How to Soothe Your Nagging Insecurities

How to Soothe Your Nagging Insecurities

How to Soothe Your Nagging Insecurities

I can’t seem to find the right words… 

to convince her of her perfection. 

And each time I fail, the pain in my chest grows stronger. 

I should have the words for her. It’s the very least I should have. After all, she’s my little girl. 

My three-year old daughter has wild, magnificent, big and beautiful curly hair. 

It’s hair that makes a statement. Hair that draws attention. Hair that you either own up to and rock, or you pull back and cover up. 

It’s the hair of a unique, magical, multi-racial little girl. 

And at such a vulnerable age, she’s already fallen prey to comparison. Already wishing her hair looked like her friends. Already trying to change who she is to fit in. Already doubting her innate perfection. 

I’m amazed at all the complicated feelings she’s processing, at such a young age. 

And so I search for the words. Words of praise, words of encouragement, words of love. I give it everything I’ve got, but my messages seem half heard. Through the play and words of a three-year old, her desire for something that will never be hers remains evident.  

And I wonder, if I can’t convince her of her qualities now, when my role in her life is the most influential, how will I ever convince her? 

But I keep trying, because giving up is not an option. 

The Insecurities That Haunt Our Lives… 

As a child and young adult, I struggled with so many things I wanted to change. They haunted me. And so my insecurities directed my life, far more than my strengths.  

We all face struggles like this at some point. We all have things we wish we could change. Our weight, our facial features, our choices and mistakes. 

We long for someone else’s beauty, charisma or success. We try desperately to hide our perceived flaws. We take the shame and hurtful comments others have placed on us and inflict them on ourselves, over and over and over again.  

Learning how to navigate these feelings is part of life, for better or for worse. But we can, and we must, work through these feelings so they don’t get the best of us… 

Decide Who You’ll Believe

As we stood in our building’s elevator a few weeks ago, an older woman came on. As so many do, she commented on my daughter’s hair. 

“Wow, what curly hair you have.”

I wish that statement had been enough, but she continued… 

“Man, you’re gonna hate that hair when you’re older!” 

I quickly covered my daughter’s ears and asked the woman to please not say things like that. But it was too late, her message was heard. And I wondered why someone would feel the need to direct words like that to a young, delicate and impressionable mind. Her intentions weren’t bad, but knowing that didn’t stop my heart from aching.

I wanted to scoop my girl up and erase the words from her mind. I wanted to replace them with all the love and admiration I felt for her in that moment. 

But instead, I felt paralyzed. I wasn’t prepared and I didn’t know the right response. I placed my hands on my daughter’s shoulders and waited for the woman to get off the elevator. 

When she left, I knelt down and looked into my daughter’s eyes. I told her that her hair was so beautiful, the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. 

I left it at that, as I worried about drawing too much attention to the negativity. I’ll never know whose words held more weight, mine or this stranger’s. I could only pray they were mine. 

But as the weeks continued on, her concerns over her hair showed up more and more. She wished it was “long and straight mama, just like Audrey’s” (her friend at school). 

Appreciate Doubt and Shame

For every negative comment uttered to my daughter about her hair, there are ten times as many positive ones, at the very least. People stop us in the street to remark on how beautiful her precious locks are. But I know well enough, it’s the negative comments that sink in the most. 

As I watch my little girl, so perfect in her mama’s eyes, I want nothing more than to shield her from life’s painful messages and feelings. If I could grant her a lifetime without doubt, shame or insecurity, I would. But it’s not possible. And the truth is, I’d be doing her a disservice. 

Learning how to handle hurtful words and painful feelings is part of our journey. Part of what helps us learn the value of compassion and empathy. Part of our climb towards resiliency. And for my little girl to grow strong, it will need to be part of hers.  

Find Your Heroes  

My daughter is blessed with the most amazing, loving and nurturing teachers at her school. I knew I needed more help with this issue, so I confided in them. They were so happy I told them, and said they’d do something to help. 

When I picked my daughter up later that day, her teacher whispered to me that they did a special lesson on how we’re all different and beautiful in our own unique ways. And when I dropped her off at school the next morning, her other teacher, of mixed descent, who always straightens her hair, wore it out curly for the first time. She told my daughter she made her hair curly to try and make it look as beautiful as hers. 

I wanted to hug this wonderful woman and tell her what an amazing teacher she is for caring so much and for going the extra mile. I wanted to tell her how much gratitude I felt for her kindness. But to remain discreet in my daughter’s presence, I simply placed my hand on my heart and mouthed “thank you.”

Thank you to all the wonderful teachers in this world, who spread messages of positivity and acceptance. Thank you to all the kind souls who search for words of encouragement, instead of words of shame. Thank you to all the everyday heroes who take small, often unnoticed, actions to protect and nurture the vulnerable hearts and minds placed in our care. 

Broaden Your Perspective

We are influenced by so many people and things in our world. It’s up to us to choose who we allow to influence us the most. 

In my daughter’s world, I’ve decided to replace some of the fairytale books we read at night with books written for children of mixed descent. Books about different kinds of hair, and what it means to embrace our differences.

As we were reading the other night, she told me that she loved one of the character’s curly hair. I told her that the character’s hair looked just like hers, to which she replied:

“Yeah,” sounding a bit surprised. “Mama? Maybe Audrey wishes she had curly hair just like mine.” 

“Maybe, baby. Maybe.” 

Embrace Your Inner Child

We all face our own set of demons; our own insecurities that take a hold of our lives and steal away way too much of our attention. 

As we battle those insecurities, it helps to think of the inner child within us. The innocent, vulnerable and impressionable child that deserves nothing but positivity, encouragement and acceptance. The inner child that deserves our unconditional love and healing embrace. 

As I’ve watched things unfold for my daughter, I’ve felt a softer spot for my own perceived imperfections. A knowing that I too am deserving of the kind of love I give to my daughters everyday. 

unnamed-1I may not always be able to find the perfect words, but I can try to give my little girl the right tools. The tools to respond to all that life will throw her way. 

So when given a choice, she’ll choose to focus on the words that nurture her strengths, instead of the ones that dim her light.

She’ll chose the role models that teach love and acceptance, instead of ridicule and shame.

She’ll choose to believe in all that she is, instead of all that she isn’t. 

