What I Want my Daughter to Know

For many years, I chose not to have a voice.  I held my opinions within. Through my teen years, I wasn’t always treated with respect, and I didn’t realize I held the key to demand respect. I started off my tender teen years as a victim survivor of a sexual assault and it shaped my perspective on what it is to be a woman in a different way. In a way, that I wasn’t ready for. I feel like I’ve overcome the shame and the pain that is carried over from my past…along with other traumas that I will never share here.

And then,

out of nowhere,

it rears it’s ugly head…

starting out so innocently at first,

but inwardly spiralling out of control.

So, how do I teach my daughter what it is to love and respect herself so much that she treasures the woman she is and accepts nothing less? How do I convey to her the importance of living life authentically where she is true to who she is within and isn’t afraid to let her light shine?  How do I explain the life lessons I learned the hard way and will she listen?  I am passionate about helping women move forward for a reason, and it’s very close to my heart.  I want to scream it from the roof tops now all that I’ve learned, and I’m so thankful for continuing to learn from some pretty amazingly strong women in my life. Thank you all you strong women with a powerful voice!

I’m also sick-to-death of the stereotype of strong women as “feminists”, like it’s a foul word. We are all just people. Equally deserving of respect.

Ok, I got off track! My daughter is not a teenager yet, so thankfully I have some time to teach and build on all I wish for her to know. But in thinking about it today, this is what I want my daughter to know.

~You teach people how to treat you.

~Stand up for what you believe in with passion and speak from your heart.

~If you are respectful, kind, supportive, accepting, and giving…it will come back to you ten-fold and you have every right to demand what you freely give to others.

~Give yourself permission to honour the path that is right for you.  It may not be a path that is right for someone else, but if it’s right for you…continue on it and make no apologies for it.

~Forgiveness is a choice.

~You ARE enough. Surround yourself with people that lift you up and believe in you.

~Shoulders back, head held high.

~Committ yourself to life-long learning. We are never done learning. There is no finish line. Just more life to be lived, and more amazing life lessons to be learned.

~Pass on what you’ve learned, don’t keep it in. If you can share and help someone move forward then do it, but do so with respect because belief systems are sacred to another.  Don’t push your beliefs on another person. Just live out your reality.

~People know authenticity when they see it. When you share in an authentic way, you will attract like-minded people into your life, and that’s a blessing!

~Never ever give up your power to another person (there are not too many “never ever’s” in this world, but I believe this is one of them!)

~Don’t silence your strengths for the benefit of another’s weaknesses.

~Just because you have other roles “Mom, Wife, Business Women, insert role here” doesn’t mean you have to lose who you are.  It’s OK to be carefree, to have fun, to take time for yourself. Your needs are not last.  To be a good Mom, you need to have a life aside from your children to grow as a woman. Your children are watching you.

~You are the property of no one.

~You are not defined by what you look like, the clothes you wear, or the shape and size of your body.

~Smile often.

~Love others. Love yourself just as much.

~Mean girls are also filled with jealousy and insecurity. Just smile and move on.

~Invest in your future, find a career you love. Because when you love what you do, it just doesn’t feel like work.

~You will make mistakes, everyone does. Just be sure to learn from each mistake you make and move forward.

~It’s OK to show weakness. You don’t have to be strong all the time.

~Sincere appreciation. It’s a gift you can give to others.

~You are stronger than you even realize.

~Do not forget the things that fuel your passion. Don’t give those up for anyone.

My extraordinary daughter, I will always attempt to teach you all that I’ve learned, but I know that many things you need to learn for yourself. If you learn anything from something that once caused me pain, then there is purpose to it. All I can hope for is that you feel comfortable to talk to me about anything. I hope you realize what an amazing gift you are, how loved and cherished you are, and that you are worthy. Life is meant to be lived with passion. Live it with pride, because you my darling daughter are simply amazing just the way you are.

And when you do find someone to give your heart to, may they also realize just how amazing you are.

From my heart to your heart,


Challenging Old Beliefs

It’s true in life there are some things that are out of our control, but there are also many things that are absolutely in our control. The key is to discern between the two.

There were so many things in my life that I thought I couldn’t do.  For example, I convinced myself I couldn’t run a 10K. I woke up one day and actually said aloud “Why can’t I? Who says I can’t?”  Well, I said I couldn’t.  I thought I wasn’t athletic or a runner. Why did I think that?  Because I was living in an old belief. I believed that I would always be uncomfortable in my own skin. I believed that I was too big to run.  When I was growing up, I was raised on a farm which was 20 minutes from town.  My mom worked full-time opening a business, and so I wasn’t into organized sports. Having said that, I also didn’t want to be either. I believed that I wasn’t athletic. It just wasn’t my reality.

Bull shit!!!

