I absolutely love the idea of choosing succulence and living juicy.
Choosing succulence in terms of “positivity” doesn't mean you're living life saccharine-sweet, it just means that you're making the choice to acknowledge that it's not always going to be rainbows and unicorns and that's okay.
This past month as I've been grieving the loss of my grandmother, I've been reading Elisabeth Kubler-Ross writings about grief. The quote that really stuck with me is, “I'm not okay, you're not okay, and that's okay.” Because it's okay that we're not all okay! And we don't need to be defined by our "not being ok."
It's too easy to succumb to the negativity and the complaints. Positivity doesn’t mean ignoring the issues. (and there are so many issues!)
Just means you're turning on the light in the darkness!
The vibrant author, SARK says it's a “personal revolution” to choose positivity.
A couple of years ago I met with my relationship and intimacy coach (and dear friend!), Maria Rider. At our first session when we inquired about my goals, I declared that I wanted to “be juicy!" and not just in my intimate world...I meant living life juicy!
Juicy for me is not being tethered by the darkness and the negativity.
Not being drawn into the black holes.
Not allowing my whole presence to be sucked in by the challenging things that were happening around me.
Not allowing the circumstances of my life to hold me back from joy.
Not allowing the challenges that my children were going through or financial situations or a loved one dying or being ill or any of those things that are just “LIFE” to stop me from moving forward in my own life goals.
Not letting myself live in fear.
Because safety is an illusion.
Anything can happen at any time, and you can't live life "waiting for the other shoe to drop."
What ways are you seduced by negativity?
In what ways are you so absorbed in the current global challenges that you're not seeing the joy in your life?
Today Facebook gave me a memory from 2 years ago. The picture is from Hanukkah and the pure joy in each of our faces is undeniable, the glow of the lights, even the dog is blissfully being snuggled... and yet I know that this was such a dark chapter in our family's life. I know that there was so much pain and sadness.
I chose the positivity.
I chose the joy.
I rose up to see the light in the darkness.
I turned the f****** lights on!
Experiencing fear is a healthy survival mechanism that is fundamental to our existence...living in fear is unhealthy.
Our bodies hold onto that fear and has negative effects on our physically wellness (ie: crippling our immune systems, screwing with our sleep, eating disorders, muscular pain, etc.) and emotional wellness (ie: dissociation, anxiety, phobias, mood swings, obsessive compulsive disorder, etc.)
And to my midlife mamas...fear raises our cortisol levels and messes with our hormones and we certainly don’t need anything else messing with our hormones!
Fear puts us in fight, flight freeze mode and shuts down our pre-frontal cortex which makes it difficult for us to engage in executive functioning!
Are ya hearing all the chatter about not being able to focus, zoning out, stress eating, stress baking, drinking, scrolling endlessly on social media?
So let’s talk straight about fear…
Zig Ziglar said FEAR had 2 meanings: Forget Everything And Run or Face Everything And Rise
Running from our lives is an unhealthy coping mechanism.
Believe me, I tried, years of emotionally eating my fears instead of facing them has added up!
I now choose to be resilientAF and rise to face my fears.
I get it. This shit is hard. Facing fear head on is intense.
Choices in life are sometimes gut wrenching.
Parenting taught me much of what I know about fear- we as parents hold fears for our children’s safety and well being.
The fears in my head were often way worse than the realities and when we hit the deepest darkest moments and real life scary shit was happening- the fear was overpowered by love- a love so intense that fear couldn’t continue to paralyze me.
I now fully realize “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” (Franklin D. Roosevelt)
Action absorbs anxiety and fear- we free ourselves up to live more fully and present to love and gratitude. Self care is love in action.
Radical Self Care that I turn to when fear is present:
- workout -especially with the boxing gloves on!
- take a walk, bonus points if the sun is shining
- dance! sing!
- gratitude journaling
- Aroma Freedom session
- connection with loved ones
- Kava Stress Relief tea
- Stress Away and Peace & Calming essential oil blends
- nurturing whole foods
- hugs...lots of hugs
Sadly, today my gym shut down their business.
Fortunately, the owners/coaches brilliantly pivoted and went remote, which is awesome....yet the community as we knew it is over.
My heart is so freakin’ heavy.
I sheepishly walked in there January 2018 - DESPERATE- I had spent much of 2017 using a cane and managing pain. I needed to be healthier.
The transformation I experienced was priceless.
First of all...I actually SHOWED UP and to be honest, I walked in terrified EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
And every day I walked out to my car a WARRIOR!
For the first time I felt physically and emotionally safe in a gym setting. All shapes and sizes were welcome and present. Modifications and scaling was available for anyone at any level of fitness.
Oh how I will miss the community!!
We had daily celebrations of achievement and badassery...support and compassion for life inside and outside the physical four walls of the gym.
2018-2020 were some of the most emotionally difficult years of my life and being present with the community and pushing myself physically supported me in ways I never could have imagined.
3 transformational lessons I learned from the gym:
1. It was never about my weight. People would compliment me on my weight loss and how great I looked...and honestly, it made me cringe.
