Presence In Your Moments??

Presence In Your Moments??

Mindfulness..what is all the hype about?

I’ll bet the men in your life are pretty in awe of your ability to multitask… 

Writing up shopping lists. Helping your daughter through her latest heartbreak. Running a Fortune 500…

(Okay, very few of us are in the last bracket. But you get the picture…)

For years we’ve been in a constant state of flux. GO GO GO!

And now? Maybe it’s just me but in line at the supermarket, all the headlines I see on Elle or Cosmo are… telling me to slow down. 

Train Your Mind, Transform Your Life. 

3 Secrets To Mindful Eating. 

Mindful Menstruation: Here’s How It Works

Huh?! Well, at least I don’t need to worry about the last one… 😉

Seriously ladies, this change in tempo? It’s kind of comical… But such an important piece for our wellbeing. 

That’s why, this month I’m tackling the subject of Mindfulness. What it is…

And why you don’t have to be a yogi master to practice it…

So, let’s start at the top. What is Mindfulness? 

By definition, mindfulness is a quality of being present and fully engaged with whatever we’re doing at the moment. Free from distraction or judgment, and aware of our thoughts and feelings without getting caught up in them.

And there are sooo many different ways to practice it… 

Meditation is the formal mindfulness practice you’re probably aware of. In fact I’d even go so far as to say, it’s a superpower. 

Slowing your brain has been shown to thicken the pre-frontal cortex, managing higher order brain function. In other words, it increases your awareness, concentration, and decision making…

Which in turn, plays an important role in our emotional regulation, and helps us to create a pause so we’re not hijacked by our emotions—and less reactive in this crazy stressful world we’re living in.

(Plus, studies show how we can lose up to 10 IQ points and close to 2 hours in a day to daily distractions! Crazy, right?) 

Informal mindfulness on the other hand, is where we consciously bring a quality of attunement, attention and awareness to all areas of our life. Whether that be with a conversation with our child or friend, driving in the car, or just savouring the taste of a good meal.

The truth is, you don’t have to be a blissed out guru to feel the benefits of mindfulness in your everyday life… 

And if the thought of meditation feels a little alien or overwhelming, you’re not alone… 

(In fact, when I started practicing I literally had a piece of paper on the floor in my office—that I had to step over—that would remind me to meditate!)

Because here’s the secret… let the habit grow organically. Ease, mindfulness into your life, so you can feel the benefits and it becomes second nature to you.  

So, here’s a sneak peek at my 7 day Informal Mindfulness Challenge: 

  1. Pick at least one typical daily activity per day. It may be brushing your teeth, getting dressed in the morning, walking your dog, eating a meal, walking to the mailbox…
  2. Take a few mindful deep breaths. Take note of what is happening for you right in the here and now as you move into the activity. 
  3. Proceed with the activity as if it is the most important thing in the world, with great curiosity and care. 
  4. As you do the activity tune into all your senses. What do you see, hear, smell, feel tactilely? 
  5. Just do this one thing, no multi-tasking, only single tasking here. Instead of trying to just get it done quickly so you can move on to something else, invest 100% of your effort on that chosen activity. And as best you can keep your full attention on what you’re doing. 

Every time your mind wanders off, simply notice, do not judge it or yourself for wandering off (this is NORMAL) and just simply return your attention back to your breath and the activity. 

Keep returning to the present moment over and over again even if it seems like it’s your 100th time. Some find it helpful to say a few guided words silently to themselves, for example: 

‘I am now talking to my daughter…’ 

‘The water feels hot on my skin as I am washing the dishes…’ 

‘The air is cold as I walk to the mailbox…’ 

The more you do this. The more you become aware of your surroundings, what you’re feeling, tasting and touching, the more you’ll notice something remarkable… 

It seeps into everything you do. The more you’ll stop and be in the moment. 

Since I started this practice I’ve become SO much more present in my relationships. With my husband. With my children. 

Because ladies, ask yourself this…

Don’t you deserve to be more present in your life? Don’t you deserve to simply enjoy yourself, stop and smell the roses? Like, if not now, when?!

FACT: No-one ever laid on their deathbed, and felt proud because they’d ticked off everything on their to-do list…

No, you want to be able to say: I was present…

For my conversations with my son.

