Editor's Message Nancy Rivera
Why do I love being a woman?
We are strong. We are capable of finding happiness for ourselves. We have enough confidence that allows us to be happy without the need to seek recognition or approval from others.
We are emotionally independent and we manage to establish healthy relationships without having to depend on our partners.
No matter what happens to us, we always look for a way to get up Both physically and mentally, we have incredible strength, and this is obvious wherever we look.
The support is real With the “women supporting women” movement, I feel like we are in for a beautiful shift in our culture. I am in a competitive field that deals with women: there are moments of comparison and competition, but in everything I do, I try to include women who are doing great things, empowering and helping other women. So, seeing them as competition is very far from reality. These women are my allies and they know that they count on me, unconditionally. Our goal is to reach more women, to reach those corners where women still need so many tools so that their voices are heard.
I have so many reasons why I love being a woman. Because I am a mother, sister, friend, wife, daughter, niece, cousin, granddaughter, businesswoman, and colleague, but above all because I am me. And I LOVE being who I am, with my hormonal days, with my days of stress, with my days of conquest, with my ups and downs I just LOVE being a woman
Now, I could go on forever, but I'll stop here. These are just some of the reasons why I am thankful to have the privilege of being a WOMAN
But I would love to know, what do you love about being a woman? Write your reason using the following hashtag #BEWLoveBeingaWoman on Fac b k Instagram. In our next edition, we will be sharing some of your comm
Thanks for your sPresident of Family Secret Helpers Founder of its Projects Master Coach & NLP Educator Motivator Author & Editor Host & Producer of Podcast www.nancy rivera.com // www.bempowerwomen.com // www.familysecrethelpers.com
Women Who Empower
"WHO IS TOXIC?"WhitneyVázquez, GuestColumnist
Doyouknowatoxicperson?Evenifyoudon'tknowanyrightnow,atsomepointinyour lifeyouwillsurelyhavemetsomeonewhofitsthedescription.Dealingwithsuchaperson canbedifficultandexhausting,tosaytheleast.Infact,itcantakeustothelimit.What traitsshouldyoubecomefamiliarwithtohelpnavigatetheseverydifficultrelationships? Thereareseveraltypesoftoxicpeople.
Issomeonewhowantstocontroleverythingandeveryonearoundthem.Theywanttobe inchargeofwhatyoudo,whatyousay,andevenwhatyouthink.Ifyoudisagreewith somethinghe/shesayshe/shewon'tstoptryingtoconvinceyouthatheorsheisrightand thatyoushoulddowhathe/shesays.
The Narcissistic Drama Magnet
Some toxic people are drama magnets. Something always happens. Always. And of course, once one problem is solved, another arises. They want empathy but not advice. If you offer them help and solutions, it seems that they never really want to fix anything, but just complain continuously.
The Narcissistic Tank
What does a tank do? It crushes everything in its path. He is always right, does not take anyone else's feelings or ideas into account, and constantly puts himself first. They rarely see others as equals, and this can be a challenge when trying to establish a loving connection
Toxic people are those who, in a wide variety of situations, will lead us with them to situations of domination or hostility and confrontation. Some may be better than others at disguising the fact that they are a bad influence, but in general, in most cases it is not hard to notice their ease in creating situations in which someone is harmed.
So what do you do if you find yourself in front of a toxic person?
Fashion & BeautyCocoStyles CorporateWardrobeStyleCoach
3 Quick ways to Enhance your Corporate Style
Let's talk about the standard guidelines most companies follow. That's dark colors, white button ups, brown and black shoes, and basic tailored blazers. These are just what most companies require you to wear, but times have changed. Most, if not all, allow employees to dress more business casual. It’s to provide employees with a little room to express themselves with their style.
Let's get into it!
Find a great Tailor!
When you have your clothes tailored to fit your body, it's the key to looking polished. Keep in mind that most designers do not make clothes for the average person's body type. They are made for particular model sizes, so don't get frustrated if something you pick out doesn't fit you to a tee
Think about this when you're out shopping, better to go a size up so you can get it tailored as opposed to going for your exact size since it doesn't give you the room you need to tailor it.
TIP: Try out a few local tailors in your town first, and if you're not satisfied, keep looking and try looking in a different area from where you currently live.
Embrace New Colors
Most people are drawn to darker colors like Black, Gray, and Blue, but that can be boring. Think about new colors when shopping and ways to expand your wardrobe color palette. Take a look at a color chart and decide from there. I would recommend starting with inviting colors. Those colors will draw people to you and make them more comfortable when they approach you. Here are a few colors I would recommend and their meanings.
Teal Serene and Sophisticated Green Conscious and Reliable Yellow- Positive and Friendly Orange Optimistic and Fun Light Pink Innocence and Femininity
My favorite thing to add to a boring outfit is statement pieces It can range from jewelry to a bold pair of shoes. Your options are endless. Be mindful of your jewelry. Don't wear supersized earrings to the office, be wise when selecting them.
Here are a few statement pieces that can enhance your corporate style.
Bold Blazer Silk Scarfs Statement Glasses Statement Shoes Statement Jewelry Statement Purse
So there you go, 3 quick ways you can enhance your current corporate style.
N u t r i ti o n a n d F i tn e s s
10 Simple Ways to Integrate Nutrition in your Selfcare Lifestyle
“Our food should be our medicine & our medicine should be our food….Hippocrates
I will begin this article with a quick refresher of what I shared in the May edition of the BEmpower magazine about the role of food in our lives. If you have forgotten then here is a refresher:
• Physiological: food provides nutrition to our body. Our bodies need nutrients to function well. And nutrients come from food. There needs to be a nutritional balance so the body can function properly.
• Social: food gets people together. Whether it is a birthday, a wedding, or a funeral there is always food.
• Psychological: Food is used to express feelings of love, special attention, friendship, recognition, or punishment.
Now here are some simple ways to seamlessly integrate nutrition into your self-care plan:
The strategies that I am sharing with you are exactly what I do in my own life and lifestyle. So, it's just not just some fluffy ideas. They are very doable if you put your mind to them.
1. Eat mindfully. Be aware of everything you put into your body. Do enjoy your food but eat less. Be mindful. Take time to fully enjoy what you are eating. Avoid eating quickly or not even looking at the food you are eating in short eating mindlessly. Mindless eating is a proven formula that can lead to eating too many calories.
2. You need to keep hydrated, but not with calorie loaded beverages. You want to drink more water and other unsweetened beverages, instead of sugary and other high calorie drinks. Soda, sweetened juice, energy, and sports drinks are major sources of added sugar and calories in many north American lifestyles.
3. Design some nutrition rules for yourself and your family. By this, I mean that have some norms set up. For example no eating out during the week i.e. Monday to Friday and eating out for only 1 meal from Friday dinner to Sunday dinner. Establishing such rules will help you stay on track. If you make such rules be sure to follow them.
Alka Chopra, Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator & Certified Intuitive Eating Counsellor
4. Who likes white bread? I am guessing you do! So, you don’t really have to eliminate it completely. You can be smart around this! Try and make at least ½ to ¾ your daily grains as whole grains. Foods made from whole grains are a major source of energy and fiber. When you are eating white bread, white rice, and so on make sure you pair it with beans, vegetables, and other foods them so you get the missing protein and fiber. That way you are balancing it all out. Read labels to make sure the food is truly a whole grain. It should be stated on the nutrition label.
5. Planning meals is a big task and can get boring. I get that. So, get a bit experimentative (is that even a word?) Try a new healthy recipe or a new food every month. Google recipes with the new food you have chosen. This way you will expand your cuisine and it won’t be the same salad and soup each day of the week.
6. The one big excuse I hear from my patients is “I DO NOT HAVE TIME”. So how about dedicating just 1 day during the week to planning and grocery shopping? This will make meal prep so much easier! No impromptu meals and no take outs. Combining this with nutrition rules (See point #3) is a perfect combination strategy.
7. Surround yourself with healthy food choices. There is a saying “you are judged by the company you keep”. It’s the same for food choices. Fill up your pantry with real food and not cakes, cookies, pastries, junk food, pop, etc. Keep the food environment at home clean. If you feel like having a coke make the effort to venture out and purchase only 1 can and not the entire case. This habit will naturally teach you the frequency and portion control.
8. Follow the 80 20 or 70 30 rule: if you like ice cream or doughnuts there is no need to deprive yourself. Space them out. If you were eating them once per week stretch to once every two weeks and then to once per month. If you enjoy a coke and are having it frequently space out drinking coke. That way you will never feel deprived. The fact is that sugary and fried foods are meant to be eaten occasionally and not on a daily basis. So, enjoy them but only 20-30% of the time.
9. Never cook for 1 meal: I live by this rule! Always cook for at least 2 3 meals you eat 1 portion, have 1 portion the next day, and freeze the remaining. This system will allow you to have home cooked meals at all times. A great strategy for those lazy days when you do not want to cook.
