I was listening to the radio in the car today and the song Scars to Your Beautiful came on. As I sang along one line caught my attention. "She has dreams to be an envy, so she's starving." It put a word on something that has been bothering me. Envy.
The last few months I have specifically been working with woman on getting to the root of their desires for their life, setting goals in the direction of those things, and finding joy in the work that leads up to the accomplishment. Too often, we don't even know what we truly want. We have this vague idea that if we are thin and we get our hair professionally tamed and our nails manicured and we have stylish clothes and perfect make-up suddenly life would be perfect! The job we want would be easier to obtain, our soul mate will mysteriously appear, and we would finally be....accepted? respected? happy? I don't think many people even get far enough to be able to verbalize the word on the end of that sentence. It's "envied".
It's confusing. We have been raised in a world that has marketed our individuality away. Everywhere we look are models with hair perfectly styles, perfect white teeth, toned bodies. They tell us we aren't enough but they can bridge the gap with what they are selling and we fall for it. We believe the ridiculous, ever changing, unattainable beauty standard they set before us and we deeply envy anyone who has something we do not with no gratitude for all the amazing attributes we DO possess. It's crazy! So crazy that it's like a hamster wheel! Tan skin is in, let's rush to the tanning beds! Pale skin is in, cover yourself. Big boobs are in, pay thousands for an operation. Small boobs are in, get them removed. Long hair, short hair, dramatic make-up, natural make-up, and all the trends in clothing that fit WHO exactly?
The girl with the thin figure is envying her friend with curves. The girl with curves is envying the girl with blue eyes. The girl with blue eyes is envying the girl with long flowing locks and it just cycles making other women our competition instead of our allies.
When we get to the root of what most women THINK they want it's this: We want to be envied. We want to go back to our high school reunion and make all the people that didn't pay us attention wish they had. We want to be the woman that pops out babies and looks like she never had any. We want to be the one that gets noticed. In our culture, physical beauty still trumps true achievement for women but this is because WE let it. We have accepted it as truth and live by it. The envy of others is the pinnacle moment when this is our outlook.
First and foremost, a goal to be envied keeps us looking at what other people want out of life instead of looking for what we truly want! If you spend your life going to school for a career where you can be a CEO, make a bunch of money, and drive a flashy car and that's not what YOU want, you are the one missing out. If you stay dissatisifed with your appearance your entire life, frustrated that you can't look like a swimwear model, and never fall in love with being who you are entirely, YOU are missing out.
If we want to rock our own lives we have to get real with ourselves. We have to spend more time getting to know what WE want out of life, what OUR interests are, and who we want in our lives. Stop looking to be interesting to others and be interested in yourself!
If we want to be the active feminists we say we are, we need to liberate ourselves first. We need to stop competing in a race that goes against everything we stand for and we need to stop making other women our competition. We need to care for ourselves, inside and out, and choose to come alive pursuing the true desires of our heart instead of being a carbon copy of someone else. The downward cycle of envy is that as we strive to make others envious, we live a false life where we only show the highlight reel. That makes others feel badly about their lives, about themselves, and the envy they feel grows into unhappiness and discontent. They, in turn, market themselves to compete with us. We become the marketers spreading lies and making people inferior. When we share openly and authentically who we are, we free others up to do the same. We encourage others with our true success and we become relatable when we share our struggles. We become friends in the trenches supporting each other instead of each others competition.
I stopped wanting people to make people envious when I was finally happy with my own life. When you are in love with your life you don't care what other people are doing or what they think of you! You find yourself surrounded by people that love the things you love and those who don't fade into the backdrop of your life. It doesn't matter who is better than you because all you care about is learning and growing and seeing how far YOU can get.
It was not an easy hole for me to climb out of, so don't be discouraged if you don't know where to go from here. Get in touch with yourself again. Think back to things you have always loved doing as simple as it might be. Go for a walk, read a book, go to a concert, call an old friend, say yes to more opportunities, try new things, and pursue any that make you happy! Carve out time for yourself. Remove yourself from the rat race. Wear clothes you love! Care for your body because its yours! Uncover all the hidden talents that you have that you didn't know were there and rediscover all the ones that you let slip away. You are AMAZING! Live like it and free others up to be who they are as well!
My hubby likes variety and I like eating healthy so the battle is always over meal plans ( which i hate!) so the Fixate cookbook and show on Beachbody on Demand have been SUPER helpful!! My entire family LOVED this one!
