Be An Example To Your Kids, Still

One of the biggest ways you can help your children after they’ve become independent of the nest is to continue to be an example.

Except now you shift from giving them the basics of how to live their lives, to being their example of how to live a full, rich, mature adult life. 

So stay active. 

Have fun.

Keep growing. Learn new things. Make new friends.

Take care of your health, both mental and physical.

Go on adventures.

Take risks.

Invest in yourself.

Be unstoppable.

They don’t want to see you shrink away and stop enjoying life now that you’re no longer a full-time mom. 

Not only does it make them happy to see you happy, it shows what is possible for them, too.

So give yourself permission to go and do All Of The Things.

Because you’re still their biggest teacher.

If you’re feeling stuck and not sure how living as that great example for your kids looks like for you, let’s talk about getting you unstuck. Just click here to get scheduled with me for a free, 30-minute strategy session.

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New Year, New Mamas 🥂

This is going to be an extraordinary year. I can feel it already. Not that every year isn’t great in its own right. 

But whenever there’s something big and new in the coming year, I’m even more excited about it. So I’m formally letting the world know that I’m shifting my core client group to: 

Empty Nest Moms! 

[cue the fireworks and confetti :-)]

I love and will still coach my Busy Working Moms. In fact I’ve always coached all kinds of folks – men and women included – with all kinds of needs for help: relationships, weight loss, business, career, time management, parenting – you name it. A good coach has the tools to help anyone on whatever they want help with. 

The inside scoop: for many coaches, our niche is really only in regard to our marketing. As they say in the biz world, “when you try to be everything to everybody, you become nothing to anyone”. So when you specialize your message, you speak directly to a certain group of people who need help.

I decided to make the shift earlier this year after my daughter left for college, making me an “empty nester”. The emotional ride of this major change required *a lot* of self-coaching. Yup, at times I was a hot mess. 

So I decided to help other moms in the same boat with their transition into this new phase of life. And what better time to make it official than the start of the New Year? 

I invite all moms to join me on the journey of tackling a new phase in life. It might not always be smooth, because processing the emotions of life can be a rocky ride. 

But I assure you, you’ll have a lot more joy than you will going it alone. 

Happy New Year, Mamas! 

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Are You Living Your Authentic Life?

Have you ever thought deeply and honestly about whether you are living an authentic life?

I’ve heard people describe living authentically as ‘always speaking your truth’.

That’s confusing authenticity with unfiltered honesty.  

Brene Brown defines authenticity as ‘the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are’.

Notice it’s who we are, not what we say or what we do.

It’s letting our hair down emotionally and living as the person who feels most natural to us.

Who we were born to be, and who we have grown into as adults.

No internal friction, no compromised desires, and no forced people-pleasing behaviors.

And no fear of judgement.

Now, living in authenticity doesn’t mean living without regard to social norms or common courtesy.

Nor does it mean refusing to compromise so you can always have your way.

It’s simply not allowing other people’s opinions of you to be more important than your own.

Embracing authenticity also means being open to the people in your life living in their own authenticity too.

Even when it’s hard to do that.

And even when we feel disappointed because that person’s not matching our expectations of them.

That’s where we learn to set our egos aside and love unconditionally.

In the end, isn’t learning to love ourselves and others unconditionally the most rewarding life lesson?

One of the hardest parts of embracing our full authenticity is first learning to love ourselves unconditionally.

But it’s the key to becoming a confident, happy, fulfilled woman.

I coach lots of overwhelmed and stressed out working moms on how to live authentic and fulfilling lives.

I can help you with that too.

➡️ Just click here to get started with a free strategy session, and you can be living your authentic life in less than a week. ⬅️

Time passes either way. Make the choice to take action and change your life now.

P.S. – Coaching can be the fastest way to start living your most authentic life.  Together we’ll create the path to living the life you want to be living. Click here to find out exactly how with a free 30 minute strategy session.

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Handling Difficult People Over the Holidays 🌲

Woot! Woot! The holidays are here, which for many of us means going to any number of family celebrational gatherings between now and the end of the year.

And although they’re intended to be a time to celebrate with the people we love and care for the most, they’re not always full of the merriment and good cheer that we expect.

Because it’s also the time of year that we’re exposed to our family members who may be, let’s say, difficult to be around.

Pretty much every family has at least one annoying relative who seems to put a damper on everyone’s holiday spirit the minute they walk in the door.

You know the ones:

👎 The uncle who can’t stop blathering on about politics and how annoying all of his coworkers are.