10. Always have frozen fruits & veggies in stock: frozen fruits & veggies have the same or greater nutritional content than fresh ones. When fruits & veggies are frozen they are flash frozen right after they are harvested. This locks the nutrition right away. On the other hand, if you think about fresh fruits & vegetables it probably takes 2 weeks for them to get to your plate from the day it is harvested. And all along the way nutrition is lost. Also, frozen fruits & veggies are already peeled & chopped and that is such a time saver. Including frozen fruits & veggies can actually be very budget friendly with very little going to waste. This way you can also ensure the intake of fruits & veggies on a regular basis.
If you would like to follow along with all the programs and services I offer you can take a look at this page.
How to Get Through the Holidays as a Stressed Mom
Jackie Kickish, Doctor of Physical Therapy and certified pregnancy and postpartum corrective exercise specialist
The holidays are a time of joy and happiness, but for many mothers, they can also be a time of stress and anxiety If you're feeling overwhelmed this season, don't worry you're not alone.
In this article, I will discuss some tips for getting through the holidays as a stressed mom. Follow these tips and hopefully, you'll be able to celebrate the holidays in peace!
Why the Holidays Can Lead to Stress, Anxiety, and Depression
The holidays can be a stressful time for anyone, but for moms, they can be especially challenging There are many demands placed on mothers during the holiday season from buying presents and preparing meals to host parties and entertaining visitors. All of these things can take a toll on your mental health, leaving you feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and even depressed.
My Personal Experience with Postpartum Anxiety
Something I've personally struggled with after having children is anxiety. Postpartum anxiety and depression is a topic that almost feels taboo to talk about. However, it's very common for moms to experience this. While I was pregnant, no one warned me about the overwhelmed I would feel with newborn twins (and as a first time mom)
Unfortunately, I didn’t realize at the time what I was feeling, was postpartum anxiety. I honestly thought, well now I have newborn babies, so I guess this feeling of complete overwhelm is normal. Sadly our health care system fails mothers when it comes to education and preparation in the postpartum phase of life both from a mental and physical standpoint and this truly needs to change.
Feeling Anxious? Get Help Now
I was able to talk to my physician about it and got some help with my postpartum anxiety. Unfortunately, this went on for years before I realized just how much help I needed to feel somewhat normal again and not constantly overwhelmed and stressed My advice for anyone feeling anxious or depressed is to talk with your doctor/OBGYN first. There are many resources and avenues you can take that don’t necessarily include medication to help improve anxiety.
10 Ways to Manage Your Stress
Since the holidays are supposed to be a time of joy, this can make moms feel even more guilty about their mental state but don't fret! If you're struggling to get through the holidays, it's important to remember that you're not alone. Many mothers, new or “seasoned,” feel the same way you do.
Here are my top 10 tips for getting through the holiday season with less stress this year:
1 Keep Up with Your Healthy Habits
Just because the holidays are a busy time doesn't mean you should let your healthy habits fall by the wayside If anything, it's even more important to stick to your healthy routine during this time of year. Eating nutritious meals, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep will help improve your mood and give you the energy you need to get through the holiday season
If you have trouble maintaining your healthy habits during the holidays, try to schedule them into your day. Set aside time each day for a healthy meal, a workout, or some relaxation time This will help you stick to your routine and avoid feeling overwhelmed by all the holiday festivities.
Of course, it's also important to give yourself a break. Don't beat yourself up if you miss a workout or have an unhealthy meal or sweet treat. The holidays are a time for enjoying yourself, so don't stress too much about being perfect
2. Start new habits
Admittedly, the busy holiday season might not feel like a great time to start a new habit However, if you're struggling with anxiety or depression, it might be helpful to focus on something positive. Adding a new healthy habit to your routine can help you feel better both mentally and physically
Some easy habits you can start that require practically no extra time include drinking more water, taking social media apps off your phone, getting outside for a few minutes each day, or meditating for a few minutes each day These simple activities can help improve your mood and reduce stress.
3. Take a deep breath
When you're feeling overwhelmed, take a few minutes to yourself and just breathe. This might seem like an obvious solution, but it can be surprisingly effective. Focusing on your breath will help you slow down and focus on the present moment Once you've taken a few deep breaths, you'll likely feel calmer and in control.
4. Let it go
One of the best ways to reduce stress is to let go of things that you can't control. This includes other people's opinions (especially your visiting family or friends), the weather, and traffic. Instead of getting wrapped up in these things, focus on the things you can control- like your own happiness.
This doesn't mean that you ignore the feelings you are dealing with. Rather, give them space to process whatever is going on without letting them take over your entire holiday season.
5. Learn to say no
Remember that you don't have to please everyone during the holidays. It's okay to say no to things that you don't want to do (in fact- it's encouraged!). Don't put extra pressure on yourself by trying to do everything perfectly. Just relax and enjoy the season.
Setting boundaries is important for taking care of yourself during the holidays. If you're feeling overwhelmed, it's okay to say no to plans or events. You don't have to explain yourself just politely decline and take some time for yourself instead.
6. Start a gratitude routine
One of the best ways to reduce stress is to focus on the things you're grateful for. This can be done in a number of ways, but one simple way to get started is to keep a gratitude journal. Each day, write down a few things that you're thankful for. At the end of the week, take some time to read through your entries.
Focusing on gratitude can help shift your mindset from negative to positive. This can make a big difference in how you feel during the holiday season (and all year long!).
7. Ask for help
If you're feeling overwhelmed, it's okay to ask for help (and no it's not a sign of weakness!). Whether you need help with shopping, cooking, or cleaning don't be afraid to reach out to your family and friends. Delegating tasks can help reduce your stress levels and make the holiday season more enjoyable for everyone.
8. Be realistic
One of the biggest sources of holiday stress is unrealistic expectations. If you're constantly comparing yourself to others (or to an idealized version of the holidays), you're setting yourself up for disappointment. Instead, focus on what's realistic for you and your family. This might mean scaling back on your plans or keeping things simple.
Simply focus on what matters to you and your family!
9 Plan ahead
If you're dreading the holiday season, it might help to start planning ahead as much as possible (while still leaving space and expectations for surprises or hitches). This can include things like making a list of tasks that need to be done, setting a budget, or creating a schedule. Having a plan can help reduce stress and make the holidays more manageable.
10. Try unconditional love
This final tip might be the most important one of all. Learning to love yourself unconditionally can make a world of difference in how you feel during the holidays (and all year long) This doesn't mean that you have to be perfect it just means accepting yourself for who you are.
This can also help you accept others the way they are and significantly reduce any relationship tensions during the holidays.
What Helps Me the Most with Holiday Stress
A few things that help me manage the stress around the holidays are making sure our weekend schedule is not jam packed with events and continuing my self care routine. For me, this includes exercise and time for myself to read or journal. It’s hard to say no to events during the holidays but if it will add stress to my day or weekend, then it’s something I’ve learned I need to just say no to.
Overall, I know that I need to move my body for 15 20 minutes to improve my mood and keep my level of anxiety low. Everyone is different, so you need to find out what works for you when it comes to decreasing stress and anxiety.
Getting Through the Holidays
This year, you can do more than just survive the holidays. You can thrive! With a little planning (and a lot of self care), you can get through the holiday season feeling joyful, connected, and stress free.
—Melinda Gates, philanthropist
"A woman with a voice is, by definition, a strong woman. But the search to find that voice can be remarkably difficult.”
Reconciling ourselves with our VulvaJulie Demers Holistic Pelvic Floor Therapist
A few days ago I was in a conversation with an older woman who just a couple of weeks ago was diagnosed with vaginal cancer. She and I began to talk since we were in a celebration and after a good time talking she began to tell me her story of how she was diagnosed with her illness.
Many of us, not to generalize, have been raised with a lot of ignorance about our bodies, pleasure, and our sexuality in general.
We see how many young, adult, and old women suffer from many conditions and diseases related to our sexuality. For example; endometriosis, uterine cancer, breast cancer, cysts, menstrual cramps, and vaginal yeast. In others, their conditions are more related to the lack of orgasm in their sexual encounters (anorgasmia) and/or pain during penetration (vaginismus), etc.
The reality is that all these conditions are related to our lack of acceptance of our femininity, deep resentments with being a woman, guilt and/or shame for pleasure, disconnection with our body, and stagnant emotions such as disgust and anger, among other factors
I remember how on many occasions I listened and even referred to my vulva and my vagina as "the one below". It was as if that part of the body was totally isolated from me. As if talking about her, touching her, and feeling her were a sin.
Our culture blames us and makes us feel ashamed if we like sex or if we simply talk about our bodies openly and openly. Why even in 2021 it is taboo to talk about the vulva and vagina on a daily and normal basis. thus including the lower and upper lips, the mount of venus, and the perineum (between the vagina and the anus).
It is because of all those repressed emotions that we are accumulating discomforts, and nonconformities that after time turn into diseases.