For walking the dogs. Traveling. Exploring the world. Swimming in the ocean. 

I think you owe yourself that much.

XO

Holly

P.S. Any Mindfulness practice can feel overwhelming when we start. Remember, it’s okay if your mind wanders—so long as you bring it back! I’d love to hear how you get on. Hit reply and let me know…

 

 

 

Joy, Happiness, Confidence-you choose!

Joy, Happiness, Confidence-you choose!

Unlock Your Superpower…

Maybe too much information…?

But, if I hear my freakin’ doctor tell me one more time—‘Holly, your vaginal walls are thinning because you’re getting older…’

I mean sheesh. Seriously? Thank you for letting me know. I appreciate that.  

Let’s just add that to the endless list of midlife ‘fixes’ that you’re never quite prepared for: 

 >> The low-estrogen cream that’s $90 a pop to stop those damn urinary tract infections… 

 >> Figuring out whether to ramp it up in your career—or lay low till retirement… 

 >> Turning to your husband and thinking ‘what’s next?’ as you wave the kids off to college… 

 Yeah. There are a million-and-one reasons why midlife gets a bad rap—but I’m not having any of it. 

And neither should you.

Let me perform a little test here, and ask you a question…

How could you move more proactively today, towards your future best self? 

Please, take a moment to picture. And lean into your gut reaction.

Now, let me guess… Are you mentally listing all things you need to ‘fix’ about yourself, or your circumstances? 😉

If so, you’re not alone. It’s how nearly every woman I ask answers this question…

But this knee-jerk reaction isn’t gonna serve you. 

Because the truth is it’s only through nurturing our strengths, NOT correcting our shortcomings—that we can actually experience growth, and get to where we want to be in life. 

And identifying how to lean into our strengths—those core characteristics that come most naturally to us—is the key to reaching our goals. 

FACT: There’s a huge amount of research over the past 15 years on the value of using our strengths to feel more fulfilled, live a higher quality of life, and have much more fun at work and home.

Don’t just take my word for it! Martin Seligman, the father of Positive Psychology, says that for a person to be truly happy and live a meaningful life, that person must recognize their personal strengths—and use these strengths for the greater good.

(It’s a stance that Forbes, Gallup and the VIA Institute on Character are also taking pretty seriously, advising parents to focus on their children’s strengths, not filling an imaginary skills gap in their ‘weakness.’) 

Bottomline: If we’re to take Seligman’s advice, we should spend time trying to figure out these personal strengths—what we were born to do—without wasting time on making things harder for ourselves.  

So, that’s why I’m making it super easy for you to do just that… 

And developed a Midlife Advantage Quiz to help YOU shine a light on your own unique superpowers—and leverage your strengths to navigate midlife on your own terms.

In it you’ll discover a personalized roadmap to:  

  • Swap the ‘I thought I’d be further ahead’ nonsense we ALL revert to, with ‘I’m open to feeling more happiness now,’ so you can live life as an opportunity (versus just existing).
  • Feel more motivated than ever to shift your energy, make the changes you want in your life and find more purpose and fulfillment 
  • Handle life’s disruptions head-on, start navigating life on your terms, and do ALL the things that might’ve scared you in the past—because I’m not letting you leave this world with regrets!

Plus, I’ll also let you into some secret insights from my own life along the way… 

Because, I’m telling you—leaning into your strengths is a waaay more fulfilling way to live than endlessly trying to fix your life. Or popping another $90 on low-estrogen cream… 😉

TAKE THE QUIZ NOW….just press here!

XO

Holly

 P.S. Once you get your results, I’d LOVE to know how they resonated with you. Please reply back, tell me what you got, and if I nailed it.

 

 

 

Don’t F* with us!

Don’t F* with us!

Independence Day??

Okay ladies, so this month’s blog is a little different. 

Whether in my work—or convos we’ve had in person—I’m sure you’ve heard me talk about the fallout for us Gen X women…

>> Mothers who didn’t have much. Who pushed us to achieve and accomplish—all the while, painting their nails to the theme tune of Dallas…

>> Those Enjoli ads, who taught us to fry up his bacon and ‘never forget he’s a man…’ 

We were taught to take it to excess. Prove ourselves. You can have it all. Crazy, it was exhausting.