👎 The sister-in-law who makes it clear through her passive-aggressive statements that nothing on the dinner table is up to her standards. “You’re serving store-bought pie? That’s….interesting.”

👎 Your teenage nephew who just mopes the entire time, barely looking up from his phone.

Before you know it, you’re so annoyed being around these people you feel like you’d rather sit on a thumbtack than stay in the same room with them. 

Before you run screaming out of Grandma’s house, keep this in mind: what makes a person difficult is not what they say or do – it is our judgement of them.

Consider carefully, what do you think about that person? About what they said? About their beliefs, opinions, or habits? Are they positive, or are they negative?

Remember that we as human beings get to choose what we think. What we decide to think will determine how we feel about that person and their behavior, and what it means to us.

No one can make us upset, angry, annoyed, or any other emotion. Another person can not control our emotions, or make us feel an emotion. We decide to feel that emotion based upon our thoughts about them.

So the reality is, It’s up to us to manage our own mind about this person, their behavior, and our relationship with them. Especially if we want to enjoy ourselves when they happen to be present.

What you are thinking, feeling, or doing, is where all of your power is. If you believe that person is making you feel a certain way, you are giving your power away to that person.

What you can do to change the situation is to change the way you think about that person. Just let him or her be who they are. They are allowed to be loud, angry, opinionated, selfish, or rude, and it does not have to affect you in any way.

Now, there may be consequences for their behavior. If obnoxious Uncle Bosworth snaps back at Grandma because she asked him to keep his trap shut, he may be asked to leave the dining room. But his behavior does not affect your emotional state in any way. You do not have to get offended or decide to be in a huff the rest of the evening.

So how do you practice your holiday zen when the situation calls for it? Just remember that YOU hold all the authority over your own thoughts and emotions. No matter how someone speaks or behaves, you can simply choose to ignore them.

Remind yourself that their words are just neutral, only holding meaning if you allow them to. It’s almost as if they are spoken in a galactic foreign language, like Wookie.

You’ll go about your happy holiday business completely unphased, like you’ve just pulled a Jedi mind trick on ol’ Uncle Bosworth. 

Here’s to the start of a great holiday season, and may the Force be with you. 🥂

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Adulting Through Our Overwhelm

Ever have one of those periods when life seems to explode in your face?

January was like that for me.

Ironically, I was writing a post a couple weeks ago about overwhelm. On the morning I planned to wrap it up and publish it, I discovered that my hot water heater had sprung a major leak and flooded my laundry room and living room.

Water everywhere. 🌊

I spent hours moving water-logged boxes and other things stored in the laundry room, and sopping up water. And even more hours moving living room furniture and pulling up wet carpeting and sopping up more water there.

And even more time coordinating with the plumbers, and the homeowner’s insurance adjuster. Shopping for new carpeting. Negotiating with the adjuster. Searching for a reputable flooring contractor. And on and on.

Less than a week later, I went into my attic to retrieve something and discovered that my roof had a major leak on one end of the house (we never go down there). Parts of the plywood underneath had already begun to deteriorate. I just replaced that roof 3-½ years ago.

F**K. 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬

I nearly lost it. Less than a week after the last event, here was another one.

I grabbed what I had gone up to the attic for and left. As in, left the house altogether. I just couldn’t deal with another major house issue, and so soon after the other. So I got in the car and went out for three hours before I felt like my brain was able to return home and deal with it.

I’m a single mom, and a homeowner. Being single works well when it comes time for things like deciding what color to paint the living room. I  pick the color I like and go with it.

Go out for dinner, eat in, order in – I decide (with a little bit of input from my daughter).

And if I want to sleep smack dab in the middle of the mattress, I simply do it – because I can.

But stuff like this is when being single is a disadvantage. When the shizz hits the fan, it flies in my face only. All of it.

I’m the one who gets to do the dirty clean up work, move the heavy furniture, pull up the water-logged carpet, negotiate with the insurance company, search for a contractor to do all the repairs, and all of the other inconvenient work involved.

I’m the one who has to find a new roofer to replace the one I just paid to replace a few short years ago, get estimates, negotiate said estimates, and so on.

The homeowner’s insurance company politely informed me that the leaky roof was due to ‘inadequate repairs and workmanship’ on the part of the roofer who installed it, and thus isn’t covered by my policy. So I also get the honor of shelling out the cash to make the repairs happen. 🤬

And now I’m the one who has the unpleasant task of hunting down the unscrupulous mofo roofer for the damages.

