The Final Chapter

Just like a book has a final chapter, my Dad experienced his final chapter in this world.

It’s been an emotional roller coaster for me during this time. I was doing everything I could to stay present with what was ahead of me. As much as I wanted “what’s next” for him, I was already grieving what I was losing each day I spent with him while he was in hospice.

Watching his body decline more and more each day felt unbearable at times. When he rallied for a few days, I knew this was part of the process that would most likely be short lived...which it was.

Even though I was with him every day, there was a part of me that wanted to stay safe and not have to “feel all the feels.” It just felt too painful.

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The Journey Continues (Part Two)

My dad was admitted to the hospice house for the second time. Throughout this journey we’re on, I find myself continuing to reflect on many life lessons along the way. .

The greatest of these is the understanding that being vulnerable is not a weakness, but a strength.  

In the past, I did not want to show that part of myself to the world. I was too concerned about what they would think. But with wanting to “feel all the feels,” I really don’t have a choice but to allow the emotions to flow.

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Stop Shoulding All Over Yourself

Do you find yourself using a word over and over again without giving it much thought? If you’ve been around teens (and beyond), you know their go-to filler word is “like.” “How was your day?” “Well, it was like Ok, but lunch was like great!”

What I keep seeing over and over again is how many times people (of all ages) use the word “should” without even giving it another thought. As a recovering user of the word “should,” my radar is always on. ;-)

The Oxford Dictionary defines “should” as a verb “used to indicate obligation, duty, or correctness, typically when criticizing someone's actions.”

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Time to Dream Big

I’m not sure about you, but I love geeking out on all things personal growth. So when a friend recently shared a personal growth book she was listening to I was quick to check it out. The book is “Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be” by Rachel Hollis.

Between the title of the book and the fun cover, I was ordering my copy from Amazon in no time flat. (As much as I do my best to teach my kids the downfalls of instant gratification, I do love my Amazon Prime.  Oops…)

The book takes a closer look at the lies we tell ourselves without even questioning them. Yep, our minds have been hijacked by all those negative subconscious thoughts again leaving us “overwhelmed and unworthy.”  

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The Journey Continues

In a recent conversation with a friend, I shared a very personal life lesson. Her response was “I don’t know how open and vulnerable you’re willing to be in your blogs, but this is something worth touching on. So many of us are going through this.”

I responded that I would go there, for myself and anyone else who could learn from what I’m going through. My personal tale is one I’m sure many can relate to.

I’m deeply immersed in watching the decline of my parents. It is one of the most challenging things I’ve ever gone through. It’s one that I knew was around the corner, but I had no idea it would get here so quickly.

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Let’s Get Real

Many of my conversations lately have revolved around the desire to have more meaningful conversations. People are tired of the lack of “realness,” hearing “I’m fine” way too often, and conversations that never go below the surface.

Do you also find yourself wanting to connect with a friend and share what’s in our hearts and on our minds?  

Creating meaningful conversation is not always an easy thing to do. It requires showing up as yourself, being vulnerable, and letting go of expectations as to how the conversation “should” go.

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Midlife Redefined

Recently, I discovered a podcast that spoke to me in so many ways. I’ve been listening to Truth Telling with Elizabeth DiAlto for some time, but when I saw her podcast named “Old Chicks Know Sh*t” with Jennifer Arthurton, I knew I had to check it out.

I’m not an “old chick,” but I am in the second half of my life. So, I was eager to jump in and hear what they had to say. Elizabeth’s podcasts make me want to be a better person, and this one did not disappoint. It’s all about growth and learning for all of us, right?!

Jennifer is all about helping women in midlife see themselves differently. Too often, we hold ourselves up against the cultural idea of who we “should” be. Falling short of this ideal is very disempowering and causes us to doubt our inner power and wisdom.

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Making It Count

Did you read my latest blog “The Path to Vulnerability”?

In that blog, I shared how “feeling all the feels” is so important to bringing us growth and stepping more fully into our lives.

Little did I know when I wrote the blog that my Dad would be going into the hospice house for observation the next day after a severe breathing episode. He lives with COPD (along with my Mom) and is challenged on a daily basis with the simple act of breathing - something we easily take for granted.

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The Path to Vulnerability

What comes to mind when you hear the word vulnerability? Do you embrace it or do you feel uncomfortable at just the thought of it?  

According to Brene Brown, vulnerability is basically uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. Don’t you feel exposed just reading that? “Emotional exposure” are two words that scream rawness.

But being vulnerable is where growth happens. If we go through our lives always requiring certainty, avoiding risk, and not allowing our emotions to be expressed, we are missing out on the richness of life.  

