What I’m Most Thankful For

 

Hope you’re all getting ready for Turkey Time. I’m super excited for our day. Matt, Mirabelle and I will relax in the morning, watch the parade and bake.

I’ll be taking advantage of yoga classes in the AM too. 

In the afternoon, we’ll go to the movies and then to a restaurant with my dear friend Lisa and my in-laws. We’ll serve up dessert at my house after dinner. 

Friday morning, we head off to Asheville to be with friends. 

This is my idea of holiday perfection.

And in the spirit of being thankful, I wanted to tell you about someone special.

She was a major part of last summer’s Luscious Mother Retreat and is hitting up our Winter Retreat this January. 

Her name is Anna Cranage Conathan and she’s a marvel. 

I’m floored by this amazing human. She had a real breakthrough during her time at the retreat. I’d tell you more but, well, she can tell you even better. 

She tagged me in this epic FB post earlier this week:

Scurry, hurry, fret. These are not words written on traditional holiday cards. But they’re in the subtext, no? Our winter holidays were designed to add light to a dark time of year. To bring us together in gratitude and love. They are points on the calendar that tap us on the shoulder and remind us that it’s important for us to be together, to care for one another, and why not take the time to do it now while we’re all sitting in the pitch blackness of winter? Let’s light a fire, sing some songs, drink some warm beverages and let the good feelings wash over us, right?!

 

Well… I gotta tell ya, I can’t remember the last holiday season I felt this way. (Maybe I was eleven?) This is usually how “pre-season” goes down for me: right around the time I finish all the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups from Sam’s Halloween haul, a slow consuming dread begins to creep up on me. “They’re coming,” I think. “Oh, f*ck, the holidays are coming.” And then, within moments, all the “shoulds” and “musts” and “I have tos” engulf me in an avalanche.

 

“Am I doing enough? Did I buy enough presents? Is the house festive enough? Am I creating a memorable holiday experience for Sam? Can he tell I’m about to have a nervous breakdown? If so, does that diminish the magic of his holiday? How will I know when I have properly, significantly, demonstrated my love for my family by manufacturing a special and elaborate holiday season? Will I hear a bell or buzzer when I reach this nativity nirvana?!”

 

Yup. That’s what it’s like inside this melon. And this avalanche of overthinking rumbles through my calendar from mid-November, all the way until the exhausted collapse that occurs in the early days of January. (Ironically, right around the Catholic holiday of The Epiphany.) And then what? Then I slog on through the winter having just sapped myself of so much valuable (and ill-used) energy.

 

Does this sound familiar to anyone else? Maybe you, like me, have brain freeze when your family asks you what YOU want for the holidays. (Who has time to consider that frivolity?) And yet, you know you don’t want more Things – more slippers, sweaters, earrings or warm socks (okay, warm socks are awesome) – but you DO know that you’re ready for a *new experience*. A joyful one. A rejuvenating one. Maybe even… a retreat?

 

A retreat — which here can mean “I flee from all the madness” or “I am bathed in an atmosphere of replenishing energies and magic” — that will allow you the chance to realign yourself with gratitude, love and intuition, and help you reset your compass to your own personal True North.

 

If this all sounds like the panacea you’ve been yearning for, let me introduce you to the Luscious Mother Retreat, run by the Luscious Mother herself, Sarah Bernier Olin. Sarah is a five alarm fire-starter who will show you how to stoke the smoldering embers of 2017 and turn 2018 into a bonfire of inspiration and action. If you’re feeling stuck/blocked/jammed/tired/pissy/malnourished/bleak/drab/droll/uninspired/unsexy/
misunderstood/unappreciated/or just tired of not knowing what you want for Christmas every year when folks inquire, let THIS be your answer this year. Tell them you want to retreat. Tell them you are ready to be a #lusciousmother.

 

And guess what?

 

The gift won’t just be for you. Your newfound joy is going to ripple out from your luscious heart to every person you hold inside it.

Did Anna get you fired up? Intrigued? Learn more on our upcoming Zoom call this Monday, 11/27 at 7:30 p.m. EST. Sign up here and get the luscious deets.

