We fight ourselves so hard. We make things more complicated and more difficult than they have to be. We do this with the little things (what to eat, doing dishes and laundry) and with the big things. But it’s the fighting with all of the little things that really gets us stuck because it’s happening all the time. It’s the pattern so many of us run constantly, like music in the background that is always playing. So how do you stop it, or at least practice quieting that fight?
First, you recognize that it’s happening. This alone can create huge shifts, because this type of message from your inner critic is often so ingrained in how you function that you don’t even notice it anymore. Cues that it’s happening include negative self talk like:
“I can’t do anything right”
“I messed up again”
“I don’t deserve…”
“I don’t have enough time”
“I have other people whose needs have to come before my own”
Sometimes the cues come in your behaviors more than the self talk:
These fights can go on for so long and when they do, they start to influence who we are at sour core. Quieting the fight allows you to grow into your authentic self.
When you recognize that you are fighting yourself, you open the door to learning more about what you really want.
In this place of possibility you can ask yourself a simple question, “What do I want right now?”
The question is certainly easier to ask than answer much of the time, but the next step is asking the question and listening for an honest response.
I’ll share an example of a situation that comes up in my life because it serves as a good reminder that this is all practice and that there is not some simple quick-fix that is going to work 100% of the time.
It gets to be dinner time but I’m rushing around trying to finish things from my day. I begin to notice my hunger so I go into the kitchen to see what I have to eat. I open the fridge, and then close it deciding there’s nothing there that I want. I open the cupboard door. Same thing. I check the counter to see what’s out and none of that really appeals to me either. I’ll do this many times, sometimes taking a break to check my email as if somehow, magically, new food will appear in my kitchen and it will be exactly what I want. Each time that I go back, my hunger (and my frustration) is rising.
Many days, I’ll stop myself at some point and say to myself, “Wait. What do I really want right now?”
Sometimes the answer will be “I don’t know” and the loop of frustration will continue. Most of the time though, when I can step away from what I have and don’t have, what feels easy or difficult, I can tune into my body and discover what it is I want, whether it’s protein, salad, a refreshing smoothie or one of my easy go-to meals.
The recognizing and asking are keys to quieting the fight, but the foundation of it all is in creating ritual.
When you create ritual within your day to day life, all of the little places start to be infused with ease instead of overwhelm.
You create ritual in your closet by filling it only with clothing that you love. Then getting dressed each morning becomes an act of self-love, everyday.
You create ritual in your eating habits by filling your kitchen with nourishing choices, so no matter what you choose to eat, it fills you on many levels.
You create ritual around the seemingly mundane tasks and suddenly the dishes, the laundry, the cleaning up the clutter become ways to care for your environment, and by extension, yourself and your family.
Ritual does not have to mean whatever you have been taught by others that it means. Ritual is yours to create and define.
In the month of October, we will be gathering as a community to explore in the Sacred Ritual Everyday. If you join us for this journey, by the end of October, you will have taken great strides in quieting the fight within you.
Peace, Love, and Wellness,
This week in my love note to my email list I’m talking about simplicity. Here with you, I am going to share what I do on a (mostly) daily basis to invite simplicity into my life, and to try to encourage it to stay.
When you’re first getting started with practicing simplicity, it can feel hard. If you’re anything like me, you can pause now, look back over your life, and realize how unnecessarily complicated you’ve made most things.
Simplicity allows you the space to focus on your desires without getting tangled up in overwhelm, fear, and anxiety. Simplicity is a breath of fresh air. It opens your eyes to what’s most important because your vision becomes less clouded.
When you can infuse your journey towards motherhood with simplicity you create more space for empowerment, ease, and enjoyment.
As with most things, simplicity is a practice, and to keep it going strong, to weave it into the fiber of who you are, it can help to have a few guiding practices. Here are some of mine.
Start small :: Make the bed. Morning pages. Lemon water.
Create space :: No technology for the first and last 2 hours of the day. Clear clutter.
Be grateful :: Remember the good. Release the not so good.
Nourish :: Whole, fresh foods. Uncomplicated and delicious.
Move your body :: Walk. Sun salutations. Dance party.
As you ease into your day, begin with the things that make you feel amazing. Be fully present in the moment. Enjoy the warm water rushing over your body. Hold that hot mug between your hands. Feel the cool breeze on your face.
Simplicity lives in the moments. That means that at any point, you can begin again. You can choose simplicity right now and know that you are giving yourself the gift of a simplicity practice.
How can you choose simplicity today? Share with us in the comments below.
