What’s YOUR New Normal?

This past year has been filled with lots of transition for me. Some days it feels as if I’ve signed up for the advanced “life school” courses.

Let me explain…

It was just last September that my dad left this world. I had so many fears around losing a parent, and at times found myself not wanting to get “too close” knowing it could all be taken away at any time. It just felt too painful!

Flash forward nine months to me finding myself preparing to say goodbye to my mom. After a few falls and increased breathing difficulties, she quickly declined and left us before I could fully comprehend what was happening. It still feels so surreal.

So, now I’m left trying to settle into my “new normal.” Others have said they feel like an orphan after losing both parents. I don’t feel that way. I know a part of them will always be within me.

Now I find myself stepping more fully into my life. Read more

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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