And she’ll rock her big, wild, beautiful curly hair, like only she can.   

~~~~~~~~~

For all those who struggle with loving their own inner child,
I leave you with these final words: 

You cannot choose the words others say to you,
but you can choose the weight you give to those words. 

You cannot choose the physical characteristics you were born with,
but you can choose to rock what you’ve got. 

You cannot choose to erase your past choices or mistakes,
but you can choose to learn from them and move forward. 

You can choose to love your inner child unconditionally,
instead of letting that love be determined by your worst critic. 

You can choose to focus on your growing resiliency,
instead of your shame and regret.

You can choose to let your life be directed by all that you are,
instead of all that you are not.  

And always know that there is someone out there,
who thinks your soul is so beautiful… the most beautiful they’ve ever seen. 

If you know anyone who struggles with self-acceptance, please share this message with them.

What has helped you to soothe your insecurities?  

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What We Really Need to Heal Our Souls…

What We Really Need to Heal Our Souls…

I'll hold you for as long as it takes photo


“I’ll hold you for as long as it takes.” 

The silent promise I give to my little girls. 

Their emotions are so delicate. Their tears so easily triggered.

“I’ll hold you for as long as it takes.” 

I told my three-year old daughter as we stood outside the car in her school parking lot, the rain pouring down on us as she sobbed breathlessly in my arms. 

She didn’t want to go in the car. She just wanted me to stand there, holding her. And I didn’t want to rush her, or tell her to stop crying. 

“I’ll hold you for as long as it takes.” 

I thought as I longed for her to feel what it’s like to have her emotions honored, regardless of what triggered them. 

Allowing for her to cry until she determined she was done, instead of trying to determine it for her. 

“I’ll hold you for as long as it takes.” 

My mind whispers to them daily. Silently praying that through the honoring of both their tears and their joys, I empower their generous and vulnerable hearts. 

Desperate for them to know that no matter how much they hurt, how much they feel or how much they reveal, they are loved, unconditionally.

“I’ll hold you for as long as it takes.” 

Is what I want to tell myself when time feels constantly lacking and the world of a working mother moves at a speed faster than I can fathom. 

Always searching for the simple moments when time seems to stop and I’m able to create the most delicate memories. 

“I’ll hold you for as long as it takes.”  

Are the words I wish we all could hear when we’re feeling shamed, lonely or dismissed. 

Aching for belonging, understanding and purpose. Allowing for our hearts to fully feel and heal before we’re forced to move forward.

“I’ll hold you for as long as it takes.”  

Are the words I longed to hear whenever I felt like the world around me was precarious and untrustworthy. 

And whenever I felt like the world within me was as fragile and breakable as a child’s delicate heart.  

Holding on…

Comforting arms. Love that grounds us. Work that envelopes us.  

A life full of moments we can savor, instead of to-dos and empty status updates. Relationships full of comfort and understanding, instead of judgment and shame. Perspectives full of possibility, instead of fear and doubt. 

We’re taught the importance of always moving forward, for valid reasons of course. But what about the importance of pausing and holding on. 

Holding on to the words, to the imagery, to the emotions that need to be fully felt for us to heal. 

Holding on to moments where life feels like magic, never truly knowing if we’ll get another. 

Holding on to the child, or the friend, or the spouse who simply needs our full presence. 

When I find myself lost in worrying about the future and my husband offers me solutions, I ask him to just hold me instead and tell me all will be okay. It’s in the embrace, not the planning, that I find the security I long for. 

And it’s in that holding on, that I heal and change my perspective to one of hope and possibility. 

Sometimes pausing and holding on is exactly what allows our greatest leaps forward. 

However long… 

In the work I do, I review and edit countless motivational articles. Many brilliant and moving. But I jump from one to the next, as the job demands. 

Sometimes I read something inspirational online or in a book, jumping from one paragraph to the next, knowing how little time I have to devote to any one thing. 

But what I really want is to slow down. I want to cherish the words I read and let them envelop me. I want them to call forth my tears as the emotions they trigger work through me. I want them to hold me for as long as it takes to heal the patches in my soul.

I don’t want to rush, I want to feel. 

I don’t want to find a solution, I want understanding.

I don’t want to move on to the next thing, I want to move deeper within.

However deep the passage. However strong the message. However difficult the emotions.

However long it takes, is sometimes exactly how long we should hold on. 

It takes…

It takes a will of steel to get through some of the challenges life brings us without losing ourselves. IMG_1030

Without crumbling or allowing our worst selves to surface.

A will of steel to stay whole when you feel trampled on. To stay calm when your nerves are flaming. To shine outwardly when you’re stuck deep within. 

As I go through the long hectic days of raising two young kids, while balancing a job I’m fortunate enough to get to do from home, I have to constantly channel that will. Not always perfectly succeeding, but imperfectly giving it my all.

It’s that will that pushes me to try and show up as my best, when exhaustion wants to bring out my worst.

To smile, despite my tired eyes. To brighten, when all they want to do is dance.  

It’s that will that calls for me to hold them, for as long as it takes, even in the pouring rain… 

The Power of Our Silent Promises

It’s the silent promises we make to ourselves and others that shape our world.

photo of daughters The silent promises that keep our actions aligned with our values. That push us to stay loving even when our worst would be more than understandable. 

To create those promises, we need to pause and hold on.

Hold on to the emotions we need to fully feel before moving forward. Hold on to the words that seep into our souls and heal our patches. Hold on to the vision of what life would feel like if we continually honored those promises. 

I will never be able to give my little girls all that they deserve. Their magic exceeds the bounds of my humanness. 

But I can give them my silent promises and hope that those promises always lure my best self forward. 

And so for now, I promise to hold them, for as long as it takes, and I pray that’s all they really need. 

 

5 Things to Tell Yourself When You Need to Feel Empowered

5 Things to Tell Yourself When You Need to Feel Empowered

5 Things to Tell Yourself When You Need to Be Empowered

We all have times in our life when we feel utterly disempowered.

Weak, unimportant, inferior.

A snide remark from a stranger. A friend’s betrayal. A family member who could never love you as you wished they would. Or worse – abuse, neglect, abandonment…

We feel powerless and unworthy. Shamed and betrayed. Unlovable.

We cut deeply and carry those wounds with us. Constantly injuring our future with our past.

