How We Belong According to Brené Brown


Last week, I saw Brené Brown talk about the power of belonging. It was incredibly special, and I’m still thinking about it this week.

She talked about experiencing oneness with people, where you’re in the moment, connected.

It’s where you’re with a large group of people and you experience group connection.

You’re singing the same song and breaking bread in some way.

Brené talks about spirituality through the lens of belonging in her new book, Braving the Wilderness.

What she’s saying is spirituality has nothing to do with religion; it’s about being connected to each other and ourselves.

What I love about her is she’s irreverent, brilliant and down to earth about these weighty topics. She connects with people in a way that’s pure magic.

Here are some of the other things that stood out to me:

Our kids don’t just do what we say, they become who we are. For parents, it’s really, really important to remember that.

It’s hard to hate close up, so lean in and get in there with people. It’s easy to complain or judge from behind a screen, but it’s much harder — and more rewarding — to really talk with someone about their differences.

Even when you look like you have it all figured out, you still have crappy days.You’ll feel like your world or the world is falling apart. Brené shared her fears, sadness and heartbreak with the world, and it’s not so different from mine or the things I support my clients with.

It’s not about agreeing about a topic or POV. It’s how we treat each other as human beings. Are we thinking about the person on the receiving end of our commentary? Their heart? Their Spirit?

Bottom line: When we lean in and start seeing people up close, we can heal the world. It starts with one conversation, another conversation and even more conversations from there.

Tell me: Where are you missing connection and where can you create it?

Until next time, keep that luscious heart.

Meet My Mom

Earlier this week, I had a realization with my pal Réa Wright. During our interview, which premieres this Friday as a part of her free video series Real Talk: Conscious Journeys in Parenting, she asked me a personal question.

“You’re such an advocate for women taking care of themselves. What was your mom like about self-care?”

I thought back to my early memories. And they all had to do with aerobics. Hey, it was the 70s and early 80s. Think young Jane Fonda. Legwarmers.

She would do her aerobics and all that stuff.

When I was 11, she divorced my dad.

That’s when I really noticed how she started taking care of herself. 

She started putting herself first because for us to survive as a family, she had to.  

As a stay-at-home mom to three kids, she went back to school. She had support from my dad, who was supporting two households on a truck driver’s salary. 

What I learned is if you don’t take care of yourself, life doesn’t work.

You can’t take care of anyone else if you’re in the gutter.

I learned self-care is non-negotiable. 

For my mom.

For me.

For my kid’s happiness.

All of this depends on your emotional, physical well being.

Oh, and my mom never stopped taking care of herself: She’s nearing the end of her coach training program. This is her third act, and part of her retirement is giving back to people through the lens of coaching.

If you know sometime who’s thinking of retirement, retired and not loving it, or who’s dealing with divorce, call Luscious Grandmother Sandy Cote. 

You can email her here and you can set up a complimentary coaching session. Please be sure to tell some embarrassing kid stories. 

How to Make Parenting a Self-Care-Filled Journey

Hey there!

Glad to be back from a weekend of traveling, and I’m already on to the next adventure.

But first, can I just say how much I love my man?

When I’m away from home, he sends me the best photos of Mirabelle. This time around, he sent me a pic of my little daredevil cackling as she spun in a yellow bucket.

He knows how this delights me since being a parent can sometimes feel challenging, isolating, emotional and exhausting, even when you’re away. Especially when you’re away.

And I know we have the power to turn parenting into a more joy-filled experience, even on the tough days.

It’s one of the reasons I’ve partnered with my pal Réa Wright to bring you a powerful new project we’re both pumped about.

The group of experts she’s assembled are top notch and I’m honored to be part of this panel of extraordinary women and teens.

Real Talk: Conscious Journeys in Parenting, hosted by Réa, is designed to help you become a more engaged and connected parent. She’s put together an intimate and powerful video series that gives you the good, bad and, well, not so pretty, of parenting.

This video series, delivered to your inbox to view whenever you want, will take a real and raw look at what it means to be a connected and engaged parent who’s all about self-care.

The best part: Each speaker (including yours truly) created a free gift. And as Mirabelle would say, “Mines is the best.” I’m really excited about the exercise I’ve created supporting Moms called: Suffering Is Optional.

It’s all about the common ways that Moms suffer and what to do about it. It was also designed by my dear friend, business strategist and design, Lisa Speer so it looks sexy as hell too.

You’re gonna get a whole lot of insight on:

  • Reinventing old patterns
  • Finding passion with your partner all over again
  • Learning how hormones impact the stages of your parenting journey
  • Connecting with the unique stressors of special needs parenting
  • Understanding self care all along the way

For all the details and to register, click here.

Hope you join us, whirling in a yellow bucket and all.

Until next time, keep that luscious heart.

Daring to Find Common Ground Makes a Difference

This week, I jumped on The Margarita Confessionals podcast with Ali Washburn and Lauren Levine, two capable, smart and lovely women with a lot to say. (Listen to it here.)

I’ve been on a few podcasts, and this one was different. They asked me questions centered around how to be a kick ass partner, professional and overall person.

