It’s not you. It’s me.

Thank you so much for your supportive words last week as I shared about grief and the creative process (or, at least, my creative process). This week will be especially intense as what would have been my mom’s 77th birthday is upon us and we’ll gather together as a family to remember her (big breaths in and out and lots of hand holding and hugging are in order).

We’re nearing the end of the semester which means i am doing what I love most: reading my student’s Beautiful You journals and final process papers. My students this semester? Responsible for big feelings.

While I buckle down and get this semester wrapped, I wanted to share with you a podcast that I had the joy of being a part of recently.

“Our responsibility is not to match the standard of beauty that we’re given in the advertising world. Our responsibility is to feel well enough so we can go out and do what’s purposeful and passionate for us.”  -Rosie Molinary


Amy Medling is the PCOS Diva and she helps women move beyond the pain, struggle and symptoms of PCOS so that they, in turn, can live the life they were meant to live and shine their light without PCOS holding them back. Amy came across Beautiful You for the first time in 2011 and has been recommending it to her clients for years. I follow and really admire Amy’s work and was so honored when she asked me to be a part of her podcast.  In this episode, we talk about self-acceptance, self-care, building positive and healthy relationships with ourselves, recognizing that worthiness is our birthright and more.

Listen or read  the transcript here.  

“A lot of women say, ‘I don’t have the luxury of taking care of myself.’ The reality is you don’t have the luxury not to.”

Rosie Molinary

Lately + End Self-Defeat

So, it struck me last week that while I feel that I’ve moved through some parts of the grief of losing my mom, there are other ways where I still feel really present in that sadness and still trying to find a new normal. I know that grief has no timeline (and is a sneaky little son of a gun) but when you are living it, you don’t always observe it and so it was interesting to really have this moment of NOTICING it last week.

One of the ways that I have seen my grief impact me is in my creativity. I have not been able to easily create from scratch (total blank page in front of me, just go) since losing my mom.   From scratch just isn’t my repertoire right now. It takes a lot more of the upfront creative process—note card brainstorming, starting and stopping, looking up something I’ve written before and turning it on its side—for me to create these days. Out of thin air isn’t accessible to me right now. Which is totally fine, I love the creative process and am always studying it in general and my own in particular so I’m not panicked; just curious. I think what I am seeing is that I just don’t have words yet; my words are so lost in my grief, in my sadness, in the unbelievableness of it all. And you have to believe something to have words, to write them, I think.

This creative middle way will be especially interesting to observe in a few weeks when I head to the mountains for a week-long solo writer’s retreat (without internet or cell service!) in a little tiny cabin in the woods (it has been a longtime dream of mine to go on a writer’s retreat and I finally feel like Happy is old enough for me to be gone for that amount of time so I dared myself to apply to one and was blessed with being chosen for it). I have three different project ideas that I am toying with (a novel that I started years ago that is waiting for its ending, a new non-fiction book about purpose, and/ or a collection of personal essays) so I think that I’ll just see which one speaks to me the most that week, allows me to squeeze the most out of it for the time we have and resolve to let that week be the balm to my creative soul as opposed to a productive boon. I think I will be doing a whole lot of what Anne Lamott advises, writing a bunch of shitty first drafts.

Though, I am just kicking the dust off of my writing mind, I am excited to share with you some other work that I have been doing. This week, I am sharing one opportunity for you to get a self-acceptance booster shot from me via a tele-summit while I turn my attention to the written from.  Next week, I’ll be sharing another podcast that I recently did on self-acceptance that you can tune into anytime you want (or even read as there’s a transcript!).


Stop the Self-Defeat.

A few weeks ago, I was invited to be a part of The Love Your Body Type Summit which is being hosted by Tasha Norman and will feature 15 women experts who are going to share their stories and their biggest tips for loving yourself, NOW, no matter what anyone else says or thinks!

You’re invited to join us, at no cost, starting April 27 for “The Love Your Body Type Summit.”

