An Imperfectly Imperfect Spiritual Practice with Buddhist Teacher Annie Mahon

annie close up in VA.jpg

Do you wish you could "do" mindfulness better? Do you find yourself getting perfectionist about your spiritual practices? If so, please listen to this conversation to find much-needed relief!

In my conversation with Buddhist Teacher Annie Mahon, we share our own messy, real-life stories of spiritual development, and together, debunk the myth that spirituality should look any certain way. We discuss Annie's concept of "raw mindfulness", our experiences of authentic leadership, and the self-care practices that keep us truly grounded in ourselves.

Learn more about Annie's work:

At her website: <https://www.rawmindfulness.com>

On Facebook: <https://www.facebook.com/rawmindfulness>

On Instagram: <https://www.instagram.com/annielakemahon/>

Wednesday Missive: It’s Okay to Wait a Week (Inbox Self-Care)

Hello darlings!

First thing: I recorded a new podcast with creativity-focused life coach Helen McLaughlin about ways to bring more self-care and joy into the seemingly never-ending to-do list of being a responsible adult. Check out our conversation here.

Second: Save the date! The March Women of Color Self-Care Roundtable (now monthly!), led by Elsa Dure and Reba Thomas, will be this Sunday, March 17th from 10 to 11:30am ET. Please share this widely and freely with all women of color. I believe empowering the self-care of people of color is a great, beautiful act of resistance!

Finally: Last Friday, I led a free call about Self-Care and Early Motherhood. In it, I share the three pieces of self-care that have kept me afloat over these past two years. With that, I am currently gathering a Self-Care and Early Motherhood pilot group of 10 mothers (from early pregnancy to mothers of young children). This eight week-self-care immersion - from April 1st through May 26th - will support mothers in creating a strong foundation of self-care to serve themselves and their families. Read more about the program here, forward it along to other mothers who could use it, and please let me know if you have any questions!

And now, today…

I have a wonderful friend, let’s call her Leela, who takes about a week to respond to any non-urgent text message I send her. When we first became friends a few years ago, I felt a little anxious with how long she took to get back to me. Did I make her upset with my last text? Did the lag time reflect how she felt about me?

Alas, no. I (somewhat) quickly learned that is just how Leela responds to text messages. In addition to being an inspiring and loyal friend, she takes her time with her correspondence. This makes sense because she runs her own business, is close to her family, and has great self-care practices.

Watching Leela’s communication style was quite the education for me. In my own life, I was so busy rushing to respond within minutes to every message I received, that it never occurred to me I was allowed to take my time. Somehow, I had equated a slow response time with some kind of negativity.

I share this story for two reasons: 1) I think a lot of us are cutting corners with our self-care so we can respond quickly to every message that comes into our phone or inbox; and 2) All of us cutting those corners is creating a culture of hyperimmediacy, which makes it even harder to take a pause in our communication.

To me, what feels hardest about hyperimmediacy is that it’s self-perpetuating. The more we think we are expected to answer messages quickly, the more we feel something is wrong when others don’t. The more we equate a slow response time with perceived wrongness, the more likely we are to cut any corners necessary to hit “send” as quickly as possible. Thus, the pace keeps getting faster and everyone cuts more self-care corners to keep up.

A constant fast pace is hard on our nervous systems. When we feel we are in threat - as being rushed tells our bodies that we are - we naturally kick into a hypervigilant somatic response. Our cognitive decision-making function is impaired and we are more likely to perceive any stimulus as threat. Blood moves away from our internal organs - making both sleep and digestion more difficult - so we have the power and energy to run away from all these perceived threats. Once triggered, it can difficult to reset our nervous systems back to normal functioning. Thus, many people are living in a state of chronic stress and dealing with the health issues that brings.

As you read this, does a hyperimmediate society sound like the kind of culture you want to live in? Do the people in this fast-paced culture seem like they would make reasonable decisions with necessary foresight for future implications? Or does it feel like any response might be scotch-taped together in a defensive stance that only perpetuates any problem that’s happening?

