This summer on Amazon Prime Day I bought myself a new Kindle. (I loaned the last one to my younger son, where it met an untimely end being smashed by real textbooks in his backpack. I think?) At any rate - the fun thing about getting a new one was that I got to re-download all the books I had purchased way back when, many of which I actually hadn't read. <-- Classic!
One of those books was Write it Down, Make it Happen by Henriette Anne Klauser and when I saw it there on my new device, I decided it was time to read it - and it was SO GOOD!
As it states in the title, the book is basically about how to use writing as a manifesting tool. Here's what I loved about it in a nutshell:
My daily writing practice is basically a gratitude list, followed by a written version of my daily (spoken) mantras, along with maybe a to-do list and anything else I want to remember for the day. It's simple & free-form, and it woks for me . . . which is what's most important - that I actually DO IT!
In fact check this out:
Last week I had to go to traffic court with my younger son, who got a rather large ticket for passing a school bus when it was stopped. (Lights flashing, stop sign out, the whole 9 yards.) $419.00. Oof. When you get an infraction like that you can either pay it outright, or go to court. If you choose court you can either request a "Contested Hearing" (I did't do it!), or a "Mitigated Hearing" (I did it but . . .). The deal was that after we reviewed the video, we realized that there was no way he could have stopped in time after the stop arm was extended - it was only 3 seconds and at 35 mph? No stopping safely. Mitigated hearing it was.
On Friday morning I wrote in my little book: Traffic Court is going to be GOOD.
When we got to court, there were probably 10-15 people there who had been ticketed for the same offense. The judge started out by stating that if you had passed a school-bus and were there for a mitigated hearing that he couldn't actually make that happen. You had three choices: 1) Pay the fine. 2) Do 28 hours of community service in the next 6 months. 3) Change your plea to "Contested" - which would then be addressed after all the Mitigated pleas were done. DANGIT! I had been so hopeful!
And then he started with each person in order of their last name, alphabetically - which put us at the bottom of the list. One by one we watched as people either paid the fine, or chose community service. One person had their ticket dismissed because he was taking his very pregnant wife to the hospital. Two people opted for "Contested". As we watched all this go down my kid made it clear to me that he was just going to pay and have it be over with. Alrighty Then!
When it was our turn we both went in front of the room and I told the judge that the car is registered in my name, but that the kid was driving. He asked us to raise our right hands and swear we were telling the truth. He clarified a few more details about the date & time of the infraction - looked at his computer for a minute and then said, "Dismissed! You can go."
I think both of us were stunned - and speechless! We may have said "Thank You!" - I actually don't remember. What I remember is that as soon as we got out of the courtroom my kid said "What the Heck just happened?" And I said, "You just got ridiculously lucky!"
Maybe it was because he's young and the judge gave him props for coming to court?
Maybe it was because he was super sick and the judge had time to observe that before it was our turn?
Maybe it was the old school sunglasses he had on to cover up his grossly infected eye?
Or maybe I just put it out to the Universe and showed up with a positive attitude.
I'd like to think it was the latter - and with results like that, I'm going to up my writing game!
If I had to re-name the book I might call it "Write it Down, Let it Happen", or "Write it Down, See What Happens" - though that kind of relieves the reader of taking any action . . . and you do have to take some responsibility when manifesting money, the perfect partner, dream job, or dismissed traffic violations, so "Write it Down, Make it Happen" it is!
It's a short book, easy to read, with lots of nuggets of wisdom. Highly Recommend!
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This weeks’ post is a reminder for me as much as it is for you. Between international travel & being sick (x2) & making up a bunch of missed work hours - I’ve been a little short on any kind of self-care.
So here is a tiny guide!
For starters I know that sometimes investing in good self-care may feel like you’ll have to make these giant, sweeping changes ... not true!
Remember that the difference between water that is not boiling (210°) and water that is (212°) is only two degrees! Small change - massive impact!
Here are a few small self-care practices you can adopt that might make a big difference:
So there you go - a teeny list of things to turtle-step your way to better self-care. Remember . . . you don't have to do them all at once!
What are your favorite mini-self-care practices? I'd love to know - leave me a comment!
