Why Fear Needs Tenderness

Click here to listen to the audio version of this blog post.

A few weeks ago, I was in the process of writing about fear and the unknown. 

Ironically, that work was interrupted when my focus shifted to historic wildfires within miles of our home, and, once again, things were unknown and worrisome. 

There were a couple of nights where it was hard to sleep. I laid in bed and thought, “Here we go again!” and noticed the familiar uneasy feeling. 

The weird thing is that I found a little comfort in knowing that I wasn’t alone. 

Many of us are feeling varying degrees of fear or unease right now for a variety of reasons. It might be mild fear that shows up as overwhelm and trouble focusing. Or, it might be an intense fear that makes it hard to sleep at night. 

SO WHAT DO WE DO WITH THIS?

Do we put off feeling good until things get better? 

Or, ignore the fear and keep going?

Or, try to control every aspect of the unknown so that it feels less...

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Rebuilding my biz more than once

Click Here to listen to the audio version of this blog post.

“I have zero clients.” 

I’ve heard these words from so many clients wanting to build their business. It’s usually accompanied by a heavy look of shame. 

Sometimes it’s followed by an emphasized, “Zero PAYING clients,” because they might be trading services, but they still feel shame because they’re not being paid. 

I get it. I’ve been there. And when I was there, I felt so embarrassed about it that I didn’t want to admit the state of affairs to anyone. 

This happened years ago after I started building some steady clients but then... I had a baby. 

The doors to my business closed. 

At the time, I was an overwhelmed new mom surviving on very little sleep. I had zero clients and a business that was costing us money, so paying for childcare without any clients felt dicey. 

I didn’t know how I was going to start over again with a...

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When it hurts

Click Here to listen to the audio version of this blog post.

Back in the day… I was often one of the last kids to get booted out of a dodgeball game. 

Was I good at dodgeball? 

Hell no.

I don’t know if I ever threw a ball at someone. 

My skill was hiding. 

I was good at being invisible, even in plain sight. 

Because on a day-to-day basis not being seen meant that I might dodge being the brunt of a joke. 

When I think about my little girl self, I remember being a bright, funny, and caring girl who was so loyal to her friends. 

I was also overweight and totally ashamed of my body. I had a form of dyslexia (well, still have) that placed me in special ed classes to help me learn to read. I was so afraid that everyone thought I was fat and stupid. 

All I wanted was to be like everyone else. And I didn’t have a fucking CLUE as to how to do it. 

I didn’t know HOW to become skinny. 

I didn’t know HOW to...

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The Raw Truth (Audio Blog)

I'm trying something new this week! I created an audio version of my letter this week. Click to listen:

 
As a coach, I have the privilege of hearing people’s stories. I’m often the listening ear to some of my client’s most vulnerable stories that are interwoven with pain and their deepest desires. 


I get to hear the raw truth. 

Listening to stories from so many different people gives me the vantage point to hear how these raw truths, pains, fears, and deep desires are so often THE SAME. 

I hear fears of inadequacy and unworthiness. 

I hear the pain of being rejected. 

And the desires to build dreams. 

I hear the mental tug-a-wars between doubt and confidence. 

And a lot of longing for permission. Permission to cry, to be angry, to not be okay, to take time off, to say no, to hold boundaries, and to sleep.

I also hear profound relief in my...

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Ease ≠ Easy... especially now

Finding my words this week has felt a lot harder than other weeks. 

Since I last wrote, we’ve witnessed the public lynching of George Floyd. 

We’ve seen masses of people move together in violence, as well as in peaceful protest. 

And we’ve witnessed the President of the United States call for U.S. military action to stop nationwide protests against racial injustice, suggesting that the people who are marching for equality are the enemy.

All this while still experiencing the very real threat of a Global Pandemic. 

It’s no wonder that many of us are feeling a dizzying sense of overwhelm, anger, sadness, and an urgency to do something. 

I too have felt an urgency to act. I’ve wondered… 

What can I do?

Donate money? 

Write something? 

Stand in protest?

Nothing felt like enough. 

Because, for me, it’s not enough. 

This movement isn’t about making a donation and posting something on social...