(That last one is what I think.)

Once we have established a culture of hyperimmediacy, it can be very hard to roll the collective pace back to a manageable one. Many workplaces, especially where I live in Washington, DC, have come to expect that their employees should be watching their inbox most hours of the day. It’s not seen as unprofessional to be working at 2am - as I really believe it should be - but rather this “all hours on deck” mentality carries an odd badge of honor in the professional world. Deciding to slow down and turn off might have negative professional implications.

And yet, although it can be challenging to reset a pace, I don’t think it’s impossible. I’m on year two of facilitating a self-care series for educators at a wonderfully progressive elementary school in my neighborhood. As we’ve worked for many months to peel back the layers of collective staff self-care blocks, the staff culture of hyperimmediacy has been named as a culprit. During our last leadership meeting, we identified how stressful it feels to be expected to reply to any message RIGHT NOW and how much this expectation detracts from present moment attention in staff meetings and beyond.

We haven’t had our follow-up meeting yet, but I have a sense of how we will begin to counter the hyperimmediacy culture of their school. First, we will congratulate ourselves for coming up with easily-accessed vocabulary that describes the frenetic pace of communication and the stress that can bring. Once we have a word to name it, any affliction usually loses its power to unconsciously control us. Now, when any staff member feels overwhelmed by their messaging, they can say that “hyperimmediacy” is causing the overwhelm, not their own inability to keep up with an unreasonable pace of communication.

Once we have named it, we will have the power to decide if hyperimmediacy lines up the school’s greater values. As I mentioned before, this school is wonderfully progressive and full of immensely caring individuals. When asked, I’m sure each person would say that it’s ok for someone to wait until they are calm and present to answer their non-urgent messages, even if that takes a few hours, a day, or a week.

As we discuss this together, we will create a shared agreement that the school’s collective well-being is important and worth honoring. By agreeing, we will establish that there aren’t penalties for waiting to respond. As each individual accepts this agreement, they will become more present in their communication, whether that be in-person or electronic. This will slow the overall culture down and provide necessary self-care relief for everyone involved, including the children at the school.

What does countering hyperimmediacy have to do with saving our world? Well, our current cultural pace of non-stop information is overwhelming to our systems. When we are too busy trying to keep up, we forget to check in with ourselves. Disconnected from ourselves and overstimulated, we make decisions that are out of alignment with our deeper values of shared humanity and collective progress. We lose ourselves and allow the world to lose itself alongside us. In our efforts to go faster, we create a lot of unnecessary gridlock and self-care collateral damage.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. We can notice the pace around us and decide how many corners we are willing to cut in order to keep up. We can examine our fears of disappointing others as we pause to take care of ourselves. If we are in a leadership position, we can examine how a culture of hyperimmediacy is hurting the people we lead and courageously make the necessary adjustments. We can ponder how shifting our own communication habits could help everyone around us.

Because with time, not only did I become comfortable with my friend Leela’s pace in responding to messages, but I adopted a more relaxed attitude about my own communication. As I practiced this more spacious approach with a few other people in my life, I learned that it was completely fine to wait until I was ready to write back.

The part I love most about this story is how Leela’s self-care educated my own. Having a friend in my life who honors her self-care showed me how to slow down. This helped me make the decision to send out my Wednesday self-care newsletter every other week (instead of weekly), has instructed how I help this wonderful school find more self-care in their communication habits, and will probably inform other people’s self-care along the way.

So, now it’s your turn. Where are you struggling to keep up with the pace around you? Where can you practice courage and make the decision to slow down? How might slowing down revolutionize the many people and cultures that surround you?

I hope you take a risk and find out. My sense is that many amazing feats - from your own self-care to the care of those around you - may depend on your choice to pause and connect more deeply to yourself.