Recently I was attempting to do two sets of tricep push ups….well I could only get through one set. I find tricep push ups so tough to do. I was immediately discouraged. How was I going to be able to do two sets when I had a hard time getting  through one set?  You know how?  I just have to keep at it!  I have to continue to challenge my muscles, and guess what…I will get stronger!  It’s a fact.

It’s the same with one’s mind-set.  If you are replaying the same old beliefs in your mind, and it’s not serving you in any way, the way to overcome it is to challenge that belief.  Keep challenging it.  When your mind says “I can’t”, then you need to challenge it.  Why can’t you?  Who says you can’t?  WHY do you believe you can’t…get the heart of the tired belief. Most often than not, it’s our own mind that says we can’t do something and it’s based on a past belief that no longer holds truth for us (and did it ever hold any truth in the first place?!).

I have many old beliefs. I have started leaving sticky notes on the mirror at the gym.   They say something different each time.

“You are more powerful than you even realize”.

“You are enough.”

“You are beautiful. Be good to you.”

I have no idea who notices them or if it affects anyone, but I do know that if I was looking at those notes before starting my work out, it would lift me up and start things off on a positive. They challenge inner-beliefs that I struggle with.  I do realize this is a bit odd. But, I keep writing those pick me up notes in the off-chance someone else struggles and needs to hear it.

Also, most recently I have decided to embrace my odd, geeky side! Hey, it’s part of who I am. Authenticity builds relationships of trust, value, & respect. So just be you. We are all flawed. It’s OK, because it’s honest & refreshing in all actuality 🙂  Maybe it’s weird to write strangers sticky notes who I never actually see reading them (unless I hide behind the garbage can which is a weird stretch even for me).  Whatever, I’m weird. I write pick-me-up sticky notes because my heart tells me to.  ha ha

The other day as I was getting ready in front of my mirror I thought to myself “I hate my legs.” I had to snap myself out of it, as much as I have challenged those old beliefs, they still crop up from time to time.  My next thought was, if I truly believed I hate my legs, then I should have no problem approaching someone who’s in a wheel chair and say “hey, how are ya? Do you know that I hate my legs.”  Humbling moment. I’m thankful that I have healthy legs. I’m so excited to ride my new bike.  Bring on the sun and cleared biking paths! 🙂

Be good to you. You are worthy. You are enough.  Challenge those tired old beliefs. Forget about status quo.  Give yourself permission to really look within your own heart and follow the path that is right for you. Trust yourself to make the healthy choices that lift you up.

And then when you are in a place of strength, you spread the love.  Love, strength, and positivity are contagious.  🙂

From my heart to yours,


I Don’t Know Who This Post is For

I don’t know who this post is for.  Have you ever had a day where so many experiences and interactions lead to the same message, the same life lesson, the same thought?

That happened to me this morning! Six times!  I feel compelled to share the thoughts that replayed in my head over and over today.  Something else would happen and there  it was….the same message once again!  Maybe this post is for you.  Maybe it’s from God to me.  I don’t know!

But here it is…

Make the time to lift others up.  If you are spending time with someone you care about and an appreciative thought pops into your head…tell them. Immediately tell them.  Don’t leave it in. Don’t take for granted that they know how you feel, or that you appreciate them.  Any little sincere thought of gratitude, recognition, or acknowledgment that you think about another person, deserves to come out and land in their ear!  ha ha

There is so much power in uplifting sincere words. It doesn’t have to be over the top, even the smallest of appreciations goes a long way.  Sometimes we just take for granted that there will be the right time, or a good moment to say what we want to say to those we love.  Appreciate today. Appreciate those in your life right now, at this moment.  Who knows how many tomorrows we will have.  I’m not trying to be dramatic, but it’s true. Life can change in the blink of an eye.

I have always loved this quote.

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” –Leo Buscaglia

Share the love! I do know that this message is for me (and perhaps for someone else out there as well.)  There are times when I think something complementary about someone else, but I don’t say it. Why? Maybe because I don’t want them to think I’m a weirdo who loves to flatter.   Some people truly aren’t comfortable with complimentary words; however, sincere appreciation for a loved one is a gift worth sharing.  In return, take the compliment as it was intended. Soak up the love!  I’m going to just blurt it out when an appreciative thought pops into my head now…just a warning for those I love. ha ha!  🙂

Thank you for your love, support, comments, e-mails, notes, and conversations.  They truly do mean so much to me.  I’m so grateful for my friends and family!

From my heart to yours,



I have always wanted to learn how to meditate, however my mind is always going…thinking, thinking, thinking.  The days are so busy, how am I going to etch out some time to be silent in the middle of hectic?  Take today for example (and as I write this it’s not quite 2 p.m.)

