Has an opportunity ever pulled on your heartstrings, but you let it pass you by because you felt too guilty to take the time for yourself, spend the money, or ask for help with your children?
If you’re like me, your answer is a resounding yes.
But Mama, counter to what we’ve been taught, being a Mom doesn’t obligate us to pass on the things that light us up!
And if the opportunity that presents itself is one that you feel energetically drawn to do, that appeals the core of your being, it may just be that it’s been placed in front of you for a reason. Perhaps there’s something on the other side of the opportunity that you’re supposed to learn or gain from the experience that will enable you to be an even more amazing you (and Mom)!
I invite you to grab a tall glass of water, a nice cup of tea, or perhaps even a Kombucha and cozy in to read or listen to this story about a recent experience I had where, yet again, Mommy guilt got all up in my face and tried knocking me down. But instead of conceding the win like I had so many times before, I reacted offensively. I’ve stood strong knowing I was honoring my life’s purpose and put my fears, worries, and Mommy guilt in their proper place — outta my way!
In the past few years, I’ve honed in on 4 strategies that I use whenever guilt and worries come up for me to see if they’re protective responses against something I really shouldn’t do or if they’re merely obstacles that I need to kick aside so I can do that which is in my best interest.
Ironically, it’s serving my children’s best interest that gave me the kick in the pants to get over my ego-centered Mommy guilt and give myself permission to direct more love into my own life. I want my kids to see me as the woman I want to be — purpose-driven, determined, and inspiring.
I want them to know that they don’t have to settle.
I want them to believe they deserved to live a fulfilled, joyful life.
I want them to be true to their passions and dreams,
put aside their ego-centered fears,
and live courageously.
But how will I teach them that if I’m not doing that myself? I owe it to them to be true to myself and follow my heart and my dreams.
I know you’re busy, so I’ll cut to the chase. Here’s what’s in this story for you. Inspiration to …
- Let go of Mommy Guilt
- Reconnect to YOU
- Determine if an opportunity or decision that you’re trying to make will serve your highest and best interest
- Learn strategies to clear worry and increase your courage to take the leap!
I included the AUDIO version of this for you. Remember, you can listen while you’re doing laundry, cooking, walking, driving (just be sure to turn it on before you start to drive), etc. Just put your device within earshot or pop in some headphones and hit play!
FREE Gift for You! I condensed my 4 Strategies for Taking the Leap into a short download for you! You can save it to your device or print it out. I created it to serve as a reminder for when an opportunity arises that catches your heart’s attention.
I also had a few people ask me to text them when I have a new blog post / audio so they don’t miss it in their inbox. If you’d like me to text you, too, please send me an email with your number. (I will ONLY use your number to send you information on my blog posts and books. I will not share or sell your information to anyone!)
Getting Past the Mommy Guilt
An announcement for the Partnership for a Healthier America Summit that was being held in Washington, D.C. popped into my inbox a few weeks ago. When I saw it, my heart literally skipped a beat. Over 800 people representing for-profit, nonprofit, and government organizations all dedicated to ensuring a healthier future for our children were gathering together join forces to end the pediatric obesity crisis in our country.
Years ago, I ran a nonprofit program that fell under the auspices of a national movement to increase volunteerism in America. I loved being part of a national movement. So the idea of participating in this Summit struck a chord with me. Not only would I get to learn more about the latest research and trends happening to improve children’s health, but I’d also get the chance to make some connections and explore opportunities for collaborating with organizations doing powerful work and who could potentially help me get my children’s book into children’s hands!
The Summit was Wednesday evening through Friday at lunchtime. Not too long, right? I’d only be away for two weeknights, which would keep my boys’ weekend activities and our family time uninterrupted. Total plus.
Minus? Trying to figure out the logistics for handling my boys’ schedule when my husband’s ever-changing schedule is even more crazy and hard-to-follow.
I knew I needed to present the idea to my husband (hard swallow) before I put any more energy toward the idea. As usual, it took me several hours to build up the nerve to tell him I wanted to venture outside the nest for a few days.
That’s what it can sometimes feel like, right? Like we’re little birds trying to decide if we want to spread our wings and fly outside of our cozy nest where the world will see us how we are now, post children, post our glory days, post the time when our identity was solely based on ourselves.
Or, if it’s safer and more comfortable to just stay inside our cozy nest.
Nothing is wrong with either choice as long as you find your choice true to the whole you.
Me? I love being inside my cozy nest. There’s never a day when I don’t wake up feeling grateful for every part of it. But there’s also a voice in my heart urging me to strengthen my wings so I can move beyond my safe space and be seen in the world not only as a mom, a wife, a daughter, a sister, and a friend, but as a passion-driven woman on a mission to share her message with the world.
Interestingly, my husband was more supportive of this idea than any other activity I’ve done in the past and told me we’d make it work.
Despite his support, the morning before the Summit, I still hadn’t committed. I literally talked myself in and out of going at least one thousand times. It was like I had a ping-pong game going on in my head.
The logical part of my brain was on the “go” side of the table telling me it would be a great career opportunity. But then the emotional part of my brain would slam back with the Mommy guilt that loves to show its face whenever opportunities like this come up that take me away from my Mommy role — as though my family would fall apart should I go away for 48 hours!