With care,
Gracy

A Radiant Beginning - a Motherhood Self-Care Immersion, 4/1 to 5/26

ABeautifulLife_060.jpg

A Radiant Beginning - an Eight-Week Motherhood Self-Care Immersion

What self-care helps you find a workable, enjoyable experience of motherhood?

Or, are you struggling to even know what self-care means right now?

How do you know the balance between caring for yourself and caring for others?

Or, do you usually feel tipped way in one direction and it's wearing you down? 

Are you able to tell yourself an empowering narrative about being (or becoming) a mother? 

Or, does even thinking about your motherhood journey feel stressful or disappointing? 

For those of you who are struggling, I want you to know you're not alone. This mothering work is HARD, by far the hardest work I've ever done. We mother without important support from our government and often, without support from our extended families. Even with a strong emphasis on my self-care, I still feel at my personal limit most days.

For you who are struggling, you can get support. For you, I've created a new motherhood self-care program which will debut on April 1st. It's called A Radiant Beginning. 

With A Radiant Beginning, I will help you transform your experience of motherhood. Ten mothers will join together in a small, intimate circle of support for eight weeks of in-depth self-care training and support. Some of these women will be preparing for childbirth and others will already be in the throws of caring for young children. Together, we'll learn the self-care that we need to not only survive this period of life, but to thrive as mothers and women.  

Because, it's only when we're thriving ourselves that we are able to inspire our children and our families to thrive for themselves. We teach, not with our words, but by our example. When we practice excellent self-care for ourselves, we will teach others how to do the same. (And we get to enjoy the whole process!)

Are you interested in finding this kind of mama-specific self-care support for yourself? Are you ready to transform your experience of motherhood into one of true self-care and real joy?

This April 1st through May 26th, consider joining a motherhood self-care immersion to help you deepen and enjoy your experience of motherhood through the power of self-care. 

Click here to learn more about A Radiant Beginning!

Adulting and Other Creative Acts with Life Coach Helen McLaughlin

Are the little things in life - the errands and chores - burning you out? How can we make the everyday stresses of "adulting" a creative act? During this episode, I speak with creativity-focused life coach Helen McLaughlin about ways to bring more self-care and joy into the seemingly never-ending to-do list of being a responsible adult. 

In our conversation, we discuss our views on this recent article about the "burnout generation", ways to bring more creativity into a 40 hour work week, and why it's so important create joy out of the monotonous acts of parenting. 

To learn more about Helen's work, visit helenmclaughlin.com and sign up for her weekly newsletter: helenmclaughlin.com/theinsiders. Also, she's on Instagram at @wonderinghelen  On the second Friday of every month, Helen hosts a free co-working event called Get It Done Day. They've been going strong since November 2017! Folks need only to register (at that link above) and then show up with a handful of their most dreaded tasks, or those things they've just avoided doing for too long. Together, we get our stuff done...and have some fun in the process.

Wednesday Missive: Can Mothers and Non-Mothers Come Together in Self-Care?

JonahHaskell_Christmas2018_052.jpg

Hello Dears,

First thing: After my last email, The Sexiness of Self-Care, my brilliant LGTBQ-sensitive therapist friend Huong emailed me to say the best practice for supporting the non-gender binary and trans community is instead of sharing your “preferred pronouns” just say “pronouns.” Huong wrote: “The feedback I’ve gotten from the trans community is that using “preferred” makes it seem like gender is a choice and preference. The example I hear is: “I prefer Sprite over 7up,” but I don’t prefer to be a woman. I am a woman.” Thank you Huong!

And now today....

In my early 30’s, my then-boyfriend and I decided to end our relationship. After three years of dating and a year of living together, we knew enough to know that although we both really cared about each other, we weren’t going to do well as life partners.

He moved his things out of our apartment and I began my next few years as a single person. Part of this new life meant watching most of my friends partner off and have children. At this point, I felt ambivalent about having kids. Although I had always imagined myself becoming a mother eventually, starting my business felt way more exciting than the idea of being pregnant.