Sign up here:

Love Yourself, Right Now <<< Join Us At No Cost Starting April 27

Tasha has designed this summit with the curves in mind, but I bet this will be the type of experience that is good for anyone who struggles with loving themselves, no matter how they would label their body.

It’s all about being confident with where you are now. It’s all about loving yourself.

Tasha has invited more than a dozen experts to join this summit and we’re sharing our best tips, wisdom and immediate action steps designed to empower you and to help you overcome self-defeat.

You will learn how to:

  • Reverse negative self-talk, immediately, whenever it starts.
  • Maintain confidence even if someone shuns you because of your curvy body type.
  • Feel loveable even when you feel undesired or unhappy because of your curves.
  • And more.

As a curvy woman and fitness professional, Tasha created this summit because she has felt uncomfortable in dance classes and fitness classes. This summit brings together women who have reached different milestones on their journeys. Some have overcome the pain and found outstanding success. Others are still on the journey to self-empowerment, and are experiencing success while bearing scars.

When you join us for “The Love Your Body Type Summit,” you will hear stories of recovery, joy and self-acceptance.

It is my privilege to share with you that it is possible to feel fit, fierce, and confident, starting right now.

Imagine being part of a unified movement that inspires women to feel great about their bodies!

This is your opportunity. Sign up to join us, at no cost, here:

Feel Great About YOU <<< Reserve Your Spot In The Love Your Body Type Summit

And, of course, please feel free to share this opportunity with your friends.

seeing the light!

Screenshot (3)

Every spring, our Circle de Luz hijas train to run the CPCC Skyline 5k in an event we call Run Big Dream Big.  The race is a way for them to connect with what their amazing bodies can do.  It’s a way for them to enjoy the outdoors.  It’s a way for them to see parts of Charlotte they don’t normally see and meet great women who train alongside them.  But the race is more than that really. As they complete six races over the course of their years in our program, they realize that Run Big Dream Big is not just something to do on an early Saturday morning it April.  It’s a metaphor for how they live their lives.  It is the THE metaphor for life.  It is the type of journey that allows them to see how their life can be lit up.

Because I so profoundly believe in our hijas’ ability to cross every finish line before them, I use the Run Big  Dream Big experience to raise funds for the over 50 programs we offer our girls each year.  Today, I am asking you to take a moment to learn more about our hijas’ dreams by watching this incredibly inspiring music video (I bet you’ll recognize the song that inspired it) and making a donation of $20 (or any amount that you are comfortable donating) to our Run Big Dream Big VII efforts. If you prefer to mail a check, you can do so by making it out to Circle de Luz (put RBDB- Rosie Molinary in the memo line) and mailing it to PO Box 2 Davidson NC 28036.  This donation is tax-deductible, and you will receive a receipt.

With your generous support, every single one of our girls can cross her literal and metaphorical finish line! Thanks so much!

Tuning out the noise

anne lamott

I was driving an eighth-grade girl I mentored home from lunch. Passing by the university where I teach, I pointed it out to her.

“What do you teach?” she asked, and I explained what Women’s and Gender Studies and, more specifically, body image are.

“Like how I think I’m fat?” she asked.

My heart stopped. “How long have you thought you were fat?” I asked.

“Since last year.”

“Did something happen to make you think that?”

“Yes,” she said. “ My friend, who is really skinny told me I was too heavy.”


“Listen,” I started.  “When that girl said you were too heavy, that statement was about her and not you,” I said. “For whatever reason, she is insecure, and she deals with it by saying distracting things to other people who might fuel her insecurity. Does that make sense?  When we are really hurt about something going on for us, we sometimes lash out to others about that thing in some way.”

She looked at me and nodded, and slowly began to relay things she had observed in her friend that might reveal the depth of her insecurities.

“Why listen to this one person?” I told her. “Why let her opinion have so much weight, especially given what you thought about yourself—that you were just fine—up until the day this one friend said that to you?”