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What day is it?

It is not uncommon these days for me and my husband to look at each other with confusion and ask: 

“What day is it?”

“What’s happening here?” 

“Did we already talk about this?” 

And... 

“Oh! I forgot!…” 

Last week, I totally forgot about a Zoom call my 7-year-old had with her school counselor. It was on my calendar. I’m sure I was reminded by my phone, and we accidentally no-showed. Oops

My laundry room also smelled like pee for a few days because I forgot to wash my 3-year-old’s wet clothes after she had a potty accident.

We’re finding a rhythm in this quarantined life, but we’re also discombobulated. 

This discombobulated, I-can’t-remember-what-day-it-is feeling is a normal sign of stress. 

The brain is overloaded with processing new experiences, taking in lots of new information, and adjusting to a new Pandemic lifestyle. It’s NO...

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Easing Overwhelm in New Ways

Before I finish writing this, chances are good that I’ll be interrupted.

One of my kiddos will probably ask me for food, or I might hear screams that trigger my mom instincts to investigate what’s happening. (The office door just opened) Actually, my husband just walked in the office. 

These are minimal distractions, right? Like a ding on my phone. Or a buzz on my watch. 

It might seem minimal on the surface, but these types of distractions are actually contributing to overwhelm and anxiety and making it difficult to think deeply and solve big problems. 

Take me, for example, if we were to peek inside my brain when the office door opened we’d see ALERT signals firing. I don’t feel like I have survival instincts working right now, but I do. We all do. There’s a part of our brain that’s like a watchdog, and when the office door opened my “watchdog” quickly investigated.

Now, suppose we’re able to peek inside my...

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3 Ways to Ease Overwhelm

Many of us have been on an adrenaline-fueled ride of juggling work, homeschooling, caring for children and/or parents, and learning a new way to live while trying to stay clean and eat a decent meal. 

So much to do.

So much to think about.

The fear of dropping a ball.

The adrenaline rush. 

Overwhelm. 

Adrenaline works for an immediate threat, like a lion in the woods, but it’s a terrible fuel for your brain and overall well-being. And, in the long run, it will lead to burnout. 

And, I’m gonna tell you something you already know, this is not a short-term deal. We’ve been in it for seven weeks, and there’s no clear end in sight. Speed and adrenaline are unsustainable.  

Let’s address the overwhelm with some ease. Here are three ways to help ease overwhelm: 

  1. Build-in SLOWNESS:
    Slowness is the sustainable fuel for your brain and overall well-being. Take a sticky note and write SLOW on it...

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It's okay to be tired.

We’ve been tired around here lately. 

If you are too, it’s okay. 

It kinda makes sense because, ya know, we are in a Global Pandemic. 

And, most likely, your life (like mine) has been flipped on its head. 

The change, the stress, the unknown… can be exhausting. 

And, there’s a good chance that you’re working more right now, especially if you have young children.

You’re learning how to do things in new ways, like being with your family non-stop or how to be alone. 

Maybe, your business was sliced in half or your paycheck disappeared overnight.  

So, you might be trying to cope and realizing that what you’d once done for self-care is no longer an option, or difficult at best. 

Plus, you’re probably taking in lots more information and thinking about things you didn’t have to think about before (grocery shopping, finding a mask, schooling your kids, paying...

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Discovering the "monsters in your closet."

 

So, the other day I made a parenting foul. 

It started with me having “a day” where I was feeling scared about the pandemic and what could happen and so sad about being in quarantine and what we could no longer do. What I really wanted was to spill my guts to my husband of my deepest, darkest fears so that they wouldn’t just be swirling around inside of me.

(I share the story in my video, but read below for some extra coaching tips). 

So, I shooed my 7 and 3 ½-year-olds upstairs and told them to go watch a show. They ran upstairs, as they normally do, but then… (little did I know) sat at the top of the stairs to listen in while I spilled my guts.

I should have guessed they might do that (I think I invented that move!). 

But, I didn’t think about it at the time, and they HEARD ME share some scary stuff. 

I realized it when my 7-year-old came downstairs and asked directly about what I said and whether or not it was going to...

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