Of course, we talked about motherhood, and one of their statements struck me:

They marveled at how they would fit a baby into their already packed lives.

That like many people, they didn’t see their whole life has to change to accommodate a fussy live-in roommate that sticks with you until they turn 18 and you have to send them to college.

It got me thinking: We often focus on the data points, using (as one friend has said) people’s front stage as the grist for our own messy backstages.

We see someone supposedly crushing life — having the baby and fulfilling love life and hot business — and we think we can never get there. That we’re so different from each other. We hyper-focus on those differences.

But here’s where we’re getting caught up: We need to focus on each other’s similarities instead of what makes us different.

I’m not talking in the kumbaya, “We’re the same on the inside!” or condoning people who intend to hurt others. Nah, they don’t get this pass.

It’s more like this: Humans are interesting, and we’re interesting to each other. We create the time and energy and resources for whatever we want to put in our life.

The whole difference thing?

It’s a great big shield, Mama. It’s a fear-based conversation like how we’re different versus how are we alike.

We do it to protect ourselves from people who won’t like us, who won’t accept us. So when you think Jan over there is giving you the side-eye, she may be having a craptastic day. It’s not about you, at least not all of the time.

If the other person confirms your worst fears about opening up and trying to find similarities, at least you said what was needed to be said.

So, tell me: What similarities can you find with unexpected people? Where can your life open to make room for what’s next? And, happy listening to the podcast!

How You’re Impacting Lives Right Now

I’m on vacation this week in Rhode Island, and there’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about: The receptionist at my dentist’s office. 

Yes, really. She’s what a ray of sunshine would be in human form. Warm, connected, reliable. You could try to cover her up with the moon, but nothing can eclipse her megawatt greeting: “Hello, how are you today? Don’t you look wonderful!”

Every time I go in for a teeth cleaning, I want to know more about her. I want to know about her life. Is she a mom or a wife or a grandma? Does she floss every night or is she pretending like the rest of us? She has to be someone her community loves.

Then I think this: She could be doing more than sitting behind that receptionist desk. She could be a life coach, a brilliant one.

There could be lives she impacts beyond the my dentist’s office, more with her smile and cheery voice than she could right here.

That’s when I have to remind myself of something: No matter what you’re doing in life, you’re impacting the people around you. You don’t need to be a coach, a doctor, or an artist to do that.

It’s funny because people will often tell me that they want to make a difference and they want their profession to be something they love. That working a desk job is something to get away from and you must leap toward something else. Something bigger. 

But the thing is: You can make a difference anywhere, no matter what you do to make a living. You can bloom where you’re planted.

Heck, in a documentary called Larger Than Life, one of the people interviewed said Carol Channing would still be Carol Channing even if she worked at McDonald’s.

The idea of the original Hello Dolly! serving up that brilliant smile and signature voice into the loudspeaker sounds like my kind of fast food.

Maybe that’s how my dental receptionist feels: She’s making a difference right where she is, and that’s where she needs to be. 

And who knows what she does when the dentist’s office is closed?

You can make a difference making donuts, being happy and engaged with people.

You can make a difference saying hello to people at the dentist’s office. 

How about you: Who makes an impact in your life in big and small ways?

Until next time, keep that luscious heart.

What Your Words Say About You – Luscious Mother

Here at Luscious Mother headquarters, we’re hard at work on all the words going into our copy and content for the upcoming winter retreat from January 26 through 28, which is super exciting.

How do we do it? My writer and I first talk about it, she gives me a first draft to review, then I work it out with Matt and we go from there.

A few days ago, Matt and I were brainstorming about using “letting go of baggage” as a metaphor for the intro of the landing page (where people can register for the retreat).

We thought about James Brown’s song Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag. Why not Mama?

It’s a great song. A classic song. Now with our own twist.

We got all excited about the bag thing and wrote it into the landing page copy.

Well, my writer wasn’t having it.

She took it all out and left a note saying: “I deleted the James Brown references because he abused women.”

Until I read her note, I had no idea James Brown was a known domestic abuser of women. It was news to me.

With the state of the world, the words we speak and the jokes and quips we allow become the fabric of who we are and how we treat people.

If I say I’m an advocate for all women, then I need to be mindful of what (and who) I’m putting out there.

This kind of mindfulness applies to our everyday thinking on other major issues: What we do and don’t support has deep consequences. With the horrific events in Charlottesville, VA and the state of our country, hate speech is more out in the open than ever before.

It’s always been around, and not just the KKK or what people would call blatant racism: It’s been at the party where your boss makes a sexist remark and you laugh nervously instead of speaking up against it. It’s when your friend tells a racist joke and is quick to add, “I didn’t mean anything by it, and you’re a snowflake if you think that’s bad.”

The insidious nature of racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, anything that devalues human beings for who they are, is never tolerated here at Luscious Mother.

I want to talk about this more, because tackling these issues gets to the core of who we are and what we value.

So tell me: Where are you tolerating the little things, the little racist jokes? Where are you supporting businesses that don’t align with your values?

Little by little, when we say no to things that don’t align with our highest and best selves, we’ll start to see change, in little and big ways.

I hope we can talk more about this. Let’s start the discussion here.