Category Archives: Blog

How Hesitation Gets in Our Way

You’ve narrowed down the selections. Carefully weighed the pros and cons. And, finally come to your decision.

But still feel really nervous to take the action that will make it real. (Anxious even.)

Why is this?!

What makes the comfort zone so effing comfortable?

The simple fact is that most of us never feel totally “ready” for the changes that shape us.

I ALWAYS wanted to be a mom. But seven years ago, we had all the gear, read all the books, and yet still never felt “ready” to bring our daughter home from the hospital. (Even as 2nd-time parents, still never quite felt “ready” to have two of them!)

Generations of “Be careful!” have created neuro-pathways in our brains that have us more comfortable with the looking than with the leaping.

You can take the girl out of the scouts, but not the scout out of the girl.

Preparedness is one thing, but c’mon. Sometimes, we want the change so badly but find ourselves in a spiral of what ifs. Whether it’s a new relationship, new role, or new work, transitions call a host of insecurities up to the surface because they activate the ego.

What if I’m no good at this?
What if there’s not enough of me to go around?
What if it’s painful?
What if I’m wrong?

What if I waste my time/money/energy?
What if it’s worse?

What if they think I’m too young/old/fat/skinny/short/tall/shy/confident/pregnant?

It’s not lack of desire that keeps us from big change, it’s hesitation.

When we hesitate, our brain sends out chemicals signaling danger. About 1% of the time they keep us safe in perilous situations. Those signals are simply designed to keep us ALIVE.

The same chemical reaction happens when we’re planning meaningful changes in our routines, relationships and life. But this other 99% of the time, we’re not jumping out of planes!

You're never gonna feel totally ready for the changes that’ll set your soul on fire. Click To Tweet

It’s rarely more preparation you need for creating more joy in your life. It’s more often a leap of faith to take the action that’s required to create it. (And another. And another…)

Where is hesitation getting in your way of creating more joy today? Leave a reply and let me know.

Only love,
Cory
Xoxo

P.S. Survival’s good enough for most people, but I have a feeling, you’d rather thrive. ♥

The only problem you’ll ever really have

lionness and cub

You’ve had ups and downs; we all have.

Unions, births, service.
Splits, deaths, ego-trips.

A good friend of mine, despite a very trying weekend, inspired me this morning. “It’s all part of life,” she said.

Wow, I thought. Isn’t this the privilege of a lifetime – truly being here…FOR ALL OF IT? Because even in the depths of despair and loss, we can choose what to focus on. What action or perspective we take. Feel it all and be grateful for getting a ticket for this WILD RIDE?

A few years ago, I realized that I could live my life full on if I wanted to – and I do want to – with enthusiasm. So later when I heard that the latin root entheos – literally translates to having God within, being within God, something inside me clicked. No separation. We are one.

So if you’re experiencing a low today, remember this:

There is no problem without a solution.

What’s yours? What is life teaching you now? What haven’t you tried?

And if you’re experiencing a high, remember this:

You could be someone’s reminder.

What are you most grateful for? How could you be of service?

Remember who you are. -Mufasa

You are resourceful and creative and whole. And forgetting – that’s really the only problem you’ll ever have.

Only love,
Cory
Xoxo

P.S. Doesn’t it feel good to know that you’re both the problem and the solution??? ♥

How to talk to kids about death


Death is a natural part of life. Whether it’s the passing of a grandparent or a pet, most children are exposed to it. How you feel and speak about death, will inevitably shape how your child does.

Their uncle died when our kids were 2 ½ and in uterine, so from a very young age, we’ve talked openly about it. Because I have less fear around it, and accept death as simply a part of life, I take nothing for granted and my kids are matter of fact about it too. Their father and I have different beliefs about what happens after we die, so we share them and remind them often that it’s up to them what they choose to believe.

You don’t have to wait until your child has experienced loss, to talk about it and help them explore what feels most resonant for them.

Here’s a few everyday opportunities to talk to your kids about death, to help them grow in their appreciation for life.

All living creatures die

When you see a dead bug on the sidewalk, stop to point it out to your child. Have them notice the body and how it has stopped moving. Ask them how they feel about it, and where the essence of the bug is now that the body has died.

