Life is What Happens When We’re Making Other Plans #WCW Abbey's Story

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Abbey’s podcast, Mimosas With Moms, is a must listen for mommas looking to bond and learn new ideas in a judgement free zone. Abbey knows a lot about judgement, as a young, single mom, she faced more than her fair share. And yet, even though life worked out so much different than she ever imagined, she got exactly what she didn’t know she needed. Abbey’s commitment to her own dreams, to pushing past obstacles, excuses, and other’s opinions got her where she is today. Abbey’s story is a powerful reminder that life is what happens when we’re making other plans. […]

Redefine Self Care Take Care of Your Kids' Mom

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“Self-love is asking yourself what you need – every day – and then making sure you receive it.” ~ Unknown ~ I hate the phrase “self care.” I hated it so much, that even as a sleep deprived, totally exhausted mother of 4 young kids, I wouldn’t have dreamt of indulging in anything of the sort. Self care was for other women, for weak women. I didn’t need something as frivolous as rest. I was strong, capable, and pretty committed to doing it all, all the time. I thought moms who never slowed down and were the most exhausted won. […]

Lost in Motherhood Revive the Woman You are to Be the Mom You Want to Be

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“If we desert the inner self to focus on the energy outside, it leaves a vacancy inside.” Trudy Vesotsky I spent years totally lost in motherhood, and when I say lost, I mean really fucking lost. Lost in exhaustion. Lost in overwhelm. Lost in a maze of uncertainty, doubt, and struggle.  Why didn’t anyone ever tell me it was so going to be so hard?  Why didn’t I know losing myself, become someone’s mother and having my entire identity consumed by it, would be so painful?   I remember laying in bed one night, a newborn fussing in the next room, […]

Making the impossible, possible

Making the Impossible, Possible Will You Find a Way or Find an Excuse?

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“Only those who can see the invisible, can do the impossible.” ~ Jeffrey Fry ~ I believe in radical responsibility. If it’s broke, fix it. If you don’t like it, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. We spend so much unnecessary time explaining all the reasons we can’t do something, that if we put half that energy into figuring out how to do it we might actually get something done around here. It’s easier to blame the baby, our husband, the economy, our shitty boss and everything else outside of our control then it is to […]

I Create My Reality

I Create My Own Reality So I'm Gonna Make it a Good One

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“Be careful how you interpret the world: it really is like that.” ~ Erich Heller ~ I choose my beliefs carefully. I’ve spent a lifetime curating them, deciding what fits me best, what works well, and what just doesn’t align with who I want to be. It’s a daily practice, a habit really, of paying attention to the direction of my thoughts. Every single morning before dawn, I tip toe downstairs, make a pot of coffee, and get settled in at my desk in the dark, pre-dawn hours. I open up my heart and I journal out my fears. I […]

Own Your Body, Own Your Gifts, & Own Your Orgasm #WCW April's Story

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I found April’s Instagram page on the recommendation of a friend and instantly fell in love. April runs The Vagina Blog and is THE resource for everything you need to know about your lady bits. Her page is hysterical, educational, so relatable and totally important in this era of fake news (and fake orgasms). As a doula, a birth photographer and a birth assistant to a midwife, she’s seen a lot of vaginas.  She covers maturation and menstruation, incontinence and pessaries, sex before, during and after pregnancy, childbirth and so much more.  I’m personally a fan of all the interesting and eclectic […]

Succeed Anyways Grow Into Your Full Potential Regardless of What Others Think

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“People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway. If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway. What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway. If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway. Give the best you have, and it will […]

suffering is here to save us: Which miserable mom archetype are you?

Suffering is Here to Save Us Which Miserable Mom Archetype Are You?

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“Suffering is one of life’s great teachers.” ~ Bryant H. McGill ~ All of our lives we step into the roles we believe we were made to fill. We become good students, star athletes, accomplished graduates and eager employees. We get married, settle down, and become doting wives and mothers. As Glennon Doyle says, we spend years, or whole lives even, “becoming” the people we think we should be, burying who we are under the weight of other’s expectations. I spent my teens and 20s busting my ass to become the vision of who I thought I should be, of […]

101 quotes for the strong, wise, unstoppable woman

101 Quotes for the Strong, Wise, Unstoppable Woman

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Nothing lands the perfect punch like a well placed, eloquent, insightful quote. I’ve been collecting my favorite for years and have assembled the best here. These quotes are specifically for the ambitious, soulful, strong, woman ready to step into her power. If the call for more has been whispering in your ear for some time, if you feel restless and antsy, tired of your own bullshit and the world’s limiting expectations, these quotes are for you. “The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams”  – Oprah Winfrey “Nothing in life is to be […]