“That’s a very good question,” she whispered, looking out her window.

Today, carefully consider the things you believe because just one person said them to you. Why have you given that person that power? How can you stop listening to the one?

There is no perfect. There is no imperfect.

Day 41 Humanity Not Mass Produced

Quick… name the opposite.



Can lightness exist if there is no darkness? Can tall exist if no one is short? Continuums can only exist if there is a place to go on the other side and if there are stops in between. And so when I ask you to name the opposite of this word…


What comes to mind? Did you think perfect? But don’t we know there is no perfect? That perfect is an idea and not a truth. That perfect is simply a construct to sell us a bag of goods or actions or insecurities. There is no perfect way to look, no perfect way to behave. If there were, then we would not have been designed to be such unique, individual beings.

Humanity wasn’t mass produced. We are each individual works of art, our own masterpieces. We are like our fingerprints, snowflakes even, as novel as the tinkling of our unique laughter. And so here’s the thing that we all know, that we hear ourselves say sometimes but maybe have never really registered, “THERE IS NO PERFECT.”

If there is no perfect, there is no imperfect, either. Perfect is a farce, designed to make us yearn for something different and, if we do that, then we’ll constantly consume. Maybe this diet will make me thin enough, this mascara will make my lashes lush enough, this bronzer will make me glow enough. If we’re chasing perfect, there’s always another step we can take.

But imperfect is just as much of a farce. If we feel we are imperfect, we yearn just as much, we chase just as much, we spend just as much energy and time and money on getting to perfect.

So, here’s the truth. There is no perfect. There is no imperfect. We are each uniquely made. That is no accident. That is no mistake. We are divine as we are.

it is not about the cupcake

it is not about the cupcake

As has become tradition here on the blog, every Valentine’s Day, I tell the same story.  It’s the story of one of the biggest fights in my marriage to BF.  And though it seems like it is about a cupcake, I cannot stress enough that it is NOT about the cupcake:

This is the funny thing about our marriage.  BF and I are about as different as two people can be.  I mean, we are seriously different.  But this has worked to our advantage because it means we have to communicate and compromise about everything.  Anyway, because of our differences, we know that we’re not going to feel the same about most things, and so we just go into every discussion knowing there will be lots of communication until we get to the other side.  Since we don’t expect to see eye to eye on everything, we rarely fight.  Except when BF takes something that is mine. Without asking.  Because I just think that is disrespectful.

The most common thing I don’t want to share without being asked is my dessert.  Not because I want the sugar so badly (okay, maybe a little bit is that), I swear, but just because I think you shouldn’t take something that is not yours.  It would be one thing if he asked.  It would be another thing if I didn’t ALWAYS say, “I have a cookie in there I really want to eat, please don’t eat it.”  But I always do, and he never listens.

It’s enough to drive a woman who once won a Holly Hobby cake in a raffle as a four year old but was sick the day it came home and her family devoured it without saving her a piece bonkers.  No, there are no issues here.  Move along.  I just want to explain that my territorialness about sugar, I mean asking, has deep roots.  And I am forthright about it.  You’d think a boy would learn. But he hasn’t.  Or maybe he has, because just last week there was a mini-sugar situation in our house.  But this time BF didn’t eat my cookie (I made him his own set of cookies as a surprise and just asked to have one that I sealed away in aluminum foil for later), he threw it away.  And we survived it, and everyone went to bed happy at our house (or maybe I’ve just learned that there is no guarantee that one will enjoy any sugary goodness that lands in our house).  Unlike Valentine’s Day 2007.  Speaking of Valentine’s Day, happy day, BF.  I wouldn’t trade you for the world.  Or even a cupcake which I know is kinda hard to believe.

Here we go:

I love cake.  Grocery store cake to be specific.  Give me some grocery store vanilla cake with vanilla icing and you have a girl who doesn’t need any other sustenance.

