I was at the airport for 9 hours last Friday. And in my purse, I happened to have a parenting book that was recommended to me. The author was a bit didactic for my palate, but I did come away with two really valuable things: 1. Make your partner the most important person in your life. When a child sees that love, commitment and connection, they feel safe and at ease (advice also given to me and Matt by my teacher Hari Kaur the day Mirabelle was born); and 2. Modern parents relate to parenting as hard. Ouch. That one hurt a little. And I felt slightly guilty and a little embarrassed. Once I got over the awareness of how I was being (acting/feeling/story I have about parenting — you know, “No, really, it IS hard!”), I started thinking about how I want (or choose) to relate to parenting. I want to have fun with my husband and daughter and revel in the goodness of every day we have together. I want to be present and energized, excited and open. I want a fabulous empowered life, which definitely includes my relationship with my daughter. So, I’m starting a new conversation around motherhood. Being a Mom with time for myself, my partner and my child. Connection. Pleasure. Humor. And deep deep love.
Mothers, this week I’m looking at you. Want to have a better relationship with your children? Your partner? YOURSELF? Want to join me in owning motherhood from an empowered place? Email me to get the conversation started.
This beautiful woman is my younger sister, Kate, and the fellow is her amazing husband, Ed. As you may gather from the tiny human in a blanket next to her, she just gave birth. And I am over the moon excited about my new niece, Mireya. And I am all but bursting with love for my sister. She looks so bright and clear in this photo — I am continually floored by her courage and how she makes everything in her life work with ease and grace. This is Kate’s second child, delivered by Cesarian birth. Earlier in her pregnancy, we discussed her birthing plan and she declared she was having a C Section. Her first daughter was delivered via Cesarian after 15 hours of labor. Kate was not interested in a VBAC after her experience. A few years ago, I probably would have had some “judgment” about her decision, but today, I am able to support her fully and honor and respect her choice. Which creates more connection and love in our relationship. Which allows me to have the kind of relationship I want with my sister. Open. Honest. Supportive. Unconditional. Powerful.
Have any relationships with “stuff” in the way? Interested in creating more joy, connection and love with your partner, family or friends?
Interested in identifying what is in the way and having things go differently? Email me to get the conversation started.
This week (as always) there have been so many potential topics for me to write about. The loss and sadness around Philip Seymour Hoffman. The controversy and disbelief over the article trending on Facebook about the “heavyset black woman” in a yoga class, written by a thin white woman. And while I have thoughts, feelings and body sensations around all of the above, I am choosing something that had a huge impact on me in a different way.
For Christmas, I got the book The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Dr. Brene Brown. I didn’t pick it up right away, as I have a small library of self-development/coaching/transformational/non-ficton books. And sometimes, I reach full capacity with the head/heart kool-aid. The title alone indicates work to me, not in a bad way, but work none-the-less.
Last week, I took Thursday and Friday off and spent some time reading Gifts and was blown away: “Knowledge is important, but only if we’re being kind and gentle with ourselves as we discover who we are. We cannot give our children what we don’t have.” Yes. YES. YES! We can’t give what we don’t have for ourselves (compassion, unconditional love & support, etc.) to our spouses, our friends, our colleagues and our children. People usually come to me to “fix” a “problem” or relationship, but what I’m really interested in is the conversations they aren’t having . . . with themselves. What’s missing? What do you need? What do you WANT? And who do you need to be in order to create it? Interested in having things go differently? Email me here to get the conversation started.
I love weddings. I love getting married. So much so that I married the same man twice. I’m even attending a wedding in wintry Savannah, GA this weekend! And this past November, I had the amazing blessing and privilege of officiating the wedding of our nanny Bethany and her fiance Bill.
Before the wedding, the three of us sat down to see what kind of a ceremony they wanted and how they wanted people to feel when it was done. Light-hearted, fun and meaningful were some headlines. I wrote an outline for the ceremony and was very excited to share stories, anecdotes and various other ideas and musings on marriage.