Family pets

Prepare your child that one day the pet’s body will die. Ask your child how they can make the pet’s life more enjoyable while he’s part of yours? What ways does the family help the pet live a long, happy life? What happens to the love you feel for the pet once his body is done working?

Nature

Along with your child, personify and talk playfully to a tree as you would an old friend. Imagine how the tree might respond to your questions if it could speak with words. Ask your child what the tree creates and how we can say thank you to those that have died?

The body

When making a healthy choice for your body, use it as an opportunity to point it out to your child. Ask what we can do to help keep our body safe in the car, crossing the street, and with technology. Ask what can we put in our bodies to make them feel best? How do we move our body to make it strong? Help them connect the dots between taking good care of the body and enjoying life while still in it.

Spirit

I believe we still experience the energy of loved ones who have passed. When “lucky” things happen, I use them as an opportunity to say things like “I think that’s our angels looking out for us,” and “See how much Life loves you?”

The most compassionate, wise, and clear thoughts we have come from the wisdom of the Spirit. Reminding a child of this, creates the space for her to receive spiritual guidance anytime she is quiet and still.

Joy heals suffering

Being around children – who are closest to Source – helps the healing process. Ask your child what the loved one liked to do, and honor that by doing it together. What made them laugh? Where did they like to go?

Recently when my grandma passed, there were tears, but then later I told my daughter she could have a special treat in Great Grandma’s name. Her eyes growing wide, she said “Really?! Great Grandma loved Root Beer as much as I do?” My son, in all his joy, and a sparkle in his eye said “Well, she ain’t drinkin’ it anymore!”  Yep, they heal me a little bit more each day.

How do you feel about talking to your child about death? ♥

 

Life’s Purpose

orchidMy grandmother passed away recently, and the service was a celebration of her life. Here are some of my observations over the course of the liturgy.

Aligned with purpose, one creates marvelous things.

Most could hardly believe at how big the family has grown! 9 kids, 27 grandkids & spouses, 20+ great-grandkids, and 2 great-great-grandkids, and counting. Not to mention, all those adoptees Grandma instantly recognized as part of God’s family, and thus served them as her own. She may have considered it her life purpose to be friendly. You were never a stranger for long.

Laughter relieves pain.

We had a good many laughs at memories. She was thrifty, quirky and made her wishes known! Recently, her instructions – often repeated – were to make sure her body was placed on top of the right plot (above my Grandpa). The thought of spending eternity over the wrong dead guy was more than her old Catholic mind could bear.

You can’t take it with you.

A person can collect a lot of stuff in 92 years! After the services, some of the kids and grandkids went over to her house to select mementos. Each and every person remarked at how strange it felt, as if we were shopping for souvenirs. In her wisdom, Grandma wrote names on a few things, and each time someone would see this, helped ease their discomfort. She would’ve loved to see her treasures making us smile and giving us pleasure in our own homes.

There’s divine intelligence in surrender.

During a period of mourning, people give themselves more permission to feel their feelings. Tears flow more freely. Laughs sound fuller. Hugs are tighter. Kindness is everywhere.

The masks come down with an atypical freedom of expression all over the place; “I love you” being voiced more than on just any typical day. Many, visibly uncomfortable with viewing a body up close, choose to do it anyway. Love triumphs over fear.

The surrender of including it all, not making anyone wrong, and allowing each person’s truth is some of the greatest grace I’ve witnessed.

With loss comes greater awareness of what you have.

Even with knowing her time was coming, there were moments of overwhelming sadness at the loss of the great matriarch of our family. Rather than any specific actions or behaviors, I thought of the kindness of her being, her voice, the warmth of her embrace. At times, I was filled with gratitude for having known her and for the gift of being alive.

We all experience death; it’s part of life’s beauty.

Life is a gift. A desire to instill this message in our kids, shapes how we talk to them about death. It all boils down to this: you are worthy. What is life worth to you?

If you found out that your time was up 10 years from now, what would you do? 5 years? 1?

Why wait for the phone call, the diagnosis, or the crisis? Befriend a sense of fulfillment every single day, and you too have lived on purpose. And that is what I call a legacy. ♥

The Not-Forgiveness List

goldfish
You know those little regrets swimming around in your head? The minor oops-if-I-had-it-to-do-over-again things?