1 tsp. Olive Oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
6 cups low-sodium organic chicken broth
1 bunch greens (like escarole, spinach, or Swiss chard), trimmed, torn into bite-sized pieces (about 6 lightly packed cups)
20 Italian Meatballs ( recipe below. The soup only takes half the meatballs so you can save the rest for another meal! Score!)
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. sea salt (or Himalayan pink salt)
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 fresh lemon, cut into wedges
Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat.
Add onion; cook, stirring frequently, for 4 to 6 minutes, or until onion is translucent.
Add garlic; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 minute.
Add broth. Bring to a boil.
Add greens. Reduce heat to low; gently boil, covered, for 10 minutes.
Add meatballs; cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
Combine eggs, and cheese in a small bowl; mix with a fork to blend.
Slowly pour egg mixture into the hot soup, stirring constantly. Gently boil, covered, until egg bits are just set, about 30 seconds.
Season with salt and pepper; serve immediately with lemon wedges.
For Italian meatballs:
1/3 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1/4 cup 2% milk or almond milk
2 tsp. olive oil
1 medium onion finely chopped
3 cloves garlic finely chopped
2 lbs raw ground 93% lean ground turkey breast
2 large eggs
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. dried oregano leaves
1/2 tsp. sea salt/Himalayan salt
1/2 tsp ground black peppers
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
Line large baking sheet with parchment paper, lightly coated with spray
Place bread crumbs and milk in a small bowl, set aside, soak for 10 minutes
Heat oil in medium skillet over medium-low heat
Add onion; cook, stirring frequently for 5 to 6 minutes, or until onion is translucent
Add garlic; cook, stirring frequently for 1 minute
Combine onion mixture, turkey, eggs, parsley, cheese, oregano, salt, pepper, and bread crumb mixture in a large bowl; mix well with clean hands or wooden spoon. Refrigerate covered for 1 hour
With clean hands form turkey mixture into approximately 42 1″-inch meatballs; arrange onto prepared baking sheet.
Bake 13-18 minutes or until browned and cooked through.
Serves: 10 – Prep time: 30 minutes – Cook time 15 minutes
Yes, this blog post is inspired by the movie Tangled! I have been on a kids movie kick this month. The older my children get the more I am paying attention to what they are watching and whether or not it communicates things I want them absorbing into their subconscious and if it does not, we talk about it. We bring it the surface and discuss it. I want them to learn to think through the message that they are being sold. I want them choosing truth over pleasant sounding fairytales. I don't want them waiting for their life to start. It's already started!
I have always felt like an oddity. While other girls were dreaming of engagement rings and wedding dresses, I never even paused to reflect on those things. I wanted to have a family someday but until the right person came along, I had other priorities. And I won't lie, it didn't seem like I was ever going to meet anyone! I was passionate about my education and very ambitious. I wanted a career. I had no desire to sit around waiting for Mr. Right to come along, he was going to have to keep up with me if he wanted a chance. I had people telling me I was too independent, that I would never make a good wife or mother, that marriage would be too hard for me.
It's funny, if I were to hear someone else being told those things I would fly into a rage at their defense but it didn't bother me at all to have people speak them over me. I didn't want whatever it was they were telling me I was missing out on.
You know what I have discovered? Focusing on living my life without waiting around for things to happen has made me a good wife and mother! I have not put all my hopes and dreams on my husband. I have my own. We dream together. We support each other but being a person with dreams and ambitions has served us both! I lost sight of that for a little while after the girls were born and life was crazy. I forgot to care for myself in light of this great new responsibility. Instead of trying to be EVERYTHING for me, Phillip gently helped me to get back to things I loved doing and encouraged me to be that independent driven girl he married.
As a mom, I have learned that my job isn't to make their childhood this perfect magical place. It's my job to teach them the art of living! it's my job to teach them how to discover who they are and what they are called to do. It's my job to teach them how to interact with other people with respect and love. It's my job to give them every opportunity to create a life they are excited to live. The beauty of that is it requires ME to be the example! I don't need to simply be a servant in my home making meals, doing laundry, and making life exciting for everyone else. I get to LIVE! I get to show them what it looks like to be excited about life, to find what makes them come alive, to show them to trust their journey, to admit they are wrong sometimes, to apologize when they need to, and most importantly to see their worth and beauty! That can't happen if I am not caring for myself. The words I say have to line up with my actions or they will default to what they know from my example. If I want my daughters to have an amazing life, I have to have an amazing life! That thought fills me with joy!