In this writing, I want to invite you to s having a healthy relationship with you vulva and your vagina. Let's begin to reconcile with our vulva:
1. Start talking to him
2. Look at her with a mirror
3. Draw it like a work of art
4. Caress her so that you feel the pleas that she is capable of giving you
5. Recognize it as a natural and vital p your body
Start looking at the vulva as your ally r than your enemy, and identify your be regarding being a woman, being a mo being a wife, and being a lover. What think about enjoying pleasure and hav sex, masturbating, or being sexy? Eac every one of those unconscious belief determining your lifestyle and of cour quality of your health. Every illness is of healing and growth. Let's accept our femininity and being t f
MAKING SENSE OF THE CONFLICTED MESSAGES
The Year of Yes
The Beautiful No Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway The Power of a Positive No Say Yes
The book titles above are just a tiny example of the mixed messages women are being sold. It can be so confusing to know when to step out of your comfort zone and say yes to opportunities when to step into the fear and do it anyway when to step back when to respect your boundaries and your own needs and know when to say No
And then we have the books that promote the theory that women CAN have it all! Why compromise? Why give up any part of your life if you are a strong, confident, and empowered woman you can (and should) do it all!
Sheryl Sandberg, the face of the Lean In movement, urged women to “lean in” to their careers, take risks and be ambitious in their professional goals, all the while demanding more help at home.
With Sheryl announcing her departure as COO of Facebook earlier this year, people delighted in “the proof” that her Lean, In theory, was not realistic and women needed to re assess their expectations (https://www washingtonpost com/opinions/2022/06/03/sheryl sandberg leaves facebook lean in/)
And now the great Serena Williams has also decided that her priorities have changed as she “evolves away” from her tennis career. The 23 times Grand Slam winner and definite GOAT of this generation has said
“Believe me, I never wanted to have to choose between tennis and a family I don’t think it’s fair. If I were a guy, I wouldn’t be writing this because I’d be out there playing and winning while my wife was doing the physical labor of expanding our family ”Jacqueline Rose Menopause Coach, Women's Hormonal Health Specialist, Yoga for Women's Health Certified Instructor
She continues in her Vogue article with brutal honesty:
“It’s the hardest thing that I could ever imagine. I hate it. I hate that I have to be at this crossroads. I keep saying to myself, I wish it could be easy for me, but it’s not. I’m torn: I don’t want it to be over, but at the same time I’m ready for what’s next.”
(https://www.vogue.com/article/serena williams retirement in her own words)
Reading all of this it’s easy to understand why a woman in the 21st Century could be totally confused about how to live their most fulfilled and empowered life
Do I say Yes to everything and embrace every experience?
Do I challenge myself and face my fears and move out of my comfort zone?
Do I push myself to achieve professionally and compromise on other things in my life?
When should I say No and honor and respect myself?
Can I really “have it all”?
Or Should I compromise and make space for others in my life?
How do I live my best life in a meaningful way?
In short how do we know when to Lean In and say YES and When to Let it go and say NO. Or is it even possible to do both and still feel fulfilled and that you are able to devote your time and attention all everything equally?
I want to answer this question from both my personal experience and professional perspective as a Menopause Educator and Coach and Hormonal Health specialist
In my 30s I lived my life according to the moto “If you need something done ask a busy person”… and I was the busy person!
I was having my kids (5 of them!) working and trying very hard to advance in my career, running around and showing up for my family and my community (how many times was I on the class parent committee!), and everything else that goes with being a working mother running a household and juggling all the balls I was (and still am) very lucky to have a loyal and devoted husband to support and help me. But most of the family organization still fell to me
It was intense but thrilling. It was energizing but stressful
I didn’t know any better That’s just what it meant to be a working mother. And then things changed.
Illness of a child
Re evaluating priorities
Realizing that this juggling wasn’t working for me or my family
Realizing that I was stressed out, shouting too much, and not feeling in control the way I used to.
It was a journey, a process of really listening to what was going on. Of paying attention to what my body and my spirit were telling me. The listening never stops!
I made some very conscious and intentional decisions.
I changed my working life. I immersed myself in the world of Yoga and then into the world of women’s health. I became an entrepreneur. I decided that I didn’t want to be dictated to by a boss. I wanted to make my own decisions about my work life balance. I didn’t want to be running from work to collect my kids, stuck in traffic, stressed out about if I would make it to the school gates in time, and wondering how I was going to fit in errands, and after school activities and prepare that all important home cooked healthy dinner.
All of this coincided with what I was learning about women’s health, our bodies, our hormonal cycles, significant stages of our life cycles, and how we navigate this all with what assumptions, what tools, and the whats and whys of how we are making decisions.
And this is what I want to tell you:
Our brains and bodies are hormonally wired at different stages of our monthly cycle and at different stages of our life cycle.
Once we get this, everything else in our life makes sense!
Let’s start with Puberty those crazy years of the early and mid teenage hood. At this stage, our hormones are in flux as we begin our hormonal journey. It’s a rollercoaster of hormones, emotions, confusion, figuring out who you are, where you fit in and all the while trying to become an independent person. For anyone living with a teenage daughter, you know this is not an easy time. Decision-making in impaired and decisionmaking in usually irrational! And you can’t talk sense to them…. Because hormonally, emotionally, and biologically they are not wired to hear it!
After puberty, we enter our Fertility/Reproductive years. Whether you have a child during this time is less relevant. More relevant is the hormonal balance, stability, and predictability of your menstrual cycle (a big assumption these days for many). Your hormones are calling you to nurture and care for others. But you also have the energy, focus, mental capacity, and motivation to do and be everything. Your focus is external, creating, doing, and showing up everywhere.
Of course, these years can be disrupted by contraceptive use, pregnancy, infertility challenges, fertility treatment, stress, etc. But our body seems able to cope with it better and the “juggle” seems more manageable.
The problem is that usually, we push ourselves to the limits because we are not paying attention, there is too much noise and too many distractions and we end these fertility years hormonal and emotionally depleted.
Then we arrive at our early 40s and the unexpected peri menopause years. All the stress, the unhealthy lifestyle, the juggling, and the overwhelm begin to catch up with us. Your hormones start to fluctuate again and become unpredictable. Your body starts to whisper to you. Your hormones want you to pay attention. And if you are paying attention, you will notice the changes. Physical, emotional, and cognitive. You are not able to function at the same level however much you try. You feel out of balance. Something is clearly changing but very often we try to ignore it, trying to live the same way we did in our earlier years. But your hormones keep forcing you to listen, pay attention, stop, and re evaluate.
Finally, we reach menopause the date of your last period and you enter the next official stage of your life cycle. Natural, dramatic, irreversible hormonal fluctuations abound. You have arrived at the bookend of puberty. You have closed the fertility years and now you are ready to embrace the new You that is emerging.
But this transition can be fraught with confusion, struggle, and frustration. Changing body, loss of identity, figuring out your new role in your family, making space for your needs against the backdrop of your family’s needs and their assumptions of what and who you used to be.
Your hormones are super unpredictable and so is your behavior. You need more time for yourself, more space, quiet, and freedom. You want to do what YOU want to do without the pressures and expectations.
And then we reach the final life cycle milestone post menopause. The time of life to stand up in joy, confidence, and wisdom. Without realizing it, you have become a woman who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to say it. You have lived life experience that you want to share. You have perspective about things. But more importantly, you have the energy, opportunities, and freedom to do it all. Your hormones are not calling the shots anymore, they have arrived at a new hormonal level with a focus on giving to yourself rather than giving to others. You are more stable, balanced, in control, empowered, and happy to speak your truth.
Unsurprisingly each of these life stages and their associated hormonal states lead to different decisions, different focus, different thought processes, abilities and capabilities, energy, motivations, intentions, and possibilities.
The question about where your boundaries are, what work life balance you choose, when you say a confident Yes, and when you will say a full hearted NO are impacted by your stage of life and where you are in your hormonal cycle (monthly and life). The questions mentioned above are not single one time questions that have a single consistent answer.
Assessing your boundaries, when to do something or not do something, needs to be a continual thoughtful, daily practice because the answer is not static because you are not static
The phrase that has consistently come up in all my years of Women’s Health training and study is that “The only thing constant in a woman’s life is change”.
If we begin to really understand and internalize this, then we understand that continual self assessment, self awareness, and self analysis are critical to supporting our daily decision making process and listening to what we really need
It is only then that the answers to our biggest questions and challenging decisions become obvious.
WHY IS LASTING CHANGE SO ELUSIVE?
We have all, at one time or another, set out with the best intentions to make positive changes in our life. New Year’s resolutions to get fit, eat better, and learn to meditate abound. We spend time dreaming, planning, and even mentally committing to this proposed change. However, how many times have we started and failed? How many times have we broken this promise to ourselves? We then stand back and watch ourselves deflate, feeling hopeless and defeated for not setting out to do what we had planned and hoped for, something that could have bettered our lives. How do we let that happen?