Unfortunately, the referee of this game always favored the emotional “no-go” side calling out all the reasons why I couldn’t pull it off.
Leap Step #1: Shift Your Viewpoint to a Trusted Friend
- Be mindful of the perspective from which you’re making your decision.
- If you’re struggling with whether or not you should pursue an opportunity that would serve your personal growth and development, you may not be able to see past the obstacles in your mind.
- Imagine that someone you want only the best for is making this decision rather than you. How would you advise his/her?
- Are you offering yourself the same love and encouragement as you would your friend?
Mind-Centering Magic Bullet
So I did the thing that ALWAYS clears my mind and allows me to make a decision from a more empowered place. I went for a run.
Just so you know, this wasn’t all that easy for me. I haven’t run in almost a year. And running is not my activity of choice. But outside of meditation, nothing else clears my head like running outside on a beautiful day.
Even if my hips or ankles are barking in pain, running pumps me up. I establish a repetitive breathing pattern that calms my nerves. I imagine myself getting grounded as my feet hit the pavement. And I shift my focus away from the thoughts in my head onto the beauty around me, which gives me the mental and emotional space I need to see things from a “higher” vantage point.
But I knew I my window of opportunity was closing fast. So I set my running pace to the beat of Lindsay Sterling’s violin and got going.
I went through my normal motions. I breathed in the fresh air, noticed the flowers blooming, and then asked God to help me see past my worries and concerns so I could look at the situation from a higher perspective. Within seconds, I started to feel my Mommy guilt and other fear-based thoughts loosen their grip on me.
Lo and behold, a pragmatic pros and cons list appeared in my mind. It was like God said, “Ok. if you’re not going to trust your instincts, I’ll put together a nice organized list for you so you can see it in black and white.”
There was no comparison. The pros quadrupled the cons! I don’t remember if the beat of the music picked up or it was just the excitement from the internal nudge I felt inside, but I picked up my pace. And as my endorphin level grew, so did my courage.
Leap Step #2: Know Your Mind-Centering Magic Bullet (FREE gift!)
- A critical part of living a more inspired life is to have a mind-centering magic bullet.
- What is your go-to activity or action that enables you to clear your worries and look at your struggles with greater clarity and wisdom? Is it talking to a certain objective, wise person in your life? Is it journaling? Is it walking in nature? Is it praying or meditating?
- Recognizing the one thing that you can rely on for greater wisdom and clarity will strengthen its effectiveness for you.
- The key is to have a go-to that helps you tune into what’s best for YOU, not what someone else thinks is best for you or what someone else thinks your obligation is. It’s something that helps you get grounded so you can make a decision for yourself that’s rooted in self-love and self-acceptance.
- If you don’t currently have one, I’m here to support you. Send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can help you discover yours.
What I felt next made the right answer clear as day …
I felt my heart expand!
I stopped mid-stride practically toppling forward, grabbed my phone from my running belt, and booked my non-refundable hotel room and Summit ticket. BOOM!
I still wondered how the heck I was going to pull this off logistically. But I knew I was making the right decision. So I did the thing one can only do with confidence in that situation — I hung my hat on faith. I knew that God wouldn’t have put this in my heart if I wasn’t supposed to go. I chose to be faithful that it would all fall into place.
Guess what? It did.
Leap Step #3: Let Your Heart Answer You
- Tune into the wisdom of your heart.
- So often, we look to other people to weigh in on our decisions. But you have within you a powerful tool that will give you the answer you’re looking for with more wisdom and accuracy than someone outside of you can. This tool is your heart.
- I wish that I had been taught this concept as a child. It does require practice. But it works.
- Whenever you’re facing a decision that will impact your life, take a moment to focus your mental and emotional energy onto whatever it is you’re contemplating. Then ask yourself this question and notice what you feel: Does my heart feel constricted or expanded?
- Worry, concern, even fear may still be there, but if the overriding feelings in your heart are ones of expansion, openness and curiosity, you’re navigating down the right path.
- However, if your heart feels constricted and heavy, it’s likely something that you should explore more deeply before you commit, navigate around, or avoid altogether.
“Life is a Highway. I’m Wanna Drive it All Night Long!”
I usually hate to drive any distances further than an hour. I’ve been healing (I’m trying to change my language from ‘dealing with’ to ‘healing’) a hip issue that started 12 years ago when I was pregnant with my oldest son that acts up the most when I’m sitting in a car and can’t adjust my position after about an hour. But I propped a butt pillow behind my lower back, fired up my favorite soul-lifting podcasts, and felt nothing but gratitude as the sun warmed my face for my 4.5 hour drive.
“Life is a highway
I wanna ride it all night long
If you’re going my way
I wanna drive it all night long”
The universe cleared a path for me and damn if I wasn’t going to enjoy the ride!
Leap Step #4: Be Present and Enjoy the Ride
- If you decide to take the leap, be present and engaged in the experience. The more you keep any distractions at bay and enjoy the ride, the more joy and fulfillment you’ll experience!
Stay tuned for Part 2 of this story where I’ll share why I went from DIZZY TIRED to CRAZY INSPIRED! Do you have that in your future, too? Yes!!!!!!
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