The day of the wedding arrived and the weather was iffy. Rain, on and off, and an imminent outdoor ceremony. Cue the music. The bride, groom and I take our places on a covered porch, but the guests were exposed to the elements. Three minutes into the ceremony, it started to rain. And I had a choice to make: carry on with my original plan or skip to the good stuff and somehow make this experience amazing in a very short period of time.
I picked the latter. I made light of the weather and skipped to the vows. And it was perfect and appreciated. I decided, in an instant, to let go of how it was supposed to go/be/look. I danced in the moment. I wasn’t attached (ok, so I was a little attached — but not enough for it to get in the way), and I was able to make a decision for the highest and best of the group, not based on my idea of doing it “right” or what makes a “perfect” ceremony.
What are you “attached” to? Where is the idea of doing it “right” getting in the way of what you want to create? Where could you loosen the white knuckle grip on what you “know”? Want to dance in the moment? Email me here to get the conversation started.
Last week, I got the most amazing email from a woman I have never met:
“Because of Matt’s postings I have been reading your posts and checked out your blog. Your writing touches such a nerve. You have incredibly keen insights and seem to have an uncanny ability to post about topics I have just been discussing with my own girlfriends. I love the principles you’ve built your coaching practice and life practice around and your writing is honest and wise and human. I just want you to know that I admire what you’re doing and you’ve made my world a more conscious and thoughtful and inspired space just by your words.”
I was blown away on many levels. Me doing my work makes a difference for someone. What was even more profound was the impact of what she shared with me. In coaching, acknowledgment is actually a tool used to call out a person’s greatness. In fact, I often see that my clients are missing acknowledgment (from themselves or others) and it leaves a gap. This acknowledgment lit me up. It made me see that I could be playing on an even bigger field and making a difference for more people. Guest blog. That book proposal I put off in 2013. The feeling that I can. Sharing more with groups.
Where could you acknowledge someone in your life who has made a difference for you? What would be the breakthrough for you in picking up the phone and sharing your experience and your gratitude? Needing some acknowledgement? Of course you do — your a human, aren’t you? Email me and I will luxuriously acknowledge you. Does the thought of someone acknowledging you make you VERY uncomfortable? Great! Let’s talk.
On Saturday, I taught my first yoga workshop in Charlotte at BeYoga. It sold out. 31 people. I was absolutely thrilled. Floored. Beyond. And nervous (very nervous). I have been studying and practicing Kundalini Yoga since 2001. I have been teaching since 2006 and have studied with some of the best teachers in the world. I have taught at colleges, hospitals, in large companies, yoga studios & half-way houses. But this was kind of freaking me out. Why?
I have a story about Kundalini Yoga (it’s weird) and Charlotte (it doesn’t like weird). And I got to experience my Survival Mechanism (fear, thoughts, feelings, body sensations) on loudspeaker . . . “I don’t have the home court advantage. They won’t like me or the yoga. Kundalini Yoga is too crazy. I am too crazy. The set I picked is too hard. And the worst, “Maybe I should try and make it lighter.” Meaning, shorten the pose times or do something else entirely. It reminded me of a conversation I had with my sister-in-law Dana about fat-free yogurt. It may taste ok, but doesn’t fill you up. You’re really not getting anything out of it and you’re probably not satisfied after eating it. And you will probably be hungry really quickly after, because it has no real substance. Our conclusion: why would you bother with a watered-down version?
Cut to my internal dialouge: “OK, what’s really going on here? What do I need? What do I want out of this workshop and what are my goals for the participants?” So I got to work. I got supported by my coach. I got clear on what I wanted to say and create. I meditated. I took excellent care of myself. And I showed up to teach in my essence (contact me if you want to know more about essence). The result? One of the most powerful teaching experiences I can remember. A room full of open-hearted yogis who got to expercience some full-on Kundalini Yoga. And to top it all off, the studio has now invited me to teach a regular weekly class on the schedule (details to follow!).
Where is fear getting in the way for you? How are your “stories” about people, places and things (including yourself) limiting you from the experiences you want? Interested in having things go differently? Email me here to get the conversation started.