night’s rest and this arrangement allows all four members of our family to sleep well. Everyone gets 7-11 hours of sleep in the Hyde house, and we are all happier humans for it. 

Long answer: 

Let’s go back to 2007, the beginning of the marriage. 

For the first seven years of our marriage, we had indeed been sharing a bed. I am a cuddler, and he doesn’t want to be touched. I’m a bed hog and a blanket thief. We used separate blankets so I could create my cocoon and he didn’t have to wake up to unravel me. The two blankets didn’t solve the problem that I took up 3/4 of the bed, and he wanted a bubble around himself. 

At some point in the marriage he began snoring. I would solve this by plugging his nose in the middle of the night, which also wasn’t appreciated. 

My opinion of the ideal temperature at night is between 70-73 degrees. His opinion of the ideal sleeping temperature is between 60-64. This is a big difference. I was always freezing cold or he was sweating. 

In 2014 our daughter was born. We decided to put an adult bed in the same room as the baby. I knew I wanted to breastfeed so I was the only one who could feed her at night. If I was going to get interrupted in the night, why have her cries wake my husband too? 

He wouldn’t be able to offer me relief so we might as well have one fully rested adult. We agreed that my job was to take care of the baby, and his job was to take care of me. Since he was well rested, he could handle more of the household responsibilities. 

Shortly after she was born, I converted to safe co-sleeping for us. She and I both slept so much better. Brandon was extremely uncomfortable with having her in bed with him, and it’s not recommended as part of safe co-sleeping. So I just always slept in our daughter’s room, and he slept in ours. 

Well, not too long into this arrangement, my husband started sleeping much better. He could set the temperature to 60, snuggle in his blanket where no one would touch him or try to steal it, and he could snore as loudly as his body desired. As my daughter grew, she too revealed to be a snuggler. In contrast to her mom, she always kicked off her blankets. So we made a great match. We could sleep through the night all up in each other’s personal bubbles. 

And then along came our son. We had to rethink the arrangements because our 5 year old didn’t need to wake up every time the infant cried. I needed a room to myself with the baby. We live in a 3 bedroom home so we discussed all the options. It made the most sense to teach my daughter to sleep in her own bed and to move me into the master bedroom next door. Dad tried a few nights on the couch and that was an epic fail.

So we looked at the office. We could have called it the “spare room” but why not call a spade a spade. We put a twin in the office, which has its own mini-split a/c unit and dad was back to his awesome rest. The logistics of him having to wake us up to get to his clothes also made no sense so we just decided to go all in and move his clothes into the office too. 

As our son grew, I still loved co-sleeping, and he proved to also be a snuggler. 

At some point our daughter started waking up in the middle of the night and getting in bed with me. I was sleeping on a queen mattress on the floor (safe co-sleeping) with bumpers to keep them from rolling off and it was tight. Too tight. I was sleeping miserably. 

So during this quarantine we decided to get everyone situated with the appropriate bed arrangements. 

Mama now has a king bed with bumpers that has ample room for the three squirmy cuddlers in the family. 

The kids have bunk beds to give them the illusion of having their own beds, but Liam never uses his and Eleanora makes it 3-5 hours in there each night. 

Daddy got upgraded to a queen in the third bedroom with his quiet corner of the house at the perfect temperature each night. 

This works really well for us. I have the entire master bedroom closet to myself and a giant king bed that my kids come snuggle with me in. It’s awesome. 

And now…the answer to the question you’re all wondering. The one I get asked the most, “but doesn’t this have an effect on your sex life?”

C’mon now people. Really? We have to spell it out this clearly for you. 

Kids bedtime: 7:30pm 
Moms bedtime: 10pm 
Dads bedtime: 11:30pm 
Typical time first child wakes up looking for mom: 11:00-11:30 if she’s not already in bed

Mom and dad are doing just fine. 

We have never in the history of our marriage gone to bed at the same time. I prefer to go to bed early and rise early. He prefers to stay up late and sleep later. 

So there have never been those cute moments like in the movies where we read our books together and then kiss goodnight and turn off the two lamps on the night stands. It’s more like he’s watching a movie or playing a video game and I say “Goodnight babe. Love you” 

Like I said, I am in no way advocating for others to follow our lead. What I do want to encourage you to do is to get a full night’s rest, be a good human and get really comfortable going against the grain if it improves your quality of life. 

From one rebel to another, you got this. 

Much love,
Sophia