I woke up this morning to my hubby whispering good-bye in my ear. The room was still dark, must have been really early.  The night before we had joked that I never say anything back to him when he says his daily good-byes. In my morning slumber, I believe I do so this morning I make sure I repeat everything he said to me…attempting to say it at the exact same time. We laughed and I went back to sleep. I was awoken thirty minutes later to the sounds of my dog Teddy frantically barking as my son was playing with him in the living room. My daughter soon joined in, and within a few minutes there was the familiar song of sibling rivalry going on. Wiping sleep from my eyes, I dragged my weary legs to the kitchen to make breakfast for all three kids.  They know not to talk to me first thing in the morning, they know to give me at least 10 minutes before any demands are made. Robotically, I spread peanut butter and jam on their toast. I make coffee. I need coffee.

The pace turned hectic as we rushed to get out the door for school.  Homework to be found, socks to be matched, clothes and hair to be fixed.  “Mom I can only find one mitt, oh and sign this sheet, also I need 2 cups of chocolate covered raisins by tomorrow for a cooking project.” my son yells to me.  I think to myself:  “Who cooks with chocolate covered raisins and Why don’t I get my act together and have everything organized the night before?”.  One would think that would make life easier.

I opened the garage door; the chill of winter slapped us across the face as I realized that the deep freeze is still upon us. I told the kids to jump in my car. We are running late. I’m not above driving the two blocks to school just so we don’t have frozen hair and eyelashes today.  There’s a lot of school traffic on cold days. There was a lady waiting to turn left at the school, meaning she had to cross the traffic.  The same traffic that wasn’t moving only because she needed to make a left hand turn. Suburb deadlock.  “Why must you turn left and hold up traffic lady! For the love of chocolate, just turn right and circle the block” I whispered under annoyed breath.  We ran into the school, my finger tips were numb. Kisses, “I love you’s” and “you’re awesome’s” were exchanged.

I returned home to clean up from the morning rush.  I feel tired and the day has just begun. E-mails to answer, phone calls to return, laundry piled up, the house in shambles, my accounting records for 2010 lay open waiting for me to finish them.  “Stop taunting me accounting records. Why must the government need these?” I say out loud. I’m weird like that, I’m a talk-to-yourself-er. I want to go back to bed.  I look up at the clock after the morning errands, and It’s already time to pick up my daughter from Kindergarten. In fact, I have exactly one minute to get back to the school.  I can’t find my keys, why am I so absent-minded?  Rush out the door.

When I get home from picking up my daughter, I have the overwhelming urge to work out.  I don’t like to plan when I’m going to work out, the inner exerciser be-yatch eventually calls out.  I quickly put on my workout gear, lace up my runners, grab my iPhone for music, and head to my unfinished basement to my make-shift gym (complete with non-drywalled walls).  My son plays his Xbox downstairs, and there is evidence of a lounging Teenager everywhere. I clean up, muttering under my breath.

Time to run.

I find my power list on my iPod filled with music that is the perfect pace for running. Green Day, Clutch, ACDC, BEP, The Offspring, Rihanna, Muse, The Black Keys.  I take a big gulp of water and turn the treadmill on for a 5 minute warmup walk.  I’m stiff at first, and after my warm up I tell myself I will just run for 10 minutes. I always tell myself that, so I don’t complain. I up the pace to 6.3 and I focus on the same spot on the wall that I’ve stared at for years while I run.

I have no time to  stress about my responsibilities  All I can do is focus on this run, on my breathing, and on the uncomfortable feeling that is creeping into my muscles…travelling up my legs and into my lungs. I want to stop after 10 minutes, but I push that feeling out and convince myself I will run another 10 minutes. I get to 20 minutes, my legs have found their pace. I want to keep going. I want to beat my previous 5K time of under 30 minutes. Time to pick up the pace. I turn it up to 7.0 for 5 minutes (uttering a couple MF’s along the way), and back down to 6.5 for the remainder of the 5K.

The music is timed perfectly to each running step. I feel powerful, like I could do anything I set my mind to.  I feel strong, proud, and in control.  The more uncomfortable I feel, the more I say yes…I can do this. This is just the feeling of being alive.  I can’t explain the feeling that washes over me. It is not comfortable; however I realize, this feeling is PEACE.  Uncomfortable yet peaceful. Because that’s where peace lies for me…in pushing out of my comfort zone, in challenging myself, and in moving on.

While I run, I think about a friend whom I admire. She has found an amazing bright patch of happiness that she’s carved out of darkness. Does she know how amazing she is? There’s no point in keeping the good feelings within. I will tell her how amazing she is, but first I must finish this run in under 30 minutes. 🙂

When I’m done my run, I sit on my weight bench and catch my breath. I reached my daily goal. I’m smiling. I’m happy.

No stress, just strength and peace.

I’m thankful.

Life is actually a lot simpler than I think it is.

I want to continue on my day with this feeling.

Love, love, love.

Peace, peace, peace.

Maybe THIS is my form of meditation.

From my heart to yours,