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Could Your Beliefs Use A Tuneup?

With being a fangirl of Michelle Chalfant, and the work she does through The Adult Chair, I was beside myself knowing I was going to attend The Adult Chair Weekend Intensive.

I was practically begging her to release the date so that I could get it on the calendar.

The feeling heading down the elevator to the event was a combination of nervous and excited. Knowing how powerful The Adult Chair model is, I set my intentions for the weekend…show up as myself, be willing to be vulnerable, listen deeply, get curious, and most of all, have fun.

As the elevator approached the lobby, I began to have doubts. I could slowly feel my limiting beliefs come into play. The nagging doubt that was raising its hand saying “Pick me!” was feeling like an outsider.

Who am I to believe that I could fit in?! Everyone else has to be much more “evolved” than I am.

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What John Legend Taught Me

With our youngest son being away on his first co-op in Grand Rapids, we decided we wanted to see the city one more time before he returned home.

Grand Rapids is a fun city with a lively downtown so we opted to stay there. The last time we were there it was unbelievably cold. We were looking forward to taking in the city with the warmer temps.

Since our oldest son was able to join us, they had planned “bro time” at the gym. The boys are seven years apart. Luckily, they have found something that’s creating a bond between them…strength training (and doing the pec dance!).

While they were off doing their thing, the husband and I debated about going to work out. You know the one where you know you’ll feel so great after, but getting there feels like SO much effort. Ugh…

We were about twenty minutes into our workout when someone else joined us. When he jumped on the treadmill beside me, I glanced over to acknowledge him and went on with my workout.

My husband was convinced it was John Legend, but I was not so sure. We checked to see if he was on tour (he wasn’t), but still I wasn’t convinced.

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A Guide To Adding Gratitude To Your Life

What if I told you there’s one thing you can do each day that would take no time at all, but the payoff would be almost immediate?

It doesn’t matter what else is going on in your life at the time. If fact, doing this simple act could increase the quality of your life.

If you haven’t guessed by now (or read the title), it’s gratitude.

Dictionary.com defines gratitude as “the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful.”

I know “gratitude” is a buzzword now, but you may be wondering how to really add it into your life.

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Perfectly Imperfect

Do you ever feel like you’re running a race, and you’ll never get to the finish line? One obstacle after another gets in your way and keeps you from your final destination.

I’ve never done a Tough Mudder, one of those 10-12 mile endurance obstacle races, (and have no desire to do so!), but sometimes I feel like we’re going through the “Tough Mudders of life” when it comes to knowing we are enough just the way we are. We slog along through our lives getting beaten down by one obstacle after another.

You may have days when everything is going your way, and you don’t even think about your “enoughness.” Then, there are the other days. A few minutes checking out Instagram leads you quickly down the rabbit hole of compare and despair. Everyone’s life looks better than yours.

Your intentions were good, because you were curious what your “friends” were up to.

I know, I’ve been there.

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Oh Judgment, We’ve Got To Stop Meeting Like This!

Do you ever feel like you’re moving forward in life, only to find judgment just a few steps behind you? As much as you try to escape it, it always catches up to you.

This past week, judgment came at me from not just one direction but two. While working my way through a detox, my immune system threw in the towel and presented me with a cold that pulled me down in ways that made it difficult to function.

Even though I did my best to practice self-compassion by taking care of myself, I was still judging myself negatively for not getting enough done. I’m working on being more “human being” than “human doing,” but I’ll save that for another blog.

I was aware of what was happening, but I got caught up in the loop of judgment and kept pushing myself to do more when my body was telling me to stop.

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What Brings You Joy?

When my jade plants began to look anything but happy, I knew it was time to head down to my favorite plant store. Just the thought of driving down to Stump Plants has me feeling all giddy inside.

With the growing number of plants in our house, I’ve been given the name of the “Crazy Plant Lady,” which I accept with pride. After all, I’ve been able to keep “most” of them alive with the guidance of the helpful staff at Stump Plants. Yay!

As I’m cruising down the road, I began thinking about why a visit to Stump Plants excites me each time. Being in their space makes me feel very joyful.

It’s a very welcoming place filled with so many lush plants, and they showcase fun ways to use them. Who knew there were so many varieties of air plants?

Reading this, you may think that’s good for you, but being in a plant store is not my thing.