Do What You Love and Do It On Your Terms #WCW Natalie's Story

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Natalie does design and motherhood on her terms, without apology or permission.  A mom of 2, Natalie reminds us that motherhood doesn’t have to be boring or cookie cutter, and neither does your home. Natalie has not only the courage to create totally unique, bold, inspiring spaces but a life that is her own as well. Her secret to balancing daily life and an exploding business? Hiring all the help she can as fast as she can, without guilt. Natalie’s story of following your nagging passion, staying true to yourself, and having fun in this life will remind you saying […]

Let it Be How to Give Up Control & Learn to Surrender

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“Surrender to what is. Say ‘yes’ to life and see how life suddenly starts working for you rather than against you.” ~Eckhart Tolle I am learning the power of surrender. I’m learning how to receive.  I’m learning how to let go of thinking I need to know it all, do it all, and make it all happen. I’m learning to trust. I’m learning to slow down.  I’m learning everything I want is already here, if I choose to see it that way, and I’m learning sometimes doing absolutely nothing is absolutely everything. So many of us grow up believing in […]

Stop Settling For Mediocrity Fight For a Life You Love

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“Don’t waste your life. No one chooses mediocrity but many settle for it. Never settle.” ~ Anonymous ~ “Dream big!  Never give up!  Follow your heart! You can accomplish anything!” Motivational platitudes are a dime a dozen. As often as we hear these inspirational cheers for greatness, you’d think more of us would actually live rock star lives, and yet, most of us are just getting by.  Our lives are decent, good even and we’re perfectly happy right where we are. But… Why do we settle for good when life could be great?  When did a good enough life become […]

Argue for Your Limitations & You Get to Keep Them Let Go of Who You Think You Are to Uncover the Real You

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“Paradigms are like glasses. When you have incomplete paradigms about yourself or life in general, it’s like wearing glasses with the wrong prescription. That lens affects how you see everything else.” ~  Sean Covey ~ I am 6 years old… I am running and screaming around the small dining table in our kitchen. My sister Annie is chasing her prey, hands and mouth open wide as she tries to catch and then bite me. She is laughing and also serious, enjoying the thrill of tormenting her older sister, but she will indeed sink her baby teeth into my flesh should […]

F*@k the Fairytale

F*@k the Fairytale Motherhood isn't Always Your Happily Ever After

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“As for fairy tales, he understood that they were reflections of the people who had spun them, and were flecked with little truth.” ~ Laini Taylor ~ Once upon a time, a little girl grew up, married her prince, had lots of babies and lived happily ever after. That’s pretty much how I thought life was supposed to go. I mean, sure I’d kiss a few frogs along the way, get a degree and a job for a while, but the ultimate goal was a husband, house, and babies. Life would be happy and full. I’d spend my days reading books, […]

The Crushing Weight of Guilt and how to begin letting it go

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“Guilt’s just your ego’s way of tricking you into thinking that you’re making moral progress. Don’t fall for it, my dear.” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert ~ It happened again just this morning. I rushed around, getting my kids back to school after an extended spring break. I was proud everyone had clean underwear and that we had gotten to school on time, but there I was again, looking at my daughter’s preschool teacher with a blank stare and the familiar “oh shit” hot embarrassment flushing through me. “You didn’t forget it’s your day to bring snacks did you?” she asked.  I wanted […]

It’s Not About Doing Different Things, It’s About Doing Things Differently You Don’t Have to Work So Hard

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“Working smart is harder than working hard. It’s just less visible, and we care too much about what others see.” I stood in a beautiful banquet hall, a microphone in my shaking hands, trying not to break down in tears.  The new pink journal I had purchased for this event lay open on the table in front of me, covered in feverilously scribbled notes. Gorgeous, amazing, smart women from all over the globe filled the room and listened as the speaker and our mentor Gina Devee, grilled me. “You need to go back and reread history.  You need to understand […]

Climb the damn mountain: stop denying your desires

Climb the Damn Mountain Stop Ignoring Your Desires

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“Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.” – Jack Kerouac I once read the business of life is the acquisition of memories.  I like this. It’s simple and easy to understand. It’s wildly empowering. It relieves the pressure of achieving great worldly success and if you let it, can motivate you to lead a life worth remembering. If our focus shifts away from struggle and hard work and towards memory making, everything changes. If we begin following our desires and listening to our soul’s […]

