A chance to start again.
I'm back! Did you miss me?
Yesterday, I took a "me-day" as I needed to deal with some surprise twists that life threw at me.
Yesterday was a challenge and I had to prioritize.
So I gave myself permission to take a break.
It allowed me to push through the muck, gather perspective and re-center myself.
The act of taking a break also provided an added bonus as an example of how to carve out a new definition of perfect. It highlights some of the destructive tendencies that can creep in to striving for "perfect".
I started this blog with the intention of writing every day during the week, and it would be tempting to feel like a failure for taking a day off.
However, life isn't that black and white.
The main purpose of this blog is to connect with you lovelies and share this process of growth and discovery. To walk with you through the steps that will help create your ideal life! We all have ways in which we are growing and we all have truths we are discovering. Support is beautiful and I am here for you.
I am grateful for the permission to take a break because that shows that there is trust. Trust that the true reasons why we do anything will be upheld. If we stay the course with our true values, we will grow.
At one time, I would have felt that taking a break meant I was a failure and my idea was stupid and nothing I do is valid anyways so why bother.
That is perfectionism speaking. That is the negative side to being a high achieving awesome powerhouse of a human.
Our goal here is to challenge and re-frame that aspect of perfect.
To recognize that the above distortions are not only unkind, but that they are counter to the truth.
Those thoughts are part of the conditioning from our airbrushed society.
Not only does it work against our goals, it is also hurtful and self-fulfilling.
As I am growing through this learning and building process, I really value the fork-in-the-road moments. The moments that past Andrea would have stopped (let's be really honest, past Andrea wouldn't have even started).
Moving forward, I get to celebrate the beauty in choosing to continue.
The freedom that comes with saying, take a day, AND GET BACK TO IT.
Throughout your day, take a moment to notice and celebrate the small moments of achievement. The moments that you challenge the absolutes. Through my hard day, a day with other priorities, I was still allowing my subconscious to work on this project. That didn't destroy the process.
This will move me towards my goal, even if my body didn't allow for it yesterday.
Is there a project that you want to grow through?
How are you giving yourself permission to get back to business?
I would love to hear from you - in what ways is your conditioning holding you back?
Here's to starting fresh! You're crushing it!
Begin at the beginning.
Take at a look at this picture. Doesn't this fellow look like he is planning something amazing?
I appreciated the ponderous gaze and thought he might fit with the topic for the day (or make you laugh, both are good!).
Today's topic is success. To which I offer this simple quote:
"Every successful person starts before they feel ready." - Marie Forleo
I love Marie. She is proof that hard work and consistent work will pay off.
I urge you to go and check her content out over at MarieTV.
Today's post is going to be short and to the point.
Start before you feel ready.
How does that thought make you feel? Scary, huh?
For me, it feels like a mixture of dread and annoyance. A bubbly-yet-heavy feeling in my middle. Sitting through that feeling and identifying how that feels helps discern if it is danger or opportunity.
Over time, the dread of starting begins to dissipate and you can skip past the discomfort. Trick your discomfort zone to work for you!
It's important to note that for some people, "focus on starting" feels quite close to danger. It is that productive panic-esk drive that floods our system with adrenaline.
We can use that push to power our drive, or to drive us away from the task.
It doesn't matter where you start, the details will work out after you start engaging in the work. There is no wrong way to go about it. You are on your own unique path and are creating your own success! Yay!
So which are you choosing today?
What does success look like for you?
How are you going to start this week?
How do you sit with discomfort?
I would love to hear from you! Send me an email and let me know!
Wishing you a warm and productive day!
growing as a team.
Here's to a new week filled with beautiful potential!
I'll be honest with you, it's a low spoons day today. Even with portioning out my spoons carefully this weekend, unexpected events used a large amount of resources. And today I am being kind to my being and gently gathering spoons when able.
I am grateful, because last week, I discovered that writing to you is spoon-giving! It brings me joy that many of you have reached out with ideas and sharing inspiration. Thank you!
Your communication and contact is deeply appreciated.
I look forward to continuing the conversation!
If I could have one wish, it would be that everyone know that they are loved and valued - where they are at.
We are all on this journey together. And this journey is far from over.
Ideally, we strive to surround ourselves with like-minded people who support and empower! This support network is vital for growth and development.
Jim Rohn, an American success philosopher, is quoted as saying that you are the average of the 5 people you surround yourself with.
I first heard this statement a few weeks ago, and it is an interesting idea to explore. I thought of the people who I surround myself with and I was really grateful with the beautiful picture that they painted.
I know we can count on each other to challenge ourselves when we get comfortable, and support each other when we tip too far outside our comfort zone. We hold each other accountable and we raise each other up to be our best selves.
I'm curious, when you take a loving look at the people in your life, how do you feel?
What are you working towards and cultivating within yourselves?
The important aspect here is to look with love. It is not about judgement, but a check-in to see if your team is supporting health and well-being. And to look for ways you can support them too!
When we surround ourselves with positive, creative, loving people, we grow into positive, creative, loving people.