Anyway, for Valentine’s Day 2007, BF’s aunt gave us two cupcakes.  Grocery store cupcakes.  With a lot of icing.  I was so psyched about the cupcake that in the car, on the way home from dinner at his aunt’s house, I was talking about when I was going to eat my cupcake.  Yes, I am simple; I don’t play otherwise.  I know this about myself, but, here is the thing, I don’t ever get grocery store cake or cupcakes and so a little part of me was dancing inside from the rare impending sugar rush.

BF looked at me nonchalantly and said, “You can have my cupcake.”

“Are you kidding me,”  I asked.  “Because if you are, that is just cruel.”

“I am not kidding you,” he answered.  “I don’t need to be eating that.”  He actually said that line with a hint of self-satisfaction, as if he were mature enough to rise above the cupcake trance that I was so clearly in. But I ignored him because I knew that I needed the cupcake– both cupcakes.  Whatever, dude, be self-righteous.  I just want the cupcakes.

So I started planning, aloud in the car, when I would eat each cupcake.

“Thank you, thank you, thank you,”  I exclaimed, as if he had given me something gold and shiny.  But this was better than gold and shiny.  Sugar is my gold and shiny.

Back home, I dropped my cupcakes off in the kitchen and then retreated to my office to work on whatever deadline I had approaching, and BF went to bed.  Finally at a good stopping place a couple hours later, I walked through the kitchen on the way to our bedroom.  My eyes darted to the cupcakes that I had so lovingly wrapped in tin foil.  Panic struck.  Even through the tin foil, I could see that one of the cupcakes was missing.  I opened up the foil.  Just one cupcake looked back.

Mercury rose through my spine.  I marched into the bedroom and noisily opened my dresser drawer, stomped my way into the bathroom, threw on every light, hummed my way through my bedtime routine until BF woke up with a jump.

“What?”  He asked, as he always does when he is awakened from a deep sleep (except for that one time I elbowed him to wake up his snoring self at the NUTCRACKER and he said something very different and not appropriate for the Nutcracker audience.  We have not returned to the Nutcracker.).

I turned to him, put my hands on my hips, and said “I can’t believe you would do something so tacky as to eat my cupcake without asking.”

“It was my cupcake,” he tried to reason.

“No it was not,”  I said.  “And that doesn’t matter because this is not about the cupcake.”

“It is too about the cupcake,” he insisted.

“It is not.  This is about you offering me something and then regretting the offering and rather than coming to ask me if you could have it back like an adult, you just did what you wanted.  That is no way to be in a partnership,”  I sneered.

“You’re just mad that I ate MY cupcake,” he volleyed.

“This is NOT about the cupcake,” I fumed and ranted and raved until we both just went to sleep.  And I promise it wasn’t about the cupcakes.  It was about what eating my cupcake without asking symbolized.  I swear.

In the morning, he looked at me when I hopped out of bed.  “I am sorry that I ate your cupcake,”  he offered.

“It’s not about you eating the cupcake,” I tried again.  “Don’t you get that?”

“Yeah, I do,”  he answered before leaving for work.  But I wondered all day if he really did get it.  Sure, I love cake, and I love the anticipation of cake.  But I also love sharing things I love with people that I love, and I would have been happy to give the cupcake back if he had just asked.  That night, he walked into the house with a six pack of grocery store cupcakes.

“What’s that?”  I honed in, my cake-dar on high.

“A peace offering,”  he answered.  “Now, you have five cupcakes all to yourself.”

I did a double take, clearly counting six cupcakes in the container.  “But there are six cupcakes,” the greedy little cake hoarder in me said.

“And one of them is mine,”  he smiled before walking into the kitchen, opening the case, and savoring his cupcake.