But one thing’s for sure…whether picketing for women’s rights—or picking up our daughters from school—we were damn sure (as Bob Dylan would say) the times, they were a’changing.

Well, how f*cking wrong I was… 

Fast forward 40 years and where are we exactly? 

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs Wade, a seismic shift has ripped through America. I feel a little like Alice stepping through her Looking Glass… we’ve tumbled through 50 years of history—and woken up, back in shackles.

My mother’s generation fought for us in a man’s world. And sure, I work in the helping profession—an undoubtedly female dominated industry—but I’ve heard crazy ass stories from women of the things men have said and done as they climbed the corporate ladder. 

Because, honestly? Women’s rights had changed, but cast your mind back… On the ground, day-to-day what did that really mean? Think about the level of objectification we’d endured—and overcome. 

And so, the pendulum changed course. #MeToo was huge. A landmark that uncovered sexual assaults in so many organizations across America. Now we were gaining some traction—and they’d never let us get away with that.

Like jackals these ignorant conservative men, these religious supremacists, kept to the shadows. They hide where they can—and pounce in the dark, with one collective thought: We’re gonna take back control. 

And pulled out the big guns…

So, Roe vs Wade? It’s about power. Control. And crushing our human spirit.

BUT…

Here’s what I know to be true…

This is an awakening for women. We won’t just sit down and shut up. We are not going to lay down and take it. 

You’ve unearthed something within us.  

And here’s my message to this disgusting sociopathic, demographic of men: Do not fuck with us. You are not going to change us. We are on fire—and our flame will not be put out.

Because…  we’re more rallied, educated and equipped than ever before. And how do I know this to be true? I work with these women everyday! Powerful women who make a big difference everywhere they go—whether it’s a Fortune 500, or as the matriarch of their families.

We’re still climbing that ladder—we’re showing our place more than ever— and we’re ready to put a stake in the ground, step over that line and say, enough is enough.

As I write this, 7 states in America have blocked abortion, with a further 21 threatening, or likely to impose severe restrictions. 

Sure like you, I may be past childbearing age, but ladies, let’s not kid ourselves that this doesn’t affect us. And nor is this about being white and wealthy enough to drive our daughters across state for an abortion… 

It’s about a medieval reduction of a woman to the contents of her womb. The denial of autonomy over our own self.

So, please… don’t give me the Fourth of July. 

‘Independence’ Day. It’s unnerving. 

Ask yourself, is it a good time to be an American—in this divided country? It’s as if we were in Civil War, each state operating independently of the others. We’re not united at all, we’re an embarrassment.

Not just going backwards, we’re in a freefall. 

Our divisions have carved up this ‘land of the free’. All those underground, fueled by extremism and bigotry, have clawed their way to the top—for now. 

Because we will not be silenced. 

So, how do you plan to spend your weekend? I’d love to know. I can’t be the only one not popping champagne, wincing at the fireworks, chilling in the backyard with a good book. 

In over 50 years I have never felt this way before…

And that’s why I’m writing this call to arms. 

Because, ladies, we’ve seen a lot and we’ve gotten our rights. We’ve found our voices. Every decade we’ve gotten stronger, and we will not be silenced. 

This is an unearthing.

And THAT will never change. 

XO

Holly

P.S. How does Wade vs Roe affect you? Are you enraged? In tears? Choosing not to think about it? Know this: here is a safe space for all your pain and frustrations. Please hit reply—I’ll always respond. 

P.P.S. If you’re compelled to act, or find out more on the supreme court’s decision and the implications it has for ALL of us, here are some resources to get you started: 

Give/Donate: Local Abortion Funds in every state

https://donations4abortion.com

Act: Tell Joe Biden: Open Abortion Clinics on Federal Lands

https://act.ocasiocortez.com/sign/abortion-clinics/

Listen (podcast)

https://crooked.com/podcast-series/strict-scrutiny/

 

 

Time To Clean House??

Time To Clean House??

How To Deal With Challenging Relationships 

“I have a ‘friend.” 