Within these relationships, we look for ways to support each other where we are at and to help each other if granted the permission to do so.
Permission is key.
Without it, there can me no action.
Without permission, action is unloving and unhealthy.
So, in what ways does your support network raise you up?
How are they bringing you towards your goal? How can you support them?
I wish you a week filled with beautiful opportunities to grow and to raise up your people. Ideally there will be many more spoons for all!
Warmth and love,
For those days when you're too tired to eat the frog.
Happy Friday! Welcome back!
This week, we have been talking about tasks.
Specifically, we have focused on how to start a task and how to make it more manageable.
Today, we are going to focus on what to do when you "can't even".
How to handle life when you have seemingly run out of energy or ability.
There is a lovely idea called the spoon theory by Christine Miserandino, that I highly recommend you check out. It talks about how we have a limited number of capabilities and resources in a day (spoons). Tasks either take or give spoons. It is used as a metaphor for chronic pain management, but lends itself well to life in general.
I am a huge advocate for managing our internal resources.
So I present to you:
A super quick guide to helping yourself manage in 4 easy steps!
Step 1: Check in with yourself.
When you wake up, spend a moment listening to your body. Just take note of certain elements, where do you feel stress or anxiety? Notice your overall mood. On a scale of 1 - 10, how prepared or capable do you feel to approach the coming day?
Step 2: Divide your spoons.
Once you've checked in, define what big tasks are on the list for the day that might use the most spoons? Where are your resources primarily directed today? There isn't a right or wrong way to go about this. This is meant to be a quick point-form list of the day.
Step 3: Give yourself permission.
Acknowledge that there are big tasks that require most of your resources.
Give yourself permission to let some of the little details go until a more capable time. This isn't a reflection of your failing, it is a prioritizing of the reality of the day. It isn't from a place of lack, it is from a place of love.
Step 4: Call in supports.
What activities or people can give you a spoon?
Create a list of people and actions that bring you joy.
Remember that it is your list, and that no item is silly. Yoga with goats? Cool! Tea served in a show? Okay!
Make this list in anticipation of a low moment, not in the low moment for easy access. Is there anyone is your network that can help you through this potentially compromised time? Who can you delegate a task to?
What is important here is to know that you are worth self-care. I walk my clients through this list creation process and it is a fun and freeing exercise.
There are days that I have low spoon, and days with basically no spoons.
When I am compromised, my family knows what to do because we have set the framework in place. My kids get it too. When one of my boys was in kindergarten, he came out of class and said to his brother, "Please give me some space right now, I am compromised.".
He was 5. And his brother left him alone until he had more spoons.
Using the spoon theory gives neutral language to signal that help is needed. You don't have to take on all the tasks yourself!
As you practice the steps above, and share with your team, life on the days you "can't even" gets a little more kind and has a little more grace.
I wish you a wonderful weekend full of many spoons and lots of love.
See you on Monday!
cooking the frog
Yesterday we talked about three ways to get through the slump.
I heard from one lovely reader that they would likely not eat a live frog, even if it was presented. I thought this was wonderful because it challenged me to read the quote again. I had not thought of the task in that way.
It DOES say eat a live frog. I thought I would get to cook it first - because hey, butter. Who doesn't love butter?
But nope, it says "live"... huh.
So today's topic is on some of the ways I make a task more palatable!
For example, why eat the raw veggies if I can make a smoothie (please do not try this with frogs...).
Without further ado:
3 epic task management strategies - for those frogs you don't want to eat.
1. Focus on starting.
Give yourself permission to focus only on beginning the task.
This helps you move over the initial motivation hump. That pesky discomfort that arises from not knowing all the pieces. Tough to sit through, but tougher if you avoid it - rip off that band-aid and start.
I am a big fan of the concept that action precedes motivation.
Try it and see!
2. Set a timer.
Think of Nike's Just Do It! slogan.
Except you don't have to finish the job. Just do it! for a set amount of time.
Start with 10 minutes. Need to write a report? Work on that book you wanted to write but never get around to? Just Do It! Start with the set amount of time.
You can add more time if you need or want to, but chances are good that you will find your flow! And if not, you can stop for the day. Timer time tomorrow!
3. Reward your efforts.
I like Smarties. Ever since I was a wee child and had to start writing essays at age 8 (gosh I hated those assignments), I would reward myself with Smarties. Write a paragraph, eat a Smartie. Finish a chapter, eat a Smartie.
I still do this to this day! Write a blog post, eat 10 Smarties (who am I kidding, I am an adult and can eat Smarties whenever I want!).
I don't believe food should be used as a reward, but I do enjoy this use.
What are the ways that work for you? Confetti celebration? Nature walk? Netflix episode? Leave a comment below with your reward ideas - I love rewards!
So, is there a task in your life that seems hard right now? Want to eat that frog?
Focus on simply starting. Setting a timer. Rewarding your efforts.
You've got this! A year from now, this will be a distant memory and you will have conquered ALL THE THINGS!
3 ways to beat the slump
That good ol' slumpy day of the week.