2. I would smile and share how amazing I FELT. It was always about feeling better in my body, being able to move without pain, to get on and off the floor, to climb stairs without my arms, and to live my best life.
3. I wanted to be seen for the way I was showing up for myself, for that was where the real loss was. The LOSS OF GUILT for putting myself first!
In 2019 when things in my life took some painful twists and turns I struggled to stick with my radical self care. I had pain again and became acutely aware of what a shamp I was at holding my emotions in my body.
Fortunately in the last 6 months I have learned a technique to release them….and am now getting certified in it so I can help others!
This community will always be in my heart, the coaches will always be in my head, and I will continue to move my body, to push myself past the point of my mental comfort zone, to step outside myself and find my inner warrior.
She is there and she is resilientAF!
Check out Project Wellness...remote training from two amazing coaches!!
and join other resilientAF midlife mamas on Facebook in our free group!!
After months of indecision, waiting, researching, discussing, and shifting plans...it is time to send the 20 year old back off to college.
We chose an off-campus apartment so they can stay put regardless of how the wind blows witht his pandemic.
And then the packing began... remember when we prepared to bring this baby into the world almost 21 years ago and we packed a hospital bag?
Yeah, of course you do! Well now it’s a “C*oV*I*D Bag” we need to prepare!
This student will do all the things...wash hands, mask up (hopefully remember to wash the mask daily!) , keep distanced….and is only on campus for like 1 hour a week.
That said, sick happens...and even just a cold becomes cause for concern.
I can preach about “supporting immune system” all I want AND we all know that getting enough sleep and eating healthy are not synonymous with college students.
So, the “BAG” - you are probably wondering what is in it...I have read about smart things like an extra phone charger, a list of important numbers and any allergies or sensitivities, insurance card, some comfy clothing and a cozy blanket.
The concept is...student gets sick and needs to isolate...roommate can easily “grab the bag from the closet” vs. digging through the room to find the stuff.
My list may be different than most, but I will accommodate for that. I lean towards natural remedies...but my student and perhaps some reading this may not.
Tobi’s Top Ten:
Ibuprofen or Acetominophen or any other tool you prefer for lowering high fevers and helping with body aches
Prescriptions- things they are already taking and will need to keep up with
Personal hygiene products: including the “don’t leave home without it” hand sanitizer
Toothbrush! Yes, technically a personal care product,but this could be the best tool available….research oral hygiene or prevotella and C*V*D and read up on keeping the top of the gut biome clean!
Bonus Tip: Include a note with the exact location of anything that doesn't live in the bag so the roommate can easily find it!
Parenting has been a journey that has taken me places I never expected to go . We love our children and support them in all they do. Nobody teaches us how to parent or love on our children, we learn from example, maybe some reading or courses, otherwise we are kinda winging it! We don’t necessarily have the tools to deal with some of the issues that arise. For us, we ended up in therapy for 10+ years to explore tools and communication skills to keep our family together.
Teen years are tumultuous for the average teen. The breaking away from parents and family is relatively normal. The challenge is when you pepper the experience with the mental illness and/or drugs it can be disastrous and excruciatingly painful. We all prepare to launch our kids out into the world, off to college, or exciting job opportunities. We ramp up to the letting go and watching them fly, proudly cheering them on and supporting them wildly….all while missing them immensely.
So, what happens when there is no ramping up, or when there is failure to thrive? What happens when the societal expectations of teens is ravaged by mental health issues? Or as I write this global pandemic? Anxiety and depression seems to be rampant among our teens along with self medicating. What if there is more significant mental illness involved? What happens when they are also struggling with gender and/or sexuality issues? As parents….we still love them. Though as teens they don’t always love us, or respect us, or want to be with us.
We belong to so many groups that are supportive of parents on these more challenging journeys. The parents who have “lost” their teens, who are disconnected physically or emotionally from their teens, who are abused by or hated by their teens. The parents that are struggling financially, emotionally , physically themselves because they have given so much to supporting their teens and young adults. Because 18 is not a magic number, it is not a definitive line in the sand that deems our children “adulthood” on an emotional level. More often than not, 18 “adulting” still requires significant financial and emotional support for a healthy stable 18 year old.
We have lots of safe spaces to vent about our kids and the challenges with our families, to get info on programs, or gain perspective on treatment options. I desired to create a space to focus on what we need as mamas to take care of us.
you have given so much of yourself away in raising kids
you have given up your career or have put your goals on hold in order to hold things down at home
the wear and tear of chronic stress has taken a toll on your physical body
you struggle to maintain emotional wellness
your energy, sleep, hormones are all wonky
you heart is torn and your relationships are strained- sometimes it feels like your friends and family don’t “get it” because their family seems “normal” or “healthy”.
you don’t take vacations or time away for yourself where you can breathe easy and relax...you are always ON- and self care….it’s possibly not even on the radar
The greatest common denominator I see among these fierce mamas is that our hearts are huge and wide open to the possibilities of “saving” our kids. (Even though they may be 13 or 18 or 25….they are still our “kids.”)
The ONE thing I know for sure is that we may not be able to “save our kids” and we MUST be able to save ourselves. No matter what happens, we need to take care of ourselves. We must love ourselves.