But despite this ambivalence, as a non-mother, I did feel left out. Although my friends always did a great job of including me in social events and asking about my life, I started feeling more and more separate. My dating stories didn’t seem to hold up to their birth stories. My problem of an overpacked travel schedule felt insignificant when compared to their struggles to balance work and family.

The more I denied my story in their presence, the more I felt like my life was fading to the edges of the cultural narrative. I didn’t like this feeling, but also I didn’t know how to change it.

Then, by a twist of fate and some faulty fertility awareness, I got pregnant. (Long story short: My now-partner Micah and I got accidentally pregnant after two months of dating and decided to say “yes!” to parenting together. Now that our son Jonah is 18 months old, I can assuredly say that I’ve never made a better decision.)

As a mother, the view is different on this side of the river. Many of my assumptions about motherhood were correct. Yes, it’s truly a challenge to balance my work, my family, and my self-care. I’ve had to sacrifice a lot, and I’ve needed to talk about those sacrifices along the way. Also, my birth story feels incredibly powerful and I want to share it with the world.

And yet, what I couldn’t see as a non-mother, is how isolating motherhood can feel. Yes, I am checking off the societal boxes, but within having that cultural approval, I still feel like my life is fading to the edges of the cultural narrative. Jonah is at an age where he is not easy to travel with. Staying home cuts me off from the world, but it also feels like the best choice for our family most of the time. I say “no” to so many social invitations that I get afraid people will stop inviting me.

Within this struggle, I also see how easy it is to separate myself from my non-mother friends. I assume that they might not want to hear about my sleep training stresses, and I can get jealous about how much time they can invest in their careers and their self-care. It takes a lot of active consciousness for me to remember how I wanted to wall myself off in a similar way before I became a mother.

As women, I think we have the habit of dividing ourselves into two camps: mothers and non-mothers. It’s very easy to romanticize or demonize the other side and begin to feel excluded. These divides seem to deepen as we get older and our lives are further formed by the realities of whether or not we became parents.

I’m having this realization at the same time that I’ve seen a few articles unpacking the many challenges of modern motherhood in the United States. (Check this one out.) These articles discuss how difficult it is to raise a family under a government that offers the bare minimum of parental leave after the birth of a child and continues that negligence by refusing to help in our daycare costs and so many of our medical expenses. Taking time off to care for sick children, at best, hurts the parent’s career, and at worst, means going without other necessities like medicine or food.

These articles propose that under these immense financial strains, mothers are baring more than their brunt of the pressure. We are the ones who are societally expected to be full-time caregivers, and yet many of us must also financially provide for our families. And despite all this work, when things go wrong, mothers are quick to be blamed and/or to blame ourselves.

Although mothers are most affected by it, I really believe that the lack of governmental support for families hurts us all.*** When the well-being of children is compromised, everyone’s physical, mental, and spiritual health suffers. We all lose out when the quality of our schools decline or when children do not receive the nutrition, medical care, and daily attention from caring adults that they need to thrive. As mothers struggle to care for their loved ones within a system that refuses to care for the well-being of families, we all suffer as a society.

(***I want to speak about privilege for a moment. As a white cisgender mother with the support of a white cisgender male partner, I have so many privileges that help me and my family. This privilege means that I need to speak out about how incredibly tough our current set-up is for mothers and families. If me and my college-educated, professional-job-working friends are reporting such high levels of stress, then you know even tougher problems are rolling downhill to those who are struggling for a minimum quality of existence for their families.)

So, amazing women out there, I have a message for us. I know that we all want to live in a world where the next generation is full of energy, empathy and creative inspiration. If we are ever go to change our culture—which most definitely affects all of us—we must support each other in raising our families well. To do this, it’s time to come together in a new way. We need each other so much right now!

