Wednesday Missive: Self-Care and Feeling Stuck (and how I got inspired again)

Hi Dearests,

Last week, I shared that I am hosting a FREEEEE webinar on March 24th (from 3 to 4pm EST, sign up here!).  It’s called Self Care 2.0, and I plan to  share the self-care that will help you to unstick your life and move forward.

(I taught Self Care 2.0 as an in-person workshop twice this weekend, and I received so much good feedback about the unsticking capacity of this self-care knowledge.  I can’t wait to share it with you!)

However, this week, as I sat down to write this newsletter, I realized that I was exactly that: stuck.  I had no idea what to write about, nor much energy to figure it out. After a few back-to-back lousy nights of sleep getting up with Jonah and a what felt like 100 other tasks that wanted my attention, I spent what little free time I had yesterday staring at a blank Google doc.

No inspiration, no clarity, no nothing.  I was stuck. Ugh.

Skipping my newsletter this week was an option, but I didn’t want to do that.  As I prepare for the spring round of Self Care 101 (My women’s self-care coaching circle, which is designed to unstick your life in the most marvelous ways—could that be you?  Apply here to find out.), I made a commitment to share my real life self-care struggles.  I wanted to uphold that commitment and not give into the stuckness, at least not that easily.

Normally, knowing what to write about is pretty easy for me.  Just like you, I go through my fair share of self-care struggles each week.  I do too much of some things and not enough of others. I worry that I’m on a wrong track that is leading to an epic failure of a dead end.

In these moments, I practice exactly the same self-care as I teach my clients.  I practice, because as my experience and my clients’ experiences have shown me - it works.  Sharing it with you all helps me to keep up my resolve for living a life of self-care - a messy, full and beautiful life.

But that day, there was nothing except empty space, a judgmental voice in my head, and an aching desire to go lay down.

So, as I stared at the blank screen, I thought of what I would tell a client.   Would I tell her to sit around and stew in her own stuckness? Would I tell her to force words onto the page?  Absolutely not.

I would tell her to go lay down.  I would tell her that inspiration would strike when it was good and ready to strike, as long as she was taking care of herself.

I took that advice.  I spent the rest of the afternoon resting, meal planning and chatting with a few wise friends.  I picked up Jonah, met Micah to go grocery shopping, and when we got home, I made us a ridiculously time-consuming vegetarian meal (see my Self-Care Inspiration below for the recipe).

Then, yesterday morning, I was reading Jonah a few books before his nap.  I picked up one I hadn’t opened before, “I Knew You Could.” It had a picture of a train on the front.  I started reading it to him and within a few pages, I was crying.

I know that my self-care action for the week - what would get me unstuck - was sharing this book with you all.  Jonah agreed to co-star.  After we finished the book, I put him down for his nap, and as I ate my lunch, I realized I felt ingloriously unstuck

This self-care - which is truly simple enough for a child to understand - really, really works. Listen to us reading the book to see what I mean.

Warning:  This video displays me as a real-life mom with messy hair, a squirmy baby and a few moments where I flub the lines.  I still think it’s worth watching.

After you’re done, make sure to sign-up for the Self Care 2.0 call!  In it, I’ll share the biggest way we get stuck, three simple self-care acts to unstick our lives and the very important way we can  see if we are keeping up momentum. (Did I mention it was free and could potentially change you how practice self-care forever? Go for it!)

That’s all for now!  I’ll be back next week with more real-life self-care.  In the meantime, try it for yourself. Notice when you’re stuck.  Then, instead of spinning your wheels in the mud, try a little conscious self-care.  The results might not be immediate, but I bet some helpful inspiration will start coming through.

We just have to give our lives space to work themselves out.  It’s scary, but it’s worthwhile. And you’re not alone as you do it.  We are all figuring it out together, little self-care action by little self-care action

With care,




Self Care Inspiration

Do you know how people are always saying you have to “feel your feelings?”  Well, how do you do that exactly? I signed up for TIMBO, a seven-week in-person meet-up group that teaches you how to process trauma and give space to your feelings.  I just finished the course and whole-heartedly recommend taking the time to learn these simple, yet not-always-easy skills.