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I've been away from my blog for a couple months (eek!) - time for an update!
This summer I got to spend some extra time with my bonus kid (my boyfriends' daughter - she's 13 and super fun . . .), doing what we affectionately called "Camp Eileen". Twice a week we spent the day together having adventures that ranged from a two hour makeup tutorial with my bosses daughter (who did makeup for Game of Thrones - Hello?), to exploring new stores (Big John's PFI here in Seattle - SO fun!), to checking out the Seattle Wholesale Floral Market, to getting her hair dyed, and well . . . lots and lots of Starbucks and Bubble Tea. I think we were both sad when it was over - can't we just do Summer Camp all year long?
* sigh *
During our time together I also learned that boys & girls are very different (duh!), and that being a teenage girl in this day and age is hard. Having some insight into this first hand, I'm thinking I might expand my services to cater to young women who need a little love and encouragement as they navigate their teens. Stay tuned!
As soon as school was back in session I enrolled in an Instagram class with Chris-Anne Donnelly and Becca Berggren called "Manifest Being Seen" that was so amazing! They taught us everything there is to know about Instagram from algorithms, business accounts vs. personal accounts, how to create a feed that is aesthetically pleasing & hashtags, to how to increase traffic to your feed, using video & stories, different photo and video editing apps to keep things fun, and so much more! As a photographer Instagram is by far my favorite social media platform so I've been having a ball integrating all of this goodness into my daily IG activity! Are you on Instagram? You can find me at: @that_west_coach_vibe - sharing photography tips & tricks (+ my favorite equipment, photo apps & prompts!), motivational quotes, stories, and generally aesthetically pleasing content with purpose and meaning - I think you'll love it! Hope to see you over there. :)
And then on October 5th my boyfriend and I hopped on a plane with my Mom for a two week trip to France - where we bookended time with her in Paris, and spent the middle part exploring Southern France in Corsica and Provence on our own. It was Epic. And we re-learned things about jet-lag (it blows), and moving around a lot in a short period of time, and dog-poop on suitcase wheels (that would be me). We ate a lot of baguettes and saw amazing art. GoogleMaps saved our lives over and over again. And I was reminded that Paris is a big, rather dirty city where a lot of people smoke. <-- which is not my favorite. All that being said it was a great trip, and I was so happy to come home and sleep in my own bed. Then I promptly got a horrible cold, from which I am now mostly recovered. PHEW!
Here are some of my favorite photos from our adventure:
So I'm back, and working on a few little projects - updating my photography website and bringing an Oracle Deck to life that's been on a back-burner for a while (featuring my photos!). I also have room for new coaching clients! If you're feeling pulled to make some changes in your life or set your course for 2019 - let's connect! I'd love to work with you.
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I'm going to tell you a little secret: There has been one technology thing that I've been struggling with for
y-e-a-r-s, and I haven't been able to make it work.
Don't get me wrong. I am a smart person who is generally technology savvy. Which makes this one thing even more maddening that I can't get it to work. So what have I done about it? Nothing.
What is this THING? Google Calendar.
Laugh if you want, but it has been my nemesis forever. My ex-husband set up a Google Calendar for us to schedule our respective weekends and kid events when they were little (they are 17 & 20 now, and drive themselves where they need to go), and I could not make it work. Well - I should say that there have been two pieces to this struggle:
1. Logging into G-Suites, and actually adding the new calendar to my existing setup.
2. Getting said calendar to integrate with my iPhone.
Couldn't do either. So, So dumb.
This weekend I was talking to my boyfriend and asking him about something we had planned this month, and his comment was "It's on the calendar". Yep - we also have a shared calendar, which I use exclusively to remind him when he's agreed to walk the neighbors dog for me when I can't do it. Which I schedule from my laptop.
So there I was (already having a reeeally rough morning), carefully choosing my words about *#$@*$^ Google Calendar:
"I am not stupid, but something just isn't working right and I can't manage to see the calendar on my phone. And if it's not on my phone, it doesn't exist." I went on to say "I'm trying not to say "I'm bad at it", because that's not true."
I believe his comment was "Semantics."