We brace for the next assault, instead of opening up to possibility. We hide who we are, instead of living a fully expressed life. We carry shame as our companion, instead of self-compassion.

If only we were given tools to release our shame and empower ourselves, no matter what emotional assaults we were forced to bear. Instead we go through life putting the pieces together slowly on our own, hoping to find healing, but sometimes never succeeding.

Perhaps the tools don’t need to be as complicated as we might imagine. Perhaps they could be simple daily reminders.

For anyone feeling ‘less than,’ here are five things to tell yourself whenever you need to feel empowered: 

1. “I will use my pain as a catalyst for growth.”

Emotional pain is inevitable, it comes fully attached to our humanity. We can’t completely avoid it, but we can decide what we do with it.

No matter what you’ve struggled through in the past, you can empower yourself by choosing the lessons you learn from it.

How can you take your pain and use it to love more openly, instead of withdrawing?

How can you use it to break bad patterns, instead of repeating them?

How can you use it to help others, instead of feeling helpless?

Our struggles define and shape us. But we choose the form we mold into.

Empower yourself by using your pain as a catalyst for growth, depth and expansion.our-struggles-define-and-shape-us-but-we-choose-the-form-we-mold-into-1

2. “I am in full control of my thoughts and actions.”

We can’t always control what happens to us in life. We can’t change how others treat us, avoid loss or solve all our day-to-day problems in an instant.

But we can always pause and mindfully take control of our inner dialogue and the way we respond to what life throws at us.

This takes practice, perseverance and an endless amount of patience with ourselves and others. It takes an iron will. But it is possible.

Life can bring you to your knees. But even then, your thoughts and actions remain totally in your control. No one can take that from you.

When we forget this, we aggressively react to life and snowball down an emotionally slippery slope where we find ourselves completely out of control.

It can feel like life controls us, instead of the other way around.

When this starts to happen, remind yourself that you are in full control. You can envision the best version of yourself, and strive to choose the thoughts, responses and actions that live up to that vision.

3. “I am worthy. I am worthy. I am worthy.”

If there’s something you want in life, whether it’s a loving relationship, a better work environment, or perhaps forgiveness, always remind yourself that you are worthy.

If you don’t believe in that fundamental truth, what you long for may continually elude you.

No matter what you’ve experienced or what mistakes you’ve made along the way, you are worthy of a new beginning.

Your forgiving heart, your compassionate soul, your humanity, all make you worthy.

Worthy of the love, worthy of belonging, worthy of achievement, worthy of a second chance, or perhaps a third.

Believe that you are worthy and you will open your heart to possibility.

Believe that you are worthy and you will subconsciously walk in the direction you’re longing for.

Believe that you are worthy and you will find that your life aligns with the feelings you’ve craved all along.

4. “Everyday is a new beginning.”  

When we feel like less than we are, we make a lot of mistakes. We doubt our instincts, do things we regret, don’t do things we wish we had.

And so we make mistakes in our relationships, in our career, in everything. And then we beat ourselves up, endlessly.

Forgive yourself. It’s not your fault – you are an imperfect human being, just like the rest of us.

We are all bound to make mistakes. Some of those mistakes will completely shatter us and take time to heal. They can’t be undone but they can strengthen the paths we follow next.

If your heart is in the right place, what matters most is what you learn from your mistakes. How can you use them to do better, love more fully, help others more selflessly?

We can’t change what has been done, but we can change every single step we take forward from there and start fresh each day with a stronger, wiser and more empowered beginning.

5. “I have the power to impact the world.” 

I firmly believe that if you positively impact one person’s life, you impact the world. You never know where the ripple effect of any one small action will end.

The friend who pushes you to your potential. The teacher who never gives up on their struggling student. The mother who teaches her child the value of compassion. The ripple effects can be world changing.

No matter what you’ve experienced in life, you have that power.

We think our struggles rob us of our might, but the opposite is true. It is our struggles that equip us with the tools we need to leave the greatest impact on others and the world around us.

So whenever you’re feeling disempowered, remember that the power to change the world lies within you.

You Can Live an Empowered Life 

You don’t have to go through life feeling like you’re powerless. You can live a fully expressed life that’s full of possibility.

But when feelings of inferiority or lack creep in, as they inevitably do, constantly remind yourself of the above. Then find the lessons you need to learn and create your new beginning.

Before you know it, you will never again think to question your worth.

What helps you to feel empowered?

 

5 Regrets All Sensitive Souls Should Avoid

5 Regrets All Sensitive Souls Should Avoid

5 Regrets All Sensitive Souls Should Avoid

Most of us grow up learning the wrong messages about sensitivity.

And so we spend large parts of our lives trying to “handle” it and work around it, instead of thriving within it.

In doing so, we steal something from ourselves. Our confidence, our softness, our graceful power, our ability to feel fully alive.

And so we live within emotional prisons of our own making. Trying to fit a norm instead of living authentically to who we are.

With that can come regrets. And while there’s nothing we can do to change the past, we can be mindful of how we want to live now, and the regrets we want to avoid.

Below are five regrets all sensitive souls should avoid from this day forward: 

1. Not Protecting Your Softness

In my eyes, softness is something to aspire to.

When my daughter cries so hard she can hardly breathe, it’s my softness that gently embraces her, honors her emotions and helps her to release them, free of shame or judgment.

When my husband lets down his guard and shares his inner struggles with me, it’s his soft side that I see and find the deepest connection with.

When my friends see through my sleepless exhausted early motherhood eyes and know that the real me is still in there, it’s their softness that allows them hold a patient spot for me in their hearts.

When I lose my patience, snap, and feel nothing but bitterness, I know I’ve deviated from the softness that I long for and long to give. And I try to find my way back.

The chips on our shoulder, the agendas we place on others, the harshness we inflict, those are all deviations from love. They make the world feel bleak and scary.

Yet it’s our softness that we often view as the culprit. We’re not tough enough. Our skin isn’t thick enough. Our voice isn’t loud enough.

Act tough and hard, never soft.

Respectfully, I disagree. Find your softness. Honor it. Protect it. And share it with others.we-often-believe

2. Believing There’s Something Wrong With You

Almost every email I receive from readers, starts with the following words:

“For most of my life, I believed there was something fundamentally wrong with me.”