Wishing you the happiest of Valentine’s Day as you celebrate the love- whether it comes from partnership, child(ren), parents, siblings, friends, colleagues- you have and give in your life.  May nobody eat your cupcakes.


around the house and office

There are some things that I’ve really enjoyed lately– from reading, to eating, to using, and I thought I’d share some of them with you this week in case you are looking for things to read, plate up, or use.  Here we go…

Feb 8 Notes from a Book Stack



I typically have three books going at once: an audiobook for the car (my sweet old ride demands that I go with books on CD), a non-fiction book, and a fiction book.  I am enjoying all three of the books that I am wrapping up this week so thought I would share them:

Luckiest Girl Alive- I really love to listen to suspense books while I drive, and this one hasn’t disappointed.  In fact, it makes me wish I had more places to go and for longer times.  As a teenager at a prestigious school, Ani FaNelli endured multiple humiliations and abuses and then the unthinkable.  As an adult, she’s worked hard to craft the perfect life to get her as far away from where she’s been as possible.  As her wedding approaches, her past and future crash into each other.  Who will Ani be on the other side?

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up- I know that I am totally behind on this one.  A client recommended this to me last New Year’s and I finally picked it up and have started mildly working my way through the house with the Konmari method of eliminating excess and organizing what’s left.  I say mildly because I am not going at gangbuster speed and also because some of the tips just aren’t my style (emptying my whole handbag every night and then reloading it in the morning).  But what I’ve done I have really benefited from already– I reduced a fair amount of my fall/ winter/ everyday clothing and like the idea of having all of my clothes in my closet rather than just seasonal clothes (now just to go up in the attic and get the spring clothes down to weed through and then hang), I like her folding tip for t-shirts and have been wearing a lot of things I hadn’t worn in forever because of it, and the cabinet under my sink is now practically empty.  With the master bedroom, my next stops are the laundry room, kitchen, and dining room with my plan to get those done this month.

The Book of You- This is my before bed read– another thriller/suspense novel that tells the story of a woman being stalked who sees her life in front of her eyes as she serves on the jury for a terrifying crime.

Toys Meet Snow- Happy picked this book out at the our local bookshop before Christmas and it so delighted us (seriously, it is incredibly delightful.  Think toys coming to life when their owners are a way and exploring and trying to make sense of the winter world in their own little way) that I looked for other books by the author.  We’ve checked out three collections of stories (including Toy Dance Party) featuring the same stuffed animals (as well as talking towels and washing machines) and have love each of them.  A great read for children in your life that you will enjoy just as much.


I typically make a big pot of soup on Sunday that serves as my lunch for the week.  I love this Minestrone so much; I practically make it every other week.

Brussels Sprouts and avocado salad with lemon dressing was last week’s lunch star.

I am allergic to wheat (not Celiac’s; just a food allergy that contributes to my once constant sinus infections) so we’re doing zoodles (zucchini noodles) at our house instead of pasta and we really like this Zoodle Shrimp Scampi.

Gouda Cauliflower Au Gratin was another recent hit.


The Desire Map Journal.  I’ve enjoyed getting back to journaling in the last five months.  I’ve got a blank journal for freewriting and brainstorming but I am also really liking the prompts in the Desire Map journal by Danielle LaPorte (and it’s efficiency).

Banana Republic Slit Side Open Cardigan.  If you see me on a cold day where I am working in the Sugar Shack, chances are you will see me in this sweater.  It is the coziest.

Maika Crossbody Bag.  I’ve been wanting a cross body bag for running errands and day-to-day living for awhile.  I found this one at a local shop and now have given it as a gift to several beloved ladies in my life.


So what are you reading, eating, and enjoying these days?


To Accept: a verb list to support your journey.


I stopped when I saw it.

