Support is all around us. I learned to receive it.

When I pay attention, and check my defensive nature, it’s everywhere all the time.

I recently created a video.

I haven’t done many videos because I’m uncomfortable with them. It feels strange to talk to a camera, and I don’t know what to do with myself when the other person is talking. I know it takes practice, but I’m not practiced in it yet, so it’s scary. But I finally did it, and it’s out there on our membership site, with many more to come.

One woman said that my tone was silly, uncomfortable, and didn’t reflect who I really was, and that she was a little embarrassed for me as she watched the video.
I had to really take that in and stay open with it to understand what she saw. Perhaps I was trying too hard. It was scary, after all. But I remember preparing for the recording, and the prep work with my business partner put me in a funny mood.

I received feedback from another woman about the same video, and she said, “Your welcoming videos are great – just the right blend of fact and fun.  Very clear, professional, and friendly in your unique and authentic style.”

I love and appreciate both feedback equally, because I know there’s truth in both.

And, both those women are powerful women who march to their own drummer, know how to take care of themselves, aren’t afraid to say what’s on their mind, aren’t in the business of managing others, and would only give meaningful feedback with my – our – success in mind.

If I only received feedback like the second one, I’d question if I was pushing myself to the edge. The first one was definitely harder to swallow for sure, but made the second one that much sweeter. I can’t discount either because neither came from fear, scarcity, or trolling energy; otherwise I would have. They both came from an intention to support, hold vision for, and elevate.

My business partner talked to me about different perspectives, where they come from, and who our client avatar is as it relates to how we create our content. I think about how I put myself out there, and whether or not our content feels fully aligned. It takes some thought to put the two together. It takes the right balance of knowing my expertise, and paying attention to how others connect with them. My partner was concerned about my confidence being “crushed” by the more critical comment(s). I can’t tell you how grateful I am for her love and support.

Being able to receive feedback, and being willing to delve deeper into what’s been called out without getting caught in my own victimization, shame, blame, and justification is a skill that’s taken me – yep – nearly 50 years to learn. Do you know what it’s like not to be able to take compliments? Yeah. Well, this – along with doing the scary stuff – makes the sweet compliments much easier to receive. It’s a game changer.

The single most effective tool

is our breath. It turns on our rest-and-digest parasympathetic response, our calm, our clarity, and our spirit.

Sit with your spine tall, close your eyes, and breath through your nostrils, including on the exhale.

Expand the body on the fullest inhale you can make and breath into your solar plexus (just below the diaphragm).
Exhale as completely as you can, muscles of your core pressing in towards your spine, spine remains tall like royalty.
Continue.
Let your thoughts and any tension melt away with each exhale, and then
inhale in pure energy and life force.

What Self Care really looks like

My 16 year old daughter teaches me so much on many levels.

This is Labor Day Weekend– a long weekend to soak up the last bit of summer before school starts back up for good. What does she do?

 On Friday night, while I was out and trying to check in with her, she does not respond to my texts, which is unusual for her. I asked a neighbor to check in on her, and he finds her at the dining room table doing her homework. She left her phone in her room so she would not be disturbed by all the snapchats and group texts. This is to get homework out of the way so she is not cramming on Monday.

On Saturday afternoon, she goes to the library to take her 4 hour ACT review test (which she will go over with her tutor that she asked for). She cries all the way there because she’d rather be doing just about anything else. But I am not the one making her do this– she is.

On Sunday, she sleeps in, binge watches on Netflix, spends time with her dad, and then enjoys an evening with her friends (she takes my car).

Today– it is almost noon on Labor Day, and she is still sleeping. She plans to take her 4 hour SAT review test. Next Sunday, she meets with her tutor for the first time to go over the results to identify her strengths and weaknesses.

She feels a great sense of relief that she has two important things accomplished already, and that she can sleep in today, allowing her to move through this week without the monster things that many of us would procrastinate on looming over her head. I know that, at her, age, and maybe even now, I would have saved all that work to the end, and that this day would have been met with complete dread.

Some might call her Sunday activities of “rest and relaxation” Self-Care. While it was an important way to replenish and maintain balance, I think, however, that the other stuff that required true discipline was the actual Self Care. Self Care was doing things she didn’t want to do that had to get done in order to keep moving forward in her life as she wanted it to unfold. As she knocked them out in the luxury of her own terms (rather than last minute when options diminish), her Self Care not just worked to build on her character, but made her feel unencumbered and accomplished, allowing her to enjoy fully the moments of rest and play, completely entitled to them and free from justifications. I bow to her.

nothing great happens inside the comfort zone