Turning Your Worst Fear Into Your Greatest Blessing #WCW Jennifer's Story

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Jennifer is a working mother of 6 with an incredible story that will absolutely bring you to your knees, make you think about motherhood differently, and remind you that not only are you capable of handling so much more than you think, but that sometimes our worst fears are the most profound blessings.  I interviewed Jennifer for nearly an hour and was completely entranced, by not only her story, but her amazing insight and wisdom surrounding her circumstances. The interview was powerful, incredibly special, and so important for all mothers to hear….so of course, I had a terrible technology malfunction […]

Break Up With Busy Have more time and energy for what matters

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“It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?” – Henry David Thoreau A wise woman, my mentor Gina Devee once told me “busy is boring.”  That really struck me.  As a busy mom, I had prided myself on all the shit I was juggling at any given moment.  I wasn’t a mom who had balance or time for myself.  I was a “good” mom who did it all, and therefore, was proud of how busy I was. My busyness was proof that I was working hard. And yet, her words […]

Dear Vivienne A letter to my daughter and all young girls

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“As for my girls, I’ll raise them to think they breathe fire.” ~ Jessica Kirkland ~ Dear Vivienne, The day you were born I knew I had to do better.  I gazed into your bright eyes and inhaled the earthy, pungent smell of new life still fresh on your waxy skin. You arrived precisely when I needed to step into my own new life…. a life that wasn’t limited by my fears, my need to please, or other’s expectations. As I thought of all the things I wanted to tell you, I knew instead it was time for me to become […]

You’re Probably a Shitty Mother Actions Speak Louder Than Words

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“Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.” ~ Robert Fulgrum ~ Becoming a mother was the hardest adjustment of my life.  I wasn’t prepared for the suffocating, constant, never-ending demands of a newborn. I wasn’t ready for that feeling of vulnerability, responsibility, and fear that comes from your heart beating outside your chest.  All I ever wanted was to give up my career and have lots of babies. But learning to let go of myself, to open my heart and to survive exhaustion beyond comprehension (with leaking breasts, raging hormones and a […]

The Treasures Buried Within Us Unearth Creativity & Inspiration to Change Your Life

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“Unused creativity is not benign.  It metastasizes. It turns into grief, rage, judgement, sorrow and shame ”  Brene Brown I am having an affair.  I sneak away, under the cover of darkness to meet my lover while the rest of the world unknowingly sleeps.  It is here, in the predawn hours, I connect with my old flame… creativity. I arrive sleepy but eager to conceive beautiful, genuine, and honest work.  I flirt with prose, pursue errant thoughts, and entice inspiration to join me for a salacious fling. This blog is my daily nurturing of creativity. For too long, my life […]

Conquer the Chaos Simple Ideas to Create Harmony in Your Life & Home

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“Anything worth doing good takes a little chaos.” – Flea – Yesterday was one of the pants on fire kinds of days, where you are almost literally running from one thing to the next.  I made the grave error of not getting up at 4:30 am because well, you know SLEEP, and I paid the price the rest of the morning. No time for coffee or day planning, which I’ve learned is critical for my sanity and therefore, my day was insane. My 10 year old woke up on the wrong side of the bed, a feat that is impossible […]

Nothing Changes Until You Do If You Want to Change Your Life, You Need to Change

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“Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me.” – Carol Burnett –  I was running. The day glorious. The spring air was clean and fresh, new signs of life popped up in the neighborhood all around me, green tulip shoots poked through dead mulch and tiny, yellow forsythia buds were beginning to emerge.  As I rounded a corner, my brow sweaty, lungs and heart pumping, I felt the fire of life beating within. The music blasted in my ears, my legs pushed me forward with every stride, and my head, oh my head was the […]

I Am Enough: Change Your Story

I Am Enough Change Your Story

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“If you find yourself constantly trying to prove your worth to someone, you have already forgotten your value.” – Anonymous –  I am not enough. I am a 36 year old confident, self assured, sassy, fit, financially stable, happily married mother of 4, and yet…I am not enough. I am stronger than I’ve ever been, physically and otherwise, and yet… I’m not enough. I have grown, achieved, and built a beautiful life I am proud of, and yet…I am not enough. No matter how hard I’ve worked to identify and modify my paradigms and limiting beliefs, no matter how far […]

The Power of Belief: How to Change Your Life Right Now

The Power of Belief: How to Improve Your Life Right Now Chose Happiness, Release Fear, and Kick Ass

