What I Learned at the Luscious Mother Retreat

 

Hey there lusciousness personified,

It’s been two delicious weeks since I’ve been on the newsletter train and so much has happened (and is currently in the works). 
I’m doing lots of corporate retreats and trainings these days.

I partnered with my husband on a retreat for the Charlotte Symphony which is a story unto itself. My book project is also getting some serious love from yours truly.

The thing that reminds me of why I’m doing all this in the first place: The Luscious Mother Retreat.

A room filled with almost 30 women, 18 people as participants and 8 people as my support team, was transformative. Those words don’t begin to do the experience or the women justice. 

There was laughter.

Lots of tears were shed.

Unbelievable breakthroughs were had.

One woman said before our lunch break on Saturday, “If I left now, I would have gotten my money’s worth.” Another sent me a note following the retreat that said, “I have never felt such a powerful shared experience where strangers were free to laugh and cry and rage and celebrate as if we were lifelong friends. It was cathartic and affirming, and I left with the power and energy to begin to create something new in my life.”

I beat this drum over and over again, but something magical happens when a group of conscious, like-minded women get in the same space.

They share.

They are seen.

They are heard.

They are acknowledged.

They share and release pain that’s treated with grace and love.

That’s the experience.

I was leading this group, but I got as much from it as if I was a participant. Here are a few key takeaways that really got me going: 

1) People want to hear the truth. Now, they want to hear it with love and humor, but they want to hear the real deal. What do people see for them? What’s in their blind spot? That’s the whole point of coaching: When you’re on the outside, you can see something that you can’t see when you’re in it. One woman at the retreat was sharing how she had these “blocks” in her life, and when I gently reflected she was giving off an “F you” vibe, she opened up and asked, “How did you know?” She was then able to notice where she does it and practice something new. It was so powerful for her not only to have it acknowledged, but to see she doesn’t need to protect herself from the world.

2) Women heal other women. Being with other women in a way that makes us feel seen, heard and held in our greatest — and not so great — moments is monumental. One of the women at the retreat said she had kissed someone who wasn’t her husband. She felt so much pain and shame, and, as a group, we held and loved her with kindness punctuated with “I love you’s” and “We’ve been there’s.” This support allowed her to forgive herself.

3) We are innately exquisite humans. And we forget that. When people remember who they are beyond fear and crappy stories, it creates a lot of possibility and power. We all have crummy stories about ourselves in the world, and when we get back to that essential nature where we remember who the person in the mirror really is, it starts to change the game.

Tell me: What could this kind of support do for you? What would it be like to be seen and heard and understood and loved, just because you showed up? If this sounds like a hell yes for you, Mama, check out my upcoming group coaching program in March. Click here to find out more.

Until next time, keep that luscious heart.

 

With deep love and gratitude,

 

 

Learn more about the LM retreat!

I Made This Choice

 

Hey there, fearless mamas,

Saturday night, I flew to NYC to watch my mom graduate from the Accomplishment Coaching program. I’ve been one of her #1 cheerleaders on her journey to becoming a coach, and wanted to celebrate her milestone.

But I was on the fence about going.

The reason: I was afraid to say yes to one more thing. My hesitation had nothing to do with my mom, who’s one of the most important people in my life. It had everything to do with January being jam-packed, and I’m very conscious about what I say yes to so I can be fully present at each commitment.

For me, the week after her graduation has been wild. On Monday, I led a team workshop. Tuesday night, I spoke on a panel and I’ll do the same thing tonight. Thursday, I’m co-leading my first retreat with Matt for the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. And Friday is the big time: Kicking off the Luscious Mother Retreat with all new content. It’s a whole new ballgame from last year and we’ve tripled in size.

Mama’s got stuff going on and I LOVE it, but I was terrified to say yes to that one more thing — even if it was for my mom.

That’s when I needed to say yes to my highest self, to my biggest commitments in the world, which include one of my favorite people on the planet.

I picked my mom.

It was 100 percent the right choice. She told me her graduation was one of the greatest nights of her life. I got to sit by the CEO who’s also my old coach and watch people graduate after a year of transformation in the program.

This was my thought process to conscious commitment-making:

What am I saying yes to in life? Am I saying yes to more work, to my heart’s greatest desire, to playing it safe? Saying yes to Mirabelle? (Well, my daughter made that last one up as I was writing this email, to which I replied, “I say yes to you every day.”)

Here’s how the answers to those questions shook out for me: My mom is one of the most important relationships in my life, coaching is my life and all the people there are my community. I was saying yes to my world, to the people who trained me, people near and dear to me.
This graduation was going to fill me up instead of weigh me down.