My question for you is what is YOUR thing? What is it you do that brings you joy and lights you up?

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The story I’m making up is…

Recently, I’ve had multiple conversations about how stories and assumptions play out in our lives–those false narratives that we create in our minds that can spin out of control. After seeing the positive response to “How to Become a Story Buster”, I wanted to dig deeper into the subject.

You’re not alone if you feel like you live in the land of stories and assumptions. It’s part of the human experience.

The key to making it stop is awareness. You can’t change something you’re not aware you are doing. A good place to create more awareness in your life is to slow down and ask yourself if what you’re thinking is based on fact and truth. Did your friend turn down your party invitation because she doesn’t like you or because she has other plans?

Think of yourself becoming a truth detective (hat and magnifying glass optional).

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YOUR Validation Is All YOU Need!

Are you continually seeking the approval of others? Just imagine what your life would be like if you were no longer seeking validation outside of yourself.

You aren’t looking for others to validate who you are, but instead you become your own greatest cheerleader–skirt and pom poms optional!

Our ego wants to know that we’re unconditionally loved and accepted, and that often leads us to look outside of ourselves for reinforcement.

But what if you stop looking outside yourself, and learn how to build yourself up? I’m not talking about getting overly confident about who you are, but more about relaxing into the knowledge that you are enough just the way you are. That’s right. You are enough through all parts of your life, especially the messy times.

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Well-Being > Productivity

Have you ever thought that your greatest education is not from your structured schooling, but from all the lessons you’ve learned throughout your lifetime?

Albert Einstein was so accurate when he said, “The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.”

Just the act of living is one of our greatest teachers – if we’re open to it.

Recently, I experienced just such a learning through living in the present moment.

We all know our physical and mental well-being is more important that our day-to-day productivity. We may know this in our hearts, but our actions aren’t always in line with this thinking.

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How To Become A Story Buster

When I discovered The Adult Chair podcast by Michelle Chalfant, I knew I wanted to share it with you. I’m not sure about you, but I find podcasts a fun way to learn, grow as a person, and keep me entertained.

Michelle is a therapist and holistic life coach who uses a model called The Adult Chair. It’s a psychological understanding of our three primary selves: the inner child, the adolescent, and the adult.

In her practice, she uses actual chairs to help her clients understand how they come from different parts of themselves.

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Ready, Set, Take Time for SELF-CARE

Are you feeling it? That buzzing in the air?

Look around you. The holidays are in full swing…regardless of what you celebrate.

Do you feel like diving under the covers and staying there until the holidays (and all the stress that come with them) are long behind you? Shopping, cleaning, decorating, baking, hosting, etc., etc.–I’m exhausted just typing those words.

Our lives may never resemble a Hallmark Channel holiday movie (yep, they’re so addicting), but you can create a sense of calm in a season that is anything but.

That something is self-care.

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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.

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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.

By showing my vulnerability, I’m being an example to those around me. It’s okay to show up as yourself, to show everyone the real you. This does not always come easy to me.

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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!”

(Side note…have you noticed how much the word “literally” is being used by teens? Adults are guilty, too. It is literally everywhere. See what I did there? Now that I pointed it out, you’ll literally start to notice it more. Sorry about that!)

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. 😉

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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.

It’s getting real about what’s going on in your life–all parts of your life, including the parts that you would rather keep buried to never be seen.

While you may feel safe keeping things tucked away, growth happens when we open ourselves up to being vulnerable with others. And to be vulnerable, you will need to be willing to share “your story,” aka what makes YOU who you are.

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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.

Midlife can be a time of life that’s very freeing as we become more comfortable with who we are, but also challenging as some external identities get stripped away. For some of us, we become empty nesters, and our previous role of “mom” morphs into something different. For some, the active career woman starts to slide into retirement. While I have played other roles in my life, being a Mom has been front and center for a big part of my life.

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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.

This latest episode had me feeling like I was “feeling all the feels” on steroids. When I went to visit him in the morning at the hospice house, he looked so fragile and yet peaceful at the same time.

As I’m spending time being vulnerable, reflecting and doing my best to live with the uncertainty of what’s ahead, I’m thinking about how I want to live my life.

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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.

While living with uncertainty and taking risks can be challenging to me, I’m most challenged by allowing my full emotional expression.

I know I’m not alone here.

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