She’s combative. Cutting. Once we had commonality but now… She’s the kind of friend that walking away from the party you feel kinda… sober.

Or driving home—you don’t even realize it—but find yourself thinking… ‘Why don’t I feel so great?’

And then it clicks. ‘Ohhh. She was being an asshole.’ 

Hmmm.   

Maybe this resonates with you?

Because truth be told this is a HUGE topic of conversation in my coaching world. And it doesn’t matter whether you’re single or married—Ladies, at our time of life, we’re thinking about cleaning house…

We ALL want to be surrounded by real, authentic human beings who aren’t pretentious, don’t expect us to be Superwoman—but do boost us up…

Yet, we’ve tolerated certain relationships for far too long.

So, what can you do about it? 

Well, there are 5 methods for managing draining relationships. 

(But the truth is, most people retreat to #1…)

  1. Remain a victim to it
  2. Change it
  3. Change perspective of it
  4. Accept it 
  5. Leave it

Let’s unpack these a little…

1. Remain a Victim To The Relationship

In other words, continue to allow this relationship to drain you. This most likely includes a feeling of loss of control, powerlessness, uncontrolled anger, grief and depression. Worst case scenario? It’ll keep draining us till nothing is left.

Ask yourself…

  • What is blocking my willingness to change this relationship?
  • If I’m not willing to change the relationship at this point, what’s my target timeline for re-evaluation?                                                                                               

2. Change The Relationship

Here we recognize that you can take proactive action to change the relationship (or some aspect of it) so that you can remain in it and benefit from it. 

For example, you may find a common point of agreement that enables the relationship to continue—at least at a neutral level—releasing and reconciling differences, developing coping mechanisms, or taking action from higher levels of energy in order to shift the energy of others and yourself.

 Ways you can do this:

  • Resolve/repair conflict 
  • Create opportunities to grow and experience life together
  • Connect with the bigger picture of the relationship

Ask yourself, why is this relationship important? What’s your common ground? And how can you both benefit from being in the relationship?

3. Change Perspective of It

Rather than changing the relationship with actions and new behaviors, a relationship can also be changed through modifying and shifting how we look at it. The bottomline here? Different ‘lenses’ bring different experiences.

Ask yourself, how can you look at this draining and/or challenging relationship with a fresh pair of eyes? 

And consider this…

  • What qualities do you appreciate in the other person—and how can you stay connected to this?
  • How can you see the other person from a new vantage point?
  • How can you experience the relationship from a different position?

*This strategy can also be very effective with past relationships that are still emotionally charged within you, despite the relationship being over or currently non-existent. 

(Think a painful divorce or even a deceased individual. In either case you could be so wracked by pain and guilt that you’re having a hard time moving forward.) 

4.Accept The Relationship

Here, you suspend judgment, stress and burden associated with the relationship. You are accepting it just as it is… and ‘as it is’ is okay. The relationship requires nothing but acceptance of peace for this moment in time.

3 Strategies to Consider:

  • The use of centering techniques
  • Daily mantras 
  • Other self-help techniques to enhance your ability to remain stress free when engaged in this challenging relationship (i.e. physical reminders, knowing your limits, or minimizing duration of time spent alone with the person in question)

The key is to find whatever it takes to help you remain in the relationship—and not feel drained by it. 

5. Leave The Relationship

If you don’t like the relationship and you cannot/will not remain in it…

Or you’ve tried to change the way you look at it (and can’t) then your remaining option is to leave. Or terminate it. Respect the other person, and yourself as human beings and know that sometimes we cannot co-exist. 

There is no judgment necessary. This is not good or bad—it simply is.

Ask yourself…

  • How ready are you to leave?
  • What is your plan to transition out of the relationship?

* If you are less than 100% ready to leave, develop plans to shift your readiness, or reconsider your strategy.

And finally, here’s a simple truth that might help you to visualize…

There are 3 types of friends. The ones you keep in the kitchen, the ones on the front porch, and the ones you keep out on the street. 

So, what’s the difference?

Well, your kitchen is the heart of the house. They’re your nearest and dearest…

Those on the front porch—we’ll keep them at arm’s length. But if nurtured and cultivated, maybe they too could be welcomed with open arms…

And those on the street? We’ll keep it lighthearted. ‘Hey how are you?’ (No need for anything more…)

But why am I telling you this? 