Tell me: What are you saying yes to? Are you looking at your authentic yeses, not what is great for other people but what’s great for you? Where are you trusting yourself, and where are you limiting possibility?

If I’m seeing you at the retreat this weekend, I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE YOU.

And there’s still time if you want to join the party. Two spots left!

Until next time, keep that luscious heart. 

 

With deep love and gratitude,

 

 

Grab Your Winter Retreat Seat!

Stop Using the G-Word

 

Hey daring darlings, 

I’m passionate about dismantling mom guilt. 

That’s why we’re going to tackle it at the Luscious Mother Winter Retreat.

We’ll be putting the past behind us, forgiving ourselves and others, and getting rid of things that no longer serve us.

That way, we can create from a clear space.

Why? Because most of the time, we’re operating on top of a lot of “stuff.”

It’s like throwing a clean tablecloth over a half-eaten dinner: Chicken bones poking up, gravy staining that once white linen, and cold, limp green beans in the way of the meal you would actually like to enjoy. 

It’s a mess under your day-to-day routine that seeps into your otherwise clean life.

At the retreat, we’re gonna clean up those dishes, utensils and used napkins, letting go of things no longer serving us to find real joy. 

It’s about getting sufficient support for yourself before you’re head-first in the trash. 

Because when things are really bad, that’s when we get support, and by then it’s much harder to get out of the dumps. When we’re on the floor crying, we know we need help and will usually get support. When your kids are sick, a pal brings chicken noodle soup. When your romantic relationship is going sideways, break out the girls night with wine.  

A press-button-in-case-of-emergency only support system doesn’t work long term because we need consistent support all the time. When you’re getting supported like that, the rebound from hard times is much quicker from the breakdown. 

What if we didn’t need an emergency or a breakdown to get support and love?

That’s what the Luscious Mother Winter Retreat is all about: Sharing yourself and being seen, heard and celebrated for your humanity.

To look around at a group of women who love you without even knowing you.

Let’s practice what we preach.

Let’s take care of ourselves the way we tell our kids to. 

Tonight, let’s delve deeper into mom guilt, and I can give you more info on the retreat. Our Zoom call is tonight at 7:30 p.m.

Sign up here and patch into the online chat. 

Hope to see you there. 

Until next time, keep that luscious heart.

 

With deep love and gratitude,

 

 

Grab Your Winter Retreat Seat!

Nothing to Do This Year

 

Hey there, holiday beauties,

Hope Santa brought you everything you wanted. One of my favorite parts of this holiday was watching Mirabelle sing along with her new ukulele. Look at that smile!

As Mirabelle’s mama, I’m committed to her completely — her general health and well-being, in addition to her living a full, rich life.

Last week, one client reminded me how that ride-or-die commitment can apply to other parts of life.

She’s an actor in New York City. On her best days and worst days, she’s an actor. I’ve never heard her consider quitting — and I’ve been working with her for years.

She’s even talked about leaving her marriage before (on the super bad days). But I’ve never heard her say she’s out of the acting game. 

There’s a ferocious power in that commitment. Even when it’s in breakdown, even when it’s not going well, or turning out how she wants — quitting isn’t an option. 

Few areas in my life are like that. Strong enough to weather any storm. 

Mirabelle is one of my ride-or-die commitments. Matt, too. He is actually my #1 commitment. My parents, my sister, brother, aunts, nieces and nephews. My in-laws. My clients. My colleagues at Accomplishment Coaching.

On my best days and worst days, and for most moms, my commitment to my family is gold. Nothing could break it. 

And I notice it isn’t like that everywhere in my life. My well-being? Not so much. Writing every day? Hardly. Getting birthday cards/gifts out on time? Rare. Regular money meetings with Matt? HA! 

And I’m not mad at myself about it. I’m just noticing where I’m “loose” with my commitments. 

Ask yourself: 

Where do you give yourself permission to break a commitment? Where do you have one foot out the door?

What would be different if you were all-in in those areas? 

Is it a have to or is it a want to? Even if I didn’t have to be Mirabelle’s mom, I want that. I choose it. A choice I make every day. 

If you have big commitments moving into 2018, which ones are you most committed to? 

Are you truly ride-or-die? 

Tell me what’s happening in that luscious heart of yours. 

Until next time,

 

With deep love and gratitude,

 

 

Grab Your Winter Retreat Seat!

6 Things I’m Super Excited About

 

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. 

  1. 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.
  2. 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. 
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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. 
  6. 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,

 

 

Grab Your Winter Retreat Seat!

To Go or Not To Go

 

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,

 

 

Grab Your Winter Retreat Seat!

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