At which point I looked him right in the eye and said "I HATE GOOGLE CALENDAR. THAT IS THE TRUTH."
I was SO MAD! (At technology - not him! LOL!)
Actually I was really pissed off that I was letting Google Calendar win. Why couldn't I just figure it out?
So I showed my boyfriend the phone, where I had my Google account set up, and that it did reflect that our shared calendar was visible on my phone. And then I went to the calendar app and showed him where the event should be, and was most decidedly not.
And I decided in that moment that I wasn't going to let it go - I was going to figure it out. Which is what I usually do anyway - I'm a figure-outer! <---- Whyyyy had I let this one drag on for so long?
When I got home I looked it up online, and sure enough I had gone through all the right steps. And it wasn't working. So I deleted the account from my phone, and then tried to reinstall it. Didn't work. Turned off the phone, reinstalled it, and SHAZAM! There were the events from our shared calendar.
Not having Google Calendar wasn't actually having a negative impact on my daily life - and I honestly just didn't care which is why I let it fester for so long. But as soon as I could see that it was a problem, (and that someone thought I wasn't applying myself), I was motivated to fix it.
The real thing was that there was a little voice in my head that was saying "I'm not smart enough" - and there are a lot of bigger voices that hide behind those little ones. Which is all the more reason to manage them sooner than later so that they don't turn into a monster of a story and a subsequent meltdown or self-sabotage of all the things you can do.
Do you have one thing that keeps you in that state of doubt & frustration? Even if you don't think about it all the time - is it out there? I urge you to write it down today, and then think about some ways you can power through - even it means asking for help.
It took me 10 years to figure out Google Calendar - I know you can do better.
This is a little story about what can happen when you actually DO something kind of crazy!
Last November my friend Maggie shared on Facebook that her good friend (& fellow Life-Coach) Belinda Smith was offering a three-month 1:1 coaching scholarship. (Valued at $3000!) On a whim, I decided to apply - because why not!? Right?? Back to that whole "If you don't ask the answer is always no" thing.
The first task in the application process was to fill out a GoogleForm with four basic questions - one of which was "What does success mean to you." I was excited to answer because I had recently just re-defined that for myself as . . . :
Success for me is: Doing work I love (Life Coaching, Photography & VA Work - I call it my "3 Legged Stool of Happiness"!), Making enough money to support myself, my kids and to travel quarterly, dine out once a week and see live music/theater once a month. And making the TIME to enjoy the rewards of my hard work. My recent epiphany was this: When I studied art, I learned that the negative space was equally as important as the object or form we were looking at. For me this time where I'm not working, not hustling and constantly being on high alert about my finances? That is equally important to the work itself. Boom!
(Can you tell I was all hopped up about that? :) )
So a few days after I sent that in, I found out that I had made it to the second round of applicants, and was asked to then complete another GoogleForm with another four questions - one of which was "How do you spend your days?" This one was exciting for me too!
I am currently working with a model of "multiple streams of income" - where I work for someone else in addition to having my own business. (Life coaching/Virtual Assistant/Photographer). I also walk dogs. I love this set up because I'm choosing it. I am not at someone else's beck & call or whim - I call the shots. It's awesome.
Seriously - these questions alone were such a gift to be able to look at how I'm doing my life right now and see that it's pretty great. Because sometimes I just go along, doing my thang and forget where I've been and how far I've come.
In fact I'm just going to stop here and say: Please make some time this week to write a list of all the things you've done in the last six months/year/two years/five years - and then take a moment to pat yourself on the back and say "I'm awesome." Thank you.
So back to my story . . .
