HOT MESS

Five weeks.

Baby #3 is five weeks old already. It feels like it’s been five years, and also, five minutes all at once. And you guys, I’m so fucking. . .

TIRED.

You thought I was going to say in love didn’t you?

No. Tired. I am fucking exhausted as fuck.

I mean, yes I am in love with my baby. Over the moon, practically first time mother level to be quite honest. My social feeds are ridiculous and phone’s memory has been evaporated by baby pictures. This little boy is so fucking CUUUUTTTTEEE.

But that’s not my point, today. He is adorable. I am delighted to be a mother again. But I am also, as you may have caught on— Continue reading

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THE RUB

I’ve always been a little bit outside “the norm.”  Not average. Challenging. Bold. Big in body, mind, and presence. Strong-willed, determined, and overly verbal about it. A storyteller by nature. I’m a dreamer who likes to make lists. A “YES” who likes to map it.

I rarely choose to do things the easy way. I like puzzles, and problem solving. I crave adventure. I need variety like I need air. I don’t like the word or the state of “normal.” I don’t like to hold still. Conventions make me nauseated. I like to learn the rules so I can bend and twist and break them when it’s time.   

I rarely play it safe. I’m uncomfortable playing small. There are never enough ideas or things for me to learn.  If you say we can go ten miles I want to go one hundred. My quench for growth is insatiable.

I love the way change calls me out of my comfort zone and into a terrifyingly fresh new space.

This, makes me . . . well. Me. It makes me, me. And I’m not sorry for that, anymore. It’s who I am. I’m good with it. Great, actually. Continue reading

THE THING

When I was 16, this girl at a leadership camp we both attended said at the end of our week about me “There’s just something about Michelle. You can tell just by being around her that she’s going to do something really great.

Every day since that day, I’ve been wondering— BUT WHAT?  

So I went into teaching. Because I loved kids, and I loved working in a place where my work made a difference in real time and in the future. I went to college, and got all the degrees, and all the credentials and all the labels that said “Teacher.”

Being a teacher seemed like it was going to be a really great thing. Probably THE Thing. Except it wasn’t. Not then, for me, anyway.

I put in a solid and commendable effort too. Eleven years in Elementary Education including a three year stint in School Administration, and then five semesters as a College Professor. And I was a good teacher. I made a difference. I know I did great work.

But instead of lighting me on fire, it was burning me out.

Continue reading

THE SOUND OF SILENCE

I want to talk to you about this time I felt stuck. Really stuck. Really down. Really not myself.

Depressed. I would actually classify this thing that happened, that I’m coming out of, as depressed. And that is scary as fuck.

I have lots of reasons why it might have happened. Significant health issues, insomnia, injuries and work limiting access my practice, financial hell, not teaching anymore, not sharing yoga the way I love to share it. The things that I identify myself with, the things that help make me, be me, were not secure.

And even though I am wrapped in love. And even though I have so many things to be grateful for, and even though I am never, ever, ever standing anywhere, at anytime, alone, I felt removed. Not having all my things in place all ultimately resulted in me not showing up powerfully for myself, or for anyone else.

Outside of the things that I do — who am I?

I spent three years in inquiry, three years exploring, three years doing the work and building heat by throwing every available stick in the fire, and then suddenly, I just sat down and stared at the flames. What did I build? Why did I build it? Who is it for? How do I keep it going?

What the fuck do I do now?

Continue reading

Dark Side Of The Moon

Last week I wrote about hitting the Wall. Or rather, hitting walls, plural. About what it looks like when my body draws a #Nope card.

But there’s a wall I didn’t talk about. It’s a wall I don’t want to acknowledge. A wall that, quite frankly, isn’t supposed to be there.

It’s a wall I unintentionally built myself.

I have a charmed life. My husband is amazing. My kids are thriving. I’m getting along with my ex-husband, and his wife. I live in a cool city, I get to go do epic shit with kickass people. My friends are supportive ,and funny, and kind, and all the things I could want my friends to be.  I have more events to attend and opportunities for culture and learning and fun than time to do them all.

I am surrounded by love and laughter and play and light.

And yet, there are still shadows. Big ones. The kind that wake me up at night in a cold sweat, the kind that start arguments where arguments weren’t expected. The kind that attract mistakes. The kind that undercut my self esteem, that prevent me from showing up, and the kind that invite me to spend a Saturday in bed, under the covers, sleeping my reality away. Continue reading

Make a Mess

Burned turkey, raw turkey, turkey jerky, turkey in the snow, turkey on the beach, turkey from the store, turkey in Nebraska, and Hawaii.Turkey on a hilltop, turkey in a valley, turkey with my family, and turkey with my fRamily. Turkey for five, turkey for thirty-five, turkey in silence, turkey in jest, turkey served by me, and turkey served to me. Turkey with my ex-husband as he avoided my family, and, tomorrow, turkey with my new husband as he meets them.

So, yeah, I’ve done Thanksgiving a few different ways, in a few different places, with a few different people. It’s very. . . Michelle of me.