You know, the ones.

I had more than a few of these pop up during Spring Break:

  1. Had not one, but two marathon TV and movie days in our jammies…and thought how lazy.
  2. Our daughter chose to go to bed hungry…Should’ve known she’d refuse to eat that dinner.
  3. Threatened no dessert for a week…Not exactly a natural consequence for jumping on the couch.
  4. Chose the path of least resistance and cleaned it up myself…how will they ever learn?
  5. Overlooked the shove and panic of that BBC guy and his wife so I could have a laugh (and another, and another)…What does this say about me?
  6. Turned down the 18th offer/plead to play light sabers…I. Just. Can’t.
  7. Said okay to Fruit Loops and Toaster Strudels…Can I have “Poison Sugar Breakfast” for 2,000?
  8. Stayed up too late to finish Season 5…What happened to willpower?
  9. Streamed an audio book from Hoopla that time I didn’t feel like reading aloud…Am I contracting out hugs too?
  10. Demanded two options to just go: upstairs or outside…Not exactly inviting or playful.
  11. Said “Yes, I get it” when I actually had no clue what he meant…Guess I’m not honoring my honesty value today.
  12. Skipped the lemon water and green juice and headed straight for the caffeine…Why the rush?
  13. Took a break from my R.E.A.D.Y. routine the week it would’ve served me most…Duh.
  14. Silently cursed the driver for pulling out in front of us, then
  15. Silently cursed the library people for not opening until noon, and then
  16. Silently cursed myself for not blessing them instead….Wow, really using the power of my word in the direction of truth and love today.

I’ve decided to call this a not-forgiveness list, because reconnecting to that small, still voice inside and listening to the truth, I know there’s nothing to forgive.

Thoughts don’t define who we are.

It's not lapses in thinking that define us, but our returning to love. Click To Tweet

Self-condemnation is selfish, and regret might be the laziest of all feelings because it never serves anyone.

“Relate only with what will never leave you, and what you can never leave” (A Course in Miracles).

The sooner we accept our doings as done, the quicker we create space to do better.

So, what will you put on your not-forgiveness list? Put a wrong thought behind you by leaving it in the comments below. ♥

To what extent is protection in a mom’s job description?

I read an email aloud about my daughter’s school putting on a talent show, and instantly she wanted to perform. Knew what song she wanted to sing and everything (You are My Sunshine), so I signed her up.

A week later, I hung up a call and glanced at my calendar. Seeing the event that evening, I instantly felt nervous. The whole thing was about to get real.

What if she bowed out at the last minute?

What if she forgot her lyrics?

What if people laughed?

What if she fell on stage?

Avoiding the jitters bubbling in my stomach, I hopped over to Facebook. But then, I closed my laptop and got quiet.

What was I really afraid of?

In the stillness, a voice inside me said “You’re afraid that this experience might bring her pain.”

Crap. Why did I tell her about the stupid Talent Show? I reiterate looking both ways and wearing a bike helmet and buckling seatbelts and regular dental care! Isn’t it in a mom’s job description to shield her child from pain???

The quiet voice inside said “No, that’s not your job. Guide her with how to cope with it instead.”

And it hit me. As much as I’d like to, I can’t protect my kids from their own pain. That’s their experience. Not mine.

“Pass the truth to the next generation. Give them early what we found late.” – Brooke Hampton

When it comes to emotional health, we parents are playing a long game. Because it’s experiences like talent shows, and skinned knees, and hearing someone say they don’t want to be friends anymore, that give us the chance to show them that pain isn’t to be feared. It’s information.

Pain is information to be used, not feared. Click To Tweet

 

No matter how painful an experience feels at the time, they will be ok. This is information that helps us build our coping skills like resilience, inner strength, and confidence.

My job isn’t to teach them to fear pain or to avoid it. It’s to teach them:

  1. how to access this ever-present, omnipotent, unconditional love
  2. how to ask for guidance in the stillness, and
  3. how to trust the guidance they receive.

Reframing my job in this way, I again felt at peace. And fully enjoyed a wonderful evening in awe of our brave girl.