Until next time, keep that luscious heart. 

Grab Your Winter Retreat Seat!

With deep love and gratitude,

Forgive-ish?

I forgive-ish you. 

That doesn’t quite have the same ring as “I forgive you,” does it?

No warm fuzzies with that ‘ish on the end.

No closure on the fight with your mom or disagreement with your spouse over why you’re the only one gassing up the car.

What does forgive-ish even mean?

It’s when you let go of something (an event, hurtful conversation, etc.) enough to feel better, but not fully. The feelings you had still linger.

The next time you’re reminded of the event or get hurt again, you get mad.

At that point, it’s clear real forgiveness hasn’t taken place, because you’re just taking out your “file” on that person instead of letting them off the hook.

For me, when that something happens again, I get extremely right and righteous, gathering allies to convince them of how right I am. But I only get more upset and suffer in the process.

This is actually a pattern, and a lot of people do this and experience this.

Often, we say we forgive, and we don’t forget. But that’s not true forgiveness.

Instead, it’s a conditional pass until the next hurt comes along.

The funny thing is, we let go of things every day.

People cut us off in traffic. Someone bumps us in line at the grocery store. You choose to let go of stuff every single day.

If there’s something you can’t forgive, it may be something you’re unwilling to own on your side of the street.

And it’s not wrong or bad or shameful. It’s something to be aware of. We get something from the things we do.

How can you ditch the ‘ish and get to true forgiveness?

One big thing that’s small enough to start today:

Make a list of everything you’re unwilling to forgive people for, big and small.

Take a look at what you’re unwilling to let go of, or what you’re unwilling to own, because you are stuck or there’s something you don’t want to own.

Go deep. There’s a huge impact to forgive-ish. It takes up mental real estate. It gets in the way of trust, ease, partnership, relationship. Time to ditch it.

How did it feel to make that list? Reply to this email and let me know how it went.

Forgiveness is one of the big topics we’ll tackle at the Luscious Mother Winter Retreat. We’re going to work on how to forgive ourselves and others.

I’d love to tell you more about it, and answer your questions, on our Zoom info call on 11/27 at 7:30 p.m. EST. Sign up for this free call here.

Then, claim your spot pronto before they’re all gone. 

Until next time, keep that luscious heart. 

 

Grab Your Early Bird Seat!

With deep love and gratitude,

Learning to Fly

First off, I hope you had a Spooktacular Halloween monster-mashing with your fave peeps. Here’s the obligatory cute picture of Mirabelle in her costume last night: 

Thanks to my salty tooth, I couldn’t be tempted with most trick-or-treat candy. That said, I may-or-may-not have gotten busy with a bag of chips post-festivities.

But here’s what is even more delicious to me than Utz Sour Cream & Onion Chips: Giving you the first scoop on Luscious Mother news.

See, when you run your own business, you often have to fly before you’re ready.

That’s been me.

For the last Luscious Mother Retreat, I did my own version of putting a plane together while mid-flight. I didn’t have time to assemble the plane and then take off.

I just had to fly the damn plane.

All of this to say: I didn’t get to put all the proper marketing energy into my last retreat. I didn’t actually know what it took to market an event like that, and I’ve learned so much in the process. I’ve gotten advice from a dear friend and wildly successful business coach on what a successful marketing campaign looks like. I hired an amazing strategist to help me lay out all of my programming and timeline. But for the Summer retreat, it was just me, making things up at the last minute.

And as a result, the sign-ups were smaller than I wanted.

Hours before the first day of the retreat, I wasn’t sure I was going to do it again.

But then something magical happened.

The women at the retreat got into community with each other from the very first moment.

They went deep. They laughed, they cried, it was better than Cats. They got vulnerable and created new relationships with other like-minded women.

They could finally purge the crap weighing them down.

They could finally unpack that bag. And replace it with a lighter one. A sexier one.

A Luscious one.

They got connected to parts of themselves they don’t normally connected with.