Because if you’re reading this, I’d wager at this point in your life… you’re seeing things differently.

Maybe what once seemed to work for you—isn’t. Perhaps even back then you didn’t realize this wasn’t an ideal relationship, but you just kinda sucked it up…

And now you’re tired of sucking it up.

And finally, how did I resolve my difficult friendship?

I’ve accepted it. I keep her on the street. It’s not gonna get any better than this—that’s not who she is. 

And I use the presence of others as buffers… 

XO

Holly

P.S. Consider taking some time this month to examine your relationships more closely… 

Ask yourself, how do key relationships in your life affect your spirits? Are they raising you up or dragging you down? What can you do to foster ‘healthier’ relationships?

Contact me today for a complimentary session, and together we can strategize on how to maximize ALL your relationships…

Midlife Game Changing Habits

Midlife Game Changing Habits

Top Five Strategies You Need To Know 

‘Holly, do you have any big strategies to navigate midlife? 

‘Y’know, the surefire, game-changing, non-negotiables that mean you’re always so on point?’

Whoa. Now, there’s a question…

And it’s probably the one I’m asked most — on the pickleball court, out to dinner with friends, by clients and colleagues…

First — let’s get one thing straight, I am most definitely NOT ‘so on point…’ (!)

Hey, I may be a Midlife Transition Coach, but I worry about my turkey neck as much as the next woman! I’m struggling to sleep through the night. Trying to figure out how to empty nest… gracefully.

I too, question those goals I held for SO long, that sometimes feel flat and uninspiring… 

Sure! We’re a boat load wiser. But if you find yourself wandering into the bedroom, forgetting why you’re there — and instead your thoughts turn to:

>> Who the heck am I?

>> What’s next?

>> And how the hell do I begin to figure all this out?

Then you need…

The Top 5 Strategies To Thrive In Midlife Right Now 

Yeah, that’s right: these are the non-negotiable, instrumental habits you need to adhere to IMMEDIATELY…

No joke.

Because ladies, I believe — no, I know — these habits are SO powerful, you’ll finally find your groove…  and forge your path towards a fuller, happier, more meaningful life. 

(And hey, it’s what you’ve been asking for!)

Because honestly? Let’s just not age gracefully. Let’s age powerfully…

And dive right in!

  1. Keep Your Attitude in Check
    Even I find myself slipping into silly comments like: ’… well, I am an old lady.’ But, the more we indulge in that language, the more we give it mileage — the harder we’re making it for ourselves to switch gear and age optimally. 

Energy attracts like energy.

The truth is, we’re living longer fuller lives than ever before. There are inspiring women out there absolutely killing it in midlife, knocking it outta the park! So, instead of  indulging in negative language, flip the script to stories of strong, vibrant, engaging older women…

And surround yourself with as much knowledge and education to live your life more powerfully.

Check out this podcast: Radically Reframing Aging, and hear Maria Shriver discuss how we can all live our healthiest, most joyful lives as we grow older.

  1. Embrace The Now
    (Or, in short — if not now, when?)

If there’s one thing the pandemic taught us, it’s not to hang around. I’ve worked with so many women who have had the rug pulled out from under them — diagnosed suddenly with breast cancer, diabetes, or their husbands get sick…

You might remember last year my mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. It’s brutal. And I don’t know how long it’s gonna last…

But I can’t live in a state of inertia thinking ‘once she has full time help’ or ‘once she’s in assisted living, well, then I can focus on xyz.’ I can’t wait, and I can’t put things off. I have to honor the fact it’s all consuming, accept it, yet still move forward.

If we don’t start rockin’ and rolling now, then when will we?

  1. Treat Life As An Experiment
    It’s easy to get stuck in a rut — what we eat, how we exercise, even the makeup we use! (Am I right?) But our bodies have changed, our metabolism’s not so fired up, and chances are what worked in our 20s or 30s just ain’t gonna cut it. 

It’s time to shake things up…

You have GOT to have an experimental mindset.