For the last question in the final round ("Why do you think we'd be a good match?") we were given the opportunity to answer by making a video - just to be a little bit outside of our comfort zones. I am a complete dork on video (especially when I haven't practiced in a while), but again I thought "Hey why not - I have nothing to lose!" I answered the question in writing just in case there was a #videofail, and then promptly went about recording the video because it was the only time before it was due that I would have the house to myself. I recorded it twice. The second time was actually 97% great, so I kept it. But there was one thing that just wasn't OK about it, which was this:
At the end I thanked Belinda for offering this amazing opportunity, and then said "I mean, even if I don't get it . . . blah blah blah". Ummmmm NO. I was even telling my kid about it at dinner and he said "Oh no you can't say that - you're going to win!" Well there wasn't really time to re-record, so I busted out my video editing skills, and this is how things ended up looking:
You know . . . always great to have a slide that says "oops" on it when you're applying for something big. LOL! After which I waved & said "Bye!", and closed with a little wave or high-five emoji (you pick), and called it good. And kind of forgot about it.
About a week later she announced the winner to the candidates who had made it through to the second round, encouraging people to not scroll down to see who won before they read the first part of the email. And honestly I didn't scroll, because I knew it wasn't me.
EXCEPT THAT IT WAS ME!!
I did not see that coming from a hundred miles away, and promptly had a little cry. What an amazing opportunity to have someone coach me for three months as I prepared to do my first ever live event in Mexico. All of a sudden I knew my retreat was going to go from Special to Ah-May-Zing! Squeeeee!
And that my friends, is the magic that happens when you put yourself out there - wherever "there" is for you. Today I'm encouraging you to try new things, apply for jobs you don't think you're qualified for, ask someone out on a date who you think might be "out of your league". . . . whatever it is . . . go for it!
You know I love hearing your stories . . . let me know how it goes by leaving a comment or sending me a note.
Love & Light,
p.s. Need some inspiration? Go watch this video. I'm proud to say this was my very first employer when I moved to Seattle.
p.p.s Since I first published this I have let go of my role as a Virtual Assistant to focus on Life Coaching & Photography since that's what really lights me on fire. Fi-Yah Baby!
Schedule your complimentary discovery session here.
I’ve been wanting to share my sad birthday cake story for the last couple of weeks - but I’m not a great food photographer & just didn’t think a baking mishap was all that interesting. But the fact that I turned it around kind of is so . . . ?
About a month ago I had an idea that I wanted to make a cake for my kids 20th birthday. I probably haven’t made a cake since he was 2? (At some point the crazy box brownies from Trader Joe’s were just easier & way more appreciated lol). At any rate - I decided to make him the cake my mom used to make me every year for my birthday, which is Mocha Pound Cake.
I've tried the recipe a couple times as an adult (probably pre-kids), and all I could remember that it turned out kind of dry. So as I put things together I made an executive decision to use less flour, and to alter the baking time to be about 20 minutes shorter. And also to use butter instead of the margarine that the recipe called for because who uses margarine any more?!? ?
Ultimately, while the batter was fabulous ... the finished cake was so dry (despite my attempts to make it be otherwise) - it was pretty much a complete fail. ?Literally as a cake the only place it belonged was in the trash. #sadness.
But (but!) I decided to instead repurpose it! I cut the whole thing up & froze the slices in individual sandwich bags and turned it into Chocolate Bread! New name, new life . . . throw a piece in the toaster & slather it with butter? That’s some damn good toast! Even my kid gave it a thumbs up. ????
All of which is to say that sometimes when things seem crappy - maybe they just need a little bit of perspective to make them delicious. Yep - that’s my life-coach-y take on a bad baking outcome . . . you’re welcome! ?
This might also be the reason my fitness goals are taking a teeny bit longer than I think they should? ??♀️
What about you? Have you had a cooking/baking fail that you turned into something better? You know I'm dying to hear about it - leave a comment or send me a note!
Oh & if you really want to try . . . here's the recipe!
Mocha Pound Cake
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2 3/4 C Flour
1/2 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Baking soda
1/2 C Cocoa
3 Tbsp Instant coffee powder
2 tsp Vanilla
1 C Sour Cream
Cream butter & sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Measure & mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa & coffee powder. The SIFT.
Add to creamed mixture and beat until well blended. Add vanilla & sour cream & blend well.
Spoon batter into greased & flour dusted 9 or 10 inch tube pan (bundt pan), and spread evenly. Bake at 325 for 1 1/2 hours. Let stand for 10 minutes before inverting onto rack to cool completely.