Peace, Love, and Wellness,
When I started Womb to World Wellness in 2011, I already knew the feeling of desire very well, as I had experienced it through the desire for a baby. I learned a lot along that journey, but sometimes we need to learn lessons more than once before we can fully begin to integrate them into our lives. As I open the Creating Fertile Ground Circle, some of that vulnerability comes back for me, and I wanted to share that with you today.
This is not the first time I have launched a group program. I have now run a few successful programs (my favorite until now being Growing with Gratitude), but back in 2012 I tried for the first time, and what felt then like failure left me feeling raw and unsure of myself.
I had just run I Want One (or another one) for the first time, and it was amazing. More women than I had expected joined me for that week of gentle emails, welcoming them to see what this journey could be like. I was excited at the idea of having some of them join me as we dove deeper into that content, exploring and beginning to flesh out how they could start creating these changes with ease. So I opened registration, spread the word, and waited. Crickets. Nothing. Nada. And as quickly as my excitement had risen, it deflated.
I questioned myself, I questioned the work I was doing, I questioned my business, and I looked for new paths to travel. I ran a couple of programs geared towards mamas instead of those dreaming about becoming mamas, and while they were well received, they didn’t light me up like this preconception work does.
As I just shared with my mastermind group, “we drive ourselves crazy with expectations.” This is true whether our expectations are about our businesses, our future babies, or simply our daily lives.
Everything shifted for me when I surrendered, released the expectations and let myself be guided by my passion.
Surrender means to cease resistance. Do you often find yourself fighting, struggling, and working what feels like too hard to reach your dream? That is the resistance, and I can promise you that most of the time it will keep you stuck. When you surrender to what is, you gain a clearer vision of what is possible, what needs to happen to get you unstuck and moving with flow towards your dream.
Releasing expectations means to open up and let go. Let go for a moment of what you expect this journey to look like. Let go for a moment of what others expect of you. Open up to understanding that your path is unfolding as it is for some reason. It might suck. It might hurt like hell. It might make you question what you’re doing right or wrong. And I’m sorry if you’re feeling that – I know those feelings too. It is about trust.
Being guided by your passion means focusing your energy on what makes you thrive. When you create the space to fill your life with what lights you up, what brings you joy, and what brings you happiness, you create an energy about you that attracts what you most desire, because you are in flow.
It was awful when I put myself out there 2 years ago and heard crickets, but you know what? I wasn’t ready like I am now.
I wasn’t ready like I am now to hold space for those women.
I wasn’t ready like I am now to run a program that feels completely in flow.
I wasn’t ready like I am now to surrender to the process.
I wasn’t ready like I am now to release the expectations and enjoy the journey.
I wasn’t really like I am now to trust in my passion and let it guide me.
I just spent a day at a mini-retreat, creating much of the content for the Creating Fertile Ground Circle, and let me tell you, it’s nothing like I could have created two years ago. And I’m so excited that you’re here with me now to have the chance to experience it.
I know now that the women who are meant to Circle together in this group will be drawn to it and know that it is what is the right next step for them. If you are one of them, I look forward to connecting with you more deeply soon! You can learn more and join us here.
Peace, Love, and Wellness,
My home is sacred space. Taking care of my home is an extension of taking care of myself. When my home feels out of balanced, cluttered, and visibly like it’s not receiving the care it deserves, I know that is a reflection of myself. This is tricky for someone who has wanted to tackle clutter for a long time. I am getting there – in my home, on my computer (oh the files!) and in my mind and heart. I am so incredibly aware of how they intertwine.
There are times when I move furniture around, and warn my husband so he doesn’t hurt himself or go into shock when he gets home. The last move was just a couple of tables, but the time before that was moving some big pieces of furniture between rooms. It’s what I do. It’s part of how I shift the energy and create space for what I most need.
But I don’t always have the time or desire to go big when it comes to cleaning and moving things around in my home. Sometimes, even if I wish I could wave a magic wand and have our home look like the sacred space that I know it is, I have to be content to start small.
There is magic is starting small.
There is magic in picking one small space and knowing that you have made it what you want it to be.
There is magic in creating a part of your home that is free of clutter and that fully reflects what you want.
There is magic in creating little altars throughout your home, spaces that bring forth love, peace, and calm even amidst a larger mess.
Last night I chose one small space.
It never ceases to amaze me how filled with junk our medicine cabinets get even when I think I’m staying on top of them.
Today, I chose another small space. Granted, all it took to create this space was removing one misplaced item from the shelf, but look at the magic!!
When you create a calm and sacred environment for you to live in, you begin to feel the calm and sacred within, and that is a beautiful act of self-care.