Here are a few things we can do to come together as women and begin changing our culture:

  1. Talk about the places you’re struggling. We suffer most when we think other people have it figured out better than us. We imagine that life would feel manageable if we could just be a little more like that kid’s mother whose hair always looks great and and shows up on time for school events. Or we hear about a single friend’s trip to Thailand and get jealous about the freedom she has to live her life. Or we think everything would be great if we could just meet our dream partner and finally have kids. From talking to a lot of women, I know we all have times when we feel ambivalent about the choices we’ve made. Sharing more openly about these struggles helps others know that there is no perfect life choice. By telling the truth, we begin to understand that although we have a lot to appreciate about our lives, it’s normal to feel like we are missing out on some level.

  2. Ask for help. If you are a non-mother and feeling lonely in your life, call up one of your mother friends. Chances are that, despite other beings depending on her to get their needs met, your mother friend is also feeling disconnected. Hold her baby while she makes tea. Drink the tea while you talk about how tough and wonderful life can be. Mothers, this goes for you too. When you are having a bad day, call up one of your non-mother friends and ask her to help take care of you. We all want to feel needed, within reason, and sometimes asking for help is the gift that makes another person feel better.

  3. Refuse to internalize. When life is feeling like too much, notice what your brain begins to do. Do you start beating yourself up for not being able to find work/life balance? Do you think of every wrong decision you’ve made in relationships along the way? Understand that although there is a lot of personal responsibility we can take in our lives, if you are doing your best and it still feels really hard, it might be because you are getting set up to fail by dominant culture. Don’t get angry at yourself. Get angry at the powers that be. Talk to your mother friends and your non-mother friends and get fired up together. I truly believe our collective anger as women will set us free.

  4. Advocate for yourself and others. You can advocate in so many different ways. Instead of sneaking out of the office to grab your kids from daycare, announce loudly that you’re off to get the little ones. Caring well for our children makes us better professionals and we have no need to hide this. Watch out for other women, too. If another woman in your office is just back from maternity leave, check in on how she is doing. Get her a cookie (nursing/pumping makes you ravenous), and ask her if she feels comfortable pumping at work. If not, approach HR about making a more comfortable pumping space. She may not have the emotional energy to advocate for herself in this tender time of transition. Mothers, encourage your non-mother co-workers to shut down their computers at a reasonable time. Even if they technically don’t have to leave to pick someone else up, they need to tend to their post-work lives. Sometimes it’s helpful to be gently reminded to take time for ourselves.

  5. Relish your self-care. In a society where we are taught that our productivity equals our worth, self-care doesn’t have a real place. By consciously practicing self-care anyway, and seeing how much it helps everyone around us, we begin to create a society that honors and cares for all people.

With this, I really want to invite all of us - mothers and non-mothers alike (and men too!) - to “The Self-Care of Early Motherhood,” a free call I am hosting on Friday, March 8th from 3 to 4pm ET, (also International Women’s Day!).

During this call, I’m going to share the self-care that kept me grounded and sane during my first year of motherhood. I’m also going to share what I wished I had known about early motherhood as a non-mother, so that I could have supported my new mother friends in the way that so many people supported me. I’ll offer a family-friendly framework that will help us all find more connection and joy in our lives, regardless of our realities around parenting.

Sign up for the call here!

Truly, this call is for everyone and I hope you can join! Please invite your friends too.

***

Culture changes, sometimes quickly and sometimes slowly. I sense we are on the brink of some big cultural changes that will make life easier for mothers, which will make life easier for all women (and men, too!).

This change starts with us. It starts with getting and giving support. When we have the support we need to fully own our stories as women, we gain the power to lift ourselves out from the edges of the cultural narrative.

Together, as mothers and non-mothers, we can create a new story that honors the many incredible ways we care for ourselves and others, every single day. This new story will guide us as we continue creating the world that we really want to hand over to the next generation.

