Let’s get creative with self love

standard November 24, 2015 Leave a response

Self love – no, not that kind, the other kind – is one of those things that falls way down on the ol’ daily to do list when you’re a busy mom. You know, somewhere after grocery shopping because there isn’t a single lunchbox snack left in the pantry and finally washing that grungy old blanket the kids used last month for their backyard picnic and then forgot to bring in from the tree house.

Who has time to say nice things to themselves? To take a moment to give themselves a bit of praise and encouragement? It feels self-indulgent and time consuming and, in any case, the dog needs a walk, so I’ll get around to it later.

What’s funny is we always seem to find time for self-recrimination and self-criticism. No trouble multitasking those with other chores. Lament your increasing wrinkles while putting on makeup. Give yourself a hard time about the cookies you ate in front of the TV last night while pulling on a slightly too snug pair of jeans. Criticize your parenting as you put a hyper-processed snack in a lunchbox…. they come all too easily and with zero effort or forethought.

I even berated myself as I cracked open Cheryl S. Bridges new book Me, Myself, & I – 28 Days of Creative Self-Love, because, really, who was I kidding, as if I had time to self-indulge in something so fluffy and whimsical?

But I did it anyway, because these days the self-recriminations and criticisms are coming faster and meaner than ever, and if I don’t take time to be nice to myself every once in a while, who will?

Cheryl opens with these words

“We’re here…to learn how to be open to the possibility of loving ourselves. We aren’t gonna shoot for totally unconditional self-love and 100% self-acceptance. No need to cut the thread of hope we’re dangling by! We’re just going to consider it’s possible to add a teaspoon of self-love to our hearts every day. “

So I did. I jumped to the chapter on fear (because I’m a rebel and apparently I like to jump into the deep end), and I spend a rather uncomfortable but enlightening moment with a pen in my hand pondering fear, what it meant to me, and how it was holding me back.

I’m sorry to say that angels didn’t sing and revelations didn’t miraculously appear about how to deal with my own particular brand of fear, but I did find a little ray of kindness shining from my journal page.

I’m hard on myself, harder than on anyone else, and really, I need to knock it off. My fear isn’t ridiculous or worthy of contempt. It’s real, it’s tangible, and it’s worthy of acknowledgement.

It’s not much of a revelation, but it’s a something. A teaspoon of self-love. A start.


As we head into what is universally known as the hardest and most stressful season of the year I invite you to show yourself a little compassion, a little kindness, a little self-love. If you’re the kind of person who needs a helping hand, consider downloading Cheryl’s book or following the #CreativeSelfLove hashtag on Twitter to see how others are finding creative ways to be kind to themselves.

Creative Self Love

Please note: While I was not compensated for this post, I was gifted a copy of Me, Myself, & I for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions contained in this post are mine and mine alone. 

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I forgot rainbows exist

standard November 10, 2015 Leave a response

I turned the corner, driving that fine line between driving the speed limit and going fast enough to get to school in time to collect the kid getting out of her after-school activity. I snarled at the rain starting again, at my broken windshield wiper I didn’t even know was broken until this morning, at the blister forming in the rain boot that only gets worn once or twice a season.

And then I saw it. And I gasped.

A rainbow. A silly, stupid, glorious rainbow, stretching clear across the sky. A perfect shining rainbow.

And then I laughed.

Because for a minute I couldn’t fathom what I was seeing.

I’d forgotten about rainbows.

What can I say? It doesn’t rain very often in California.

So, I’d forgotten about rainbows.

Rainbows in all their magical, improbable selves. A thing that children color, because they’re so darn pretty and shiny and irresistible.

Rainbows, reminding us that there’s beauty and magic to be found in even the dreariest of days.

I seriously can’t believe I’d forgotten about rainbows.

Just how grown-up and jaded have I become?

What happened to the girl who always looked for the silver lining in every situation? Who always tried to tease the fun out of every moment?

2011 was a brutal year of unending big catastrophes that kept knocking me off my feet.

This year has been less obvious in its relentless sly attacks, and yet, apparently no less draining.

I keep trying to pull myself up from my bootstraps, keep trying to jolly myself out of the gray area I seem to wallow in most often these days, but it’s hard. There are constant reminders about my father. Constant little challenges to overcome. Constant reasons not to smile, but to, instead, force a grin on my face a bear another day.

It’s not how I want to be, not who I want to be.

I want to be the girl who looks for rainbows, not the one who forgets they even exist.


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7 Great Reasons You Should Start Journaling Today

standard October 16, 2015 Leave a response

So, what’s the deal with journaling? Why is everyone talking about it? Why does everyone say it’s something you absolutely must do, like right now?

Well, first of all, relax. The good news is that journaling is possibly the lowest hanging fruit of all the healthy things you could decide to try. You don’t have to learn to sit still and breathe. You don’t have to wear specialty clothing. You don’t even have to eat kale. You just need something to write on and something to write with. That’s it.

Start Journaling Today

There are as many ways and reasons to journal as there are types of journals available for purchase. Some are leather bound and seem very solemn and serious. Others are simple school composition books, less imposing and grandiose, but no less functional.

Journaling is the same. There are no hard and fast rules for how to do it, or even why to do it, but here are a few reasons you should consider trying your hand at putting pen to paper.

1) The little things are all too easy to forget, and so very worth remembering

I have almost zero recollection of my youngest daughter’s first year. She hardly ever slept and I was working full time. It’s amazing to me that I survived that year, but not all that surprising that I remember nothing beyond the bone deep exhaustion that plagued me.

