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...

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...

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...

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...

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.  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...

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...