The mom guilt ( shame really) can go. I don't have to be like other moms. I don't have to be good at crafts, or imaginative play, or cooking! I get to be who I am and share that with them! I don't have to live feeling frustrated with all that HAS to be done. I can do things in my own way. If they are interested in things I'm not than we will find outlets for them to explore those things but I don't have to carry the weight of being what I am not.
I don't have to wait until my children are grown to get on with my life. Living well is part of the training. They don't have to wait until they are 16 to start driving to live. The don't need to wait until college or when they meet their spouse. They don't need to wait until they have children to truly live or wait to their children are grown. Living needs to be happening every day of our lives! It may look a little different in each season of life but we should be giving it our ALL! We shouldn't be looking around us trying to dictate what a good wife or mother looks like. We should be showing the world and our families what a good wife and mother means to us! There are a million ways to be amazing example of a woman.
Ive always loved Proverbs 31 and when you get into the meat of this scripture there is so much freedom!
She considers a field, she plants a vineyard, she is strong in every way, she works hard, she cares for others, her husband is honored by her life, she speaks wisdom, she teaches kindness, she takes care of her household. Everything here points to a woman delighting in her life and God given abilities. This is not a woman tired and beaten down and bored with life, this is a woman on fire with passion for life!
Each of our families are different, just as each person on this planet is different. Looking well to the ways of your household includes caring for yourself and creating a home that blesses ALL it's members. If that excludes you, something needs to change.
The single most important thing I feel that we do in our challenge groups is learning to value ourselves. The work outs and the nutrition are part of it because physically caring for ourselves is important but its carving time out for ourselves and making ourselves a priority in our own eyes that inspires change, sparks excitement, and helps us to start living!
We don't need to be sitting around feeling trapped in our tower anymore than Rapunzel did. We just need to get to it! If you need some ideas, books, or other resources to get inspired, message me! I would love to share the things that have changed my life and see that fire come alive in YOU!
,I sat across from my Dad at a tiny little ice cream shop in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. I had asked him how my great grandparents had found our quaint little town. I had the privilege of meeting my great grandparents and spending time in their beachside home as a child. Their move prompted my grandparents to buy a summer home there. My Dad and his six siblings spent their summers on that beach, some moved to Florida as adults and all of them visit regularly, as do their now grown children, but I had never thought to ask what started it all.
As I listened to my dad tell the details he remembered, I was struck but the power of a single persons life. My grandfather had just finished his commitment to the Army and somehow his paperwork went through while they were in Florida. Since he was now a civilian, he was no longer permitted to use military resources for traveling.
A few other men were in the same boat so they chipped in and bought a car together to travel back home. They drove as long as they could they could the first day and that landed them in New Smyrna Beach. They found a beachside hotel called The Waverly and liked the area so much they ended up staying several days. When they finally made it back home to Maryland, he told my great-grandparents about it since they were looking for a place to retire and, just like that, this beautiful place became part of my family's legacy.
My own parents moved to New Smyrna Beach in 1990, my siblings and I met our spouses in Florida. One random overnight stay by my grandfather changed the course of my life and that was just a random detail!
If a small decision like that can change the lives of the generations that follow, can you imagine the impact we can make when we purposefully pursue our callings.
I was at a conference recently where Sagi Kalev talked about standing in your power, meaning that when you are doing what you are passionate about it doesn't matter what others think or if you fail a million times, you are so passionate about what you are doing and have such a vision for it that NOTHING can stop you and through the process, you change lives, inspire others, and create something that affects generations to come.
I was in such a bad place when coaching came into my life. Instead of taking steps closer to who I was, I was doing the opposite. I felt like it was selfish to pursue things that brought me joy, that as a mom I should be sacrificing all the time, and over time I became depleted, fearful, full of shame, and I withdrew into myself. Coaching was the first thing in a long time that pulled on my heartstrings. I knew right away that I was attracted to it but my confidence was shot. I had spent so many years trying to find my worth in other peoples opinions and all that I achieved was making myself feel worthless because I couldn't please everyone! No one can! Someone is always going to disagree with you, disapprove of you, and frankly there will be people that just don't like you sometimes for no apparent reason. If we try to find our worth in that, we will never find it.