All while continuing to run my household, study for my coach recertification exam, and not skip a beat seeing clients and running the business.

At one point during all of this my printer died (it was less than two years old). Earlier this week the toilet in the master bathroom stopped working. And my stepmom, who is a widow and lives alone, has been hospitalized twice during this time.

The frustrating stuff wouldn’t stop.

As you can guess, at some point my brain kept going to thoughts like:

➡️ What.the.holy.f**k.

➡️ When is all of this going to stop??

➡️ Why did any of it have to happen?

➡️ I’m getting tired of having to handle all of this.

➡️ Too many problems.

➡️ Too many decisions to make.

➡️ I just don’t want to have to deal with this anymore.

➡️ I’m getting overwhelmed by all of it.

I witnessed my brain indulging in more and more negative thinking and self-pity. That all of these things are terrible, if not stressful. And that I should be upset by each and every one of them.

Truth is, even coaches get upset sometimes. We experience stress and burnout and sadness and anger and overwhelm. We’re human beings.

We’re also fortunate enough to have the tools to help process our negative emotions, and to understand what part of our thinking is causing them.

So when my coach-brain eventually kicked into gear, I remembered:

Oh, right – THIS is the part where adulting is hard.

Owning a home and raising kids and managing a household and your career and your relationships and all of the other things in your life isn’t supposed to be easy-breezy all of the time.

Sometimes it’s going to go awry. Really awry. And sometimes it will do that all at once.

That’s when it’s important to remind yourself; nothing has gone wrong here. It’s simply a part of life.

Part of being an adult.

Part of having a house and kids and a career and maybe a business and many other things in your life that will challenge you.

You can decide that these challenges are a reason to focus on negative thinking, leading to a fury of negative emotions that cause you to feel overwhelmed.

Or you can remember that all of those things are simply circumstances. You probably wouldn’t opt to have them occur if given a choice. They may take focus or time that you wouldn’t choose to dedicate to them. But they’re not a reason to swim in a sea of self-pity.

They aren’t taking away from the part of your life that IS good.

🙏 My daughter is safe. My family is safe. I am safe – and happy.

🙏 Notwithstanding the current state of the flooring and roof, I love my house.

🙏 I live in a place where I can simply make a phone call and within hours have a team of people show up at my house and install a new device that provides us hot water. Clean, hot water.

🙏 We have a refrigerator and pantry that are full of food. Plenty of clothes. And uber-fast wifi that we can use to connect to almost anyone and anything we choose.

🙏 My house is warm and dry, despite the flawed roof. And that will be in an even better state when it’s repaired.

🙏 I have a career that I love and that provides me the money to pay for it all.

🙏 And I’m happy to say goodbye to that carpet.

I never liked the color anyway. 😄

~ ~ ~

We all experience overwhelm at some point in our lives, especially working moms. If you want to take this work further to eliminate your overwhelm, stress, and burnout, and live the version of your life that you want to be living, sign up to coach with me. You can get started for free by clicking here.

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🤯 A Truth Bomb On Choosing Your Thoughts

This one thing is probably the biggest truth bomb I drop on clients when we begin coaching, and I’m going to just dive in and share it with you:

We, as humans, get to choose our thoughts.

About anything. Seriously.

Now, don’t hit the back button on me! Before you think that I’m discussing some fluffy, woo-woo stuff like ‘just think happy thoughts and they will manifest in your life’ and head back to your Facebook feed, trust me, I’m not. Just hang with me, girlfriend.

I’ve written previously about how we are led to believe all our lives that thoughts just happen to us; that they are simply a natural part of our personalities, our upbringing, our culture, or our education. Positive or negative, we believe we can’t help the way we think.

And while part of that is true, here’s where the truth bomb comes in.  We humans have been gifted with a prefrontal cortex, the more advanced part of our brains. The evolved area that sets us apart from other living things.

The prefrontal cortex is what we use to plan, analyze, problem solve, and set goals, among other things. This is because it also gives us the ability to think abstractly. It allows us to separate ourselves from ourselves in the here and now, and to think about ourselves almost like an outside observer.

This means that we can think about our thoughts. 🤯  We can analyze them, determining their value in our lives, almost in an existential kind of way. We can also decide if the thoughts we default to are ones that are serving us.

And then we can decide to change them. We can visualize a state of being that is more desirable, identify the thoughts that can drive the actions to get us there, and then deliberately think those thoughts.