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“Whatever you believe to be true, whether it is true or not; if you believe it, then to you it becomes the truth.” ― Stella Payton It seems there is always something we long to change in our life.  We want more money, more love, less debt, better behaved children, and smaller jeans. Most of us know it’s up to us to make change, we don’t sit around and wait for things to get better, we put our focus and energy into our actions in order to bring about that change.  And while that’s all well and good, the reality […]

learn how to received - start accepting graciously and stop refusing help

Learn How to Receive Start Accepting Graciously and Stop Refusing Help

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“Until we can receive with an open heart, we’re never really giving with an open heart. When we attach judgment to receiving help, we knowingly or unknowingly attach judgment to giving help.” ~ Brene Brown ~ I don’t ask others for help. I don’t even like when someone offers to help. I hate when people want to bring a dish to party I’m hosting, or pitch to help with my kids, or heaven forbid clean my house in any way. I take it as an insult – an attack against my ability to do it all. I always sharply decline […]

How to Make Change that Actually Lasts

How Do I Make Change That Actually Lasts? Letting Go of the After and Falling in Love With the Process

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“All of us every single year, we’re a different person. I don’t think we’re the same person all our lives”  Steven Spielberg It’s a new day, a new year. The promise of fresh starts and clean slates dangle before our eyes.  The possibilities seem endless, for certainly THIS will be the year of big magic, life altering change, and boundless accomplishments.  What is it about a new year that gets our insides churning?  Our blood is pumping and bodies primed with enthusiasm to finally reach our true potential.  And yet, we all know how this story ends.  We all have […]

Leaping Into the Unknown: Moving to Ghana #WCW Mary Beth's Story

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What do you call a mom and a successful Physician’s Assistant who leaves her career and moves her family literally around the globe to Ghana, Africa?  Mary Beth.  You call her Mary Beth, because she is an everyday wife and mother just like you and I who had the courage to take a path as unexpected and crazy to her as it seems to us. Despite an initial reaction of “hell no!” when her husband proposed the move (which was an awesome opportunity for his career), Mary Beth eventually came to face her fears, challenge her assumptions, and considered what […]

The Power of Christmas Traditions

Die Hard is a Christmas Movie The Power of Traditions

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Weekly Reflections

“Now I have a machine gun. Ho-ho-ho.” ~ John McClane ~  In our house, it is not Christmas until Hans Gruber gets thrown off Nakotomi Towers. Santa, Christmas carols, and twinkly lights ain’t got nothing on John McClane. Every year we watch this movie and every year I feel the spirit of Christmas well up inside me – a dad, a weary traveler, just trying to get home to his family on Christmas Eve, a greedy, Grinch-like villain, and a good old-fashioned 80s holiday party complete booze, blow, and sex in the conference room.  It’s full of Christmas music, and […]

10 super fun experience gifts for kids - instead of toys

Give Experiences This Holiday Season Buy Less Stuff to Make More Memories

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“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt ~ Ah, the holidays, a time for giving, receiving, and most likely overspending. Data suggests that parents spent an average of $500 per child on Christmas gifts.  Regardless of income, that’s a lot of moola, especially if you have more than one kid. Add in all the other expenses of the season, family and friend gifts, holiday meals and drinks, home decor, Christmas cards, travel costs, teacher gifts and more, let’s just […]

5 things I'm giving up this Christmas season

5 Things I’m Giving Up this Christmas Season Along With Guilt, Comparison, and Expectations

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Weekly Reflections

“There’s nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child.” ~ Erma Bombeck ~ In my house, about 99.9% of Christmas magic making falls to me. I’ve always taken this job seriously since there are few things more special to little kids than the excitement and anticipation of Christmas. They don’t call it the most wonderful time of the year for nothing.  I remember the bristly needles of our fake tree, the shiny glass ball ornaments, and the sweet crooning of Nat King Cole…fat, sour cream cookies slathered with homemade buttercream frosting, chipped, gold […]

Choosing adoption in the face of infertility #adoption #infertility #internationaladoption #fostercare

Embracing Adoption in the Face of Infertility #WCW Rachael's Story

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Rachael’s story is a powerful reminder of our ability to overcome life’s hardest setbacks with bravery, love, and utter fearlessness. When Rachael and her husband couldn’t conceive a much wanted baby, even with all the help science had to offer, they found the courage to let go of what they thought they wanted to embrace what they really needed. Learning to surrender and be open to the scary unknown is not something most of us have the strength to do. After hundreds of hours of paperwork, international travel, rejection, fostering over 20 kids, failed adoptions, heartbreak and truckloads of criticism, […]

I'm a good enough mother

I’m a Good Enough Mother And Done Worrying About How to Be a Good Mom

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“The very fact that you worry about being a good mom means you already are one.” ~ Jodi Picoult ~ I’ve wanted to be a good mother since I was a little girl. I imagined a big happy family, chicken roasting in the oven on Sundays, homemade lunches with scribbled love notes, and daily peace, joy, and contentment. Fast forward 30 years and my life is more like a Jackson Pollack painting than a Normal Rockwell. It’s colorful chaos, a brilliant and beautiful collaboration of messes, motion, and madness.  There’s lots of yelling and negotiating, noise and anger, disappointments, struggles […]