With care,
Gracy

Wednesday Missive: The Sexiness of Self-Love

*.jpg

Hello Dears,

I hope you’ve had a great couple of weeks! You may have noticed that I didn’t show up in your inbox last Wednesday. This is because I’m shifting to an every-other-Wednesday email routine. This change may be temporary or it may last for a good long while. I appreciate your patience as I change up our rhythm!

With that, I have a quick announcement to make. On Friday, March 8th, from 3 to 4pm ET, I’m leading a free call on the Self-Care of Early Motherhood. As Jonah is about to turn 18 months, I’m finally ready to talk more formally about the ways I’ve navigated my self-care during early motherhood. I’m so excited to share the self-care that sustained me through this tender, transformational time and help us all do our best to support new mothers!

Interested in joining the call? Please sign up here.

With that, I’m focusing today on the self-care of feeling sexy in oneself. This topic has been brewing for a while in my mind, but came into sharper focus last week when a reporter for Oprah Magazine emailed me to ask if I would be a source in an article she was writing on self-care.

I wrote her back immediately and said of course. I mean, it’s Oprah! She replied with a few question prompts and mentioned that her article was on masturbation as a form of self-care.

Reading this, I sat back. My excitement shifted to a slight tinge of discomfort. It’s not that I don’t believe in masturbation as a form of self-care (it’s a go-to energizing self-care practice for me), it’s more that I didn’t see myself as someone who could hold any kind of authority when it comes to talking about sex.

Despite enjoying sex, I still have a hard time seeing myself as a sexual being. Sexual beings lounge around in silk underwear or have drawers full of kinky toys. As a feminine-leaning hetero, cisgender white woman, I feel pretty vanilla when it comes to most things, including sex. I buy packs of cotton underwear because I’ve heard it’s better for vaginal health. I own exactly one vibrator. I dig monogamy. I don’t really enjoy watching porn.

I want to stress that I don’t do these things because I think there is anything wrong with them. In fact, it’s pretty much the opposite. Role-playing and polyamory seem like glamorous forms of sexual self-care when other people tell me about them. But the truth is that they just aren’t me.

During this moment of sexual exploration and the expansion of our sexual norms, it’s hard for me not to feel repressed and/or boring. And yet, the same way someone can’t turn off their authentic sexual attractions, I can’t change the fact that my inclinations pretty match up with the prescribed norms.

It’s important to recognize that my culturally-approved sexual identity affords me a lot of privileges in society. I try to stay aware of this power and use it to create social change.

(With this, have you added your pronouns to your email signature yet? This is a simple way to help all non-cisgender people normalize their sharing of their preferred pronouns. It’s super easy. Do it today! Example: Gracy Obuchowicz, preferred pronouns: she/her/hers.)

So, yeah. That’s me. I’m pretty vanilla, and this blandness was why I was shrinking back not just from the reporter’s questions, but from feeling like I have any authority to talk or teach about sexual self-care in general.

Still conflicted, I decided to answer the Oprah reporter’s questions, as well as put her in touch with another client of mine (the amazing Reba the Diva) who does wonderful sex education work. I figured after the reporter read my answers, she just wouldn’t include anything I said.  

But I was wrong! This weekend, a friend sent me the full article which is pretty amazing and has my endorsement for masturbation as a form of self-care. Check it out here.

The next day, I brought all this up with my amazing therapist and she asked me to consider that perhaps I am a sexual authority. She prompted me to explore how my vanilla-sex-enjoying, cotton-underwear-wearing self could be its own kind of powerful sexual being. Then, we discussed how others out there might relate to feeling pretty boring and yet still authentic when it comes to sex these days.

I left our session wanting to say more, especially as we approached Valentine’s Day, with its outward focus on giving and receiving love. I always want to make sure we’re including self-love in the conversation, as self-love feels like both the path to and a final goal of a self-care practice.