Life is so short, but this is the feeling so many of us carry around in our hearts.

We go through life believing that we are broken, damaged and unworthy. And so we spend so much time trying to hide ourselves, trying to fit in, trying to simply keep the peace.

We apologize for our feelings, for getting in the way, for being reactive. For our very existence.

It’s such a shame.

For each person who has gone through life carrying this empty feeling in their heart, I honor you. And I ask that you let this feeling go.

There is nothing wrong with you simply because you feel deeply, quite the contrary. You will find so much more joy within yourself, and give so much more to the world, once you stop telling yourself this story and instead start focusing on your strengths.

3. Not Trusting Yourself

When we live our lives trying to fit a norm, instead of embracing who we really are, we lose trust in ourselves. Subconsciously, we begin to doubt our every feeling. As a result, we often end up allowing things into our life that we shouldn’t.

We stay in bad relationships, we put up with things that hurt us, we pursue careers that aren’t meant for us.

I know I did.

I allowed so many things in my life that I shouldn’t have, for the simple reason that I didn’t trust myself.

I didn’t believe in my capabilities. I didn’t listen to my intuition. I didn’t love myself enough to set boundaries.

And so I didn’t follow the paths that called to me. I tolerated things I shouldn’t have. I didn’t ask for help when I desperately needed it.

Now, I choose to trust myself. When people tell me to go back to being a corporate lawyer so I can make the big bucks, I stop them and tell them that I choose to live in alignment with my authentic self, even if that means less money.

When relationships come into my life that feel suffocating and toxic, I ease away from them.

And, perhaps the hardest thing for me of all, when I’m completely overwhelmed by all that life is demanding of me, I ask for help.

The more you trust and honor yourself, the better you’ll craft a life that suits your unique feelings, desires and needs.

4. Letting Worry and Guilt Consume You

As sensitive souls, we worry so much about our emotional footprint. Did we say the wrong thing? Do the wrong thing? Act the wrong way?

Just when I think I’ve come so far with treating myself well, close friends will point out how harshly I’m actually addressing myself and my perceived errors. It’s only when they reflect my words back to me that the reality becomes clear.

We all make mistakes. We all have to live and learn. But to make mistakes and then beat yourself up endlessly for them, is a rough way of living.

You can choose to obsess over your perceived errors, or you can choose to live. You can choose to treat yourself horribly, or you can choose to treat yourself with the forgiving and graceful heart you give to others.

These aren’t choices you make once, you make them over and over again every time you begin to feel consumed by thoughts of your missteps.

Sensitive people can be zones of comfort for others, but war zones internally.

End the war, show yourself the compassion you share so generously with others.

5. Not Finding Joy in All the Feelings

There is joy in the tears. Joy in the struggles. Joy in all the ups and downs.

As I go through early motherhood, I constantly face the choice – do I feel the joy or do I only feel the struggle?

The last year with two little ones while juggling a new career has quite possibly been the hardest year of my life. But it’s also been the best year of my life. And when I’m being consumed by chaos and sleep deprivation, I have to constantly look for the joy. Because it’s there. It’s always there when you look for it.

Things don’t have to be perfect to feel happy. Perfect never comes. It’s up to us to find happiness within the imperfections. Within the chaos. Within the roller coaster of heightened emotions. Within the tough lessons.

I’m learning to find joy in my exhaustion, because I know I’m fully living. Joy in my longings, because they lure me forward when I’m too tired to think. Joy in my anguish, because the lessons I learn will guide my life.

And when my little girls look at me, I want them to see the mama who finds joy in every moment, no matter how hard life can get. And so no matter what, I’ll keep looking for it.

A Life Without Regrets?

We may not be able to avoid all regrets, but some of them are within our control.

Our belief in ourselves, our softness, our happiness, we’ve probably all given those away, or had them taken, at some point in our lives.

But every day is a new beginning. We can choose a new path.

A path that honors our sensitive emotions, with no regrets.

xo,
Liz 

How to Attract Peaceful & Nurturing Relationships

How to Create Peaceful Loving Relationships-2

I used to think relationships had to always be hard.

Full of strife, jealousy and distrust. Subject to harsh words, crossing the line, anger and resentment.

And I found myself in relationship after relationship, whether friendship or romantic, that only confirmed this.

I was convinced I would always have to either suffer in silence or fight for myself. Fight to be heard, fight to escape control, fight to be seen for who I am. 

I remember being in one romantic relationship where the fighting seemed endless. It reflected everything I didn’t want in my life, but it also reflected my subconscious beliefs. Beliefs that relationships can’t ever feel easy, that they had to hurt, that they had to weaken us. Beliefs that I wasn’t good enough to expect something better. I knew it was those beliefs that brought that relationship into my life. Eventually, I just couldn’t take it anymore… 
 
I wanted peace. I wanted understanding. I wanted my relationships to feel calm, nurturing and, most of all, respectful. 
 
I wanted relationships that brought the best out of me, not the worst. 
 
I wanted relationships that I knew I could count on, even when I was at my worst. 
 
I wanted relationships that I could nurture wholeheartedly, without worrying about the repercussions of exposing my vulnerability. 
 
And so I began to make changes that would ultimately fill my life up with these relationships. 
 
I nurtured the friendships that gave me the feelings I longed for, and set boundaries with those that didn’t. And I fell in love with a calm, peaceful partner to share my life and home with.
 
These relationships aren’t perfect, nor am I perfect within them. They require work, commitment and dedication. They include bickering and frustration. And within them I sometimes lose my patience, get grumpy or don’t give my best.

But they are always respectful. They never cross the line. They don’t hold grudges. And they feel like a gift to my life every single day. And when things get thrown off course, both parties are always willing to try harder, to communicate more openly and to love more generously. It’s never about proving who’s right or wrong, it’s about working together towards solutions. 
 
If you’re struggling to attract relationships that feel peaceful, whether friendships or romantic, here are a few things that helped me along the way…

Recognize the subconscious beliefs that sabotage you 

It’s often said that our outer life is a reflection of our inner life. I believe this to be true. 
 
I knew I held beliefs that were causing me to attract the types of relationships I didn’t want. And until I got really clear on those beliefs, and chipped away at them, I would always relive them. 
 
If you constantly find yourself in relationships full of emotional chaos, you likely have subconscious beliefs that are playing a role. 
 