Toast as needed. :)
Oh my gosh - I can't believe it's been almost four months since my Photography + Life Coaching retreat in Mexico . . . and I haven't really given you a full recap of how it went. That's just plain Cray!
The truth is that even though I committed to sharing about it a couple of weeks ago - I've been massively resistant. I finally took a look at that this morning to figure out why and came up with:
Both of those things are pretty silly, so I'm going to get right to the point and tell you how off-the-charts-RAD it was: It was so RAD that honestly I can't quite believe I did it and sometimes I still have to pinch myself. In fact, here are a few words from some of my retreaters . . . just so you don't think I'm only tooting my own horn. (I totally am - but gosh it's validating when other people join in!)
Before attending Eileen’s San Miguel de Allende, Mexico retreat I was feeling all dried up. I couldn’t figure out where I’d lost my spark, or how to get it back. From day one I was thrilled to discover Eileen’s retreat was like one big “Artist’s Date” with yourself (and a few soon-to-be good friends).
While basic photography skills were the focus, from the beginning she also had us doing simple and easy arts and crafts projects that loosened us up, invited us to play, and helped us toss procrastination and perfectionism out the window. All this fun had the wonderful effect of getting us in touch with intuitive knowledge of our hopes and dreams, while fueling them at the same time! Eileen is so down to Earth and authentic, it puts you instantly at ease and lets you know you're being cared for (not to mention the gorgeous retreat house and amazing private chefs from an organic farm!)
Eileen showed us how simple art-making can be an easy way to transform your daily life from dreary to sparkly. I couldn’t have asked for a more relaxing, fun, and life-changing retreat! - Jen M.
(I might have cried when I read that the first time. #forreal)
The truth is that I knew I could put on a fantastic retreat, I had a venue that was over-the-top, a caterer who not only made us the most delicious farm-to-table organic meals, but who loved on us like family, and a location that is to die for. San Miguel de Allende is so magical - going into it I just felt like whatever my retreaters learned from me (and each other!) would just be icing on a crazy-cool cake.
Granted, I put my heart & soul into making it exceptional - everything from the retreat activities/content to special treats for my VIP's to a Saturday morning Photo Journaling session with Jen Trulson - I can honestly say that I'm so proud of my hard work and it was a resounding success!
Some more kind words . . .
"One of my intentions for 2018 was to do more things I love, even if I had to do them solo. On Jan 4th, a friend posted about the Eye Wonder retreat and I knew this was my first opportunity to live this out! Lucky for me, it combined 4 of my favorite things - photography, travel, meeting new people and Mexican food!
Before I could think of reasons not to, I reached out to Eileen to get registered. Within a few days, I had booked a VIP spot and while I was nervous about all the details, Eileen answered every question I had leading up and I arrived ready for an adventure. I knew we'd eat well, take lots of photos, but I was not at all prepared for how beautiful all the details would be. The stunning location, delicious meals, creative sessions, and oh so lovely retreat participants all worked together to create a wonderful, relaxing environment where I felt cared for, at ease and ready to explore.
I came with some expectations to learn more about myself and photography, but left with so much more.
Look how cute we are!! And see that TALL kid on the right? Yup - I brought my teenage boy with me! I know that sounds crazy on paper - but he is seriously one of my favorite people and I know he's not going to want to hang out with me forever . . . so I took advantage of this time and included him in the trip. I'll just say that when I did the quick feedback session at the end of the weekend - these women put him in the "What We Loved" column. :) He's already asking me about next year . . . so I'm letting you know that I'm looking at the third week in March (tentatively). If you wanted to come with me to Mexico this year and weren't able to make it - message me here and I'll add you to my "first to know!" retreat email list for 2019!
I hope you'll consider it because #thisisgonnabeevenbetter
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Have you noticed? The Body Positive Movement is going strong! I actually have a number of friends who are exclusively Body Positive Photographers or Life Coaches who focus their practice on nurturing a healthy body image . . . it's awesome!
Here's what's curious though: All this body positivity has a weird side to it. I know, I know . . . but hear me out.