This year, I’m realizing that I don’t think I can practice authentic self-love if I’m not working to accept who I am sexually. Our sexuality is an extremely personal and vulnerable layer of our sense of selves. If we’re holding back because we think something is wrong with our inclinations or that we have to be like someone else to be considered “sexy,” I don’t think we are practicing authentic self-love.

So today, with as much sexual authority as I can muster, I’m here to say:

You’re sexy if you’re into whips and chains.
You’re sexy if you like the missionary position.
You’re sexy if you have a husband and a girlfriend.
You’re sexy if you’ve been sleeping with one other person for decades.
You’re sexy if you love being single.
You’re sexy if you’re frustrated about being single.
You’re sexy when you masturbate alone.
You’re sexy when you masturbate with others.
You’re sexy when you ask for more intimacy.
You’re sexy when you recognize that you don’t enjoy physical touch.
You’re sexy if you don’t know what you want and just feel confused about sex.
You’re sexy when you let your inclinations change with experience and time (as mine might!).

As long as your sexual inclinations are not hurting or exploiting another person without their consent, they’re pretty alright in my book.

Taking it further, how might embracing ourselves as sexy, exactly as we are, help us save our world? Well, if we can’t embrace our sexual realities and authentic desires as sexy, then we are probably operating from a framework of sexual shame.

At it’s best, this kind of chronic shame will make us shy away from meaningful intimacy and the chance to be accepted for our authentic selves. At worst, we will judge others for their sexual choices or perhaps event resort to violence as a way to diffuse the poisonous energy of shame. The man who murdered two women at the Tallahassee yoga studio was part of an online community of men that blame women for not having sex with them.

When we feel good about ourselves sexually, chances are that we’re feeling good about almost every other aspect of our being. Getting the support we need to understand and accept our sexuality is a supremely good investment, not just for our own self-care but for that of our world.

So my dear ones, this is your assignment: Take a sexual inventory of how you most authentically show up sexually in your life. Breathe as you do this. Then, see if you can slap a big glittery sticker that says “Sexy as Hell” on top of whatever you find. If you can’t slap that sticker on, consider getting compassionate professional support until you can. After, take all this sexy self-acceptance into world. Spread your own self-love as kindness wherever you go and see how much others need this balm.

With that, all you sexy beasts, have an an amazing Valentine’s Day! Be yourself, love yourself, and share all that beauty with our world!

With care,
Gracy

The Beautiful Life Collective - a self-care community of amazing women

Gracy_SelfCare_062.jpg

The Beautiful Life Collective

A Cooperative of Women Leaders Caring for Themselves So They Can Care for The World
 

What Is The Collective?

A self-care community providing inspiration, accountability, resources, and the opportunity to invest in your most important asset: your ability to care for yourself, other people and the world as a whole.

“I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve (or save) the world and a desire to enjoy (or savor) the world. This makes it hard to plan the day.”  - E.B. White

 

The Beautiful Life Collective is For You if…

  • You sense that only through self-care can you be the change you wish to see in the world.

  • You feel compelled to change the status quo, but need more support and inspiration when it comes to taking action.

  • You know that caring for yourself without caring for the world and examining power and privilege is incomplete.

  • You value learning within a community and would like to tap into more meaningful conversation.

  • You know that in order to feel successful, you have to surround yourself with other amazing women who are taking risks in their lives while upleveling their self-care.

  • You want to show up as the gracious, effective manager/parent/leader that you know you truly are (but need adequate support to become).

In The Beautiful Life Collective, we see serving others as an essential form of self-care and understand that the only way to show up for others consistently is to show up for our self-care. Authentically caring for ourselves, working compassionately with our fears, and being part of a supportive community is the recipe to equip us to create change we know is possible in our lives and in broader cultural issues.  

I advocate that every woman be a part of a circle … a group of people, women - smart, wise, can-do women - who are in the world doing their work, and you need to meet with them as often as you can, so that they can see what you’re doing, and who you are, and you can see the same. …. It is crucial for our psychological health and our spiritual growth – it’s essential.  - Alice Walker

***

Are You Ready to Learn the Self-Care that Truly Works?  

