You can unlearn their stories



It’s real easy for me to seek outside myself for the answers.

What should I wear?
What should I say?
What books should I read?
What should I eat?
What course should I take?
Who should I follow?
What should I study?
Who should I trust?

My questions all some version of “What’s the right thing to do?”

One of my biggest drivers is to not be wrong.

In that state, I was at the mercy of everyone else while simultaneously reinforcing the (total BS, but very real) story that I can’t be trusted.

Here’s what I learned to do

Step 1 – I redefined “right”

For me, what’s “right” is what feels good for me at the moment.

My inner protector immediately said, “Absolutely not. We cannot trust ourselves with what feels good.” 👈🏻That’s part of our patriarchal programming.

I listened and acknowledged their fears. “You’re right. It is scary. And, it is going to be super fucking uncomfortable until it’s not and that’s okay. We’re going to be with it together. I’m going to be with you and we’re going to learn how to move with the discomfort and fear.”

And we did.
And we are.

Step 2 – Practice the ask

I ask myself + my body what she wants. Wants to eat, wants to wear, wants to read, wants to study, wants to do at this moment.

I ask her if and how she wants to move, when she wants to wake up, when she wants breaks, who she wants to work with and what she wants to do for fun.

Step 3 – I communicate with her + take action on her desires

Sometimes we take action right away and sometimes it’s later that day and sometimes we negotiate to a different day.

I practice trusting her by letting her lead.

And, sometimes I find myself wanting to ask someone if they think I should take a course or hire a coach or take a program or buy the book and in those moments, I smile and I pause.

I remind myself who I am and what I know and I seek an answer from the only person who knows what I want.

ME.

Now I DO believe in external support.

It’s important + necessary.

The support I invest in is support that helps ME tap into MY answers.

Why? Because I’m fucking brilliant about me.

Just like YOU are fucking brilliant about YOU and anyone who has told you differently (even if it’s you) is lying.

They are likely lying because they love you and are trying to keep you safe. And they are lying about you.

You can unlearn the stories.
You can heal your relationship with your reflection.
You can come safely home to who you really are.

Why am I so tired?

 

I don’t understand why I’m so tired…

For years, I needed to find a reason to explain the way I felt. ⁣
ESPECIALLY if the way I felt meant that I didn’t want to work. ⁣
🙋‍♀️ Do you relate?⁣
It was as though the fact that I was feeling tired wasn’t a good enough reason to rest, so I needed to search for some sort of justification. ⁣
I see this a lot with entrepreneurs. ⁣
✅ We have so many tasks⁣
✅ We have multiple things we want to accomplish⁣
✅ There are an unending amount of items to check-off our to do lists⁣
So if we feel *anything* other than work-driven, accomplish all the things, get it done right now, urgent energy…⁣
We feel less than⁣
Worthless
And in order to soothe the guilt that we feel for feeling tired, we search for the justification. ⁣
It is okay for us to rest if we’re sick. We can give ourselves permission to take time off if (and only if) we are ill. ⁣
But what if we ARE tired + we’re NOT sick? ⁣
What if we’re NOT running a fever?⁣
What if we don’t have the flu?⁣
➡️ What if we want to rest because we are exhausted — even if we aren’t able to justify why? ⁣
➡️ What if we felt like we had permission to listen to our bodies without explaining to ourselves or anybody else why we want to do that? ⁣
I know it’s not easy to do because I know that society teaches us something 𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺 different. ⁣
Society teaches us that rest is for weak people + reminds us that we can sleep when we’re dead and tells us to just push through and calls us forward to work harder + set bigger goals and GO GO GO GO! ⁣
And society teaches women that they can’t trust themselves or the needs of their bodies and that if we do, we need to have a justifiable explanation. ⁣
So of course we believe we have to explain how we feel. ⁣
👉🏻 There’s nothing wrong with you if you’re not able to rest “guilt-free”. ⁣
👉🏻 The guilt we experience is a normal, conditioned response. ⁣
👉🏻 Your response is a reaction to the programming of our don’t stop can’t stop culture. ⁣
And it’s part of the reason that many of the women I know and work with are…⁣
▪️On the verge of burnout⁣
▪️In desperate need of a break⁣
▪️Overworked⁣
▪️Struggling with autoimmune disease⁣
▪️Overwhelmed⁣
▪️Stressed out⁣
▪️Not asking for help⁣
▪️Telling themselves they can’t slow down⁣
▪️Convinced that nothing will get done if they don’t do it ⁣
▪️Dismissing their own dreams + desires⁣
☝🏻All of it makes sense. ⁣
Until we detox from the programming that has trained us to believe that our work equals our worth, it will not be okay for us to rest. ⁣
The switch is not easy (it took me years!) and for many of us with cultural, generational, and individual traumas, it’s more complex.⁣
BUT IT IS POSSIBLE.
You can begin the process by honoring your body‘s feelings without asking her to justify them.⁣
xo