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What Are You Willing To Do?

Recently, I came across a book that grabbed my attention. The book is Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and into Your Life by Gary John Bishop. The subtitle really intrigued me.

I’m not sure about you, but I find myself living in my head waaaay too much. Do you find your mind running the show? Do you over-think things or over-analyze too much? How can we “get out of our heads”?

Among the many great concepts in this book, one jumped off the page for me...the concept of taking responsibility for our own lives. Okay, I get this isn’t a new concept, but the way he goes about it is (at least for me).

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You’re Stronger Than You Think

What do you see when you look at your life? Do you find yourself observing your life and seeing in yourself all the ways you don’t measure up?

Have you created an impossible standard for yourself? Sometimes, we create an insurmountable metric that we will always fail to meet.

You may feel that you’re not enough in some area of your life, and when you’re in this mindset your life can feel less than desirable.

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Go Have FUN

While the hubby was away on a golf trip, and my youngest visited a friend in Cali, I decided to do an experiment. I could have easily thought “how much can I get done while they’re gone?” but not this time.

Getting very intentional about what I wanted my “free time” to look like set the direction for the weekend. I didn’t want to be feeling any resentment that they’re away having fun while I’m stuck at home with the mundaneness of life. I could have so easily have gone this route.

I wanted to get through the weekend without thinking about everything that I SHOULD be doing. Oh, how those “shoulds” get in the way of us fully living our lives. Ugh…

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Just “DON’T” Do It

How many times do you wake up in the morning feeling overwhelmed by your “to-do” list before your feet even hit the floor? Your mind is already racing through your day when all you want to do is dive back under the covers and let the world know that you’re not “adulting” today.  

It just feels like way too much!

As much as Nike reminds us to “Just Do It,” I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest the exact opposite.  

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Early Lessons From A Garden

Have you been wanting to try something new? Possibly learn to cook a new type of food, how to play an instrument, or what about taking a belly dancing lesson? I hear it’s a great core workout.  

Well, this year the hubby and I decided to venture into the world of gardening - the veggie kind. We really have no idea what we’re getting into, but know we want the outcome to be lots of delicious hand picked veggies.  

It can’t be too hard, right (insert winking face)?

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Living More With Less

There’s an obsession in our country that goes way beyond the time we spend on Facebook and Instagram.  

More than likely it’s happening in your house too.

What I’m talking about is our endless accumulation of “stuff” - the stuff that can own us more than we own it.  

This past weekend, our family took part in the annual neighborhood garage sale. I was feeling the weight of having too much stuff in our lives.This year was going to be the year of letting it all go. That’s what we wanted, but it was challenging to let go of things even though they were only taking up space. I would start thinking “What if I need…?”, “What if the kids can use this?”, etc.   

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What Zone Are You In?

Did you have a chance to check out last week’s blog?

In that blog, I shared how your self-worth is so much more than what gets done. With the “to-do” list always growing like grass on a summer day, there’s a non-stop onslaught of things to do.

We may not get it all done (and that’s okay), but what about getting your things done in a different way?

My mentor George Kao says “Your state of being is the most important thing.” This realization can become a game changer when you are “believing” that getting things done is the most important thing (like most people do).

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You Are More Than What Gets Done

Did you get your “to do” list done today? How do you feel? Who are we without productivity being the metric of our self-worth?

I’ve had many conversations with people who want their self-worth be defined by more than what gets done. But when we live in the world of “crazy busy,” it’s hard to find the space for that to happen.

The truth is that the “to-do” list is never ending.  

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Just. Be. You.

If you’ve been following my blog, you know I’m all about supporting you to create a better life for yourself. One of the ways I hope to support you is through sharing “my story” so you can see you’re not alone.  

I have no doubt you’ve gone through the ups and downs of life feeling like you’re the “only one” going through that particular experience. We all have, and it can be a lonely place. You may be wishing for someone who would “get you” and what you’re going through.  

I’ve been there - deep in the trenches of whatever was coming up for me at the time. That lonely place is amplified if we are hiding it from others.

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Things Are Not Always As They Appear

Over the weekend the hubby and I had a chance to visit our youngest who is away at his first year of college. With wanting to have a better look into his world, he asked a friend to join us.

The conversation was good, the food not so much, but I was just happy to be in his presence. When I asked about how they met, the friend told us it was a rough start to their friendship, but after a long night of conversation between the two of them and a few other friends, he began to see my son for who he is (the person I know).  

This conversation had me thinking how easily we judge another person before giving them a chance to show us who they really are. We may have been taught to not to judge a book by it’s cover, but how often do we actually do that? We are probably all guilty of a few snap judgments the first time we meet someone.

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