However, these three things still hold true— pie, messes, and uh, turkey gratitude. These, I can count on being at the table each year.

And so, in tribute to said symbols of my past, present, and future Novembers, this year, I’d like to focus on the last two, particularly, Continue reading

I WOKE UP LIKE THIS

I spent this last weekend in Austin, Texas at the first of seven weekends for yet another Yoga Teacher Training.

Yes, seven.

Yes, Texas.

Yes, I do still live in Sacramento. . . California.

Details. . .

And, per usual, I learned lots of great lessons on my trip. Things like when making life complicated in one area (say, flying more than halfway across the country seven times in seven months…) perhaps, one should try to keep everything else simple. Continue reading

SIDEWAYS

Don’t wait.  Change now. Get out of your comfort zone. Wake up and move differently. Create awareness. Be mindful. Live fully. Seize the moment. Grow. Get up and go for it. New Year, New You. . .

Yep, it’s still January alright, and as the nearest cardio room would indicate, we, as a general community, are spending this month rededicating ourselves to, well, ourselves.

It’s awesome. I love seeing the yoga studio packed with students doing 30 day challenges. I think it’s fantastic that gym memberships are spiking and I totally support my friends doing a no-sugar January.

People are trying to find a new normal, create new habits, build better selves.

For now, that’s happening. But what about come February? Super Bowl Sunday? Dia de Godiva chocolate and red wine? A long weekend snuggled up near the Baileys fire in a cabin in the snow?

What happens when life challenges our intentions?

We compromise, negotiate, and usually, we fall right off the (delusional) train we rode in on. We get knocked down, not becuase it’s too hard, but because we stepped so far out to the right that we simply could not maintain balance any longer.

That’s good, it’s how we learn. The problem is, not all of us get back up on that. . . treadmill. Sometimes we just stay off out of fear of further injury.

How to avoid that classic pitfall? Set yourself up for success. Reset your equillibrium. Learn how to find a happy, and sustainable, medium.

balancing act: a how to

1. Where you at fool?

Take a quick look at your current reality. Pull your head out (of the sand silly. . .). What’s going down in your world, right now? How do you feel about that?

2. Get grounded: What do you want? When do you want it? 

What do you know to be real, and true and good about yourself and your world? Consider: a) where you are, b) where you’d like to be, and c) what’s standing in the space in between those two places.

3. Gather Your Resources and Prepare to Engage.

What’s your ETA? What props would you like to to use to arrive in a timely fashion? What do you already have on hand to help you get there? What could you rid yourself of? What would be helpful for you to do, go or get? Pick up the phone, open up your browser, hit send on an e-mail and ask for it.

4. Sound the Battle Cry and Move Your Ass.

Take positive action, now. You will never make progress without action. Do something, anything, that propels you even one centimeter closer to your destination. If you are not willing to risk falling, then you are not ready to grow. Do it. Do it now.

5. Now Flow.

Move gracefully and with care. Don’t be the bull in the china shop, be a fucking ninja. Breathe. Do one thing  at a time. Notice your surroundings.  Be present, but keep moving. Two steps forward, one step back. Cha, cha, cha-cha-cha.

6. Check for Understanding (and Authenticity).

At the end of your day, and before you say “yes” to anything else, check in with yourself. Do your actions match your intentions? Does the opportunity come with wings, or a chain? Are you holding too much, or not enough?

7. Pat Yourself (And a Friend) On the Back.

Prefer knuckles instead? Selfie high five perhaps? Namaste? Go for it. Positive thoughts and intentions generate positive results. Acknowledge what you have done, the progress you have made, the problems you solved, the new space you’ve created. Focus on growth to expand. See good to create great. Give validation to receive love.

8. Just Keep Swimming.

You’ll get there Dory, if you just keep pushing on. Ride the current every now and then as it assists you, but stay out dark caves and stop following bright shiny lights. Focused movement, regardless of the pace.

9. Keep It Tight and Light.

Three things help you hold balancing poses— driste (your gaze), a tight core, and a strong foundation. Um, guess what? Same thing applies here. Keep looking ahead, hold true to who you are, and build up your support. We cannot balance for long on just our big toes; if you fall, and you will, shake it off, feel your feet planted firmly on the ground, press down to lift up, and then rise tall again.

 

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ONE MINUTE MORE

Okay, so from my last post you learned about how to make today Friday, right? You totally read that. I just know it.  If you, uh, didn’t, well, you know, click here, read that, then come back here. Or don’t. Whatever. The point was, if you want to make a change in your life, the steps are basically:

  1. Wake the hell up
  2. Get clear about your current reality and decide what the fuck it is you actually want
  3. Make that shit happen right about. . .  NOW.

Got it?

Super easy right? Clear as mud.

Well, let’s assume that you’ve already taken step one, or are at least in the process of awakening. If you haven’t, then well, good luck there Sleeping Beauty. Keep your eyes shut and have a nice (life)long nap while you wait for the fairytale ending to roll with the credits. Good luck with that.