Winning at all costs

I spent much of my life rushing to a finish line that didn’t exist + while missing the journey that did⁣

I was working for my worthiness like it was a thing waiting for me at the end of my never-ending to do list ⁣

Earlier this year, my body let me know she was done tolerating what she’d been tolerating (amazingly well!) for so many years ⁣

She got sick⁣

My diet had to be completely overhauled, I was in adrenal fatigue + I was realllllll close to walking myself right into an Autoimmune Disease ⁣

See, one of my programmed patterns is to fight — push though⁣

If you’re like me, I know you get it ⁣

I learned this probably in a similar way you learned it… ⁣

By watching + listening to my parents, teachers, leaders + society in general preach the “Work Harder! Do More! Perform Better! Be Stronger!  Win at all costs! There’s only ONE seat at the table!” battle cry⁣

But the ones who sacrificed the most…⁣

They never really won or got that seat because the game they were playing was unending – never over⁣

But that didn’t stop me from trying to be the ONE – the winner they spoke about ⁣

☝🏻 F * * K     T H A T⁣

I could have killed myself and our “perform for your worthiness patriarchal culture” would have stepped right over my dead body + kept on moving ⁣

 

➡️ l needed to learn that I already had that seat I was hoping to earn ⁣

➡️ I needed to learn to choose me instead of waiting to be chosen by them ⁣

➡️ I needed to learn that getting things done was more important than me doing things ⁣

➡️ I needed to learn that collaboration is better than competition ⁣

➡️ I needed to learn that a table with only one seat is a table built on fear⁣

➡️ I needed to learn that rest is as — if not more — important than work⁣

➡️ I needed to learn how to slow down ⁣

➡️ I needed to learn that it could be safe to slow down + I needed to do the work to make it safe⁣ in my body

☝🏻 Those are practices ⁣

Those are practices I practice daily + they are practices I share with the entrepreneurial women I coach ⁣

Look, I get it⁣

⁣It’s hard to relax⁣⁣

You feel guilty + lazy because there’s so much you should be + could be doing⁣


And even on those days where you do choose to take it easy you end up feeling worse than you did before you took the day off so you promise yourself you won’t do that again anytime soon⁣

You tell yourself that you’ll rest after this thing is done or after you take care of this one more task, but there’s always one more task⁣

You tell yourself + others that you’re at the bottom of your to do list when the truth is you’re not even on it ⁣

I know what you’re afraid of⁣

👉🏻 You’re scared if you stop you won’t start up again⁣

👉🏻 You don’t trust yourself or your body ⁣

👉🏻 You’re afraid of losing your edge⁣

It makes sense⁣

After all, this work ethic is why you’re so successful⁣

(or maybe I’m the only one who thought those things + felt that way)⁣

The truth is, my work HAS changed⁣

No longer do I subscribe to the belief that hard work itself makes me intrinsically virtuous or worthy of reward <– as the definition of work ethic explains