It can be perplexing and frustrating, even resulting in feelings of shame. In order to understand how we fail to initiate and maintain positive change in our lives, we must take a deep look at all the barriers within ourselves that can sprout up consciously or unconsciously to divert us off our path. There are likely influences that you may not have even considered, ones not so obvious yet still very powerful in affecting our behaviors and future success. In this article, I will discuss some barriers to change to help better understand why we are often unsuccessful in achieving our goals and then discuss some remedies to help minimize their effect.
How does this tie into Perimenopause you ask? Well, Perimenopause is a time when we experience great changes, some good, some not so good. I have spoken about this being a period of opportunity to take control of our health and well-being. While I speak of it and promote it, I know making a sustainable lifestyle change is HARD and it can be especially hard for women in this age group because, for one, we have not been encouraged by the media or frankly educated by the medical field to know that we can make changes that have a positive effect. We are also bombarded with messages (that’s you again, social media) that we are to expend most of our energy on caring for others, suggesting that we are being selfish for focusing our energy on ourselves. We must learn to see beyond the outside influences and come to terms with knowing we are in charge of our minds, bodies, and actions. We face challenges, for sure, but ultimately, no one else is responsible for our behavior but ourselves. If you are struggling to make a change I invite you to read ahead with an open and curious mind and see what comes up for you.
“Change begins at the end of your comfort zone” Roy T. Bennett
“Behavior is a product of social, physical and environmental challenges such as emotions, selfappraisals, beliefs about behavioral consequences and confidence in ability” -Albert Bandura 1997
Change Makers and Breakers
Your ability to enact a behavior change is directly related to your attitude about that change (ie) Is it very important? Will it make a significant difference? Is the work worth the payout? What do you perceive others' reactions towards you will be if you make that change? This can be both a positive or negative reaction.
Consider how important your wellness and your vitality are to you. There is no right or wrong answer, just maybe delve into the why…why is this change so important to you or why is it not so important? Be truthful and real with yourself.
What is your belief that you actually have the power and the right to make that change? This brings up issues of worthiness, self esteem, and confidence. Heavy stuff I know but yet it is so important to explore where these beliefs came from.
Acknowledgment and awareness can perhaps make it not so heavy after all.
Research has shown that our social circle can have a significant impact (positive and negative) on all aspects of one's health including behavioral, psychosocial, and physiological. These impacts are cumulative and can affect us for a lifetime. There is even some research showing that your friends’ friends behavior can also have an effect on your health and happiness through what's called emotional contagion, the phenomenon that we can “catch '' the emotions of others just like a cold(1).
Will you be supported by those closest to you? How much support do you think you will receive... Just an “oh yeah that’s great, good luck with that” or is there someone for whom you could be accountable to?
True support is someone who is going to lovingly call you out when needed and also show empathy when you slip up
Can you identify those in your circle who will be less than supportive?
Those who have a hard time seeing you change or make improvements to your life How do you feel about that scenario? Do you fear being judged or ostracized? The people who criticize your success in making a positive change are, by the way, most often projecting their own issues of unworthiness onto you Don't let their projections stick to you.
Your Time Management Skills
We are ALL “too busy”. This is the unfortunate perceived reality of the modern world. However, we all have control over it. It starts with taking a hard look at the root source of our “busy ness” and I don't mean the obvious responsibilities of work or parenting. Consider instead, what within you is driving the busyness?
Is it a hard wired expectation established in our formative years? Is it an act of distraction so we don't have to feel our feelings or accept certain realities? Is it a way to make you feel more worthy, more useful? Ladies, believe me, I have been ALL of these so, please know this is not meant to shame, it is only meant to encourage self awareness and acceptance
I have brought up some heavy stuff in this list. Not everyone is ready to face some of these realities. Some will never be ready and that is OK. But it is important to consider why you may or may not be ready. Sometimes it is just fear of the unknown, fear of actually being successful, or fear of actually becoming the best version of yourself
Tips to Institute Change that Sticks
Start with deciding what you want to change and exactly why Example: “I want to be in better shape”
Follow that up with answering 2 or 3 more why questions:
Why? “Because I feel tired all the time”
Why? “Because I have been prioritizing my career or spending too much time on Netflix, Facebook, etc reducing my free time to exercise”
Why? “Because it has been easier to stay distracted than to face the reality that my health is suffering ”
Investigate your barriers
Consider some of the questions that came up in the list above. Let the questions percolate a little bit and then find some time when you can be still and undistracted to allow the answers to speak. You may want to journal about it, and speak to a trusted friend, family member, or professional to delve a little deeper
Start small. Pick one or two achievable goals.
This may mean breaking a larger goal into smaller more achievable parts. Write the goal(s) down somewhere where you will see it often. Tell a few people about your goal(s) ( see #5). This will help make your goals “real” and provide accountability. www.elainemele.com email@example.com
Roadblock EX: When I get home from work I am often stressed so I immediately reach for a glass of wine, thwarting any chance of productive exercise.
Workaround ideas: Exercise before you go home, reach out instead for the phone and call a friend to go for a walk, don’t go into the room where the wine is kept instead go straight to a designated workout area.
You can come up with your own creative and personal ideas that work for you. The key is to expect opportunities for failure to present themselves, because they will, and to be armed and ready with your defense strategies.
It doesn't have to be large swaths of time. You can set a timer to take 10 deep breaths, stand up and stretch or walk around the block. Again, start with small achievable goals and then build on your success.
I cannot take credit for this term (I actually think it came from the TV show, South Park, of all places!) but I like it. An accountabilibuddy is not just someone you reach out to when you need help or someone who just enables you. It is someone who can check in on you, (gently) point out when you are making excuses, and help problem solve with you how to get back on track. If you have those people in your life, they are gold, consider yourself very lucky.
The importance of this cannot be stressed enough. We are all human and we will all fail at some time or another. Failing is not an occasion to self shame, self criticize, or give up. It is a time to accept that we have weaknesses while also acknowledging that we have some power to make the right changes and move forward. Instituting a healthy reward system encourages you to celebrate your wins. When we reward ourselves positively we neurologically set ourselves up to seek an activity that fosters more reward. Win. Win.
I am here to help you along your wellness journey. I provide a space that is safe, supportive, and accountable. You can reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free 20 minute consultation to discuss your needs.
Dr. Elaine Mele
E m o t i o n a l H e a l t h
Prevention is the cure 5 habits to prevent breast cancer
When we talk about breast cancer, we have been taught that prevention involves going for diagnostic tests such as mammography, that's fine, however, knowing that the root cause of cancer is inflammation, we could have a more active role in this preventative cause.
Although inflammation is a normal response of our immune system, it can become dangerous when we do not pay attention to its most common symptoms, leading to the degeneration of all our tissues. Common symptoms related to inflammation are fatigue, digestive problems, anxiety, eczema, joint pain, insomnia, and swelling.
As naturopathic women we can take a more active role in breast cancer prevention. By becoming aware of the root cause of any type of cancer: inflammation, we can carry out preventive habits that keep our inflammation under control and help us prevent breast cancer. Here are 5 habits that are unpredictable when it comes to keeping inflammation under control
Smart management of your relationships. Believe it or not, the stress that relationships with your partner, your children and close relatives can cause can trigger inflammatory processes. For emotional biodecoding, breast cancer is associated with conflicts with the nest. These are conflicts in relation to the roles played within the family and the relationship
The lack of support, lack of communication, separation, fears, and dishonor can be experienced at such an intensity level that they trigger situations of stress and chronic inflammation at the body level.
More interaction with nature. The silent inflammation that can affect our cells and immune system, generating cancer, is closely linked to oxidative stress caused by excess free radicals due to toxins in the environment in which we live. Grounding, breathing fresh air, sunbathing, and immersing yourself in sea and river water at least once a week support the release of free radicals that cause inflammation.
Support your nutrition with supplements In order for the immune system to keep inflammation under control, it needs essential nutrients such as vitamin C, zinc, vitamin D, and probiotics It has been shown that the risk of breast cancer increases at lower levels of vitamin D If your diet is not very natural and organic, support your nutrition and digestion with these supplements that will keep your inflammation in check.
Help your detoxification process. Part of our immune system is the cell cleaning, death and regeneration mechanism. When this mechanism is interrupted due to inflammation, then the cells go haywire creating cancer. Fasting, integrating teas like dandelion and green juices into your daily routine will keep inflammation under control. Well, they support the detoxification process that your cells and immune system do daily.
Keep your weight healthy. An increased risk of developing cancer has been associated with people with metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is characterized by body mass index greater than 25, higher than normal body weight, high fat and cholesterol percentage, and high blood sugar levels. This syndrome is associated with the development of insulin resistance and inflammation. To maintain your weight and metabolic rates you do not need to go on extreme diets. It's very easy to maintain your healthy weight by exercising, eating, and living a conscious natural lifestyle.
u s i n e s s & P r o f e s s i o n a l
How to Win the Money GameIva Perez, Licensed RTTÒ Practitioner Hypnotherapy
It’s the collective sigh heard around the world.
“If I only had more money… ” we secretly think to ourselves every time we want something we cannot seem to afford.
In our logical mind, more money equals more freedom.