Two bits of inspiration from the lovely Ann Friedman:

  1. Per her suggestion, I made Micah and I a “cromlet” (hybrid crepe and omelet) on Monday night.  This Asian-inspired, gluten-free vegetarian meal takes a little more kitchen work than I normally prefer for a two-serving dinner, but it’s very yummy and worth a try.

  2. To support her amazing friend Amina, who is living with a cancer diagnosis, Ann is organizing blood drives in the Twin Cities, LA, Chicago, NYC, DC, Austin and the Bay Area.  Sign up here, give blood, celebrate life.

I’ve been reading my weekly Free Will horoscope from Rob Brezsny for years now.  He has just the right balance of crazy and wisdom to provide a real gem that helps me understand the deeper journey of my weeks.  


Self Care 2.0: How To Unstick Your Life Using Self-Care

I'm so happy to announce the Self-Care 2.0 FREE virtual workshop on Saturday, March 23 from 3-4pm EST.  

During this highly-interactive workshop we'll go beyond the basic recommendations of eating a good breakfast and exercising three times a week.  You already know that stuff, right?  

Instead, we'll learn the real, nitty-gritty self-care that can move your life forward in the most powerful and wonderful ways.  

Together, we’ll learn:

  • The biggest misconception about self-care (and how it’s keeping you stuck)
  • The three self-care practices that will move your life forward
  • The super easy way to make sure you’re getting enough self-care, every single day

Truly, this is the self-care that's taken me decades to learn and, once I did, it completely transformed my life. I'm really looking forward to breaking it all down so it can be much easier for you and so you can even have fun in the process!

Sign up for the workshop HERE. 

Free Workshop for You!

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Save the date! Attend my FREE Virtual Workshop
On Saturday, March 24th from 3-4pm EST

Self Care 2.0: How to Unstick Your Life
Using Self-Care

Do you feel like you do pretty well with self-care basics but something still isn't clicking?  Do you feel stuck in your life, like you don't know how to move forward?  Do you want help with setting strong boundaries, taking real risks and disappointing other so you can grow?  

This workshop is for you if:

  • You feel like you’re doing everything right, but still aren’t happy
  • You keep struggling with your self-care, even though you “know better”
  • You always feel like you’re falling behind on your to-do list 
  • You measure yourself against your peers and are never “good enough”
  • You can’t seem to make yourself a priority within all the demands on your time

This highly-interactive virtual workshop with Self Care Coach Gracy Obuchowicz will go beyond the basic self-care recommendations of eating a good breakfast and exercising three times a week.  

Together we’ll learn:

  • The biggest misconception about self-care (and how it’s keeping you stuck)
  • The three self-care practices that will move your life forward
  • The super easy way to make sure you’re getting enough self-care, every single day


Feeling Stuck in Your Life? I Designed a Free Workshop for You!


Hello again!

I hope you've had a good week.  It's such an interesting time of year as we turn from winter into early spring (at least for us on the East Coast).  This transition is a moment to reorganize, reevaluate, and, hopefully, practice lots of extra self-care.  

In that spirit, I'm going to take a pause from the series I've been sharing about my everyday stories of self-care struggle and triumph. (However, if you want to hear how I used self-care to handle losing our power in the windstorms, you can read about it here).

Instead, I want to share with you a free virtual workshop I'm offering on March 24th from 3-4pm EST.  It's called Self Care 2.0: How to Unstick Your Life Using Self-Care.  I designed it for everyone who couldn't make it to the in-person workshop I'm leading at The Lemon Collective this weekend in DC.

First, a little backstory on what Self Care 2.0 means to me.  Four years ago, I was running around the city teaching 10-15 yoga classes a week.  I loved my work, but I felt scattered and overdrawn.  I was also in a comfortable relationship with someone I knew wasn't the right match for me in the long term.  

Did I deserve more than moderate happiness?  Should I rock the boat?  What if I ended up in a worse situation?  I didn't know what to do to change any of this - or even if I should - so instead, I just focused on taking really good care of myself.

Then, almost without force, my partner and I decided to part ways amicably.  Within a few weeks, I found myself signing up to become an Ayurvedic health coach - something I didn't even know existed.  I stopped teaching most of my yoga classes and started dating different kinds of people.  Living on my own with my scruffy dog Poncho, I felt good about my life as a single lady. 