AND

That doesn’t mean I don’t work well – I do

Since making these personal transformations…

✅ I’m more productive⁣

✅ I’m more focused ⁣

✅ I’m more creative ⁣

✅ I’m more inspired ⁣

✅ I’m more organized ⁣

✅ I’m more fluid ⁣

☝🏻 And that’s not all…⁣

✅ I begin my days with me, not with work⁣

✅ My sleep patterns + sleep schedule are more consistent ⁣

✅ I have created + upheld boundaries around my time + my calendar

✅ I say “No” without apologizing, guilt + self-shame

✅ I go on weekly dates with my wife ⁣

✅ I play with my puppies ⁣

✅ I go for walks ⁣

✅ I take breaks + naps

✅ I practice yoga ⁣

✅ I practice meditation⁣

✅ I have created rituals I use throughout the day that allow me to remain in the present moment

✅ I’ve stopped multi-tasking (as much 😉)⁣

✅ I am doing what I want to do ⁣

✅ My body is healthy⁣

Friend, if you’ve got yourself convinced that your unrelenting discipline is serving you, I get it⁣

For years you could not have convinced me otherwise + I have no interest in convincing you, but if you’re tired of feeling exhausted, tense, resentful, stressed out, anxious, secretly out of control while pretending to be in control, overwhelmed + in pain, comment below or send me an email

There’s another way⁣
I promise⁣

xx

what’s your motivation?

 

it is super easy for us to judge others based on the things we see them doing (or not)…
 
we often judge based on comparisons of what WE like and what is working or has worked for US…
 
things like:
 
+ how they care for themselves
+ their work ethic
+ their relationship to food or alcohol
+ how and whom they date
+ their sex life and choice of partner(s)
+ how much rest they get
+ how frequently they workout or meditate
+ how they manage or cope with their stress
 
many of these things we are judging could be based on things THEY have said they were having issues with
 
we’re just trying to help
 
i get it
 
i’ve been on the side of wanting to help (fix) others + I’ve been the one doing the thing that others wanted to help (fix) me with
 
BUT
 
here’s what i’ve learned…
 
it’s less about WHAT one is doing and more about WHY they are doing it
 
+ i’ve not taken care of myself out of fear and over-serving for approval AND i’ve chosen to put me after someone else with intention because of a deadline and/or i knew i’d get to me later that day
 
+ i’ve worked HARD out of fear and a desire for approval AND i’ve worked hard for a deadline and from a place of intentional choice
 
+ i’ve eaten food for comfort and to numb out how i was feeling AND i’ve had the same food because i wanted it and it brought me pleasure
 
+ i’ve drank because i wanted to enjoy a glass of wine or bourbon AND i’ve drank because i didn’t want to feel my feelings
 
+ i’ve dated for fear of being alone AND dated because i wanted to spend time exploring new people
 
+ i’ve had sex for approval and a desire to be loved because i was afraid i wasn’t enough AND i’ve had sex because i wanted to experience the pleasure
 
+ i’ve stayed up all night because i was scared of getting in trouble for not finishing what i started and out of fear of being abandoned if i wasn’t “good” AND i’ve chosen to stay up because i was geeked about what i was doing + creating
 
+ i’ve worked out from a place of hating my body AND i’ve worked out because i love my body + want to move and stretch her
 
+ i’ve hidden my stress for fear of not being loved and received + i’ve spoken up for attention AND i have expressed my needs to ask for support + i’ve used my voice to be real and make authentic, vulnerable connections
 
in my world
it’s never about the WHAT we are doing
it’s always about the WHY
 
i invite you to dig deeper
with yourself + others
what you find may surprise you…
 
 
xoxox

ignoring what is doesn’t make it not

 

full speed ahead 24/7/365 causes crashes
 
i know because
i’ve been on the floor
more than once
i’ve lost my sh*t
so many times i stopped counting
i’ve cried hysterically
after screaming at the top of my lungs
when something didn’t go my way
or plans changed
i’ve been so tense my muscles
forgot how to relax
i’ve clawed at my skin
to hold down the rage
 
but you didn’t know
i wouldn’t let you know
on the outside
i was successful
i was achieving
i was helpful & reliable
i looked the part
i was nice
i was friendly
i was pretty & polished
 
on the inside
i was raging
i was short-circuiting
i was melting down
i was burning out
 
