Holy moly, it’s almost Christmas.
This is the week for everyone to decorate for the holidays, from hanging keepsake ornaments to brushing up on homemade hot toddy recipes.
Well, I got bit by the spirit of it all.
In lieu of a traditional gift guide stuffed with laptops and yoga pants (no shame in treating yourself, sister), I’ve punched up my Luscious Mother Gratitude Guide.
The following people spice up my eggnog all year long. From parenting solvers to firebrand coaches and everyone in between, you’ll catch this spirit that’s been lifting me up.
- Wendy Petricoff, Charlotte Parenting Solutions. This woman is a godsend for parents, period. I work with her personally (you may remember my Wendy SOS when I was at Disney World with Matt and Mirabelle). As a mom, I’m always beating the drum of having support, and Wendy helps you craft solutions even when you feel like you’re at your wits end with your kids. When you’re like WTF, she’s here’s what we can do. She helps you get over the line, stay sane, see the big picture. A top rate professional, well trained, funny and smart to boot. You’ll want to have a cup of coffee with this beaut.
- Colleen Nolan, Soar Speech Therapy and Consulting. This speech-language pathologist has some high level, specialized training. She brings a lot of play into her work and flexibility for clients in terms of meeting times and length of working together. I like to say Colleen is the concierge doctor of speech pathology. While the clock is ticking for traditional service providers, Colleen offers specialized one-on-one service. Parents have access to her and feel like they’re being super supported.
- Susan Hyatt, Susan Hyatt Coaching. I’ve got a mega coach crush on this gal. She’s loud and proud and out there with meaningful, gutsy programming. One of the things that stood out about her Instagram is her focus on feminism and political issues. In a world full of people trying not to trip over themselves, she’s like, love me or leave me. She’s not playing by anyone else’s rules except hers, and that’s sexy.
- RA MA Institute, RA MA TV. Founded by Guru Jagat in 2013, RA MA Institute is a powerful gathering of families, individuals and yogis building community through the contemplative practice of Kundalini yoga. Guru Jagat is real, funny and down to Earth. While I won’t say we have no Kundalini yoga in Charlotte, there aren’t any regular classes or studio times. I’ll get invitations to small classes at people’s houses, but it’s a specialized thing and not super accessible. RA MA TV is a subscription service where you can get unlimited access to their library, and if you’re a Kundalini junkie like me, you’ll love that sweet Kundalini action any time, any place.
- CreativeMornings. Oh honey, the two-year celebration of this creative jam almost a week ago was everything. If you’ve been to one of these morning play, creativity and connect fests, you know what I’m talking about. Every month, you get to hear an inspiring speaker over local breakfast goods. Think of it as a shot of glitter in your soul. If you’ve been looking to jump in, get in on this party. Justcheck out the video for proof.
- Brian Lafontaine, Three Days of Rain. Charlotte’s got a lot, as they say, but it unfortunately lacks professional and homegrown theatre. That’s why I jump on the chance to support local actors like Lafontaine, who has a role on Stranger Things this season. I know Three Days of Rain is gonna be great, and here’s the story: Three friends meet in New York to divide up their parents’ estate, where they learn a little more about them and themselves. I’ll be there on Saturday night, so let me know if you want to join.
These are some of the things I’m loving this season.
I’d love to hear how I can support you this holiday season, so reply to this email and let’s talk it out.
With deep love and gratitude,
Last weekend, Matt, Mirabelle and I went to Asheville with some friends. Two couples were staying in one house (with our kids) and two couples were in another house (no kids).
No, this isn’t a math equation, or at least not one you see on fill-in-the-bubble tests.
The set of couples without kids were off to paint the town red, even orange and a dab of fuschia, too. The set with kids, well, all the town-painting we could get in before 7:30 p.m. bedtimes.
My sister-in-law reminded Matt and me that our regular babysitter in Charlotte was also in Asheville this weekend, visiting her family.
“You should see if she’s available to watch Mirabelle,” she said.
I called her and sure enough, she was not only available to babysit, but THRILLED to do it.
Matt and I felt like we’d won the lottery. Dreams of painting downtown Asheville all the colors of the rainbow danced in our heads.
But the other mom in our house — a superstar mom, I might add — was hesitant. She’d been having a hard time putting her daughter to bed lately because of her little one’s pre-bedtime anxiety. (It’s actually pretty common for lots of kids.)
She was worried the babysitter might trigger her daughter’s anxiety more. I told her if she wanted to stay in, I’d stay in and the guys could go out.
Beyond the needs of her daughter, my heart squeezed for this mom’s own personal struggle. She felt badly about leaving her daughter AND she wanted to go out and have fun. She felt torn. She knew the right thing (for her) was to stay in (no babysitter) and she was afraid the rest of the gang would judge her.
I’ve definitely had those moments of fear and worry. Many moms go through this and it’s kind of a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation. My friend was teed up to feel badly if she did go out, and feel badly if she didn’t.
It’s really important for moms to be aware of this push and pull, and in the end, do what’s right for them and their families.
Tell me, did you experience a similar seemingly “no win” situation over the holidays? When it wasn’t the holidays? I’d love to hear from you.
With deep love and gratitude,
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.
Until next time, keep that luscious heart.
With deep love and gratitude,
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.
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.
With deep love and gratitude,
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
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.
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.