Understanding The Power of Gratitude And How to Practice Being Grateful In Your Daily Life

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“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” ~ Melody Beattie ~ Despite the fact I am filled with gratitude most days, I still struggle with wanting more, looking outside for validation, and using comparison to steal my joy.  There’s a fantastic song by the Avett Brothers titled, Ill With Want. It’s a slightly somber, yet beautiful song filled with longing, a simple melody, […]

How to update your wardrobe without buying a thing #fashion #clothes

Update Your Wardrobe Without Buying a Thing Why You Already Have All The Clothes You Need to Look Good, Feel Good, and Be Awesome

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“Fashion you can buy, but style you possess. The key to style is learning who you are. It’s about self expression and, above all, attitude.” ~ Iris Apfel ~ You want to update your wardrobe because it sucks. You absolutely never have anything to wear. You struggle to find an outfit no matter how many clothes you have. You always wonder what others will be wearing and you rarely feel good in anything. I feel you. I cannot believe I’ve been putting myself through this shit for 20 years.  I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to realize what utter […]

Parenting challenges no one tells new moms

The Parenting Challenges No One Talks About What I Wish I Knew Before Kids

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“I don’t know what’s more exhausting about parenting; the getting up early, or acting like you know what you’re doing.” ~ Jim Gaffigan ~ Parenting four kids while trying to keep my identity and sanity is by far the hardest thing I have ever done.  It wasn’t drugs, or sex, or rock and roll that inspired Ozzy Osbourne to declare “I’m going off the rails on a crazy train,” but rather, trying to manage his own life and parent two young children at the time.  I don’t know if this is true, but as a mother of four, I’m going […]

Get involved in politics - why it matters

Never Discuss Politics And Other Lies that Keep Us Ignorant, Influenced, and Ignored

Posted 1 CommentPosted in Wake Up Woman

“Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.” ~ John F. Kennedy ~ For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved politics. Growing up, I had strong, partisan opinions despite a weak understanding of many political issues…women’s rights, labor unions, the roll of government, immigration and more.  I hated femi-nazis before I had a my first period.  Before I was officially a woman, I already had a pretty good idea that these […]

Stop Being a Good Girl, Let Go of the Rules #girlpower #strong #goodgirl #feminism

I’m Done Being a Good Girl Let Go of the Rules and Other's Expectations

Posted 2 CommentsPosted in Weekly Reflections

“As girls grow up and download what it means to be a culturally acceptable ‘good girl,’ they learn to please others at the expense of themselves. They worry about protecting relationships and what people think of them at all costs.” ~ Rachel Simmons ~ Good girls make their parents proud. They are polite. They stay out of trouble. They don’t push boundaries or question authority much. They work hard. They are kind and friendly. They are successful and put together and never too busy for those who need them. Good girls are selfless.  Good girls do what is expected of them because […]

Why Are We All Going Nowhere Fast? It's Time to Slow Down & Enjoy the View

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“I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.”  ~Rosalia de Castro~ I’ve never thought much about the road of life.   Of course I had heard the old adage, “life is a journey, not a destination,” but never thought much beyond the idea to remember and enjoy it from time to time.  I supposed if anything, I thought of life as a highway built by those before me, a road smooth and even, constructed for speed and getting places.  Graduation, college, career, marriage, and family […]

Finding Happiness and Strength – Letting Go of Perfectionism #WCW Tara's Story

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Tara is an undeniable badass.  As a 36 year old mother, wife, private practice optometrist, and bodybuilder with abs that will make you weep with envy, it’s easy to assume we know her whole story.  We see women with a “perfect” life and perfect abs and think they are nothing like us. We don’t doubt they worked hard, and yet we see their journey as somehow separate from our own.   Some part of us assumes they are built from a tougher, more resilient mold that made their journey easier than ours could ever be. We don’t think about the […]

Write Your Own Happily Ever After Identifying and Letting Go of Our Inherited Narratives

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“If you own the story, you get to write the ending.” ~ Brene Brown ~ I don’t know many stories that begin ‘Once Upon a Wednesday’, and yet every story worth telling begins on an ordinary day, a Wednesday perhaps, in the middle of an ordinary week, in an ordinary month of an ordinary year within a very ordinary life.   I am an ordinary character in this ordinary life, a Midwestern, brown eyed girl, raising babies in a sleepy Midwestern town in the the heart of corn country. Each day is mostly the same, each year the same as […]