Those beliefs can’t be ignored, or they will fester and continuously sabotage you. 
 
Face those beliefs. Get clear on what they are and where they came from. Figure out how they’re leading your life without you even realizing it. 
 
If you don’t want your subconscious beliefs to continue to sabotage you, you must become very clear on all the ways they permeate your thoughts and actions.  

Believe that peaceful relationships are possible  

Despite living through one rocky relationship after another, I chose to believe that longterm peaceful relationships were possible. And I held tight to that belief. 

 
I looked for evidence of this belief wherever I could find it. I found role models to admire and created standards for myself to live by. I held tight to the friendships that made me feel the peace and security I longed for. I let go of relationships that felt too hurtful.  
 
Slowly but surely, my belief in what was possible, changed my actions. And changed who I attracted into my life, and who I was attracted to. 
 
In the Harvard Study of Adult Development, the longest study on adult development ever conducted, Robert Waldinger, a Clinical Psychiatry Professor at Harvard Medical School, determined that the key to staying happy and healthy as we go through life, isn’t money or fame (as most people assume), it’s healthy longterm relationships. It’s not about the number of people in your life, it’s the quality of your close relationships that matters. Staying in high conflict relationships is even more harmful to our health and happiness than going through a divorce.

That knowledge alone, is worth changing your beliefs for. 

Determine exactly how you want to feel

If there’s one thing that changed things for me the most profoundly, it’s being extremely clear on how I wanted to feel every day. I had no ambiguity, I knew exactly what I didn’t want, and exactly what I did want. And so I knew  what to run away from, and what to run towards. 
 
So often we get so used to something that we don’t think of there being a different way. If we’re used to being treated a certain way, we end up in relationships that mirror that. It’s what we’re used to, it’s habitual, it’s a pattern we recognize, it’s life. And so we stay stuck, feeling crappy and wounded everyday. Feeling like everything has to be so hard.
 
But if you believe that there’s a better way, and determine exactly how life will feel like once you achieve it, you can slowly start to live your way towards it. 
 
All you have to do is envision it, in as much detail as you can. Make your vision come alive, expect it to enter your life, and then settle for nothing less.  

Know that you’re worth it

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When we don’t believe in ourselves, we stay stuck in relationships that hurt us. We don’t believe we have a voice. We don’t believe we can do better. We don’t believe we have other options.
 
To change things, you have to know your value. You have to love yourself as generously as you want others to love you. You have to hold your life to higher standards. 
 
If you struggle with self-confidence, this isn’t always easy to do. I know. 
 
But you have to make the choice. The choice of knowing that you’re worth it. Because trust me, you are.

xo,
Liz 

 

A Baby Girl…


I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl on December 16, 2014. 
We named her, Havyn.

Her and her two year old sister, Rayne, have been quite the hand full 🙂 I’ve been relishing both the bliss and utter chaos of it all.

I hope 2015 has been off to a magical start for everyone. I’ll be back blogging here soon!

Lots of love!

Baby pic

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Baby pic

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How to Manage Your Time as an Introvert

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Sometimes it’s hard to keep up as an introvert in this overly connected world. 

Between work, kids, family, friends, pets, errands, social media, etc., life has a way of sweeping you up.

Even the weekends, your “free time”, can start to feel like hectic energy depleting overly scheduled days.   

The world often demands so much. And the more you give, the more it takes. 

Before you know it, you’re living in reaction mode instead of in control of your life and your energy.

If you’re an introvert, protecting and restoring your energy is vital. 

For much of my life I didn’t understand this and so I wondered why I was chronically tired, overwhelmed and depleted. 

It took me a long time to realize where I was going wrong…

The Wrong Way to Fill an Introverted Schedule 

I used to fill up days based on chunks of time. Weekends included. 

And so if my husband said to me, can we do X, Y, and Z on Saturday, I’d look at my calendar, see that the time was free, and say sure. And then when the day came, I carried through with all the obligations I had agreed to and wondered why I was depleted for the next three days. 

While I love being social, I am truly introverted (and sensitive). My cells require a lot to recharge. 

Free chunks of time on the calendar can become a deceiving trap. Before you know it you’ll fill up your schedule and then wonder why your health is suffering, your energy is non-existent and you can barely pull yourself up from the couch.

If you also have energy that drains quickly, you need to protect it. You can do so by changing your mindset from time management to energy management.

Here are 5 energy management tips for introverts: 

1. Limit To-Dos to Top Priority Items. 

If you have limited energy, there are only so many to-do’s you can get through in one day. 

My ambitions used to cause me to try to schedule an insane amount of “productivity” into my days. That meant scheduling ten or more tasks, depleting myself completely and negatively impacting my health.

To protect a limited supply of energy, it’s best to live by the 80/20 rule. 80% of what we do is complete crap, only 20% matters. Only do the 20% the matters and forget the rest. 

Life will not fall apart but you will if you don’t abide. 

2. Block Out Time for Recharging Your Energy.

Every day in your calendar should account for down time.

Whether that’s reading a book, taking a long bath, watching your favorite show or just relaxing and talking with your loved one, it’s schedule worthy. 

I personally need an hour of down time before I go to bed. Time where I do nothing. Where the computer stays closed, the work stops, the emails don’t get looked at, I don’t answer the phone, and I can just do whatever I want. I can feel my cells finally relaxing, opening up and refueling themselves. 

Without this, my sleep is restless, my next morning is cranky and the whole tone of the day gets thrown off. 

Whatever it is that makes you feel relaxed, schedule it in. Let your cells replenish.  

3. Never Schedule Social Activities Based on Time Availability.

This is where introverts need to be somewhat selfish. To me this doesn’t come naturally, it took me years to really understand and respect my boundaries enough to protect them.

Before becoming a mom I’d often agree to social obligations simply because the time was free on my calendar. 

Time and time again I’d find myself trapped in an overly scheduled week that wore me down to my core. 

I no longer look at my calendar based on its day to day availabilities. When asked to participate in social activities, even when it’s weeks in advance, I look to see how many other activities are already scheduled for that week. Just because the time is free does not mean that I am fee. 

My personal limit is one social activity per week. More than that and I am wiped out. I make exceptions here and there but I know that to thrive, I can really only handle one big outing.