However, for those ready for step two, let’s talk a bit.  There are lots of ways you can get a nice clear ultimate selfie of your life, who and what is in it, who and what you actually want in it, and just how in or out of balance your world is. I can help you with that if you’d like actually, and I promise to deliver your reality check with smile too.

The process for step two essentially prompts you to do the following:

Look with ravenous honesty.

Who are you? Who are you not? What is important to you? What is not? What are you prioritizing, and why? What’s happening off the mat- where and how do your habits, attitudes and beliefs show up in your life? Are they helping, or hindering you from becoming the best version of yourself?

Listen with your whole soul.

What do you know to be good, and true and real about you and the world? What lights you up inside? What gives you sparkly eyes and jazz hands? What can you never stop talking about? What are you drawn to, repeatedly? What messages are you ignoring?

Claim your own destiny.

Declare what you want. Do not hold back for fear of judgment or failure. Be specific, very, very specific. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Own it. Every single part of it. It’s yours. It always has been. It always will be.


Again, the first part is usually not terribly difficult. Most of us can do this with some good tools and coaching. What comes next though, is where we get scared. We stall out, paralyzed in the unknown.

Choosing to stay in a place we don’t like simply because we don’t know where else to stand, or if we’ll really like it there.

But, if you are ready, really ready, deep down in your bones desiring to make a change, then I urge you to do the following:

Try
Fail
Learn
Grow
Repeat

Sound familiar?

Good. It should by now.

But really. You will never, not ever, find your purpose, your passion, your life’s work just sitting there. The U.S. postal service delivers a whole lot of nice packages, but I can assure you that the new and improved model of yourself is not going to arrive with your DMV bill this January.

You have to go and get it. Yes. Have to. The only way to get to “there,” to that special place that makes your heart sing, is with your own two feet.

So, if your eyes are open, so might be your heart. If your heart is open, then so might be your hands. And if your hands are open, then honey, even if you can’t walk, you can climb.

Reach up, reach out, come on up. The air up here is lovely. Let’s take a look at your life and start painting a new picture together.

Oh, and bring a smock or two, would you please? This is going to be messy.

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(SHE’S GOING) THE DISTANCE

I know I’m starting to sound like a broken record here, but for real people, when you know what you want, and you let the universe know- IT DELIVERS.

Remember those miracles I mentioned last month? And how once I was very clear about what I wanted the universe just made it rain?

Yep. So that happened. Or, er, is still happening.

Well, I also made a list regarding what I want my career to include and resemble based on what I’ve learned about myself in the last eighteen(ish) months and what the best version of me looks and feels like. I made it, and then I started taking some positive action to manifest exactly that.

Here’s what I outlined.

  1. Flexible schedule, as the exact opposite of M-F 9-5,
  2. Ability to work from home (or um, the beach) at least two days a week.
  3. Three components- writing, yoga and empowering people- must be included
  4. Room to grow. However, wherever, and with whomever.
  5. Income must be reliable, consistent and sufficient to maintain my lifestyle and live debt free.

Yep. That’s a list with just five things on it.

Five. Down from . . . 25 a year ago? Reduced from “I don’t know what I want to do but I know it’s not this” and improved from “I know with every fiber of my being that this is 100% the right direction and path but I have no idea of how to make actual money doing it.”

It’s just five things.

They are broad enough to be open to possibility, but narrow enough to rule out things that are quite simply not going to work in my life anymore. It’s kind of like with relationships— I’m just not settling this go around.

I know what I want. I know it’s time. I can see my life’s work ahead of me with the most certainty I’ve had in at least a decade, maybe ever.

I get goosebumps talking about it. My eyes get all sparkly and my hands start talking with me.

Shit just got real (clear).

Figuring out who I wanted to be when I grew up was step one. Step two? Do it.

The biggest hurdle in front of me right now regarding just that is time, and how I’ve been using it. Namely- not sleeping, eating, or exercising much (for me) and switching job hats and titles every two to three hours all day long six or seven days a week.

Not exactly what I was shooting for there regarding the whole resting place deal. .  .

So, I’m fixing it.

I’m conscientiously saying yes to the things that are aligned with my path and my growth. I’m letting them in, all of them, while simultaneously letting go of the things that aren’t serving me— all of them too. Gulp.

I’m jumping back in the water to swim, and swim strong.

I appreciate the abundance. I’m grateful for the lessons, but some (more) things, it’s time to let go. Even the safe ones. Especially the ones that I am most desperately clinging to with wanton abandon.

It’s right choice. It’s the scary choice, it’s the brave choice, it’s the “are you crazy” choice. But it’s mine.

I trust the universe, 100%, to provide, and it is. It always is.

 

Like this post? Post it, tweet it, pin it, google it, trip on it, or otherwise spread the social love people.Really, really, like it? Subscribe to my feed and get posts delivered in your inbox. Can’t get enough? Stalk me: @CFOLikeaMother, Facebook or Pinterest