But lottery winners are here to remind us that just throwing money at problems doesn’t resolve them. The National Endowment for Financial Education cites that over 70% of lottery winners ending up broke and/or declare bankruptcy not long after receiving a windfall. This is because our ‘ money problems are deeper than that.
You can decide to spend thousands more on business coaches, more sales funnels, or even the latest hacks, tricks, or quantum leap strategies that promise to take your business to the next level and still go nowhere because somewhere, there is an old program or outdated belief buried deep into the subconscious that will sabotage your ability to receive and make money.
Since money is energy, it will only amplify what is already there. And it will make lemonade out of the many false ‘mindset lemons’ we might be carrying around which prevent us from winning at the money game.
Procrastination, anxiety, avoiding visibility, self sabotage, and money blocks, just to name a few, all stem from deep rooted lemons that run the show subconsciously.
Supercharging your mindset and bringing your subconscious on board with your money plans is key It’s how you recession proof your business and life.
This is not about ground breaking business strategies or the next big money-making idea that you haven’t heard of before This is about helping you build a strong foundation for your business journey.
By shifting your consciousness around money and leaving behind the false ‘mindset lemons’, money will respond and flow abundantly into your life. As Richard Bach wrote:
“The worst lies are the lies we tell ourselves. We live in denial of what we do, even what we think.”
We’ve become so used to negative self talk and toxic thought patterns that keep us stuck believing our own false stories, that we’re drinking the lemonade probably every day. So are you making lemonade out of these lemons?
LEMON # 1- I’m not good enough
Perhaps you’ve spent most of your life thinking something’s wrong with you.
When we feel that money is not being fair to us, that we need to work hard for it or be the good girl to earn it we’re drinking a big glass of lemonade!
What’s even worse is the heaviness around how we perceive money is treating us.
There are so many stories behind that
Most people constantly hide their different sides because they’re afraid of being judged for who they really are. And when we’re out of alignment and not being authentic, it’s hard to operate with integrity with who we really are.
When we accept ourselves fully, flaws and all, our energy is more light-hearted. We show up with less resistance to having what we want
Money then gets to be attracted to us. It gets to be the boy that calls us, picks us up for a date, takes us dancing, and drives us home with a good by kiss and the promise of “I see you tomorrow”.
LEMON 2 - Money Won’t Solve Your Money Problems
One of the most common misconceptions is that having more money would magically solve financial problems. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
Seventy percent of lottery winners who become millionaires overnight soon lost more than they won.
Money problems aren’t based on a lack of money. They’re based on what you think of money.
Contrary to common belief, having more money won’t magically solve your problems. In the worst case, it’ll even amplify them.
If you don’t even know how to manage little money, you’d struggle even more once you’d need to manage a lot of money.
LEMON 3 If I had more money, I’d finally be happy!
I’d be a lot happier/more relaxed/[insert desirable state if I had more money!
Or if I had more disposable income! Or if I won the lottery!
The truth is, you wouldn’t.
Even though external factors can shape our emotional well-being, they’re mostly a reflection of what’s going on inside our heads and hearts
More money wouldn’t make you any happier, just like a different job or a different partner wouldn’t magically change how you feel.
If you feel frustrated, angry, or even just a little stuck, you must first look inside before blaming anything on the outside.
Saying that having this or that would make us happier is easy because it helps us shuffle off responsibility: “I’d be happy if I had more money. I don’t have it right now, so I’m allowed to be unhappy.”
If you want to feel differently, you mostly need to do things differently.
LEMON 4 If Money Is Your Hope for Independence, You’ll Never Have It
Most people believe more money would make them free As a result, they spend most of their life chasing money and hoping that an increase in their bank statement would also lead to an increase in freedom.
But the reality is different.
It’s true that money can lead to freedom if you use it wisely. The problem is that money alone won’t lead to satisfaction and contentment because you can always lose it. Freedom starts in your head
Freedom starts in your head.
Of course, money significantly shapes our lives.
We all live in this physical world and life is certainly more fun if you don’t need to worry about whether you can afford your next meal or not.
In the end, money is nothing more than a form of energy and an enabler to live life on your own terms. It’s true that you can’t buy happiness, health, or love. But you can indeed spend your money so that it makes you happier and healthier.
It’s probably not the first time you have heard people say, “Money is an energy”. But what does that even mean?
Just like everything in the Universe, money is made up of energy, and it, therefore, responds to your thoughts, feelings, and beliefs
How thrilled would you be if I told you that the fastest way to make money was to massively increase the amount of joy, excitement, and adventure in your life?
Bet you would be looking for ways to feel more of those feelings as much as possible! Most people hate thinking about money and feel uncomfortable checking their bank accounts
If you want to do yourself a favor, do the contrary and start improving your relationship with money.
Talk about money. Speak your love language with money. Get comfortable playing with money instead of allowing it to control your life and choices. What if money can be enjoyed without a hidden agenda attached to it i.e. solving your perceived money problems?
By expanding your capacity to receive money, you will begin to unlink, cancel and delete these hidden programs that are blocking money from coming into your life. I help clients to remove the root cause of unwanted behavior and thought patterns that prevent them from achieving higher levels of success, money, and freedom. You CAN work Less, Earn More and Recession Proof your Business and Live a Good Life. I can help!
TheFamily‘Systems’YouNeed toRunaSuccessfulBusiness fromHome
“...You will run out of energy before you run out of work, so self care comes first. Your children will grow and stop caring about connecting with you before you run out of work, so connecting with them comes next Your relationship will fall apart from lack of attention before you run out of work, so connecting with your partner is a higher priority You CAN finish cleaning your house, and you will never run out of work, so do some of that daily. Then, when you use the rest of your time to work, you can do so with a clear mind, guilt free, and with more focus and intention ”
If you want to run a hugely successful business out of your house, there are some foundational ‘systems and structures that are needed at home (outside of your business) that will support your business (and you, in running it!).
Many moms start working from home on the assumption that life will be easier; the house will be easier to keep, connections with the kids easier to build, time saved without the commute… you name it.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t just magically work for them. They haven’t suddenly improved their cleaning skills and habits, they haven’t built routines and habits for connecting with the kids, and the time saved in one area is drained away SO fast with the extra mess from being at home more hours of the day, etc.
And when suddenly, a few months in, they realize that they haven’t had a breath of fresh air or a day off for longer than they can remember, and yet the house is a disaster, and the kids are running wild… it can be so easy to fall into the mom guilt, shame and blame. ‘Why can’t I just keep up with it all?!’
The REAL issue, for most, is a lack of routines and schedules.
You may have had both before you started working from home, but you are in a whole new world now, and if you didn’t take the time to set yourself up in this area, you’re not alone. We tend to assume that what used to work will keep working, or just not think of it at all, especially when the creative juices are flowing and we’re setting up a new business!
You also used to have things in separate ‘boxes’ in your head. Home, work, play. When you transition to working at home, especially if you’re working for yourself, you suddenly find yourself having to create a single, giant, layered schedule for everything in your life, and that is a really different thing than you’re used to!Brianna Hosack Parenting, Productivity & Accountability Coach
Suddenly the ORDER of your day matters. You can have a structure that builds on itself and holds you up all day, or you can be putting out fires all day long. If you don’t plan ahead, and decide what things will look like, it is so easy to get sidetracked or forget important pieces of the puzzle of life. Those pieces you forget are EXACTLY what causes those ‘fires’ you’re putting out.
It can be difficult to piece together a giant, complicated, layered schedule while you evaluate out which things work for you and your family, and which ones don’t. So, I’ve created a detailed list of the foundational pieces for your schedule. Everyone needs these, but that doesn’t mean everyone KNOWS it, or puts them in order to support the specific situation of being a workfrom-home mom, so don’t skip any if you really want balance and calm in your life. Each layer has two PARTS, one for you, and one for your kids/family.
Layer one: Self Care
Before you roll your eyes and skip this section, deciding you don’t have the time for self care, I need you to understand that without this layer, everything else falls apart eventually.
THIS is the layer that holds everything else up. Without this layer, you are more likely to reach burnout from your business, faster. Without this layer, your burnout may be so extreme that your business fails entirely, your family/marriage falls apart, you lose friends and more. This isn’t an exaggeration: it matters THAT MUCH.
On the other side of this is that your kids will learn one of two things from you. To prioritize themselves, or not. You need to set the example that you matter so that they can understand that they matter …and deserve to love themselves, take time for themselves, and have other people respect this need as well. That’s right, you need to teach them to respect YOUR need for this time so that they learn that other people should respect THEIR need for this time. This means that your kids not ‘letting you’ have time for yourself is no longer acceptable. You make, take, and expect this time. This can be done by a partner taking their turn parenting, hiring a sitter, calling a friend or a relative, exchanging help, or simply by teaching your kids boundaries (I say simply - not easily. But it is necessary!)
So, part one is building out your self-care schedule. And I call it a SCHEDULE, because you need to do exactly that: put it on your calendar/in your scheduler! It is just as essential as meeting with your biggest client. More essential, actually. You take care of everyone else all day every day. You need to be taken care OF, to be the best that as you can be. It should be just as set in ‘stone,’ and just as equally respected and prioritized, as those other important meetings.