And they told me all about it in this beautiful video about the retreat. Their reactions ranged from ecstatic to relieved and everything in between. It energized me. It blew my hair back in the best possible way.

And the biggest lesson from the retreat for me was: Women need this. Mothers need this. I love being able to facilitate these important conversations. It’s badly needed in the world right now.

And this retreat is going to be soaring even higher, Mama.

I’m already super proud of all the awesome lusciousness that this winter’s Luscious Mother Retreat — happening January 26 through 28, 2018 — is going to be.

Women from the last retreat, and ones who have reached out to me since, are all ginned up about what this experience is going to bring into their lives.

I’d love for you to be one of those people.

Especially since there’s an early bird special through December 1.

Watch the video and see how the Luscious Mother Retreat can rock your world.

And then, claim your spot pronto before they’re all gone. If you have questions, just reply to this email to set up a call.

Until next time, keep that luscious heart.

Grab Your Early Bird Seat Now

How the Right Support Can Mean Everything

Over a year ago, managing the day-to-day operations of my business and schedule felt like a full-time job.

I was spending too much time scheduling, taming my calendar and doing admin work — time I could have spent with my husband, Mirabelle or doing something I love.

I needed the right support not only to keep my business going and make time for my life, but to actually grow and take my business to the next level.

‘Cause guess what, Mama? WE ACTUALLY CAN’T DO IT ALL.

And let’s be real: We really don’t want to.

I finally got a little outside help from my Mom and Lauren (my current right hand lady).

Lauren is a whiz at everything, particularly my schedule. She understands me, speaks my language and is totally brilliant.

She started doing all kinds of stuff. Scandals need to be handled, after all.

But what I needed her most for — my beast of a schedule — was something I resisted.

I needed support. It was very clear I couldn’t keep taming my own schedule.

It took me a few months to get onboard with this idea.

Why?

Because I was SCARED. Afraid my clients might not like it (not true; they actually love her and are thrilled I’m getting the support I need).

I was scared there would be, god forbid, MISTAKES. That I might LOOK BAD. It sounds so ridiculous and that’s what fear does. It tells us crazy stuff.

Finally, when I got sick and tired enough, I handed it over. I wish I’d done it three years ago: it’s the best thing I’ve done in my business in awhile.

For us to grow anywhere or in any way, we need to let go of control. We need to increase trust and support.

I REPEAT: You can’t do everything as an entrepreneur and a mama.

There’s just too much to do. And you know what? That crap gets in the way of my Luscious Commitments to myself, my business, my family, the world.

If there’s something we’re resisting, there’s an awesome opportunity in it.

Fear isn’t a good enough reason not to do the next right thing for you. Or say the thing that needs to be said.

What support are you resisting in your life, be it personally or professionally?

What would it take for you to pick something different today?

Until next time, keep that luscious heart.

Why the Las Vegas Shooting Made Me Think About Mothers

On Monday night, I got home from the annual Accomplishment Coaching Leader retreat. 

While I was on a boat in Victoria, Canada, 58 people lost their lives and at least 500 were injured in the tragic Las Vegas shooting.

I felt like most of us: Speechless. Heartbroken. But I didn’t want to react in the usual lockstep, social media-approved emotions after this horrifying event.

Shock.

Outrage.

Blaming.

Bargaining

Apathy.

Repeat.

Going back to my four days with Accomplishment Coaching, I thought about the deep, dynamic conversations I had with fellow coaches and colleagues. 

One of the biggest take-aways for me: The extraordinary impact of mothers.

At Accomplishment Coaching, a woman had recently lost her mother. Another woman lost her stepmother and had to leave the retreat early. Someone else’s mom was going through chemo.

Moms’ impact on the lives of their children and families really got to me, reaffirming how extraordinary it is to be a mother.

As a mom, someone’s always looking to you, needs you to love them no matter what even when they’re being dangerous or can’t love themselves.

If you’ve learned anything about forgiveness, self-care and acceptance, it likely came from your mother or a maternal figure in your life. 