Last year around this time I decided I was going to host a Life Coaching + Photography retreat in Mexico. I was so excited and totally flipped out about it all at the same time. And I managed to pull it off successfully - which was no small feat! In fact, during the last six months of planning I think I ate my way through every stressful thought, $$ deposit and freak out that no one was going to show up. All of which was evident the night before we left when the suitcase wouldn't fit on the scale and I had the brilliant thought of weighing myself first (which I hadn't done in months), and then weighing myself + suitcase to figure out the difference.
The scale read 170 lbs.
At this point my inner voice yelled "That's a DAMN LIE!" And I chose to believe that it was a lie even though I had to buy a bunch of new clothes for my trip because none of what I had fit, and I was not in fact feeling like a picture of perfect health. (As a point of reference - the place where I feel healthiest is somewhere between 145 & 150 lbs.)
Turns out it was the truth, and at 170 lbs I was weighing in at heavier than I've ever been in my life (by a lot!) other than when I was pregnant. About a month ago I looked at the health app on my phone which kindly showed me I'd walked 542 steps that day. In that moment I knew that I needed to up my game in order to feel better and wear some of my favorite summer clothes. Game On!
Here's where the weird part comes in. Y'all I cannot have this conversation with anyone except my boyfriend and maybe my sister - without someone saying "Oh Please . . . don't hate on your body!". Or "You don't need to lose weight!" Or "You look GREAT!"
So to be clear: I actually love my body. I know I look good for 47. I have had two successful pregnancies & two healthy kids. I don't have any long-term illnesses or injuries. I am beyond grateful for all of this.
AND (And!) . . .
I know when I weigh too much. When I don't feel good about myself (even while feeling grateful for all the things above). When my clothes don't fit and I struggle to find things to wear to work. It lands me in a place that is dark and gloomy.
I recently finished Girl Wash Your Face, and the message on the last page really stuck with me: This is my life, and I get to choose how it's going to be. Like #nowstyle (as my older son likes to say).
Since that 542 step day I have switched things up:
I'm averaging over 10,000 steps a day. The way I look at it if I'm moving, it can only have a positive effect. And guess what? I'm losing a little bit of weight, and I feel so much better physically & mentally . . . I'm motivated to keep going.
None of this is a surprise - studies show that being active will give you more energy and improve your mood - I can vouch for this first hand.
And as a gentle reminder: If someone who "looks" tall and thin (and who by your estimation isn't a candidate for weight loss), is working on exercising more and being healthier/stronger? You may want to check yourself before you say something, because you never know the whole story.
Don't judge me because I'm thinner than you. It's my body & I know it best.
You do you, and I'll do me.
In good health,
p.s. I'd love to hear your thoughts - send me a note or leave a comment below!
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I have been a lifelong avoider of conflict.
As in I used to really, really hate it - and that's coming from someone who counsels her kids on the regular to not use the word hate. Looking back I think a lot of it had to do with being a perfectionist, and knowing that if there was conflict relating to me, it was most likely because I'd done something wrong. (Or thought I'd done something wrong.)
Being wrong is not a place that a perfectionist feels comfortable. In fact, the amount of anxiety I endured around making sure I was doing all things right so as to avoid any future conflict . . . was exhausting.
But back to this idea of conflict or dealing with difficult life situations - the deal is that you can't avoid it, you can't sit in the past, or jump to the future. (Well you can - but the results are almost always decidedly unsatisfactory!) Truly, the only way to the other side . . . is through.
In Martha Becks' book "Steering by Starlight" she uses a metaphor of our "Three Ring Life" - which includes three concentric circles of consciousness: The Shallows, The Ring of Fire, and The Core of Peace.
People who are living their lives in the "Shallows" tend to be focused on material possessions, let themselves be guided by negative emotions and false beliefs, along with hefty doses of unease, stress and a constant want for "more". Bleh.
By contrast, The Core of Peace is where no untruths can exist and there is "no apparent separation from the fabric of The Universe." Attachment to grandiose thoughts or fancy things aren't important - and we don't have any concepts of being famous, noble, smart, handsome, influential, etc etc etc. It's where we most want to be, in what Beck refers to as "the state of the Stargazer".
So why do we spend so much time avoiding it?