A few years passed. After working, traveling and tending to myself, I felt successful, but - if I was honest with myself - just a little unfulfilled again.  Should I buy a house?  Did I want to have kids?  Would I be ok if I spent the rest of my life being single?  I really didn't know what I wanted, just that I felt a little stuck.

Again, I decided to focus on giving myself the best self-care I could.  Then, within the space of a year, I met and fell in love with Micah and together, we welcomed our son Jonah into the world last September.

Right now, my life as a working mom and partner is challenging and it's fantastic.  I'm living out so many of my dreams. Still, I know enough to know that after this immense period of growth, I will reach another plateau. During this moment, I will feel stuck, full of questions and sometimes, pretty frustrated. 

How will I deal with this stuckness?  Yup, you guessed it: with extra good self-care. 

This is the self-care I teach to my clients.  Even though I know it works, I still get goosebumps with each of their amazing breakthroughs.  After tending to their self-care for as little as ten weeks, they naturally step into their next phase of life. It happens again and again and again.

It's proven to me that if you want to unstick your life, self-care is a really effective way to do so.

Now, how about you?  Are you feeling a little stuck and a little frustrated?  Do you wish for more than moderate happiness?  Are you scared to rock the boat? 

If you are reading this and nodding along, please join me for a FREE virtual workshop on Saturday, March 24th from 3-4pm EST.

Together, we’ll learn:

  • The biggest misconception about self-care (and how it’s keeping you stuck)
  • The three self-care practices that will move your life forward, almost immediately 
  • The super easy way to make sure you’re getting enough self-care to keep up your momentum 

Sign up for the Self Care 2.0 call here!

I'm so excited to share the self-care that will create the same momentum for you as has for me and my Self Care 101 clients!   

A note on signing up: you'll also be joining my new Power Lady Self Care email list.  Joining this list means you're going to receive special self-care material designed to create real work/life balance within a very busy schedule.  You'll also get to test out new self-care material before I share it with the rest of the world, and receive early bird pricing opportunities for my upcoming self-care workshops and retreats. 

With this new list, sometimes you'll hear from me more than once a week, especially when I'm creating something special. (And don't worry, you'll still be signed up for this once-a-week Wednesday newsletter list).

Ok, dear ones, that's all for now!  I'll be back next week with more struggle-and-triumph self-care tales.  In the meantime, please reach out to me if you have any questions or ideas.  

As always, keep taking extra good care of you!


I Chose, To Sustain Me And Mine

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Weren’t the windstorms from last week so crazy? After our ER adventure with Jonah, I had been looking forward to a restful weekend. Alas, on Friday the wind took down our power and canceled daycare (also, Micah’s congressional briefing, which he had been working on for months). 

So, we found ourselves tired, disappointed and needing to make a plan before our house got too cold. Micah had a credit on hotelsdotcom and managed to get us a fancy room at the W for $30. 

Normally, I would have been excited - who doesn’t love a fancy hotel? - but the thought of transporting us all downtown while praying we didn’t mess up Jonah’s sleep schedule felt so stressful. I wanted to stick my head in the sand, binge watch TV, eat too many cookies. 

But that wasn’t an option. We needed to move. I took a deep breath, strapped Jonah in the carrier and started to pack us up. My energy picked up and we managed to move, albeit quite ungracefully in the wind, onto the metro and into our room. 

It’s been occurring to me lately, since I don’t have much time to meditate or do yoga, that self-care could be my spiritual practice. It feels strange that something so practical could feed me on that deeper level, but it truly does. 

With self-care, when I do it authentically, I feel more relaxed and more generous with the people in my life. Since these are the aims I have for a spiritual practice, why not self-care? 

If I just changed my framework for what qualifies as “spiritual“ and as “practice”, then I could see I’ve been doing it all along. Ahhh, what a sigh of relief. 

It makes me wonder where else I could shift my thinking and see that I already have what I need. Because what I need most is that feeling of abundance, which I am seeing more and more is a state that I chose, to sustain me and mine, wherever we go.

Wednesday Missive: Self-Care and The Dressing Room Mirror (and what I did when I didn't like what I saw)

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Hello dears!

I hope it’s been a solid week for you!  I hope you’ve learned something new about yourself and the world, even if those lessons were a little painful in the moment.  I hope self-care has held you through it all.

Before we get to the self-care, a few announcements:

And now...