Know what your limits are and say no to requests that push those limits too far. 

4. Plan to Sleep Abundantly.

Skimping on sleep backfires every single time.

You may convince yourself that you can get by without enough. You may tell yourself ‘just this one night I’ll stay up crazy late to get everything done’, it’s fine.

But sadly it takes you two days to recover from that decision. So ultimately you lose more than you gained. 

The more well rested you are, the more efficiently you can get through your days. 

Scheduling in adequate sleep may be the most important time management trick in your arsenal. 

5. Schedule Complete Solitude.

I love being a mom. It’s the greatest gift life has ever given me. And I give 100% of myself to my daughter when I’m with her. But in doing so, I also deplete myself. 

I’ve realized that I don’t fully recharge unless I get time completely alone all to myself. So once a week on the weekends I send my husband off for a little quality time with our peanut and I stay home, alone. 

As long as I am completely alone (other than our dog of course), I can feel my energy regenerating.

If you’re a social introvert like myself, making sure to schedule in complete solitude can save you from a massive burn out.

The Truth About an Introvert’s Schedule… 

As introverts we need to protect our energy, but we are not weak.

We give intensely, whether it’s at work or with family or friends.

We give deep thought and concentrated effort to our tasks. 

Our friends may not see us quite as often, but the time we do give them is concentrated, not a moment wasted, not a word unheard.

Our introspective souls may deplete easily but it’s only because of the soulful intensity we bring forth in every interaction. 

To protect that intensity we must accept and honor our unique needs.

We must manage our energy instead of our time.  

 

The Top 12 Strengths of a Sensitive Soul

The Top 12 Strengths of a Sensitive Soul

Photo of me & my baby

Being sensitive can be hard.

I know so many people who describe themselves as having a sensitive soul. Most of them have spent the majority of their lives resenting this part of themselves.

They feel weak. Fragile. Misunderstood.

They often wish they could “be stronger.”

They don’t realize how much strength they already have…

The Power of Sensitivity

Being sensitive is full of strengths. And not just any strengths…

The type of strengths that have the power to change the world.

The more you recognize and embrace these strengths, the more you’ll view your sensitivity as one of your favorite parts of yourself. 

Here are 12 strengths you likely possess that you should never underestimate… 

1. Intuition

Sensitivity gives you a heightened intuition. Your acutely alert cells are deeply in tune with the world around you.

You notice everything. You see the world in colors of emotion.

What your brain is unable to decide, your soul is able to feel.  

Use that intuition. Let it guide every step of your life.

Don’t allow fears or insecurities to block its wisdom.

Honor it. It is one of the greatest strengths of being a sensitive soul.

2. Presence

When others talk, you listen. 

When loved ones simply need silence, you’re there, quietly.

When they need words of comfort, you have them. 

Your sensitivity leads you to give people your full presence.

You don’t check your phone, you don’t dismiss, you don’t ignore.

You’re there, fully, respectfully, generously and lovingly. Looking them in the eye. 

Your presence is a gift. And it’s priceless. 

3. Depth. 

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Your soul runs deep.

You feel levels of emotions most run from.

You don’t cower away from pain, you couldn’t even if you tried.

You embody it. You let it run through you.

Its sharp edges, its overwhelming torrent, carving depths of wisdom within you most can’t understand.

Those depths help you see the truths of the world, the truths within people that go unnoticed by most.

You detract the meaningless and extract the profound. You find the life lessons and you live by them. 

Your depth is an invaluable treasure. 

4. Empathy

Emotions transfer to you. You take them as your own. 

The pain of others. The unfairness of the world. It enters and flows through you.

You don’t need to experience it directly, you just need to witness it to make it yours. 

This can be hard. But it’s also empowering. 

You’ll walk through fire to protect those who need it, because you know just how real their pain is.

You’ll fight for what’s right, because living with what’s wrong hurts your soul.

You’ll protect and defend with surprising fearlessness, when others who seemed so strong cower away.

And you have an understanding of fairness that most seem blind to.

Without your empathic soul, the world would suffer.

5. Compassion

Your empathetic soul breeds compassion.

You treat others as you would like to be treated, because you know so well how it feels to experience the opposite.

You protect those who are weaker than you, because your sense of justice overrides any insecurities you may have.

Animals flock to you, because their wise sixth sense knows they can trust you.

You honor nature, because you know its healing powers. 

It is compassion that changes the world. A heavy burden only the strongest souls can carry.

6. Strength 

Many believe it’s a weakness to feel so much. They’re wrong.

The more emotions you feel, the stronger you become.

Those who shove their emotions aside, create a weak foundation. 

Because you feel so deeply, and process so thoroughly, you have a surprising solidity. 

You can handle more than most because you are used to feeling more.

Your soft exterior is an elegant touch to a fortified interior.

Your beautiful softness layered with strength creates nothing short of a masterpiece. 

7. Peacefulness

Your very comfort zone – a state of peace.

Where others inject chaos, turmoil, disrespect and general mayhem, you bring the peace.

Your enlightened soul demands it. When it’s not available, you suffer, because your soul knows better.

This yearning guides you. It tells you who and what to avoid. And who and what to embrace.

It tells you what you can put up with and what is intolerable.

It leads you and sets your standards.

Listen to your cravings for peace, they are the wise yearnings of an otherwise selfless soul.   

8. Commitment

You don’t give your emotions away freely. You know the consequences of that.

And so you conserve them for those you can trust. Those who can stand the test of time.

And when you find those people, you treasure them.

You stand by them, you honor them, you’re there for them when they need you.

You see the sacred union in your relationships, and so you may have fewer of them, but they run deeper than most.

Your love and friendship are a blessing.

9. Health

Your body feels everything. It tells you what’s good for you and what’s not.

While others can trash their bodies and keep on moving, your body is too wise for that. It doesn’t want you to reach the point of no return. 

If you listen to it, you thrive. If you ignore it, you suffer.

You can’t get away with some of the indulgences others can. Too much coffee, alcohol, etc. It breaks you down.

Listen to your body, honor its sensitive wisdom, and you will thrive. 

10. Work Ethic

 Your sensitive soul has fears, but hard work isn’t one of them.

You’re an asset in any task, because you do whatever it takes to hold up your end of the bargain.

You hate to disappoint and so you constantly over deliver.

You must protect yourself and not ware yourself down but you should also take pride in your dedication.