It was a long slow recovery for me. I started stepping out, sharing my heart, and being who I was but it wasn't easy. I had been hiding and in fear of judgement for so long that being seen was terrifying, but something amazing started to happen. I started getting messages from other women that we struggling in the same way and they were encouraged by my story. My passion is healing and helping and when that began happening, something came alive in me and suddenly it got easier to be vulnerable. I didn't care what other people thought of me because those weren't the people I was trying to reach. When I was willing to step into the light and be seen, I found my tribe and I was able to stop hustling to find approval in places there would never be any. I was standing in my power.
I came really close to NOT signing up to be a coach. I battled with myself for months trying to talk myself out of it and I nearly did but my husband pushed me to go for it. If I hadn't done it, I would not have healed the way I have, I wouldn't have helped all the women that have heard my story and were inspired to make changed themselves, I wouldn't be able to pass on this legacy to my daughters! They are growing up with a mother that now sees her worth and beauty and pursues her calling. They are learning to find their own gifts and stand in their own power. They are growing up in a family where health is priority, inside and out, and I am working toward a life that will affect generations to come!
As I have grown into the woman I was meant to be, I have found that standing in my power means speaking the truth loudly and often, not only to my daughters, but to women everywhere! With every breath I breath, with each gorgeous soul that I come in contact with, standing in my power means creating an environment where women can practice standing in THIER power. A place where they can share their stories, heal, and be liberated from the lies that have been holding them back.
The most surprising thing to me as I look back on my life is that every part of my life was leading me to this place. My heart for women, my passion for healing, my love of health and wellness, my education in counseling, my desire to liberate and set free, and a dream of doing something so much bigger than myself!
Even when we get lost along the way, who we are supposed to be shines through, it's getting vision for what you can accomplish and practicing your skill set, building upon it, and creating that self-belief. I wish I could say that I caught the vision and instantly believed in myself but I got knocked down a lot. People's negative opinions still stung for awhile and would derail me here and there, but every time I wanted to give up, I would get a message from someone that drew encouragement from my story or one of my challengers would have a life changing victory and I KNEW that this was bigger than my hurt feelings.
I tripped and stumbled through the process. I am a much better coach today than I was my first challenge group. I have GROWN. You are not going to be perfect in the beginning but if you are passionate, you will come alive! It will no longer matter what popular opinion is, it won't matter how long it takes you to be successful, because the vision is what fuels your passion for life. Each obstacle is an adventure, each small success is a major victory in the pursuit of your purpose.
I still have moment when I lose sight of all that I have accomplished, when my vision is cloudy and my self-belief is low, but if my grandfather can change the lives of generations with an overnight stay on a road trip, my active pursuit to change lives will not be in vain!
Success is not something limited to a few extraordinarily talented individuals, we all have the ability to accomplish great things. The key is diving into self discovery and finding what makes us excited to be alive! As you have been reading this maybe things have been coming to your mind that you have long given up or maybe, like my past self, when questioned about your interests, not a single thing comes to mind. Start small! For me, I committed to carving out some time for reading. I LOVE reading and it was something I cast aside when I became a mom because it felt selfish to read when I could be caring for my children, but when I started reading again inspiration struck! I got in touch with a piece of me that I had forgotten and the ideas started flowing. It doesn't have to be dramatic, it might be slow and steady but build on it! Be you! There has never been anyone just like you in the entire history of humanity and there will never be another you. You have already changed the world just be being BORN, imagine what amazing things you can accomplish when you tap into your skill set!
So, in those moments where the lies and doubts start creeping in, I want you to remember the lives of my family being changed by a road trip and all the incredible moments and people that had to come together for you to even be born and believe that you have something incredible to offer this world! And the amazing part is that we don't need to look for what the world needs, we need to find what makes us excited to live! When WE come alive, we inspire and encourage others to find their passion and the whole world benefits!
"Do not ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive." Howard Thurman
"And Aubrey was her name. A not so very ordinary girl or name."(Or so says David Gates ;) I'm a wife to Phillip, a mother to Scarlett and Juliet. We live in the beautiful city of Thornton, Co. I'm a recovering red bull addict. I love to read. I hate to cook. I seek to be inspired and also to inspire others. I am a Beachbody Coach on a quest to be truly healthy mind, soul, and body and challenge others to do the same.