I won’t go into what self-care is, or when you should do it - this differs too much between individuals, and there are all sorts of resources, including some of my own, to help you with this part. In relation to how it supports you in your business though, enough sleep and quality sleep are top of the list! You want to be firing on all cylinders!
Part two is helping your kids create their self-care schedules. Children of any age can start to learn this, simply by watching and becoming aware of yours first. As they are old enough to understand more, you can start involving them in copying yours and then personalizing theirs.
Layer two: Planning Time
You must designate time for planning. Yes, planning to plan. If you are your own boss, or even just your own manager working for someone else from home, you MUST have a plan. Without it, everything leaks into everything else, making YOU much less productive with your time. Productivity isn’t the be-all and end-all for us in life, but if you want your business to be more successful and sustainable, it’s definitely important!
Plus, knowing what to expect in advance helps prepare our minds and bodies for upcoming transitions, which is especially important if you have ADHD or other neurodivergent tendencies (I mention this because a REMARKABLY high rate of entrepreneurs does, myself included!).
It’s well known that children struggle with transitions, some more than others, but knowing the plan ahead of time can be hugely helpful for kids in this area as well, and prevent all sorts of meltdowns and resistance to changes in activities, requirements for focus time, etc.
Again, every individual is different, so what you need to plan, how far ahead you need to plan it, and how often you need to review the plan are not something I’ll dive into in this article - my assistance with this is highly individualized for my clients. The very baseline though is having designated windows of time for various aspects of your life. When will you work? When is it time to be connecting with the kids? When will you clean your house? When will you fit in that self-care?
Some examples of plans to have children involved in creating, however:
Meal plans (creates less resistance to what’s on their plate at meals), chore schedules (of course they should be helping… and they are more likely to do just that if they have a say in what they are doing and when. Not final say, necessarily, but their opinion is important.), what activity to do at playtime with Mama, what craft to create, etc.
The more plans you have in place ahead of time, the fewer decisions you must make as you go, which vastly reduces decision fatigue - a very real concern when you are running a business, a household, and a family every day!
And lastly, it is just as important to remember (and teach your kids) that plans change, and learn how to roll with it. But having a plan is a much better bet for sticking to one than not having one at all, so it is still incredibly important. It also makes it easier to get back on track when life throws you curveballs!
Layer three: Family Connection Time
Yes, this layer also comes before work. If you decided to work at home so you could be more present with your kids and partner, but then you prioritize work over them, even if you are confused about what the purpose of the added stress of working from home is! Your family will notice, be confused by it, and rebel against it.
This might look like your husband getting less and less supportive of your business over time or getting more easily frustrated with you if you don’t keep up with the house. It may look like your kids lashing out at each other, or at you. More dumping toy bins, less calm play. More ‘Mama, look at this, look at me!’ and less sharing with siblings. More hiding out in rooms and staring at screens and being miserable the rest of the time, and less understanding with each instance that a meeting goes overtime. More neediness, less patience.
You pick the time of day, and what goes on during that time, but you should have connection time with your family members every day. So, this layer comes before work in a prioritization sense, but not necessarily in a sequence of events (although if you take time to connect with the kids first, they ARE more likely to let you alone to work later!).
Again, including your family members in planning this time and in the awareness that you are choosing this time as family time, is extremely important. You need to stick to your word on family time, so if you show up for it but everyone else has another idea of what they wanted to do during that time, it will be frustrating all around. And if you decide on the activities each time, they may or may not be as interesting as you’d like them to be.
It helps kids know that if you are working first, there WILL be an end to it, so that they learn to leave you alone to focus during work hours (especially once you’ve stuck to your word on it a few times in a row). The common habit of saying ‘in a minute’ or ‘hold on a sec’ when we have no actual intention of finishing our task in that literal time frame, is the death of our children’s trust in us and in their ability to not interrupt.
Layer four: Cleaning, Organizing, Decluttering, and Tidying
Not everyone thinks of decluttering as a necessary/foundational thing for succeeding in business, for sure. But I include it because the less clutter you have in your physical environment, the less clutter there will be in your mind when it comes time to focus.
However, everyone at some point needs to clean, tidy, and organize their home. You may not think it should come before work but here’s why I say it does:
The mess you see in your space really does affect your clarity, patience, and focus. Having it done and out of sight clears your mind to focus on the more important, detailed tasks.
Of course, you don’t have to have clean toilets before you are ‘allowed’ to have a call with a client, but if you do have clean toilets before, then that is one less thought that will pop into your head to take you off the task at hand. This applies across the board. Walking on crumbs on your way to grab your tea before a virtual meeting doesn’t put your mind into the best headspace to focus and inspire or resolve things.
Less mess= fewer accidents. Your kids are much less likely to be injured during that meeting if there is less to trip over or hurt themselves on!
This is very much NOT an all or nothing rule do SOME cleaning and tidying, especially in the vicinity of your work area, BEFORE you sit down to work, and you will already feel more accomplished (and much less guilty over what is left undone)!
If you are doing virtual video calls, having a messy space behind you just looks unprofessional! A few toys or an area that needs tidying is ok, but if the house is a pigsty and there are almost no corners that look clean to hide in for calls, it is going to add stress to your work times - a LOT of stress.
And as mentioned in planning, the kids should be helping with this as well. Making the time now to teach them how to clean up after themselves and do chores to contribute to the overall wellbeing of the family is something that every parent should do, not just the ones who work at home. If you do work from home though, this has the added benefit of lessening YOUR load so that you can ‘get it all done’ in a day, in general, AND for your business.
Layer five: Work and Providing Financially
I won’t tell you, at all, how to run your business or work hours. You do you. But this is the actual LAST layer of your rock solid foundation if you want to grow your business sustainably, working from home.
Again, you may work in the morning before the kids get up before you’ve done any cleaning, maybe even before self care (I do NOT recommend), but that is a time of day and practicality concern, not a prioritization concern.
Work will fill the time you give it, whether that is one hour, ten, or twenty a day.
But you will run out of energy before you run out of work, so self care comes first. Your children will grow and stop caring about connecting with you before you run out of work, so connecting with them comes next. Your relationship will fall apart from lack of attention before you run out of work, so connecting with your partner is a higher priority. You CAN finish cleaning your house, and you will never run out of work, so do some of that daily. Then, when you use the rest of your time to work, you can do so with a clear mind, guilt free, and with more focus and intention. And THAT is how you become ready to scale, ready to rely on yourself to grow your business, ready to hold more clients or tasks…
Being your own boss, or even just in charge of your own time management when working for someone else, you MUST learn to LEAD YOURSELF. This means actual planning, actual reviews, and actually sticking to what you decide, or actively reasoning and choosing to ‘change the plan based on real data, not gut instinct (and I love me some gut instinct, but in business, you need to be able to tell yourself no, not get distracted from the priority tasks, and learn to let go of what doesn’t serve you, your family, your business).
You need to be dependable. And that starts in your personal life, with yourself and your family, before you can become truly dependable in the business. Otherwise, you’ll be putting out fires forever behind, and your clients and/or co workers will learn NOT to count on you, which will be the death of your successful business dreams.
Brianna Hosackwww.thecalminspiredmama.com @TheCalm InspiredMama
"Ihavechosentonolongerbe apologeticformyfemalenessandmy femininity.AndIwanttoberespected inallofmyfemalenessbecauseI deservetobe".
o m e n E m p o w e r m e n t
MY FOREVER LOVERegina Robinson International Speaker, Publisher, Author & Inner Confidence Strategist
God, You are my first love! I desire to share all the love I have within me with You. You continue to show me through Your Love how special I am to You. I pray that with every heartbeat my Love is connected to You. God, I thank You for loving me even when I didn’t love myself You are my forever love!
God, it’s amazing to Love You knowing Your love is unwavering and it never fails. My love for You continues to grow stronger every day. I am committed to Our Love. You truly are the reason I breathe, live, and love. Our love is worth it. You are my forever love!
Every moment I spend drawing closer to You reveals a deeper level of who I am because of Your love for me. Every day Your love gives me the strength to smile, laugh, and believe in what it means to be loved. The love and blessings You grant me each day fuel me to continue living. The love I feel from You runs so deep I can’t explain it. Your love allows me to be me. The overflow of Your love is present in my laugh, my smile, my tears, my joy, and my peace of knowing You will always love me know matter what. You are my forever love!
God, I can’t thank you enough for always loving me. I am reminded daily of the Love You have for me. I know that I am never alone. All of me is because of You. Your Love encourages me to continue each day The peace of Your Love gives me the courage to be the woman You desire of me. In Your Love, I find stability in knowing all things are possible. I vow in Faith to always Love, You. I promise to love You now and forever. The love we share can never be replaced. You are my forever love!