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been sharing my real life self-care struggles and triumphs in this newsletter.  I’m doing this to get ready for the upcoming session of Self Care 101 (real habit change + lovely group support = quite a bit of magic) and also because I learn best from seeing how other people handle their self-care challenges.  

Two weeks ago, I shared about a rough trip to the dentist and last week, I wrote about my decision to bring Jonah on my self-care retreat.  Thank you for all of your thoughtful comments!  It’s comforting to know that others are gracefully dealing with the same issues.

This week, I want to cover a topic that feels as common as it is frustrating: the dressing room mirror.

As I’ve shared (and as every mother knows), my body has shape-shifted a lot in the months after I had a baby.  Some moments I’ve been ok with this and others I just wanted everything to go back to how it was so I could wear jeans again.

Over the past few weeks, however, I was starting to feel a little better.  My latest weigh-in at the doctor told me I was within seven pounds of my pre-pregnancy weight, and my clothes felt pretty ok.  I decided it was time to get a few new things, or, since I love frequenting thrift stores, some new-to-me clothes.

Last Wednesday afternoon I pulled up at the Goodwill in a good mood.  It was one of Jonah’s days in daycare and I had gotten a lot of work done in the morning.  I had an hour before I picked him up and was excited to lose myself while I searched for treasure.

Right away, I began pulling items off the racks.  I love thrift stores because I can find items that are more unique than I might find in a normal store. My practice is to try on everything that catches my eye and, as long as they fit well, to go home with clothes that are a little risky.  This helps me find my fashion edge and have more fun with what I wear.

When my cart was full I began unloading - five items at a time - in an empty dressing room.  I began pulling shirts and dresses over my tank top and leggings.  The first three items didn’t look great and the last two didn’t fit at all.  Usually, I am decent at knowing what fits me. Were my eyes off, or was my body really not back to normal?  I tried on five more and didn’t like any of those either.

I took a long look at myself in the dressing room mirror.  Every part of my body looked strange.  My thighs were too big and my stomach had rolls and my skin didn’t look great.  I felt like I was being misled by my own brain.  I wasn’t almost back to my old body but instead, really far from any ideal.  Suddenly, I wanted to go back home and never go shopping again.

I wish I could say that this dressing room mirror struggle is a new one, one borne out of postpartum body changes.  But the truth is, I’ve been struggling with it for as long as I can remember.  I grew up overweight, and I mostly did my shopping in the plus-sized department, a fact I always tried to hide from my friends.  They’d want to go to 5-7-9, a store at the local mall that specialized in petite sizes.  Knowing nothing there would ever fit me, I’d spend my time looking at jewelry while they tried on all the cute, small clothing.  

As I look deeper into my thoughts, I know I was taught early on that the size of my body meant something important about my worth.  Since I wasn’t that ideal size, I just couldn’t measure up.  I felt shame every time something didn’t fit, and I fantasized about losing weight so maybe someday they would.  I dreaded going shopping until I was in high school, and even then I never loved it.  It was only after finding thrift stores and a few companies online that I began enjoying clothes.

But now, even that safe space was feeling bad.  All of my old issues were triggered.  I knew I needed some self-care ASAP, but what could I do?  Could self-care be enough to handle this moment and all the emotions bubbling up?

First, I had to breathe.  Through the pain, I took a few deep breaths.  Then, I took a moment to affirm my worth.  Throughout my life, and the many shapes and sizes my body has taken within it, I’ve learned that my value has absolutely nothing to do with my appearance.  Sure, taking good care of myself does make me feel more confident, but that works no matter what my body looks like.  I spoke to that hurt part of myself, and reminded her of her inherent worth.  I sensed she didn’t totally believe me, but I did relax a little.

Although the voices in my head were shouting at me to go on a diet, I made myself suspend that line of thinking until I was in a calmer frame of mine.

After another deep breath, I exited the dressing room.  I decided that, before leaving, I would take one more look through the store.  I didn’t want to leave this trip in defeat.  I deserved another chance to find a few things I liked.

Working quickly, I found a few tops that looked interesting and then bravely went back into the dressing room to try them on.  Most of these fit, and a few of them even sparked a bit of joy.

I held on to two sweaters and put away the rest.  Before checking out, I took a glance through the home goods section and picked up a large wicker basket where we can store Jonah’s outerwear, and a big retro-looking mug covered in sailboats to replace a similarly sized-one that broke.