Luckily for me, largely inspired by Anne Lamott’s memoir, Operating Instructions, I did make time to journal every day that year. Some nights I could barely string together more than three sentences. Other nights I was able to wax poetic about some mundane aspect of life as a working mom to two little girls.

So I can’t remember that year, but I can read about it. Cracking open that journal is bitter sweet. It was a hard, hard year, but I love being able to visit my baby and “see” her again.

You might think that yours days are too ordinary to bother recording, but our lives are made up of tiny little things that only seem inconsequential as we’re living them. What might seem routine today might be a treasured memory one day, only you won’t be able to remember it if you don’t write it down.

2) When you journal the trees, you can see the forest.

Writing down the little or not so little details of our lives can help make sense of it all. What seems like noise and chaos sometimes just needs to be set down on paper and looked over at a later time for patterns and logic to emerge.

You might not realize how crucial your work-out routine is to your well-being until you look back at some journal entries and see how differently you think the weeks you can work out from the weeks you can.

You might not spot a quirk in one of your children’s behaviors until you see it written about again and again.

Consider your journal a daily log that helps you keep track of the details of your life, even those you don’t yet know are important.

3) Everyone deserves to hear themselves think

Our lives are so very noisy and busy that sometimes it seems like it takes super human strength to not only have a complete thought, but to have time to ponder that thought and let it lead us where it wants to go.

Journaling is a great way to put these fleeting thoughts somewhere safe where they won’t be pushed out or blown away by more thoughts and more chaos.

And sometimes, you don’t even know what you’re thinking until you sit down and put pen to paper. It’s amazing how clear your mind and your heart can be after just 5 minutes alone with a journal and a pen.

4) It’s a brand new way of processing

Something happens in your brain when you place your pen on the paper and start to write. Things come out you didn’t even realize you were thinking, were feeling, were agonizing over. Little joys pepper the page, surrounded by a myriad of other thoughts and worries. And once it’s all out, you feel lighter, stronger, and sometimes clearer than when you started.

You can think of it as a cheap form of therapy. It definitely helps justify an expensive journal purchasing habit.

5) It’s a safe place just for you

We can’t all stand in the middle of our homes and yell out our frustrations. We can’t hit things, break things, or even have the tantrums we so often deserve.

Journaling is a fabulous, safe, cathartic release valve for the stresses of daily life.

It’s your space, your utterly 100% private, no one will ever, ever read it, secret place to say anything and feel everything. And then, when the words are out, you can go back to being the sane, responsible person everyone expects you to be.

6) Processing to the nth degree

You know how sometimes you come home from an event and you just know there’s a lesson to be learned from being there, but life rears up and clouds everything up, keeping the wisdom just out of your grasp?

Well, journaling is the answer.

Sit down, write about what you experienced, re-live it. And presto, there’s your learning moment, just waiting to be plucked off the page.

7) Ask and you shall receive.

There’s a lot of truth to the notion that sometimes just putting something out to the universe means that you’ll get back exactly what you needed.

Have a question weighing on your mind? Ask your journal the question and then sleep on it. Often we wake up with the answer, or the answer comes to us the next time we write. Facing a doozy of a challenge? Let yourself free-write for 10 minutes and discover that the solution was hiding deep inside the recesses of your brain.

It’s seriously like magic. Magic we can all wield.


It has been proven that people who journal are healthier, more in touch with their emotions, and more well balanced. The good news is, you don’t have to write well, you just have to write. Still worried about how to get started? The Zen Pencil has the answer. Sign up now and be among the first to know when the service that will start you on your journaling journey launches!

The Zen Pencil - Journaling made easyThe Zen Pencil – Journaling made easy

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I’m back and boy does it feel good.

standard October 12, 2015 2 responses

I haven’t been to a blog conference since 2011. When this happened. I’ve been to a writer’s conference and to some small blogger events with never more than 50 people. So it was with some trepidation that I prepped for this conference, packed my bags, and set out for Atlanta.

I was excited to go. I was going to speak about setting goals and expectations at the start of the conference. I was going to sign books*. And I was going to pitch the new business** I’ve been slowly building over the last few months. Oh yeah, and I was promoting my blog and social media consulting business.

And I think that’s why I was pumped.

Last time I went to a blog conference, I was barely holding on to my purpose for blogging and being there and I was struggling with what was happening at home and the challenge of finding myself in the maelstrom that our lives had become.

I was, in short, a hot mess.

Well, friends, I’m back.

No, but really, that’s what it felt like this weekend.

When people asked me what I was working on, I had things to share, things I was crazy excited to share. When people had conversations about our industry, I had things to share, things I was crazy excited to share and discuss. And when I shared what I was working on, people were receptive and had great advice.

I got on the plane Sunday, exhausted beyond measure, but with my head spinning at a million miles a minute with ideas and plans.

And this morning, when I asked M if he was serious about helping me build my new business, I think I impressed him when I laid out, in detail, the plans that were already mapped out.

Life seriously tried to wallop me out of the game. Life failed.

I’m stronger, more focused, and more determined than ever before. I’ve learned more about myself by making it through the last 4 years, than I ever thought possible. I’ve become a true expert about my chosen industry and about what it takes to start a business and make it thrive than I would have if I’d gone down the path I thought was meant to be mine, back in 2011, before everything went to hell in a hand-basket.

I am back.

I never thought I would be.

I couldn’t be more excited to be proven wrong.


*You can buy Aloha Also Means Goodbye in paperback or for Kindle. Or you can message me and let me know you want a signed copy and buy it directly through me.

**Sign up to be one of the first to know when The Zen Pencil launches in just a few weeks. You’ll be glad you did!



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