This is an extraordinary responsibility and opportunity, and when mothers are loved, nurtured, supported and fully expressed, kids have permission to take care of themselves and make boundaries they learned from them.

When I heard about Vegas, I thought about the mothers.

Mothers that will bury their adult children.

Children that will bury their parents.

It has to stop.

I don’t know what to do in this moment, but we have to change people. 

We have to listen and care deeply. We need to care more and be right less.

My commitment is to elevate people and speak my truth.

When I was sharing this message with my writer Joanne, she remarked on the sensitivity of these issues, because as a business owner (or anyone really), it can be dangerous to speak up.

Yet the incredible leader, author and coach who trained me, Mark Hunter, has taught me that as leaders, it doesn’t matter if we’re liked.

What matters is we do our jobs and stand up for what we believe in. Mark prepared me for this: People will not like you, and you need to still stand, speak and lead anyway. The leaders I admire the most are brave and speak from their hearts.

We need to speak up and take action.

I’m lucky to be part of a loving community in Charlotte. As I type, my tribe is working on an action to show we won’t remain silent about these chronic mass shootings.

As a mother, woman, business owner, wife and someone who’s committed to transformation in the world, this is the truth for me. 

It’s tough, and the conversation is super important.

If you ever need to talk, my door is always open.

Until next time, keep that luscious heart.

What to do when your kid’s being a sass bucket

Last week, I went to Disney World for the first time as a 40-year-old. 

The experience was, well, very Disney: fun, expensive and, as it turned out, educational.

You see, before we left for the Most Magical Place on Earth, Mirabelle’s snappiness meter had been tipping off the charts.

There had been a lot of “Stop it, Mama!” and what I like to call a stinky attitude.

I wasn’t about to shell out all that mad Disney World cash for a stinky attitude, that’s for sure.

That’s when I shot up a flare to Wendy Petricoff of Charlotte Parenting Solutions. She’s a wiz at getting the stink out of kids and parents, like those moms that get grass stains out of white shirts in Tide commercials.

Wendy and I had a call on Friday at 9:30 a.m. while I was in Disney World proper, and here’s the clarity she brought me on our call:

It’s so powerful to be heard and gotten: Wendy listened and empathized with my plight, and she got real with me. She talked about a recent moment with her teenage daughter at Nordstrom over a $30 skirt, impressing on me that the sass never ends, and these clashes are very human.

My child’s sass can be an asset to her later in life. It’s not always such a bad thing when our daughters are sassy. When they grow up and need to set boundaries about their bodies and time, you want them to sass away. It can be valuable to have a sharp, sassy daughter.

Practicing empathy and non-reaction wins the day. These two are a potent combo against sass. When you arrive at crazy-town angry with your kids, they smell fear like an animal. If you show emotion and anger, they win. This isn’t a 100 percent game, but if you keep it calm 50 or 60 percent of the time, you’re crushing it. Wendy gave me a handful of beautiful, emphatic one-liners when sassymouth shows up, like, “Do you want to try that again?” and “That behavior exhausted mommy, do you want to pay it back by doing a chore?”

Focusing on our responses rather than the offending behavior. It all comes down to how I respond when Mirabelle’s being a sass bucket. Do I jump in the pool and have a sass off with a 5-year-old, or do I stay on dry land for a calm and collected chat? Who do I want to be in the face of that? I’m going to practice generosity in those moments. I’m going to continue eating well and moving my body and be otherwise joyful so when sassymouth shows up, I’m prepared to be great. Besides, Mirabelle testing boundaries is her job as a five-year-old.

Bottom line: crisis averted in the most magical place on Earth.

Now, I’d like to hear from you.

How are you taking care of yourself this week? What are your go-to phrases for dealing with sassymouth (because I could still use all the help I could get)?

Before I go: Mama, it’s time to save the date.

I’m launching the Luscious Mother Winter Retreat in Charlotte from January 26 to 28 and in New York from March 23 to 24!

We’ll be offering all kinds of fun incentives during the early bird, so keep these dates close to you.

Until next time, keep that luscious heart.

Page 2 of 1012345...10...Last »