I'm feeling a bit slumpy myself, so let's make something of it!
What is slumpy? Slumpy is a feeling. A little like an, "I don't want to do anything except maybe throw a temper tantrum" feeling.
Except you don't throw a temper tantrum because you have to "adult".
Fine. I'll be an adult. Ugh.
So here I am, pushing myself to continue the blog process even when feeling slumpy. Yay winning!
Instead of giving up and not writing, or pretending I am feeling great, I am going to be real with you. Maybe there is something I can use here. Maybe something can come from my not-tantrum. So I present to you:
Three magnificent ways to battle the slump! (trumpet fanfare)
1. Eat the frog first.
Credit to Mark Twain who said if the first thing you do in the morning is eat a live frog, you can go through the rest of the day knowing the worst is behind you.
The idea that if you were faced with a frog on your plate, you would eat it first then the rest of the items are easier. Start with the thing you want to do least and get it out of the way. This provides the motivation for moving forward.
Who doesn't like motivation? (probably not the frog).
2. Celebrate the tiny details.
Some days, I throw a mental party for myself for putting my feet over the side of the bed. Such a feat! (or feet even...). I would rather stay in bed. I want be cozy and snuggly and warm. But I am doing the things and being brave and adulting! So Huzzah! More winning!
By breaking up the challenges into micro-feats, we can move from success to success. Yay us! We will talk more about micro-feats in the up-coming entries. It's a favourite topic of mine.
3. Look for a way to help others.
Probably my favourite way to wade through the slump is to look for a way to help someone else. If I'm going to be functioning, then I might as well use it to raise someone up. Looking for a way to help someone else, even if it is just co-suffering or commiserating, helps us move from a place of care rather than a place of tantrum. Sometimes, we just need to exist with someone to help each other along.
Hopefully these items will help you through your slump too.
And remember that I am here for you too!
I want to know, what do you do on slumpy days?
I'd love to hear your thoughts! Comment below or send me an email.
Very much love,
... And lack thereof.
Hello lovelies! Here we are again.
Yesterday was new and exciting and I pushed myself to the edge of my comfort zone. But you know what? There was no vulnerability hangover today! Huzzah!
What's a vulnerability hangover? you ask.
Sometimes, when we try something new, or if we feel the need to prove ourselves, we move from a place of fear and scarcity. This can cause us to overshare. To give pieces of ourselves out in bulk in hopes of connecting.
I know I have done that in the past. (A lot). This usually ends in a scummy feeling and a sensitive heartache of second guessing.
But there's hope!
Instead of moving from a place of fear, instead try moving from a place of empowerment. Who you know yourself to be - unapologetically.
It isn't for the other person to judge your heart.
It is for you to share with those worthy of your being.
Yesterday's post was a new endeavor for me.
I love talking. I love meeting people. But what I really love is being understood.
Writing leaves tone out of the equation, so it can be easily misinterpreted.
In this journey, please know that I am only going to create from a place of inspiration and whole-hearted alignment. Even if it feels uncomfortable.
Heck, especially if it feels uncomfortable. I am going to make my discomfort a cup of tea and have a chat with it. Where is it sitting in my body? What is it trying to tell me. And primarily, most importantly, to thank it for trying to keep me safe.
When we speak from a place of empowerment and kindness, there is no vulnerability hangover. There is no danger of oversharing because we are working towards a common goal with our heart and being wise about how we share that. You don't owe anyone anything. But you are worth your own kindness.
Take note of how you are talking to your discomfort today - what is it trying to tell you? Leave a comment below and let us know how you are increasing your kindness! Let's inspire others to treat themselves worthily!
Here's to a kind and awesome week!
Very much love,
putting the "star" back in starting!
If I could share one piece of information with you, it would be that I think you are awesome. If there was a way I could press that into your awareness and your heart so you could feel truly loved, I would.
So here I am, sitting at my computer and wishing a little bit of grace into your heart. The grace to grow. The freedom to know that you are doing your best, and that's enough. That even if some days "your best" feels so small and tiny and insufficient, that it is still enough - probably even more so than the days it feels easy. I see you. I am proud of you. I am you.
My intention in starting this blog is to share the scattered pieces of my heart to help you become okay with yours. I might bounce around topics, and jump around from point to point, but hey, it's my journey, and I am discovering what works best for me.
If I wait until I have a formed plan and a beautiful detailed perfect map, I won't start. There is always something to improve. Always something that feels unworthy or unfinished. But you know what? I am not finished. I am worthy. I want to take you on a journey of creation as we create ourselves into our best continuing selves. Because I am always becoming. I am allowed to not know what the finished product is going to look like. What I DO know is that it is awesome regardless. You are awesome regardless too.
So, forgive this scattered journey - and join me in creation.
Join me in owning awesomeness and challenging the concept of perfect. Redefine perfect and make it work with you and for you!
If you have any topics you want explored in the weeks to come, leave a comment below. If you are working on creating something and want to share - leave a link too! I wish you a beautiful week filled with starting. Huzzah!
You are loved.