I believe that it’s the healing of fear that allows any parent to truly be there for her child. No matter what happens out on that stage. ♥

The Most Common Error We Make

We need to talk. I love drama in movies, but all over I keep hearing instances of real life people unraveling because of human error. Last week, there was an article in The Wall Street Journal about how burnout is worsening at many companies, because “Everyone’s job is now an extreme job.”

No matter if the job is “Accountant” or “Teacher” or “HR Professional” or “Nurse” or “Mom,” we’re packing more into the day and taking fewer breaks. Holding ourselves to a higher standard each day is leading to emotional and physical exhaustion!

Women in particular, with or without pressure to perform at “work,” place even more on ourselves to perform as mothers.

In our small-minded thinking, we try to manifest perfection, but like abundance, it already exists. Our most common human error is in thinking we are separate from the divine. 

Our egoic minds are filled with thoughts of needing more than we already have, doing more than we already can, being more than we already are. It’s all nonsense.

Drama avoids reality. The reality of being with the true self, or Spirit.

No matter what form of perfection you’re holding yourself to for the future (or didn’t achieve in the past), know that it already exists inside the divine here and now. It’s not in the effort or the proving or the striving. It’s in the steep of release.

I’m curious, where does the delusion of human perfection tend to get in your way? Leave me a comment below. ♥

Stop nagging for good

No one likes to be a nag. But yet, many of us do it even though it doesn’t seem to help.  It’s so frustrating when you know they know what to do, but just aren’t doing it, right?!

I noticed my nagging during our morning or evening routines. It seemed to be getting more challenging for my daughter to get tasks done without getting distracted with a toy (or immersed in singing to her bathroom mirror).

Children are little people. I may not always feel confident in my parenting, but my coach training always comes in handy. I took out my coaching model and my eyes were drawn to “People are naturally creative, resourceful, and whole.” Bingo.

People are not in need of fixing, but often how we relate to them is.

I’d been trying to control her, and that’s where I was off. I wasn’t listening for what she wasn’t saying – she needed a structure for staying focused and for me to trust that she would rise to the occasion. So, I decided to change how I was showing up.

I said something like, “I really don’t like bugging you to do stuff, so I’m going to stop. But we need to work together for find another way to keep us on track. What will help you?”

Together, we came up with a plan to make signs for her room. She loved this, actually growing with excitement to list out all the steps that she did in the morning and before bed as we wrote them out and decorated the paper signs. (No doubt some of that excitement for getting Mom off her back!)

Emotional energy distracts all relationships from moving in the direction of growth. Click To Tweet

Without negative energy from me, she no longer resists it by dragging her feet. Now, most days when she wakes up, she checks her list and remembers to brush her teeth, get completely dressed, and turn off her lights and sound machine before coming downstairs for breakfast.

What we focus on grows. Choose wisely.

Spending less time focused on tasks and more time enjoying each other – isn’t that the whole point to any relationship? I now see how shifting my focus away from what my daughter isn’t doing, allows me to actually see her. Our mornings are fun again, and our evenings more peaceful.

What’s not being said in your relationship? How will you try showing up differently to change up the pattern? Share your comments below. ♥

Sugargate

Last week, we had early dismissal from school and plans to bake a cake for my mom’s birthday.

I must admit I had a vision of having an afternoon of connection together. Perhaps with a dusting of flour on all our noses, giggling, and basking in the glow of each other’s cheerful dispositions.

No idea why, but as the cake was cooling, I also attempted a somewhat healthy cookie as a surprise snack for the kids.

Sometimes expectations bite us in the ass.

What transpired shall now forever be etched into my memory as Sugargate 2017.

How dare I put Craisins in the cookies? What kind of mother bakes a cake in a rectangle pan?!

One kid was having a complete meltdown while the other was standing on top of the kitchen island scream-shouting into a wooden spoon. It was as if my children had been replaced with demons before my very eyes. Thank you very much, but I don’t actually like that.

Then it hit me – my inner most wisdom. It said: “I can make the best of this.” And in the midst of the chaos, I chose to remain calm.