God, I can never repay You for the unconditional Love, You have given me. I pray every day I wake up that my life is pleasing to You. I am grateful for Your Love. My life is full today because of Your willingness to touch the inner me and make me whole. I pray the world sees the joy You are in my life. You are my forever love!
God, the Love you have deposited in me I vow to share with the women You have assigned to my life. Every time I pray, speak, coach, and love I pray it is a reflection of the love You have deposited in me. I will forever cherish the love we share. There is no me, without You. Because of Your Love for me I know what it feels like to truly be loved unconditionally. You are everything to me! You are my forever love!
God, every day I wake up I pray my life honors the Love You have for me. My heart forever belongs to You. Our love is unforgettable! All of my heart belongs to You. I am committed to loving You! You are my forever love!
Family & Relationship
"Enjoying being a woman..."Audrey Lingg Life Engineer Mentor
Can you enjoy being a woman? Before answering this question, I took on the task of looking up the meaning of being a woman in the dictionary and found that it said “ an adult female person ” I said to myself wryly, "wow how deep that meaning is " I really expected to find something else, so I went to look up the etymology of the word and discovered that the word woman is derived from Latin, specifically from the adjective “Mulier” which means soft or soft More surprised, because woman, through history has shown that it is the opposite of that adjective.
So I decided to do a survey with the women around me, understand family, friends, and co workers, and explore with them what it meant to them to be a woman Many associated the concept with pain, courage, strength, sensitivity, work, and the ability to do several tasks simultaneously and give life. On the other hand, I explored with them that they enjoyed being a woman and found that women can enjoy their femininity as long as they accept that we were born women and accept our bodies. We love and enjoy being a woman when we can listen to ourselves and answer the following questions:
How do I feel? What do I need? What can I do to meet my needs? I understood that femininity is not something that is learned, but that it is within ourselves and we have to find the space to be able to agree with it. Clothes, makeup, accessories, etc. they are part of being a woman, but beyond identifying ourselves with our sex and gender, it is also a way of communicating and representing that our being is aligned with what we truly want to be. So to answer the initial question, can you enjoy being a woman? The answer is YES you can
I invite you to enjoy being a woman. Here I share with you seven (7) reasons why I recommend you love and enjoy yourself.
We are bearers of life.
We have a sixth sense
We have emotional intelligence
We are sensitive
We are strong
We are pain tolerant
We are multi orgasmic
Finally, we enjoy being a woman when we love, accept, and recognize our ability to connect with ourselves, forgive ourselves and forgive ourselves, and above all try to understand ourselves every day.
Do You Have an Energy Leak?Maria Natapov Stepparenting Coach & Strategist
This time of year when work gets busier with year end deliverables, school’s back in session, in some climates like here in New England the days are quickly getting shorter, and with the busy holiday season just around the corner, it’s no surprise that you ’ re feeling drained
Before you chalk it up to life’s busy day to day grind, I invite you to slow down to ponder, is that really all that’s operating here making you feel depleted? Or is it something else?
Is it possible that you have an energy leak? If you ’ re finding yourself more tired than usual, keep reading because it’s exactly what we ’ re exploring today!
Do you have an energy leak?
It’s generally good practice to be intentional about what you want the end of the year to look like and where you want to be spending your energy
In a recent podcast episode, I share an exercise to use on yourself and several important people and aspects of your life to detect what you want more of and less of going forward to create a life of true alignment and joy
Find the show notes for that episode at synergisticstepparenting com/53, which touches briefly on the concept of energy leaks. Here, however, I’d like to explore a specific kind of leak that might go unnoticed It’s a leak that occurs right under your nose in your home.
It’s the tension that happens between you and your partner or between you and your stepchild. These leaks can occur due to hurt, disappointment or resentment.
Meet Jenei who came to me saying …
“I’m turning into the parent I never wanted to be. The stress and fatigue are overwhelming. Every day is a power struggle, and I am losing it! I resort to yelling and threatening to get my daughter’s attention which causes her to become distant and disengaged.
Our relationship is suffering, and I have no idea what to do.”
Can you relate?
These are common dynamics, but they wreak havoc on all involved. Oftentimes not only on the stepparent and the child, but also on the bio-parent/partner as well and on any other children present in the household.
Have you ever walked into a room, and you don’t know what happened before you got there, but you could feel the tension or negativity right away like a bad stench? You most likely had a visceral response to it both emotionally and even physically.
That’s exactly what these tense dynamics cause for the other members of your household.
And because it’s taking place in the home, it’s particularly damaging. Why?
Because your home is your oasis. It’s the place you’re supposed to go to for respite from the rest of the world, it’s your safe space.
Home is where you relax, recuperate, rejuvenate, fill your cup, and cocoon and nurture yourself. None of which is truly possible to do when there is tension and negative dynamics at play.
The Problem with Common Ways People Address the Energy Leak
Someone might choose to deal with these issues by saying “Oh, I just won’t go home, I’ll do other things.”
But the idea is not to just escape. Because if you don’t deal with it and don’t clean up the mess, you still have an energy leak and a resource leak.
But the idea is not to just escape. Because if you don’t deal with it and don’t clean up the mess, you still have an energy leak and a resource leak.
Another way someone might choose to deal with this situation is to break away from these people and this life in a more permanent way.
Now, I’m not advising anyone to stay in a situation that you recognize is toxic, not for you or doesn’t serve you. Maybe you find yourself here because you didn’t realize that it was toxic from the beginning. Or maybe it turned toxic.
Either way, staying in that is not something I’m advocating for.
However, is that truly what’s going on?
Think of the family and life you’ve been building. Is throwing all of that away really the only option?
After all, “Wherever you go, you take yourself with you.” Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book
Has saying that it’s a toxic situation become a convenient way to look at it which is to blame others?
Could it be that that’s what’s operating there - blaming others and looking at things through a negative lens?
Are you forgetting the reasons that you fell in love with these people, to begin with? Because you did fall in love with them. At one point, you did choose them.
Can you see them through that lens again? If it were possible, do you want to try it?
Is there a belief that’s operating in you that’s preventing you from seeing things for what they are and keeping you stuck?
Is there a pattern that’s operating where you and your partner or your child are stuck in a response cycle that you can’t seem to get out of?
In the case of the latter, it may be a pattern that might not have started in this relationship. It’s possible that it started years before from a prior experience.
Getting to the Bottom of the Energy Leak
Usually, beliefs and patterns are closely related. But there are subtle differences. Beliefs are thoughts that you think for a long time.
So, for example, if my partner is carefully choosing their words around me, then I might think that they are lying to me and aren’t telling me the whole truth.
When in fact, this belief might be dead wrong. Maybe they deeply care about you and are really invested in not hurting your feelings and want to preserve the relationship which is why they are carefully considering how their words might make you feel.
Or maybe you’ve given signs in the past that you’re not open to their shares and don’t welcome them.
On the other hand, patterns are how each of you responds in situations that come up and involve not only how you feel but also how you act in response to those feelings.
Most often these patterns occur in unpleasant, uncomfortable or negative situations because those are times you feel most vulnerable, and your response is your brain’s way of protecting you.
These misunderstandings are very common in all relationships but especially so in blended families because not only is the couple still getting to know each other, but the stepparent is still working to build trust, rapport, and understanding with the child(ren).
Not to mention when it comes to beliefs and patterns, you have blind spots – we all do. Sometimes you might not be aware that a particular belief is operating, when in fact it is.
There are several reasons for this …
1. You’re not aware that not everyone shares your particular point of view on the subject.
2. These are not things we typically talk about or explore in school or even as part of our regular conversations societally.
3. You’re too close to the situation to see the forest from the trees.
4. The situation is too emotionally charged and you’re caught in a swirl, oscillating between 2 or more viewpoints, stuck not knowing how to get out. You’re too invested in the outcome.
Resolving the Energy Leak
To truly resolve the energy leak, you have to address it at its core. And to get to the core, it needs to be addressed on 3 levels:
1.Identify and address the belief at the core of the emotional response
2.Identify and address the pattern of behavior in response to said emotional response 3.Create a disruption in the cycle from your highest self of how you want to show up in the relationship and from honoring the truth of the relationship you want to have
Though this process can be simple it is not easy, because most of these beliefs and patterns have been operating for a long time. The mind creates strong attachments to operating the same way as the brain loves to go on autopilot to conserve energy.
Which is why having a guide, partner and cheerleader on the journey is so beneficial and often it’s the difference between reaching your goals and desired outcomes or not.
This is exactly what Jenei got after working with me. Here’s what she has to say …
“Maria was a most positive and supportive ally during my parenting struggles, giving me tools to establish a much closer, less stressful relationship with my daughter.
I took away how to take better care of myself and give myself a break so I can be more fully present in my role as a parent.
The more I worked at building trust with her in a non reactive, non judgmental environment where she felt safe to share her thoughts, the closer and more fulfilling our relationship became.”
Of course, I have some action items for you! If you find yourself struggling and would like to learn more about what you can do, head on over to synergisticstepparenitng.com/work and fill out a brief questionnaire to schedule a complimentary clarity call.