>> many successful women are burning out <<
 
it’s a badge of honor to be busy & exhausted
we brag about our lack of sleep and long hours
like they give out awards for suffering
 
we drink a bottle of wine a night
every night
gotta numb out
so we can function
 
we take pills
to stop our tears
to block our emotions
we don’t have time to open that flood gate
if we did
we doubt
it would ever close
we’ve been locked up
so long
silent
for years
 
our hard work is our salvation
really our protection
disguised as our perfection
keeping us from slowing down long enough
to look at the reality of our lives
 
burnout doesn’t happen overnight
it’s a slow burning fuse
 
>> there are warnings << 
 

the problem is, most of us ignore them because they are so accepted and expected that we don’t recognize them for the red flags they are

so
we push harder
motivating ourselves with self-abuse
 
it’s called being an adult
we say
pull it together
put your big girl panties on
just do it
what’s wrong with you
we ask
so-and-so has it worse than you
you’re so lazy
and then we justify
 
it’s not that bad
everyone i know is fried
i’m too busy
i don’t have time
today is the ONLY day to get things done
look at our to-do list
he needs me
they need me
she needs me
it’s fine
i’m fine
i’m fine
bullshit
 
first, you’re not fine
second, fine is not a feeling
 
let’s stop pretending
let’s look at what is REAL
ignoring what is doesn’t make it not
 
if you’re curious about what you might be missing, click here and grab The 31 Most Commonly Missed Signs of Burnout for Women
 
it’s time we reclaim our power 🔥
 
xoxo
 

who are you?

 

my friend…

i wrote this long post on instagram earlier and i’ve spent many moments today questioning.  wondering if maybe the post would’ve been better received had i put it here in the blog. i hear myself silently judging…

maybe it’s too long for the gram.  who is reading all this anyway?  no one cares.  this probably isn’t what they want to see… is it?

jeez.  when i tell myself THAT bullshit, disempowering story there’s only one thing i want to do.

HIDE.

i hear my old inner voice yelling, “retreat!  abort mission!”

the truth is, i am human and as a human, it’s super easy for my old stories to pop up.

i keep reminding myself of this truth while my brain contemplates taking the post down.

but i don’t.

why not?

because i’m experimenting.  i am playing with length, with language, with where and when and how i show up.  and there is no room for judgment in experiments.  just noticing.  then tweaking. then trying again.

plus, my gosh.  who can tell who sees what on social media anymore?!  there is so much out there that if you’re not intentional with deliberately searching for someone and their posts, well– you probably won’t see them.

so here’s what i shared earlier today:

{who am i}
I don’t know ⁣⁣
⁣⁣
You tell me ⁣⁣
I’ll be ⁣⁣
What you need ⁣⁣
Me to be ⁣⁣
To be ⁣⁣
Loved ⁣⁣
⁣⁣
I am ⁣⁣
Who I ⁣⁣
Pretend to be ⁣⁣
Scared to be ⁣⁣
The real me ⁣⁣
Safe ⁣
Under the mask ⁣⁣
I spent my whole life constructing ⁣⁣
⁣⁣
Getting to know ⁣⁣
The woman under ⁣⁣
Cover of protection ⁣⁣
Has been ⁣⁣
Messy⁣⁣
Has felt ⁣
Scary ⁣
I’ve felt ⁣
Angry ⁣
It’s been ⁣
Exquisite ⁣
⁣⁣
You’re in there ⁣⁣
You see ⁣
You’re just ⁣
Buried ⁣⁣
Beneath ⁣
Programmed  ⁣⁣
For protection ⁣⁣
Heart crying⁣⁣
For imperfection ⁣⁣
Soul dying ⁣⁣
For connection ⁣⁣