What is one space in your home that you can make sacred today? Share with us in the comments below.
Peace, Love, and Wellness,
Tonight, we head down to my father-in-law’s to celebrate Christmas Eve and morning. Then we’ll zip back up to do Christmas dinner with my mother-in-law and the next day we’ll be on our way to the mountains for a few days of rest, ease, and gathering with my mom’s family.
In our family, Hanukkah and Christmas both get celebrated but Christmas can often feel more stressful because of all of the travel in a short amount of time. I’m easing into this year, feeling incredibly grateful for the time spent connecting with family, and focusing on simplicity and love.
I want to share with you a few things I’ve done to keep the last weeks of the year joy-filled instead of stress-filled, in the hopes that you can find the same for yourself and your family. Here’s the best part – these tips are perfect to return to all year long.
Release anything that doesn’t feel like flow – I have let a lot go in the last few weeks and spent many work days feeling incredibly productive but not rushed. When you try to do things that don’t feel right, they don’t typically turn out so well. If it feels like it’s blocking energy, let it go.
Keep gift giving simple – For years I’ve wanted to make handmade gifts, but honestly, I’m just not there yet. I do feel strongly about supporting local business, and I got my holiday shopping done for all of the women on my list in one night, in one place, and guess what? I got them all the same thing! Sometimes when it feels right, there’s no need to complicate it. (tweet this)
Give yourself lots and lots of soft space – Soft space is that time where you don’t have to do anything, where you can fill up with whatever makes you feel good. This helps you tap into the flow (see above for why that’s so important).
What has soft space looked like for me? Rearranging furniture, creating lots of vision pages (more on that next month), reading, getting back in the practice of morning pages and my gratitude journal, eating meals while doing nothing else and taking off the last two weeks of the year.
What feels like soft space to you? Leave a comment and let me know!
I hope that whatever this week looks like, you can release some stress and find some joy and flow.
Peace, Love, and Wellness,
On this new moon, I write to you.
Of new beginnings
Of dreams shared
Of wishes granted
Of feelings layered
The seeking within
The soul shining bright
The movement of magic
The breath of delight
A simple message
A way to take care
A moment to be
A pause gets you there
Sit and be silent
Sit and be still
Sit and be present
Sit and re-fill
As we drift closer to the darkest day of the year, I encourage you to find ways to invite light into your life, filling yourself with joy and anticipation, releasing the darkness inside to create space for the light, the re-birth of yourself.
Peace, Love, and Wellness,
The other night, I was sitting at my desk, magazines and clippings surrounding me.
I had struggled through the day but managed to find my way to gratitude throughout, in the small moments.
Wondering where to go next, I shuffled the cards that sooth me. I shuffled. I shuffled. The pack split open and three cards floated free. The fourth, from the bottom, came to greet them.
Moment to Moment.
We are the World.
Yes, my soul whispered, this is what it’s all about, and I knew that these cards were speaking about the group gathering for Growing with Gratitude.
Participation – Hands outstretched in a circle. Here is my soul, opening to yours in this safe space, awakening to the energy of a powerful community.
Beyond Illusion – Mind expanding into butterfly wings, ready to take off and soar as a new version of you emerges from all that you hold within.
Moment to Moment – The only way we ever truly live our lives, one step at a time, one foot in front of the other. Each step is taken with deep trust.
We are the World – We dance, rejoice, and hold hands as we come together from everywhere, in one place – this place of gratitude. Creating the light that we wish to see in the world, and spreading it in every way we know how.
The messages of the cards to you:
Participation “You have an opportunity to participate with others now to make your contribution to creating something greater and more beautiful than each of you could manage alone. Your participation will not only nourish you, but will also contribute something precious to the whole.”
Beyond Illusion “Drop your opinionated mind and move inside. There, you can relax into your own deepest truth, where the difference between dream and reality is already known.”
Moment to Moment “Be available to what comes your way, as it comes. And don’t worry if you stumble or fall; just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, have a good laugh, and carry on.”
We are the World “When we recognize the common source of our humanity, the common origins of our dreams and longings, our hopes and fears, we are able to see that we are all joined together in the great miracle of existence.”
We are approaching the eve of Growing with Gratitude, and our 30 day journey begins tomorrow. Will you join us? Your first step is to click here.
Peace, Love, and Wellness,
*Images and quotes come from the Osho Zen Tarot Cards
Summer for us tends to be really busy, especially in August, which always seems to creep up on us. We spend almost 2 full weeks away between our family reunion and the Philadelphia Folk Festival (this will be our 14th year!). This year, I set myself up with a plan to keep the stress and overwhelm at a minimum and I was proud of myself for that. Then something happened – I had an idea.