I’d love to help you identify the next best step for you to start moving towards creating the life and relationships you dream of.
Use Your Social Media Stalker Skills to Improve Your Relationship
Investigate to Avoid MiscommunicationsNicole Mason, Relationship Coach + RTT Practitioner
Communication can be uncomfortable It doesn’t come naturally to use We usually learn how to interact and manage disputes from our family, friends, teachers, and tv when we were children. And, if we ’ re being honest, most of it was pretty dysfunctional. From being passive aggressive and using guilt to get someone to do what they want to give the silent treatment, we didn’t have the best role models to communicate through difficulties It shows up so much even in the fact that communication is the #1 reason couples get marriage counseling
Unfortunately, marriage counseling doesn’t always provide a path to good communication, either Marriage counseling will always help you air out your grievances But, it doesn’t usually provide a lot of time for learning the skills on how to communicate better This is why marriage counseling doesn’t have the best track record for saving marriages
I learned as a divorce attorney: If you communicate well, you’ll do conflict well. If you do conflict well, you’ll do marriage well.
But, the biggest hiccup to communicating well is our belief that communicating is hard and conflict is bad In fact, we spend so much of our time and energy trying to avoid conflict and therefore trying to avoid communicating, that we make everything so much bigger and heavier than it needs to be And, that is what complicates communication!
When communication shows up everywhere in your life: money, your values, parenting, planning, goals, setting boundaries, executing projects, and division of responsibilities, and that’s just at home! It’s no wonder your communication isn’t going well. You’re avoiding it as much as possible because it seems daunting and overwhelming.
Let’s break this down a little bit
The biggest cause of conflict is miscommunication.
Miscommunication is born out of mismatched expectations and not being clear on what you want.
One of the biggest contributors to miscommunication is avoiding communicating or holding back from telling everything.
We believe a conversation is going to go badly, which makes us dread the conversation. When we dread something, we create anxiety and fear in our bodies. When our body and mind feel anxiety and fear, it doesn’t feel safe. Your body and mind’s primary purposes are to keep you safe – safety, for our caveman's brain, means we’re more likely to stay alive. Keeping you safe, and alive, is always going to be your mind’s number one priority.
So, your mind works to increase the negative feelings enough that you take yourself out of that situation, even if it’s just a simple conversation. If you’re dreading it or feeling anxious about it, your mind assumes you’re in danger and will do whatever is necessary to remove the threat of harm.
This is why we react in ways like getting so overwhelmed we need to leave the conversation to avoid the chance of harm (aka, our flight response).
This is why we react in ways like not being able to do or say anything to stand up for ourselves (aka, our freeze response).
This is why we react in ways that betray ourselves to appease others, like keeping our relationship calm and stable at our own expense (aka, our fawn response).
This is why we react in ways like getting defensive (aka, our fight response).
If you feel some connection and a baseline level of safety with another person, and you get into a conflict with them, it’s likely your body will automatically go into defense when it feels like there’s a potential for danger. You’ve probably noticed, after the conflict, that being defensive isn’t productive at solving anything. In fact, if one person is defensive, they’re usually defending themselves against the other person, which typically causes the other person’s defenses to go up, too. This kind of pattern and natural progression of amplification is what makes conflict difficult.
Instead of intensifying those negative feelings in your mind and body, take a moment to pause and consciously turn them into curiosity. We all have become unofficial social media investigators. Use those skills to improve your relationship. Just like you’ll go down a rabbit hole online, become obsessed with using those skills in your miscommunications. Become an investigator into the situation, instead of a person in the middle of an emotion-fueled conversation.
Using a quiet, calm voice to ask questions like “What is happening here?” and “What is the problem?” are going to be helpful to get into that detective mode. Looking at the actual problem, rather than concentrating on the other person’s personality defects or failures, is the best route to actually work things out. Once you figure out what the actual issue is, and how you’re seeing or experiencing it differently, you can work together to overcome the problem.
Thinking about conflict as ‘we don’t agree, but I want us to,’ or you at least want to understand each other’s perspectives, helps make disagreements much more neutral. When there are not as many emotions present, things don’t seem so high stakes and it’s easier to stop yourselves and the argument from spirally out of control.
Communicating doesn’t have to be hard. It’s easier if we don’t avoid it. It’s easier if you feel safe. Becoming a detective of the problem tricks your brain into feeling safe. This will give you a more streamlined, natural way of communicating, even if you’re communicating about difficult things. Try it out a couple of times and see how much better it goes! .
Go & Let Love: Free
Healing with Energy
Samhain CelebrationMor Yelvington Energy Healer / Relationship Coach
The celebration of Samhain is a very popular today, among the pagans Samhain is a time to rest, celebrate, reflect and practice rituals
We reflect on the past year and say goodbye to the loved ones we have lost, celebrating and honoring their lives. It is the perfect opportunity for both the youngest and adults to internalize the process of death and everything that the process of loss entails
We can also reflect on our achievements and mistakes, motivating us to move forward Taking up any unfinished project Being better versions of ourselves
For some Samhain means "end of summer" and for others "fire of peace" It is a celebration that lasts three days and three nights, from October 31 to November 2
It is believed that during this period the veil that divides our world from the spirit world thins, allowing for better communication Fires are commonly lit in patios since the fire element has the ability to purify and protect It is celebrated with festivals, costumes, seasonal foods and altars are decorated.
Some simple rituals that you can practice during this season are:
· Clean your house to restore good energy.
· Decorate with pumpkins, candles and your favorite symbols of protection
Offering to your deceased ancestors and loved ones Connect with the spiritual world using your favorite tools
Activities to practice during Samhain:
Take a walk and reflect on issues such as life and death
· Meditate on the changes you have experienced throughout the year. Write about how you have evolved and what you expect next year Cook recipes that you have inherited from your family.
Seasonal meals: Apples, pumpkins, tubers, turnips, courgettes, citron, etc
Seasonal aromas and crystals: Sandalwood, Patchouli, Sage, Citrus, Obsidian, Onyx, Smoky Quartz
Without a doubt, it is the perfect season to practice introspection, meditate, heal, let go of what does not work for you, abandon bad habits, move towards the future guided by your intuition and accompanied by the protection of your beings of light.
Tasseography: The World’s Oldest Fascination!
The first record of coffee grounds being used as a fortune telling tool (as part of what is today known as “Tasseography”) stems from the 16th century and emirates from within modern day Yemen, which was at the time part of the Ottoman Empire The ruling Sultan fell in love with coffee (which was then a naturally occurring wild plant), quickly coming to believe that human productivity and even inspiration itself was driven by drinking extracts from its seed pods. The sheer vastness of the Ottoman Empire facilitated the spread of the use of coffee, the Sultan also soon appointed forty professional coffee makers, based within specialised cafes, serving the revered drink to men at the start of their working day. Whilst fortune telling, natural plant based healing and “witchcraft” have often been scorned, dismissed or sometimes even feared by many people during more recent times, at the height of the Ottoman Empire such practices were widely respected, thus further allowing Tasseography to rise in prominence
The preparation and drinking of coffee was taken extremely seriously by the Ottomans, to the point of it being ritualistic and it was certainly looked upon as a great honour to be invited to enjoy It was also acknowledged as being very important to show due respect for the gift of energy, inspiration and creativity bestowed upon you by coffee, therefore you were typically expected to take up to an hour to consume a single cup of it, with three quarters of that time being dedicated to careful contemplation and meditation whilst slowly sipping the elixir. Favoured women (often those within the Sultan’s harem) were then entrusted to read his or privileged others’ fortunes to them by interpreting the coffee grounds at the bottom of their empty cups. During the above ritual, people were encouraged to talk about their everyday lives to explore more about their true selves in both nature and purpose and therefore to avoid the topics of either business or politics
How would Tasseography work for me?
Like all naturally occurring things, the coffee plant and its seeds have an innate vibrational energy and a unique spirit, which are also transferred to coffee in its liquid form As you held your coffee cup and sipped your drink, reflecting upon your life, your hopes, and your dreams, you would unconsciously impart your own energy into the coffee and its grounds, which in turn would take on a distinct pattern as they eventually settled at the bottom of your cup. For the purpose of Tasseography, you would also be encouraged to pose simple, clearly defined questions at this time, which would again influence the form taken by your coffee grounds You would need to write those questions down on a piece of paper, meditating upon each one as you did so. When you had finished drinking you would gently flip your coffee cup onto its saucer and wait at least ten minutes for the grounds to settle and a pattern to emerge which would then be interpreted by your energy reader or a person with very strong personal intuition, which might include you!
What ingredients and tools would I need for Tasseography?
It is recommended that you use a white coffee cup with a white saucer, good quality Turkish coffee with seeds, a pen, and a piece of paper Remember, whilst drinking your coffee, take your time, relax, and breathe - for an effective reading you must provide yourself with the space to allow yourself to “pay attention to your intention”. If you are interpreting your own reading, trust yourself write down the first five things that you see in the pattern in front of you Your questions are waiting to be answered!
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