It was a blue poster with infinitive verbs on it prominently displayed in the McColl Center’s Innovation Institute classroom where I was taking a two day creative plunge.  So intrigued, I Googled Richard Serra’s Verb List and learned that Serra, a prolific large-scale steel sculptor, had begun writing a list of verbs that could inspire his work in any medium in 1967.  The handwritten list is not part of the Museum of Modern Art’s collection and features two sheets of paper where the artist listed 84 infinitive verbs- to fire, to flood, to smear, to rotate, to swirl- and 24 possible contexts- of gravity, of nature, of entropy- in columns of his script.  Serra described the list as a series of “actions to relate to oneself, material, place, and process,” and used it as a guide to inspire action in his future work.

A series of actions to relate to oneself, material, place, and process.

Ever since I saw Serra’s list, I’ve been keeping my own verb lists.  Today, I want to share with you a Self-Acceptance Verb List—a series of actions to embrace in our relationships with ourselves and on our ongoing journeys towards wholeness.  I hope you’ll use this image as a gentle reminder of the actions you can always come back to in your self-acceptance process.

a selfacceptance verb list

Want to have your own copy of the self-acceptance verb list?  Download here.

Penning your own prescription.

caring about your body

Like many women and young people in general, I didn’t grow up learning much about self-care.  What I did know how to do was everything.  All the time.  I knew how to give and give and give.  And that when I gave out, I should give from the ground that I was lying on.  That’s what I thought it took to be a good girl.  And I wanted nothing more than to be good.  I bet you have felt this way, too.

And, then, my body fell apart in a most dramatic fashion when I was a high school teacher. Though it took me a while to admit that my behaviors had anything to do with my sickliness, I eventually put together my very first wellness plan with the help of a nutritionist, some books, a journal, and some creative problem solving.  Once I started taking care of myself, I felt remarkably better (go figure) and, suddenly, I understood a whole new truth:  choice- choosing your behaviors to best respond to what your body and soul need- is medicine.  Food can be medicine.  Movement can be medicine.  Taking on challenges in moderation can be medicine.  Living a deliberate life is, in fact, medicine.

Everything changed.

For the longest time, I thought that my health, my wellness, my sense of wellbeing, just happened to me.  Except then I learned that it doesn’t.  As it turns out, I happen to it.

I happen to it by understanding that I can choose to infuse my life with a deliberate embrace of intentional health, of making my body as whole as it can be, of giving my body and mind and soul what it needs so it can move me through life in harmony with the way that I most want to be.  I do this not by coincidence or happenstance or luck. I do this by listening to my body, observing what it loves and doesn’t, respecting what it can and cannot do, and then working deliberately to provide it with the good stuff and ridding it of the bad stuff.  I do this by following a personal wellness plan/ prescription.


Over the years, I’ve had different wellness plans.  I’ve needed different plans.  Life changes (you find a partner, you move across the country or world, a baby or child comes into your life, you replace your bike with a car or your car with a bike, you lose a partner, a parent, your way).  Your body changes (you have a short term illness, a chronic condition, you break an arm, you gain muscle).  Your needs change (you require more sleep, less sleep, greater energy, less stress).  The wellness plan I had in my mid-20s isn’t practical for me now in my early 40s.  Sometimes, your wellness plan needs to even change by the seasons.

Moreover, my wellness plan won’t work for my sister or my best friend, because it is not personalized for them, their experiences and needs, their bodies’ little quirks.  When we want intentional health we have to do the work of defining it and deciding to embrace it for ourselves (although, yes, there are some general touchstones that we all might want to factor into our plans).

And so at the beginning of each year, as part of my effort to be intentional (which includes choosing a word for the year and creating a vision board), I revisit my wellness plan.  Today, I want to encourage you to write one for yourself!

Step #1  Name your core beliefs in terms of wellness.

For me, loving myself is about taking good care of my whole self- my body, mind, and soul- so that all of me might enjoy the work that I choose to do and that I am capable of doing it with less strain, stress, anxiety and more enjoyment, awareness, passion.