We make our own magic by staying open. Click To Tweet

Open to the present moment – especially when it’s messy. Open to the possibility that this is exactly the experience we’re meant to have. Open to divine presence guiding us to see each moment as an opportunity for our good.

Instead of a miserable perspective of there’s only one of me and not enough to be with each of them at once, I chose the perspective, I’m more than enough. I told myself – this is precisely why these are my kids, so they can hold up a mirror for me to stretch and grow beyond what my small mind thinks is possible.

Be the change you wish to see.

It’s in these “bratty” moments, that we can model how to live with appreciation.

I pulled back my future-tripping of them growing up “spoiled,” and simply waited until everyone was calm.

Then asked, “What’s a more graceful thing we could say (1) when someone offers you food you don’t like?” and (2) when things don’t go exactly as you’ve planned them in your head?

Miraculously, and from the mouths of babes: “Thank you very much, but I don’t actually like that” and “I can make the best of this.” I was amazed! My faith in the humanity of my children once again fully restored. 🙂

Remembering this now, I’m reminded of the quote:

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant.” Robert Louis Stevenson

So maybe we didn’t end the afternoon giggling with flour on our noses, but it turned out even better than I’d imagined, and the dance party that followed was epic.

Don’t get me wrong, I sometimes flip my lid right alongside them, and I bet you do too. And this is precisely why I believe in celebrating when we don’t.

How have you stayed open? Leave me a comment below so I can celebrate with you! ♥

 

My Do Less Experiment

hummingbirdI used to cram as much into my days as I could only to collapse in an exhausted heap on the bed at night. Rushing around like my hair was on fire and constantly feeling guilty for where I wasn’t and what I hadn’t done.

Does the thought of doing less sound like a pipe dream? Don’t worry – you’re not alone. When I first left my corporate job, I had grand ideas of how I’d spend my days but quickly replaced one kind of busy for another.

Shifting my emphasis over to BEING, not doing, was the most surprisingly, challenging thing. This is because our brains think change is risky, so the bigger the change, the more resistant we are to it, and my old habit died hard.

Thankfully, I’ve discovered this in my own life too. Slowing down, getting clear on my essentials, and paying more attention to being in the moment have truly helped me transform.

And, there are lots of successful mompreneurs like Kate Northup, Dr. Shefali Tsabary, and Danielle LaPorte who’ve found that doing less is the key to being more.

Our fears of not doing enough are more accurately about not being enough. Click To Tweet

No amount of doing will ever fill that hole. It’s in accepting that we are each innately worthy, naturally creative, resourceful and whole, that we finally realize that we are. I am.

This depth of healing and acceptance is yours to claim too. While we’re never finished, right now, I’m the woman, mother, and light-worker I want to be. And that’s enough.

Here are the 3 ways I do less to become more each and every day.


Focus

Unless part of the 2% elite of our population known as “super-taskers,” multi-tasking drains us of valuable mental energy each time we switch attention back and forth between tasks. By choosing to focus on one thing at a time, you’ll not only complete it more efficiently and effectively, but you’ll have more energy when you’re done. (And who doesn’t want more of that?)


Eliminate


Coaching helps me get clear on what’s really important to my health & happiness and what’s NOT. Being held accountable to do the things that support my growth and letting go of the rest has helped me put things in a perspective that feels right for me. My litmus test is whether something feels loving (to both parties) – and if it fails the test, something needs to be tweaked or I don’t agree to do it.


Meditate


No coincidence that this one helps out with the first two! In fact, the list of physical, emotional, and mental health benefits for meditating is long and keeps growing. Here a just a few:

  • Increases focus, memory retention and recall
  • Builds better immunity
  • Lessens anxiety
  • Helps prevent emotional eating & smoking
  • Improves resilience to pain and adversity
  • Enhances self-esteem & acceptance

Rather than chewing on a thought over and over in our minds, we can learn to still our minds. What’s now evolved into a daily practice, meditation helps me feel more centered, calm, and supported no matter what’s happening around me. And sitting criss-cross apple-sauce is not the only way! Studies have shown that the practice that’s most beneficial is the one that you’re drawn to the most.


So, I guess you could say the last few years have been my #dolessexperiment, and wow, what a ride.

Leave a comment below and let me know, what will you do less of to be more today? ♥