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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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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 already had a beginner’s yoga workshop scheduled and a monthly lunch with friends planned. I decided to add on a pedi and dinner with my oldest son. Hey, if I was going to do this experiment, I was going to go all the way.  

What was my experiment?

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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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How To Be More Productive (Not What You Would Expect)

Did you read “You Are More Than What Gets Done”?

In that blog, I shared how it’s easy to fall into the trap of defining our self-worth based on what gets done in a day, but we are so much more than that.

Recently, I came across a video from Anthony Ongaro (aka Break The Twitch) that has me thinking about productivity in an expanded way.

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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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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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You Are More Than Your Highlight Reel

Recently, I had a conversation with a friend about how hard it can be to be ourselves. I knew I had my latest blog topic.  

She’s the kind of friend who listens deeply and can point out so many parts of our conversation that would be “blog worthy.” I know who to call the next time I’ve been staring at a blank page for way to long!  

The gist of our conversation was about how challenging it can be to be ourselves when we live in a world where we are constantly bombarded by social media where everything is perfect and everyone has perfect (or almost perfect) lives.  

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You. Are. Enough. Part 2.

(Last November, I touched on this topic, but I feel it is important enough to revisit.)

Recently, I connected with my long distance bestie, and part of our conversation revolved around how easy it is to lose a part of yourself to other people. While our lives are different in many ways, I see a common theme between us.

Since we hadn’t connected for awhile, I wanted to hear the juicy details of her life. I’ve been married for 28 years, so it’s always fun to hear about her dating world (not that I want to go back).

While she sees how she could easily lose herself to a guy, I can see how I lost myself in my role of being a mom. (Being honest, I really had no idea who I was before heading into the world of parenting, so maybe I didn’t “lose” anything.) Instead of letting motherhood be a PART of who I was, it became ALL that I was.

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You. Are. Enough.

Recently something happened that challenged me to question if I’m as accepting as I believe I am.

With my new empty nest, I joined my husband on a business trip to Florida. While there, we took the time to head to the beach while visiting family on the Gulf Coast.

After taking a stroll on the beach, we plopped ourselves on the sand to do one our favorite activities…people watching. I don’t know about you, but I could spend hours watching people.

As we’re sitting there watching people of all shapes and sizes walk by, I casually said “I’m surprised that some people wear what they do.”

Just a few minutes later I realized how judgmental my words were. I consider myself a very compassionate and loving person so that’s why this hit me so strongly.

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I offer a friendly, complimentary 30-minute session by phone or Zoom to learn more about one another and see how I might help. No pressure, no clever sales pitch, just a half-hour spent with a kindred spirit. Sound good?

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