Caring for my body isn’t about punishing it. It is not about beating it into submission so that it might obtain a particular shape.  It’s about listening to my body, giving it what it says it needs and maybe a little dash of what I know might be good for it even if it doesn’t particularly want it (my taste buds do not want bananas, I tell you, and, yet, sometimes a banana’s potassium is really what my body most needs.  When I crave a banana, I know something’s up and I make myself have one.).  With my wellness plan, I am not trying to achieve a certain weight or look.  I’m trying to achieve a feeling of optimism and optimal wellness for who I am and where I am now.  Caring about your body means you actually listen to your body, respond to your body’s needs, and make choices that support it.  It takes practice and paying attention to learn what your body needs, but it is practice and attention that is well worth the effort.

So take a minute and get real about what wellness means to you.  Let yourself off the hook of someone else’s standards and really embrace doing what is good for you because it sustains your soul.

Step # 2  Name what you need.

Think about what you need to be physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually well.  Make a list of everything that comes to mind.

Step # 3  Craft that into a wellness prescription.

If you could prescribe behaviors and actions to yourself based on what you most need, what would they be?  Make that list.

Here is a peek at some items that have been on my list over the years:

  • Eat a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables daily.  Have fruits or vegetables with every meal.
  • Minimize processed foods in my diet.
  • Cook thoughtful meals at home for me and my family.
  • Practice a good stretchy yoga with a focus on building flexibility.
  • Move my body- sometimes for contemplative, joint loosening movement and sometimes for cardio-endurance- at least four times a week.
  • Strength train three days a week.
  • See my physician for an annual visit that includes labwork so I know how I am doing in terms of blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, etc.  Based on what I learn after talking to my doc (and getting any lab results), I adjust my behaviors to support obtaining my optimal health.  Related:  get a mammogram and other screenings (eyes checked, dental, skin checked).
  • Read every day with a goal of finishing at least one chapter.
  • Take the opportunity to reflect through time with myself, journaling, and conversations with friends and family.
  • Drink at least 60 ounces of water.
  • Schedule massage as necessary to work through neck, hip, and shoulder tightness and to encourage stress reduction.
  • Enjoy time with friends.
  • Sleep at least 7 hours per night, and ideally more.
  • Express love.
  • Choose my life. While I can’t control every situation, there are things I do get to choose.  There is a life I do get to call dibs on.  I work very deliberately to design the life of my imagining and not an accidental life.
  • Schedule additional self-care like an appointment and not an afterthought.

Step #4  Work your wellness prescription into your life.

Start to work your wellness prescription into your daily life.  Include different steps on your daily to do list.  Menu plan and grocery shop for the weekend over the weekend.  Get an accountability buddy.  Make a checklist.


Can you see this tool working for you?  What needs to be on your wellness prescription?  What does taking care of you look like?

Word up

running into a new year


It happens every year.

The new year comes and we feel compelled to write a long list of goals for the year (or resolutions, if you will).

Week 1 brings great satisfaction.  We are OWNING this task.

Week 2 sees some tempering off of the excitement but we are certain that as soon as we get over this little hump, we’ll be right back to it (whatever it is: juicing, training for a marathon, being supremely organized, etc.).

Week 3 comes and we are trying but, boy, does this juicing, marathon training, supreme organization not delivering what I thought it would.

Week 4 is a big ole’ shame bath.  How did we let this happen again?  How come we cannot complete anything?

I’ll tell you why.  Because resolutions are too often focused on what we think we should be doing.  And shoulds operate in our mindset like some authority figure bossing us around.  They don’t feel like an opportunity.  They don’t feel like a desire.  They feel like expansive.  And feeling (or not) like that is always going to backfire.

The real question to ask ourselves at the new year is what feeling do we want to have more of in our life?  Once you hone in on what you most desire from deep within, you can start thinking about what means you wish to do but our dos- our goals, our actions- should always be driven by the most essential question: for what does our soul hunger?

What’s in a word? 

Ready to choose your own word for the year to guide you?  Start by asking yourself some introspective questions.