Know the value you bring. Respect your time and all that it’s worth.

11. Grace

You’re kind. You’re conscientious. You’re respectful.

You say “please” and “thank you.” And you mean it.

You’re not rude. You don’t degrade. You don’t belittle.

You give people the respect they need to be themselves. You bring out their authenticity.

You have a humble softness that puts people at ease. That lets them breathe.

The qualities you seek in nature – the peace, the beauty, the serenity, the respect for life – you embody.

Cherish your grace, as others undoubtedly already cherish you for it. 

12. Love

Sensitivity is love.

When you’re hurt emotionally, it’s because there’s been a deviation from that love.

There’s no shame in the feelings you experience because of that.

Your sensitivity is your moral compass. It breeds love and protection in the world.

Without sensitivity, what would our world look like? How harsh would it be? How empty?

Sometimes the world just gets things wrong… 

Sensitivity, like vulnerability, is mislabeled by those who don’t know better as a weakness. In reality, it’s the opposite – it’s a strength the world needs more of.

Just because you are deeply in tune with your emotions does not make you weak. It makes you fully alive.

Just because you experience feelings more intensely than others does not mean you’re broken. It means you’re fully awake.

Insensitivity is a curse. Sensitivity is a blessing.

Never doubt the power you have within you. Your strengths are real and they are significant.

Protect them.

It’s strengths like these that can transform someone’s life. It is strengths like these that can change the world.

As a sensitive soul, you possess unique powers. 

All you have to do is believe in them.

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9 Mind Tricks for Conquering Overwhelm

9 Mind Tricks for Conquering Overwhelm

9 Mind Tricks for OverwhelmOverwhelm is messy. 

Life can feel like an endless sea of to-dos, responsibilities, chores, deadlines and appointments. 

Sometimes it all just feels like too much. Like you just can’t keep up. Like the world is asking for too much. 

You’re exhausted and you’re not getting the time your sensitive cells need to recharge.  

I’ve been feeling like this a lot lately. I’m currently a full-time lawyer in New York City, the very capital of overwhelm. I have an hour and 15 minute commute every day that involves a bus, a train and a 20 minute walk (sometimes run…).

I’m a never-enough-time mama to the most magical 17 month old pixie in the galaxy who fights sleep with comet strength and stands firm in the belief that I should be her mattress. I spent the first 13 months of her life in utter chronic sleep deprivation and it still often takes me 2 hours to get her to sleep at night.  

I have my darling hubby, our Chow/Shepherd rescue dog, and an abundance of friends and family who I want to nourish and cherish.  

And then there’s all the cooking, juicing, cleaning, dishes, laundry, bottles, bills, mail, email, doctors, dentists, blogging, plans, decisions and general mayhem screaming for my attention. Oh my!  

So yeah, I am very familiar with the ingredients that cook up overwhelm. And my sensitive cells need peace and relaxation, perhaps more than others.  

But it’s also very important to me that I not embody overwhelm. I did for many years of my life, always feeling like life was running me over. That is no way to live. 

I’ve learned that overwhelm is a choice. It’s a state of mind that can be adjusted. 

1. The Zen in Overwhelm 

I used to be an extremely stressed out person. I was constantly short of breath, I had anxiety attacks, and I knew nothing of living in the moment. I lived entirely in fear of the future and regret of the past. 

And then something happened. I lost my best friend tragically. It was the worst thing that’s ever happened to me. 

I was in the middle of law school and her loss brought my world to a halt. Reality as I knew it changed completely. 

It took me awhile to get out of the black haze that is death. But once I did, life was different. I understood its impermanence. I felt its gift. I knew there was a better way to feel everyday, no matter what reality I was living. 

From then on, life stopped running me over. And I started living in the moment.    

Overwhelm happens to all of us. But you can give two different people the same exact scenarios and one will rise to the occasion and handle things with joy and the other will crumble and drag everyone down with them. 

So I constantly ask myself, which person do I want to be? Sometimes I fail and fall into a pit of despair and anxiety, but I work hard to find my way back. And I surround myself with people, like my loving husband, who help me get there. 

It’s up to each of us to find the zen in our overwhelm.  

2. The Truth About Overwhelm 

The truth about overwhelm is that much of it is self-created. 

With the schedule I’ve been keeping for the past year as a mama who works full time at a demanding job, I’ve often felt I’ve earned the right to declare an unfair amount of overwhelm. 

So I had to take a hard look at the chaos I was facing and admit to myself that a lot of it, I was creating. On top of my job and baby I was trying to burn the midnight oil, squeezing everything I wanted out of life into the few nighttime hours I had. And I burnt out, badly. 

So I looked at all I was putting on my plate and started drastically eliminating. It’s what my current situation required. 

No one can do everything and when we put that kind of pressure on ourselves every day feels like a disappointment. 

If we keep our goals simple and achievable everyday can feel like a win and overwhelm won’t win the battle.

3. The Importance of Honoring Your Needs

When I was burning the midnight oil and burning out I was blatantly ignoring my body and mind’s needs. 

I’m a sensitive soul with a side of fire. I’m an introvert who also loves to socialize. I’m all about fairness and self-improvement while working in the ego-filled corporate law word. I need daily emotional detoxing to rejuvinate and reenergize my cells from all this back and forth. If I don’t get it, I don’t function. 

No matter what your schedule, finding time for exercise, down time, reading a book, watching a movie, doing yoga, or whatever else it is that rejuvinates you, is essential. 

When I wasn’t doing this for myself, I couldn’t be the employee or mother that I wanted to me. You must take care of yourself first to do the best you can for others. 

4. The Strength in Asking for Help 

I would be lost without the people in my life who make up my support system. I do what I can and then I ask for help with the rest. 

It is not heroic to take on all burdens. It’s not empowering to be the martyr of your own life. It takes strength and a humble sense of self to know when you just have too much. 

Hire out and automate all that you can. And surround yourself with the right people and you’ll find an abundance of helping hands. 

5. The Force Created by Envisioning Your Future

Doing your best to handle the overwhelm you’re facing does not mean you have to accept it forever. If things aren’t working in your current situation, change them. 

Sometimes that takes patience. Sometimes it takes work. And it definitely takes a lot of vision. 

Imagine your future reality. Play it out. Go deep into the specifics of it. What conversations will take place to make it happen? What are the exact words that will be spoken? What life decisions will need to be made? When will they need to be made by? What will need to be cut out of your life? What can you do right now to start down this path? 