But being able to truly identify thoughts that currently aren’t serving us, and subsequently identifying and adopting ones that do, takes practice. It doesn’t happen automatically once you understand it conceptually. You have to apply it, and practice it on a regular basis to develop that skill, until eventually it becomes a more natural thought pattern.

As you become even more skilled, you develop the capability to select thoughts that serve you in the moment your thoughts happen. Sometimes in some of the most challenging interactions and experiences in our lives.

I’ll give you an example of how this practice played out recently in my life.

Earlier this month I hosted a family get-together at my house. I don’t typically do that, because my family is pretty big as it is, and keeps growing as more babies come along. My house isn’t really big enough to seat all 15 of the invitees comfortably.

Plus, I make no bones about the fact that I don’t really enjoy cooking. I consider myself something of an un-Martha Stewart. Having the entire party catered isn’t financially feasible, so that meant I had committed myself to a considerable amount of work preparing the food and cleaning the house.

Once I committed to hosting the party and sent the invites to everyone, my brain started to freak out, calculating the hours of time and the energy it would take to get the house and the food ready for the party.

A real “WTF was I thinking?” kind of freak out.

But the invitation was out there, and rescinding it at that point meant disappointing most of my closest family members. Not something I was aiming for.

So, I decide to change how I thought about the work involved. I wanted to really enjoy their presence in my home. I wanted them all to enjoy being here together. And, I wanted them to enjoy the food as well.

That means adopting new thoughts about all of the shopping, cleaning, and cooking that needed to get done. Which took a lot of work on my part.

I decided to think that none of my family members are coming to my house to assure that everything is perfectly dusted, polished and vacuumed. Whether or not those things get done is irrelevant. They only care about being together and celebrating.

I decided to think that I’m honored that they’re willing to come to my house. And that it meant I didn’t have to drive anywhere in order to enjoy my family’s company. I just had to walk into my living room.

I decided to remember that I was fortunate to have such a big immediate family – so many people to love and be loved by.     

I decided to picture them filling their plates with all of the food that I prepared, not really caring whether it was gourmet.

And I decide to think that the aftermath of a living room carpet littered with crumbs, a sink and countertop filled with dishes, and my sore feet were evidence of a happy time we had together as a family.

In the end, hard work or not, I enjoyed every minute of it. And I’m so glad I volunteered to be the host.

We can’t begin to change the effects of negative thoughts until we start learning to become aware of them, decide what alternative thoughts we can choose to have in their place that serve us better in those situations, and practice them on a daily basis.

I encourage you to give choosing new thoughts a try. Even just one thought today.

Find a negative thought you had about anything in your life. Something you saw in the news, a show you watched, or your loud neighbor. Something a colleague said to you in a meeting last week.

Maybe even try identifying negative thoughts you have about yourself: your hair, your waistline, your relationship status. Sometimes we have an ongoing, underlying stream of negative thoughts about ourselves that we don’t even realize is there, it’s just so prevalent. And it’s SO damaging.

Once you identify the negative thoughts, identify alternative ones that will serve you and get you to a place in your day, or in your life, where you want to be emotionally. Write them down, and read them every day. Put them in your note-taking app on your phone, if that helps.

Then practice thinking those thoughts regularly. When practiced regularly, you’ll begin to realize the beneficial effect they will have on your life; the more desirable results generated by them.

Eventually you develop the skill to think thoughts that are serving you in real-time, as they happen.

And that, for sure, is a better place to live from.

If you feel like you could benefit from taking this work deeper, consider having your own coach to help you. You can even give coaching a ‘test drive’ with a free 30-minute consultation with me. Click here to sign up for a time that works for you

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Self-care = no?

We often think of self care as making time for relaxing activities like a massage, a long soak in the tub, or taking time to write in a journal.

But sometimes self care means saying no.

Not fulfilling other people’s requests isn’t selfish or rude. 

It simply means you are prioritizing your most precious resources – your time and energy – rather than depleting them for the sake of making someone else happy. 

The saying is true that you can’t fill someone else’s cup if yours is empty.

You get to decide how to fill your own cup.  💜

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How A Bee Sting 🐝 Made Me Grateful

The month of July hasn’t been very fun for me.

July has always been my favorite month. But this year I’m struggling with it because of a number of things that have happened that I found frustrating, or full-on upsetting.

I didn’t get to see any fireworks on the 4th of July this year. 😢

My house’s air conditioning unit gave out, just as a major heat wave hit. As you can guess, it cost quite a bit to replace.

A woman in the Trader Joe’s parking lot screamed at me because I didn’t thank her for stopping to let me back out of my parking spot.