Because we don't want to pass through the third ring to get there: The Ring of Fire.
"The Ring of Fire is the emotional process we must go through in order to reach the core of peace. There are only two ways to accomplish this. We can disbelieve any false ideas that are causing unnecessary pain. And we must grieve any unavoidable pain, such as the loss of health or a loved one."
She makes it sound so simple!
What I've found is that the same idea can be applied to resolving conflict - in order to get to the other side (The Ring of Peace) the only way is through (The Ring of Fire!). Let me tell you, once I figured that out . . . life got a whole lot easier.
These days when my boyfriend and I have a disagreement, this is usually the thought process that goes into our discussion:
* Ask myself "What was my part?"
* Own what's mine, let the rest go.
* Be willing to be wrong.
* Do better (or differently) next time.
Do I love it? No. But I do love how much better things feel on the other side of those conversations - it really is so peaceful!
What about you? Do you have some favorite conflict resolution practices? Some people actually really love conflict (which is so foreign to me!) - I'd love to hear your stories . . . send me a note or leave a comment below!
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On May 1st an email went out to me + thousands of other people, announcing the new podcast "Casting Call" - which also included a call for entry to submit an application to be a contestant on this new show. In short: Squarespace + Gimlet Media have teamed up to create a new reality-style-podcast where three finalists will compete to have their idea turned into a new podcast - which will all be documented along the way.
Of course I decided to apply (duh!), and spent a few weeks working on the written questions, and more importantly crafting my required three-minute-or-less audio sample.
This was a bit of a herculean feat for me - choosing a story to share, writing it out, recording it only to find that it was three minutes too long, cutting out all the parts that weren't necessary, convincing my 19 year old to get on Skype with me so I could "interview" him, & recording it over and over so as to not sound like I was awkwardly reading it off a piece of paper. (Which in all fairness, I totally was.) Then editing it all down so that it seamlessly fit into the three minute time window. It was a big deal.
On May 18th - three days before the due date - I filled out the online form, linked to my recording on Dropbox, said a quick blessing and pressed the "submit" button.
Here's the funny part: Even before I sent in my application I was quite certain I was going to be selected as one of the top three - and that part of my summer was going to be spent in Brooklyn, NY learning the tricks of the podcasting trade with my future-bestie & host of the show Jonathan Goldstein.
I'm not sure if that falls into a category of "Optimistic" or "Delusional" - but the truth is that I had so much fun acting as if this really exciting adventure had already happened. With this sense of confidence I also shared my submission with a handful of friends (which historically I absolutely would not have - being a former firm believer that if you "tell" something that's important to you, it won't come true . . .), and had some amazing feedback. I was on fire y'all!
Until yesterday when I got the "Thanks, but you weren't selected . . . " email.
I was seriously confused. And then had a big "Who do you think you are anyway?" moment.
Thankfully it was just a moment. Because . . . even as I entertained my "Summer-in-New-York" fantasy, I had decided that I was going to keep moving ahead with my podcast regardless of what the Casting Call outcome was. I didn't put anything on hold as I waited for their response - and if all goes well I'll be launching my podcast in September!
I'm currently reading "Girl, Wash Your Face" by Rachel Hollis . . . and yesterday came across this gem:
"Someone else's opinion of me is none of my business."
She goes on to say:
"These words are never more profound than when we're creating something. Maybe it's a book, a blog, a company, a piece of art, or your fashion sense. When you're creating something from your heart, you do it because you can't not do it. You produce it because you believe your creation deserves to be out in the world."
Of course in my case I'm creating a podcast - one where I'll interview Courageous Mom's, Parenting Experts, and Fabulous Teens about why they sometimes do crazy shit. It's going to be amazing!
Am I a teeny bit disappointed that my idea wasn't selected for this fun new audio reality show? Of course! And I also know that the contest application totally motivated me to a) Just Do It! (& not worry about being perfect), and b) Learn a bunch of technical things in a hurry that I would have otherwise probably approached with my traditional slow-poke attitude - all of which I'm so grateful for.
It also makes for a great story.
You can listen to my three minute audio submission below - which is the tale of the toilet on my 2nd floor.
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