It is possible to unbecome ⁣⁣
Everything you’re not ⁣⁣
You can let⁣
The layers crumble ⁣
You can take ⁣
The mask off ⁣
You can allow ⁣
Everything you are ⁣⁣
To show ⁣⁣
To shine ⁣⁣
To glow ⁣⁣

Noooo⁣!!!!!!!!!!
They can’t know ⁣
They can’t see ⁣
Me exposed ⁣

⁣Please know⁣⁣
While this may feel scary ⁣⁣
The fear is only temporary ⁣⁣
The pain of pretending ⁣⁣
The weight of the mask ⁣⁣
The effort of the act ⁣⁣
Is slowly killing you ⁣⁣
Crushing your spirit ⁣⁣
Choking off your soul’s song ⁣
⁣⁣
You deserve ⁣
Life unleashed ⁣⁣
Freedom ⁣⁣
Happiness ⁣⁣
Love  ⁣⁣
Real love ⁣
Wild ⁣
Crazy ⁣
Unapologetic ⁣
Authentic ⁣
Deep love ⁣
From the inside out ⁣
⁣⁣
⁣My friend ⁣
You are love ⁣

⁣She is waiting ⁣
For you ⁣
Begging you ⁣
Please ⁣
Come home ⁣⁣

⁣Reunite⁣
With yourself ⁣⁣
By yourself ⁣⁣
Fall⁣
Into yourself ⁣⁣
Surrender ⁣
Trust ⁣
You’ve got you ⁣

for me?

the journey home has been truly magical, beautiful, and an incredible adventure– one i am still traveling.

writing my story has reminded me of so much pain i numbed out and avoided for so many years.

writing my story has also reconnected me to how much i’ve shed and unbecome over the past five years.

my deepest desire is to affirm hope.  wherever you are, whatever you’re going through– when you’re ready, you can heal.

 

you don’t have to pretend.  i promise.  and yet i know.

 

i remember how very alluring and seductive the mask can be and how positively scary the exposure can feel.  i know how terrifying visibility can feel and i know for many of us, our protection is rooted deep and has been for many, many, many years.

 

i don’t expect you to simply read this, rip the mask off, and show up as the real you all the time in every situation.  maybe that’ll be what happens, but if you’re like most of us, it’ll be a process.

 

your unbecoming will be a journey.

 

no matter how long it takes, you’re worth it.

no matter the effort required, you’re worthy.

 

and i’ll tell you what– it’ll probably take a lot less effort and energy and time than you think.

 

if there is anything at all i can do to help support you in the shedding of your layers i hope you’ll reach out.

 

you my sweet friend, you are not alone.

 

 

xo

 

surrender

{surrender}
psst
you don’t need to add
you don’t need to become
anything
anyone
the “work” is surrender
letting go
releasing your death grip
your clingy grasp
on all that is not love and light
but i get how you think you need it
control
i believed i couldn’t survive without it
control
41 years
you couldn’t convince me otherwise
i’m not trying to convince you now
hold on as long as it serves you
and it serves
and hold on long after it doesn’t
if you want
it served me for years
and i held on long after
i couldn’t trust
so i had to control
when you become aware
you will have a choice
to hold
to tighten
or to let go
and if you choose
surrender
you will fall
and that can be scary
or exhilarating
perspective
but my commitment
is to create
is to hold
loving space
for you
as you fall
i will wait
i will welcome your landing
home
 
xo

Life lessons courtesy of my new home…

 


You may or may not know this, but we have recently moved into a new home.
And, a new home = lots of projects.
So, here’s what’s been happening in my world as of late….
Every.  And, I mean EVERY project we have started has taken waaaay longer and required more than we anticipated.
More shopping.
More time.
More effort.
Every time we think, “YES!!!  We’ve got everything we need!” we find ourselves back in the Jeep (often with what we just purchased) and headed back to Home Depot or Lowes.
Here’s what I know for sure:
Every person and every situation can be your teacher.  There are lessons in all things if you’re open to receiving.
What I want to share today are a few of the mic drop truths my new home has been teaching me:

1.  Just jump in and get started.

 

The truth is, if you are doing something that you’ve never done before, there is literally NO WAY you are going to know exactly how long it will take or what will ultimately be required.