I drove an hour in rush hour traffic to a doctors appointment, waited 30 minutes to be seen, only to find that I couldn’t have the procedure that I went there to have done because of several major details that the doctor failed to tell me beforehand.

Then a few days ago, while I was doing some much-needed weeding in my garden, I got stung by a bee. On the face, no less.

Y’ALL: ON. THE. FACE.  🤬🤬🤬🤬

As I sat on the couch nursing my bee sting, full of self-pity, I was spinning in thoughts about how much it sucked and how it shouldn’t have happened. I then started to think back to other recent events, determining which of them I should consider for The List Of Bad Things That Have Happened To Me This Month. ‘Cause darn it, there were a few.

July 4th. The broken AC. That self-righteous, entitled screamer lady. 

The doctor’s lack of detail that wasted hours of my time. The rude Chick Fil A employee who walked away instead of taking my order.

And then of course the f’ing bee sting.

When we decide how we want to think about something (or someone) our brains kick into gear gathering evidence to prove to ourselves that the thought is true. It looks at circumstances all around us and filters out the ones that might not support that thought, tallying the ones that do support it.

Why? Because our primitive brains are trying to protect us. They’re built to look for danger and alert us so we can avoid pain or death, proliferating our species.

But we’re more advanced now. We’re much safer. Our lives are easier.

It’s just that our brains haven’t caught up. So we still default to looking for danger by way of negative interpretation.

As easy as it is to fall into that kind of thinking, it’s important to remember to put the breaks on it because it does not serve us. No matter how much we think it sucks.

The philosopher Eckhart Tolle says:  

“To complain is always nonacceptance of what is. It invariably carries an unconscious negative charge.

When you complain, you make yourself into a victim. When you speak out, you are in your power.

So change the situation by taking action or by speaking out if necessary or possible; leave the situation or accept it.

All else is madness.

Even the most seemingly unpleasant situations – if you become aligned with it, something good will emerge from that.”

Remembering this, I consciously made a list of all of the many good things that have taken place this month. 

Turns out it’s a pretty good list.

After all, it is July. 🇺🇸

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👠 This Funny Thing Happened on the Way to My Next Career

“How did you get into that?”

The phrase I most often hear in response to telling people I am a life coach.

So I share the events that led to it: my then-business of SEO and web analytics consulting was not where I wanted it to be after several years in practice. I had a classic case of Imposter Syndrome. 👁

So I joined The Life Coach School, an online life coaching program with a great entrepreneurial component that I anticipated could help me up my game when it came to pursuing larger clients and contracts.

It did more than that.

Their concepts of life coaching resonated so well with me that eight months later I opted to join their Coach Certification Program and became a life coach.

Never in all the previous years of my career did I think becoming a life coach would be something I’d even consider. But the idea of being able to make the kind of profound, positive changes that I had experienced through coaching was something I couldn’t pass up.

So rather than boosting my career, I opted to go all in and switch careers altogether. 💥

Life coaching can improve so many parts of your life: your self-confidence, your relationships, your career, your ability to set and achieve goals, lose weight, and so many more.  

Real, lasting change.

You see, the kind of coaching we practice isn’t fluffy, woo-woo, ‘channel your inner goddess and all your dreams will manifest themselves’ hooey.

This kind of coaching is based in cognitive psychology, exploring your thoughts, feelings, and subsequent actions and results, thereby getting to the core of what’s holding you back from becoming the best version of yourself.

It’s like installing a GPS in your brain 📡🧠, giving it step-by-step directions and guidance so that it takes you where you want to go in life, with intention, not where you happen to end up on your own. And you’ll learn to do so with a sense of calm and self-confidence that can carry you through literally any of life’s challenges. 🧘‍♀️

If you find yourself giving life coaching a try, you probably won’t decide to become a coach yourself. But I can tell you that if you apply yourself, coaching will create lasting change in you that you never anticipated.  

And you are so worth it.

If making lasting change sounds interesting to you, then perhaps we can work together. Click here to sign up for a free mini-consult with me.

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Mom As a Superhero

Believe in yourself the same way you’d believe in any superhero.

You’re a mom, after all.

A working mom.

Keeping it all together, day after day.

If that’s not worthy of superhero-like praise, not much is. 💜

And if you can’t remember the last time you felt proud of what you accomplish every day, I can help you.

Together we’ll create the path to living the superhero life you want to be living. Click here to find out exactly how with a free 30 minute strategy session.

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