The more you envision it, the more you make it part of your reality. And so you slowly creep towards it until suddenly you’re walking in the version of reality you had been imagining. 

6. The Never Ending Power of Breath

Your to-do list is overflowing. Breathe.
You’re late to pay those bills. Breathe.
Someone else wants something else from your, ASAP. Breathe. 

What absolutely needs to get done, will get done. What can wait, will wait. And it will all be okay.  

Breathe to remind yourself of the abundance within you. Breathe to remind yourself that you are in control. Breathe to remind yourself that you deserve to be prioritized. 

7. The Lessons in Overwhelm  

Overwhelm is a teacher. It shows us what we want and what we need out of life. And it shows us all the many things we can do without. 

Find the lesson in everything. Learn from it. And let that lesson guide you down the right path. 

It’s the people who drown in their own misery who don’t grow. Those who fight through and find the light at the end of the overwhelming tunnel are the ones who win at life. 

8. The Joy in Living Fully

Life may sometimes seem like a ball of chaos, but that means you’re living it. 

Life may seem like it’s getting the best of you, but know that you’re giving it your best. 

Overwhelm may feel exhausting, but it is far better than idleness. 

You are living. You are experiencing. You are gathering information and making powerful choices everyday about what you want for your life. 

You are not sitting around doing nothing. The word “bored” isn’t even a part of your vocabulary. 

You’re living, actively. You’re engaging, constantly. And you’re growing, spiritually. Every step of the overwhelming way. 

 

9. The Power of You

No matter what overwhelm you’re facing, it is not greater than you. 

You bring a life time of experiences and wisdom to everything you face. Use that experience to rise to the occasion. Challenge yourself to find the joy. Find ways to constantly nourish yourself. 

If things aren’t working, envision the change. Let the lessons you’ve learned guide you to greater paths.

You are greater, stronger and more powerful than any situation you might face. But you have to believe that for it to be true. 

Believe in the power of you and overwhelm will have no power over you. 

 

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What To Do When Loved Ones Disappoint You

What To Do When Loved Ones Disappoint You

What to do when loved ones disappoint youI was deeply disappointed by a loved one recently. I expected them to respond to something a certain way but they had the opposite reaction. Their reaction stopped me in my tracts slapping me out of the emotional tunnel vision I had created for the situation.

I didn’t know how to respond when the words they mouthed counteracted so exactly with the words I had created for them in my anticipating mind.

And so I quickly switched topics and carried the emotional weight of my disappointment with me for the rest of the day.

I took their reaction personally. I saw it as a reflection of their love, or lack thereof, for me. I began closing doors in my mind that I had enjoyed leaving wide open.

It took me some time to uncover the truths in the situation. Not my reactive ego based truths (i.e., they don’t love me, they’re selfish, I don’t need them), the deeper ever-present truths. The truths that exist in most disappointments of this nature.

Here are my findings, I hope they help you heal stronger and faster the next time you’re disappointed in such a way.

1. Each person’s individual reality crafts their words and choices, it’s not personal.

I took the words I received personally because they didn’t fit into my version of reality. My self-centric thinking blinded me from seeing all the cards on the table. I was only seeing things from my perspective, with my history, my memories, my sensitivities, my vulnerabilities, my hopes and my desires.

By expecting someone else’s response to line up with all that encompasses me, I was turning a blind eye to all that creates them. Their history, their defenses, their sensitivities, their desires. Those were the things that formed their words. 

Understanding this allowed me to shift to a fuller perspective, instead of drowning in self-sorrow.

Being disappointed by others teaches valuable lessons in how to observe and respect people’s limitations, without feeling like it’s all personal. 

2. People often say things they don’t mean.

With some distance, I could see that the person’s reaction I experienced was not their truth. They were simply giving a knee jerk reaction based on defenses they’ve built over time.

Defenses are walls built up to protect the vulnerabilities lying within us. Only with patience and perspective can you see beyond someone’s defenses to their truth. 

Sometimes we present things in ways that hit people’s triggers. Sometimes their disappointing responses have more to do with their own internal battles than the battles we are imagining between them and us.

And sometimes people aren’t their best self, just as we aren’t always our best selves. And so instead of taking things so personally, we should be extending loving energy to them and praying for their healing, as we seek to heal ourselves.

If I had quickly written that person off due to their disappointing reaction I would have not only disrespected the history we have between us, I would have lost out on the joy they bring to my life.

Sometimes it’s not the words that are spoken, but the truths we hear with our hearts that should guide us.

3. Taking things too personally does not serve you.

As I was experiencing the hurt, I started to ask myself, how is this helping me? How is taking this so personally affecting me and is it worth it? How can I turn the tables on this to claim my power over my emotions back?

I claimed it back by forgiving them and choosing to honor their reality.

If we take one person’s words too personally, that hurt seeps into all aspects of our lives. And that one person suddenly becomes infinitely powerful, with words they probably weren’t even putting too much thought in.

If you want to take words personally, chose the words that elevate you, the compliments you’ve received, the thanks, the love. Take those words very personally.

You get to choose how much things affect you. Only you can give weight to the power of the words you hear or read. Choose those words wisely.

4. You are Whole.

There are no words on this planet that can rob your self-worth if you truly believe yourself to be worthy. 

There is no one who can dim your light if your flame ignites from deep within.

There is no situation that can erase your loveliness, because that beauty was drawn in permanent marker, by a power much greater than ourselves.

Believe these words and you won’t lose yourself to any disappointment. 

Ironically, after completely this analysis, the person who disappointed me came to me with the words I had expected them to speak. Words grounded in love. I had never shot them down for their reaction. I hadn’t cut them off or engaged in a battle. I knew there were deeper truths that would be spoken and I did the healing I needed to do so that those words would feel welcome, whenever they were ready to form.

Life and people are imperfect. We’ll get disappointed and we’ll disappoint, over and over again. It’s up to you to choose your perspective and the weight you give each disappointment over your life. Practice love and forgiveness you’ll soar lightly at the heights your beautiful soul deserves.

How do you deal with disappointment like this? As always, thanks for being here!

xo