Even if you’ve “done research”.

Even if you’ve “asked around”.

Attempting to know the unknowable will keep you frustrated and stuck in inaction, clinging to your BS excuse as to why you have yet to “go for it”.

Even if you attempt a guess at the time and effort required, you’ll probably underestimate.  That’s what we do as humans.

And then you’ll get irritated that it’s taking longer than it is “supposed to”.

Does this cycle sound familiar?

My 2 cents?

Stop planning so much.

Stop trying to know the unknowable.

Jump in and start.

The truth is, you will not know what you actually need or what you really want until you begin.  The specific details and your true desires will not be revealed while you’re sitting on your couch thinking.

They will ONLY gain clarity while you are taking action.

2.  Your “microwave mentality” isn’t serving you.

 

That being said, I get it.

It’s how you’re programmed.

You want results immediately.

And by immediately, I mean yesterday.

You’re a human.  So am I.

There is a part of me that wants my results yesterday too.

But that’s not going to happen.
And, my expectations that it SHOULD will keep me frustrated, aggravated, exasperated and NOT celebrating all of the little wins along the way.
And the truth is, there have been a lot of little wins.
BUT.
If I keep looking at what’s not yet complete, if I focus on what we still have to do, I will continue to feel behind, overwhelmed, so busy, and like “I just can’t get it together” all of which is BULLSHIT.
Do yourself a favor and drop the microwave mentality.
Go on and gift yourself some celebration.
You deserve it.
Look at how much you have done, how much you are accomplishing, how far you’ve come, and give yourself a well deserved high-five!

3.  The joy really is in the journey.

 

This phrase is repeated a lot and to be honest, I used to roll my eyes when I heard it.

But it’s TRUE.

The fun, the joy, the laughter, and all of the memories are made during the process.

Here’s what’s true, all of the memories I have when I think about our home are of the silly things that have happened along the way.

When I think of my laundry room I chuckle at the number of times Amanda had to go back and forth to Home Depot and Lowes.

I do wonder if the neighbors have seen us naked because there was a good week or so that we didn’t have any blinds.

There’s blood on our wall from when our friend helped us re-wire a light in our kitchen and he got electrocuted and there’s part of me that doesn’t want to paint over it.

We’ve ate dinner on the floor and the stairs and we’ve since upgraded to a card table which doubles as my office since my desk is still on the deck about 3/4 of the way sanded.
The truth is, the “old me” used to want all the things to be done perfectly and immediately.  And anything less would create stress and anxiety.
Now I know that perfection is an unattainable lie.
My home?
It is perfectly imperfect and I love it.
I love how it’s unfolding.
I love how it’s revealing itself to me.
I love the process and what I can now say with absolute certainty is, the joy really is in the journey.
You know, life is fun if you allow it to be.
When we change our perspective, when we change how we’re looking at things, the things we are looking at change.
I want to encourage you to stop.
Stop rushing to be done.
Stop rushing to arrive.
Stop chasing the achievement.
Stop hustling to get “there”.
How often are you not fully present because you’re racing to be somewhere else?
You’re missing out.
You’re missing out on memories.
You’re missing out on fun.
You’re missing out on joy and belly laughs.
I can almost guarantee that whatever you’re striving to accomplish will take you longer and potentially be waaay more involved and/or complicated that you anticipated.
But I can also almost guarantee that if you take the pressure off, relax and enjoy the process, you’ll create beautiful memories with friends and loved ones.
There will be more laughter.
More joy.
More learning.
More fun.
xo,
Michelle