Click the link below to hear the many ways joining the Beautiful Life Collective will make your life feel both more filled with ease and richer with purpose.

Join a community that cheers you on while offering you the invaluable feedback that helps you grow.

Learn the authentic self-care that will not only transform your life, but will give you the real leadership skills to help those around you.

Tap into the self-care that will change our world.

Get ready for a whole new kind of self-care…

Note: The Beautiful Life Collective is currently closed until later in 2019. If you want to be the firs to know when it opens next (and receive a nice sign-up) discount, join our VIP waitlist.

How Hard Can It Be?

yoga retreat-self care-wellness program- mindful eating-meditation workshop-women's support group-setting boundaries-self-care routines-daily routines-daily rituals-daily yoga practice-ayurveda-ayurveda dc-work/life balance-simple self-care-self-care activities-emotional self-care-self-care activities-self-care tips

I feel like I haven’t written directly about motherhood for a while now. That’s probably because I’m in this phase that’s intense in a way that’s hard to even talk about.

Jonah’s almost 17 months old and is most definitely not a baby anymore. He walks on his own, quite well, and has slept through the night for almost seven months (praise be!). He know animals sounds and can point to his nose and his ears. He gives hugs and has a really well developed sense of humor (with a preference for physical comedy).

He also needs a lot from me! He wants to be lifted up high to see what I’m cooking and helped down from every last piece of furniture he climbs up. He falls, and then cries, so many times a day. He eats two bites of the food I make and then throws the rest on floor and then will only eat cheddar bunnies (please tell me this is just a phase?). He’s adorable and he’s consuming.

I’m hanging in there, but I also feel like I’m stretched to maximum capacity most of the time. Especially in the cold weather, there are days I don’t leave the house because I’m taking care of Jonah or, while he’s in daycare, catching up on work. I have a strong urge to hunker down and hibernate and instead I spend most of my days doing the opposite.

Mothering is intensely intimate and also really isolating. It’s the biggest teacher I’ve had yet.

I hope this doesn’t come off as complaining, because I feel so much appreciation for what I have. I guess I just wish our culture were more family-friendly. I wish we worked less and played more. I wish we could be more connected to nature, especially us city folks.

And I have a much greater appreciation for what every mother has had to do to bring a child up in the world. You all have my intense admiration. I wish you all were leading our world.

Five Self-Care Shifts to Save Our World - Free Training

yoga retreat-self care-wellness program- mindful eating-meditation workshop-women's support group-setting boundaries-self-care routines-daily routines-daily rituals-daily yoga practice-ayurveda-ayurveda dc-work/life balance-simple self-care-self-care activities-emotional self-care-self-care activities-self-care tips

Five Self-Care Shifts to Save Our World

Five-Day Free Training

Reimagine Your Self-Care. Take It Beyond the Self.

Do you watch the news and wish you could do more to help the incredibly hard situations in our world?

Would you like to have more challenging conversations around social change but fear messing them up?

Do you know you have something important to say but need support in finding your voice to say it?

Are you ready to step forward?

Are you ready to express what feels true inside of you?

Are you ready to be part of the solution?

Click here to learn more and sign up for the free training! (And please share with others who might also be ready to make a self-care shift!)

Let’s revolutionize your self-care!

How I Wrote My Latest Book, a Conversation with Maria Habib and Erin Segal (aka the "Selfcarefully" Team)

In this episode, I interview designer + illustrator Maria Habib and Erin Segal, creator of Thick Press. Together we make up the team that is creating my upcoming book "Selfcarefully." 

Listen to our conversation to learn how I wrote my book over a series of short train rides, the ways we incorporated self-care into our planning process and our ideas on publishing a book in a revolutionary way. 

Also, get ready to order your copy of "Selfcarefully," which will be available this spring!