Two well-fitting sweaters, a basket and a mug - overall, it was a good trip to the thrift store.

By the time I picked up Jonah, I felt better.  His sweet, slobbery grin pushed me over the edge into happy territory.  It reminded me that my purpose was way bigger than fitting into a certain size.  When Micah got home, I made myself vulnerable and told him a little about the dressing room mirror. Letting him support me helped take the lingering shame out of the experience.

Then, in this calmer state, I checked in with myself about my diet and the places that felt out-of-integrity. This analysis told me that I was doing pretty great, but I would like to work on:

  • Snacking while I cook (a few bites with each meal can really add up)

  • Eating a nightly big dessert with Micah (a habit I’d gotten into during pregnancy and was still practicing)

  • The number of doughy things I eat on the weekends (mostly, I wanted to eat only one a day)

All of these practices felt doable and kind, unlike diets that feel aspirational and mean.  A diet felt like a punishment, while a few habit shifts felt like care.  These shifts had way more to do with how I felt in my body than what it looked like to the outside world.

And these adjustments haven’t been so hard.  A few times, I’ve caught myself tasting in the kitchen and gently reminded myself to wait 15 minutes until I could sit down. It's worked. On Saturday, I decided to have fish and a salad instead of leftover pizza.  As for desserts, I’ve taken to having a piece of dark chocolate while Micah has his ice cream, and I don’t feel like I miss out.  Overall, I feel a little better in my body and know I can continue these practices.

The kindness I showed myself in the dressing room and the sensible, realistic eating adjustments I made afterward showed me I really had grown in my self-care.  Of course, I haven’t been able to escape the cultural expectations for the female form to be thin at all costs. This is way too much a part of my history for it to disappear.  

However, when these hard feelings arise - as they did when I was in the dressing room - I know I can comfort myself.  I can do it by shifting my perspective, sharing my experience with loved ones and making tiny habit changes that leave me feeling empowered.  That’s self-care in the best way I can explain it.


Thanks for listening to my story!  Again, it’s no big whoop, but still, pretty awesome to me to see how my self-care continues to grow. Personally, I think growth is the most fabulous exhilarant of them all.  

I wonder what it sparks for you.  When have you lost it in front of the dressing room mirror?  How has a bad body-image experience translated into a restrictive diet?  What tiny, kind actions do you take to dig yourself out?

As always, I’d love to know!  Please hit “reply” and share your story.  I’m always so honored to receive them.

And if you need help with any of that - the kind perspective, the doable habit change, the vulnerability of sharing your story - then please consider signing up for the spring round of Self Care 101.  It’s a full-on self-care reboot where we learn the routines that work, find out how to outsmart our inner saboteur and stay inspired alongside the other women in the group.  This session is going to be really good!  Learn more here and fill out an application to join.

Until next week, when I’ll be back with another self-care victory, keep counting up your own! They are there when you take a moment to focus on them - I promise!

With care,


Self-Care Inspiration

I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a huge shout-out to Costco.  They’ve been keeping me - and Jonah - steady with their non-GMO (and very affordable) formula and our everyday staples like raw honey, coconut oil and frozen blueberries.  Also, they are employee-friendly, which means a lot to me in this day and age of Amazon’s abusive labor practices (Micah and I are taking a one-month pause in our Amazon ordering, which I hope leads to a full cessation).  Plus, if you are searching for a doughy thing for your weekend, I love their take-and-bake pizzas!

It’s the year of the dog!  Woo-hoo!  Now, what does that mean?  This article breaks it down really well.  My favorite part is the idea that it’s time to just forgive the past and treat everyone as an ally.  This is such compassionate advice that’s easy to imagine coming from the every-loyal dog energy.

My friends in Orlando make these all-natural products.  Although I love many of them, my all-time favorites are this super-hydrating face cream and this just-the-right-amount-of-spicy seasoning blend (I put it in everything now, and I don’t even like spicy that much). Note: their webstore interface isn't the fanciest but the products are amazing!

As part of Generosity, the Self Care 101 continuity program, we are diving into the Bored and Brilliant book and podcast (thanks to the awesome Rebecca Hassel, who is facilitating it).  The first podcast explains the importance of boredom and how, due to our smartphone addictions, we almost never give ourselves time to get bored.  It’s helping me to shift my tech habits, and I’m digging the space it’s opening up.