If you’re anything like me, you like to take an idea and run with it, even if filing it away for the future would be the less stressful thing to do. So here I was, sabotaging my own plan for a relaxing summer by putting more on my plate than I could realistically manage.
Here’s a little secret – most of the time when it feels like there’s too much on your plate, there’s an easy way to take something off of it and give yourself some breathing room.
Today I want to share 5 tips with you that helped me reclaim my summer and that will help you release the feeling of overwhelm even when you have a lot on your plate.
Ditch the “should, must, have to, got to, and ought to” way of thinking (this one comes courtesy of the amazing Angela Heather)
I’ve just started doing this recently and let me tell you how empowering it is! I find myself really thinking about why I am spending my time in certain ways. Of course you might feel like you “have to” wash the dishes, but really, you want to have clean dishes to put your food on, right?
This simple shift can help you feel more excitement and energy around the things that you do in your daily life, and you’ll be shifting away from a negative way of framing things (this is very important always and especially when planning for a baby).
Fill your to-do list with things you love
When you fill your time with things you love, even if there are lots of things, you’ll be more likely to be in a happy and joy-filled place. And, you’ll start to crowd out the things that feel like time and energy sucks, because why clutter your life up with that? This is so important because you have to take good care of yourself before you can truly and deeply take care of others.
What’s more, you’ll start to understand the deeper intricacies of what constitutes a “should” on your list. Even if it’s something you love, if you start to feel more stress around it than you can handle at the moment, chances are it’s a good thing to put off for another time.
Honor all that you are accomplishing
It can be really easy for all of the little awesomeness to fall through the cracks. Then you get to the end of your day, week, month, or even year and feel like you didn’t get much accomplished and that doesn’t feel so good, does it? Appreciate all that you have done and how much those little things count. I remembered to water my plants today, I made time for yoga, I did a load of laundry. These things matter!
Be patient and compassionate with yourself
Even when you do all of the above, you’re going to hit moments of overwhelm (I had one just a few minutes ago!). You’ll feel like there’s too much to do and not enough time, and you might want to scream or put aside all responsibility and watch a movie or read a book. Do it and here’s why – you have to take care of yourself and be open to the flow. If something isn’t flowing, take a break from it. Forcing it will not make it come sooner or more easily, even if you’re on a deadline.
Give yourself permission or find someone who will
Sometimes you just have to let it go. That idea I mentioned? It was the awesome video series that I started putting together for you. I couldn’t give myself the permission to let it go, but I was talking to a friend the other day and she made it okay for me. I realized in talking to her that as excited as I am about this series, I am also excited about the other event I had planned (a great call that you won’t want to miss). “Do the video series in the fall and enjoy your summer,” she said. She was right, so that’s exactly what I’m going to do!
This is a perfect example of not noticing that something was a “should” on my list. Sometimes we need someone on the outside to help guide us to what will serve us best.
So I’m doing these things and remembering to breath. I focus my energy on what I’m most passionate about and I trust that I will make everything that I want to happen. Sometimes making a lot happen without overwhelm also means reaching out for support. I’m getting very good at that – are you?
Peace, Love, and Wellness,
clutch the knob and open on up,
running forward into its widespread greeting arms with your hands before you,
fingertips trembling though they may be.”
– Anis Mojgani
A couple of weeks ago, the phrase ‘shake the dust’ appeared in my world twice in one day, and it really resonated with me.
One was on the bumper sticker of my reflexologist’s car, and was a reference to this amazing video.
The other came from The Organic Sister, and may have been referencing the same video, though I am not sure.
Either way, the phrase has stuck with me and has been finding it’s way into my life.
Shake the Dust showed up as a custom flower essence blend from a friend.
Shake the Dust has meant taking my health journey to a deeper level and starting to see incredible change from the inside.
Shake the Dust taught me to start bringing more acceptance and compassion to the way I deal with difficult situations.
Shake the Dust appeared in my life yesterday as I started out vacuuming and ended up rearranging furniture (do you do that too?).
Shake the Dust was a walk outside, moving my body to release stagnant energy (the photo above is from my walk).
Shake the Dust is changing my life.
As you may have read, I recently found my way back to my yoga mat. For the last couple of practices, as I have re-entered the world after savasana, the word ‘light’ has come to mind.
I see ‘light’ as being very much connected to ‘shake the dust,’ for it is when we can release the old – the fear, the pain, the anger, the shame – that we can find the true light that we are and shine it into the world.
May you shine your light brightly into this world.
Peace, Love, and Wellness,