What do I want more of in my life?

What do I want less of if my life?

What do I need right now more than anything else?

What feeling do I most want to have (and why)?

Once you have a sense of what feeling you want, try to capture that feeling in just one word.  You want it to be broad enough to encompass many different aspects of your life yet specific enough to really inspire meaningful growth for you.  I also want to encourage you to think about the “dark side” of the word.  For example, maybe you are thinking about boundless for the word.  Are you okay if that ends up translating to boundary-less for you?

As you consider words, feel free to look up definitions and synonyms to help you land on what touchstone you most need right now.

Put that word to work   

Your word is going to serve as a guide for you.  When you wake up in the morning, answer the question, “What can I do today to help me feel like I am X (whatever your word is)?”  Then, meet that need.

When you are presented with an opportunity, ask yourself if it is an opportunity that will help you feel whatever the word is.

Finally, use the word to come up with your goals.  If you want to feel a sense of peace, what actions can you choose this year (as long term goals) to help you feel that (reconcile with your sister, let other people’s opinions go, etc).  Our to do lists should always be driven not by shoulds but by our deepest desires so rooted in how we want to feel.

What I am looking for in 2016

It took me a while to get to my word for 2016 but, boy, have I found the perfect word for my 2016.

For the longest time, I thought my word would be delight.  I wanted a lightness to my being and so much more joy after a year that was filled with heart break, deep grief, challenges, anxiety and more.  I wanted to feel vibrant again and to glow, but I also just wanted to reacquaint myself with the deep happiness that I used to emit more effortlessly before life got so. damn. hard (as life does when you have kids and parents and partners and friends whose wellbeing greatly affects you while balancing work and volunteering and laundry and, well, you know the whole entire drill here).

But there were two other things speaking to me, too, for the new year.  In addition to wanting more delight, I also wanted to accomplish more of the things that my own heart had been calling me to do.  If you know me in real life, you know that I am a completer.  I complete whatever you ask of me before the deadline and, I hope, at a nice quality level.  But my desire to not leave anyone else hanging means that I leave myself, my ideas, and my desires hanging A LOT more than I care to admit.  I wanted to accomplish things that have been on my personal to do list for a long time—not because they will make a difference to anyone else necessarily but because they will make a difference to me.  So completion and accomplishment were speaking to me, too.

Finally, I found myself wanting to channel that desire for delight and completion into sprucing up the daily-ness of living.  I am the kind of person how ‘makes do’ always.  Why get the thing you really want if this thing over here that only kinda speaks to you over sorta works?  I am sure it’s a scarcity mindset leftover from growing up lower middle class and also from being so invested in the community that I would just rather invest those resources back, but, seriously, sometimes a girl just needs to get new underwear.  And I wanted to quit denying myself those things— new underwear, a $10 candle, a rug for the kitchen.  I literally have splinters in my bum because our thatch dining room chairs are so old they are disintegrating and, yet, it feels too extravagant to get new chairs.  If I am honest with myself, I want super simple luxuries that probably wouldn’t be all that fancy to anyone else but would feel like heaven to me.  And so there was that truth, too, swirling around my head as I considered my 2016 word for the year.

So delight, accomplished, and luxury were Word for the Year fight-clubbing when a friend and I got to talking about my word for the year.  In trying to summarize all of these thoughts, I said, “Basically, I just want a life upgrade. I want my feelings upgraded, my work upgraded (because I was completing these dreams of mine), and my house upgraded (goodbye splinters! hello rug on the kitchen floor so it’s not so cold in there).”

And though upgrade wasn’t the right word, it was the feeling and so I played with that feeling until I arrived at my word for 2016 which is lift.  I want to aim high, elevate my professional and personal presence, soar beyond my own expectations, and live with light and optimism.  I want a lightness to my life this year—of spirit, yes, but also of brightness.

What about you? 

What is your word for 2016 and how does it capture what you are most seeking?