Jonah's Firsts

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Here we are taking Jonah’s first train ride (he was captivated!). Last week, we also took his first trip to the swimming pool (loved it) and finally, his first trip to the ER.

Yup, our little guy spiked a 106.2 fever on Friday night. Eek! After a frantic call to urgent care, the doctor on call told us to call 911. An ambulance showed up a few minutes later and after checking him out, said he was ok enough for us to drive him ourselves to Children’s Hospital (during this whole time Jonah seemed fine and actually pretty delighted by the flashing lights).

We spent the next few hours in the ER waiting room. The more time that passed, the more relieved I felt. If it was an emergency, they would have called us back sooner (and we saw kids that they did). Finally, the doctor said he was fine, just to keep up the baby Motrin so the fever didn’t spike again. Sheesh!

Behind all of that, I knew that we had purposely skipped a dose of the meds when his fever had been lower, in the hopes that his body would fight off the infection. Were we wrong to do that? I have no idea and I think that’s the hardest part of parenting, for me at least.

There is so much conflicting research and strongly-felt opinions around parenting. The stakes are so incredibly high. And ultimately, none of us know the truth. That’s really, really vulnerable. I think this is why there is so much fighting on the mom blogs. We each want to feel safe in our own stance and another perspective can be so threatening.

I think the only real answer is respect. We start by respecting our own choices, even when they don’t go as planned. We’re learning, right? Then that respect can perhaps flow outward to others. We all want the best for our kids and are figuring out the best way for our families.

Further, I think real tolerance comes from a willingness to feel the shaky space of our own vulnerability. It’s not easy, but if we really want to teach our kids peace, I think it’s a path worth walking.

Self-Care for Facilitators and Other Visionary Leaders

It's a great honor to be a guest blogger this year for the incredible Ten Directions!

(Check them out - their Integral Facilitator and Next Stage programs have changed my life in the most amazing ways!)

My first post is on Self-Care for Facilitators and Other Visionary Leaders. In it, I share the four most important pieces of self-care that help me stay balanced in my work.

Read it here on Medium and please, pass it around to your leader friends. These self-care lessons took me years to learn and it makes me happy to share them with others who might need them. 

A Heartstorm to Feel Beautiful with Skincare Guru Jingo Lewis

If you're having a low moment, listen to this podcast!  In it, I "heartstorm" with Jingo Lewis, the creator of the super natural and yummy Neitra skincare line.  We talk about how our culture leads us astray in our pursuit of looking good and the incredibly simple ways to reconnect to our natural beauty, starting with our skin and moving to every aspect of our being.  In full honesty, I started this conversation in a bit of a funk and Jingo's spirit lifted me right up.  I know it will for you too!

To learn more about Jingo and order the wonderful products from Neitra, visit their website:  

Remember, if you use the code "gracy," you will receive 20% off your order!  (Make sure to get a natural Deo - they are really good!)

Living in Two Realities

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I went away to lead the Self Care 101 retreat this weekend (17 brave women diving in + this beautiful old mansion in the woods + really incredible food = magic beyond words). 

I lead a few of these retreats a year and felt like I had them down to a science. But this time I also had Jonah. After going back and forth in my head, I decided to bring him. I knew I wasn’t ready to be apart for four days. 

However, I didn’t know what kind of leader I could be while caretaking for him. Or worse, what if his presence offended a client? Was this professional? Would I exhaust myself? So many questions! I really just had to trust my decision and move forward into the weekend. 

The first night of the retreat, I opened up to the group about my fears. Being the incredible community that they are, they responded with so much support. They took over some of the responsibilities and held Jonah when it was time for me to teach. The whole thing felt like a dreamy utopia! 

At the end, I received the feedback that Jonah’s presence (along with another dear baby that a client brought), was healing. We had all ends of spectrum around motherhood present, but it didn’t feel like there was a value judgement attached to being a mother. We were just a group of women, grappling with big life choices and supporting each other to trust ourselves. 

As we left, I was tired, but I also felt fortified. I took a risk because it felt right. Instead of trying to hide it, I brought it to the group and found support. We leaned into each other. We all learned something new. The magic continues.