For example, I just don’t have the stamina that I used to. Honestly, the sh*t I could get done in a day… I’d whizz my daughter to dance class, get to the shops, see clients. Now? I just want to chill a little bit.

So, I’ve switched up my day. I do deep work in the morning. And at 3, 4pm, I honor my need to rest. I’ll take the dogs for a walk, meditate, connect with a friend for coffee. And maybe then when I’ve done those things to nourish my soul — I’ll see an evening client.

Try some new things on for size –experiment– not every action you take will be a home run but wisdom gained revealing what feels right, purposeful and fulfilling to you.

  1. Rewire Your Inner Dialogue
    Let’s cut to the chase here. You’ve already spent half your life beating yourself up, telling yourself you aren’t enough. Do you really wanna be 80 — and still judging yourself? 

Or, looking back on your life wishing you’d been more present with your children, partner… but you were just too damn wrapped up and consumed by your own thoughts?

Y’know, I’m just so done with it…

Ladies, it’s time to let go of those old stories holding you back. Next time you hear that inner critic tell you you’re ‘less than’ say to yourself: ‘I’ve got this. I’m committed to my growth.’ Or ‘I’m discovering day-by-day what my goals and priorities are.’

… And shut down that negative talk in its tracks.

  1. Cultivate Connection
    Most research will say, the number 1 predictor of happiness is the quality of our social relationships. Take this from an introvert! (Or rather a social introvert — I love people, but can handle them better in smaller groups…) 😉

But, that being said…

Here, we’re talking positive relationships. The ones that inspire, support, and challenge us. A diverse network — whether that’s seeing your best friend for lunch, or clicking with a virtual Mastermind group. Connecting with your sister, or a work colleague living overseas…

These things keep us sharp, our wellbeing intact. They light us up.

Because the truth is, the struggle is real. Midlife is tough. There’s no denying it. But I know with my whole being, that if you can adapt your habits and mindset to embrace these changes — you will reap the difference in your life…

And glide into the next phase, with power, purpose and meaning. On your terms. 

XO

Holly

P.S. Tell me, what are your top strategies for dealing with the chaos of midlife? Which older women truly inspire you? Comment below (or drop me an email) I’d absolutely love to know! 

How To Stop Beating Yourself Up

How To Stop Beating Yourself Up

Three Simple Steps To Being Your Own BFF

 

Let me be honest with you. For 2, 3 months last year — I was in the zone… 

My kids were in college doing their thing. I could finally give everything to my career, to my clients. Workwise, it was all coming together. 

You know that feeling, right? ‘This is great. This is really f*cking great.’

And as you know from last month’s post I’m a recovering perfectionist…

Well, let’s FF a little… through Thanksgiving and Spring break. 

My semi-non-independent kids landed on the mat. My mother’s alzheimer’s diagnosis began seeping through the cracks — 

Think wandering lost in a neighborhood she no longer recognizes. Panicked calls that scare me out of my mind…

And suddenly all the boundaries that were working so well for me, the mojo I’d rediscovered — BOOM. 

Gone.

EVERYTHING sucked out of me.

And this got me thinking — what do YOU do, or say to yourself when the $h*t hits the fan? When you realize, between empty nesting and aging parents, you’re at the height of your own midlife angst? 

Don’t you ever feel like it’s time to give yourself a break? Like, you’re just being a little too hard on yourself? 

I know I do.

(And as a coach, I really should know better…)

It’s a universal truth. Because, let’s face it ladies, we’re great at dishing out compassion for everyone else, but for ourselves? 

We’re our own worst critics. 

So, this month we’re turning our attention to the science of self-compassion. How to deal with setbacks, failures, bumps and bruises — because when you put yourself out there, that’s what’s gonna happen.  

But first, let’s expand on last month’s post for a moment. [Missed it? You can read it here.] If you’re trying your damnedest to flip that script from perfectionist to optimalist — and finding it’s not quite that easy — I hear you. 

Rerouting toxic thinking (when it’s been your default perfectionist mechanism for so long) is super difficult… 

And we make it DOUBLY harder by believing self-compassion is a self-indulgent weakness that leads to complacency or laziness…

ABSOLUTELY. NOT. TRUE.

The real truth? The less we sugarcoat, and honor our feelings, the more we’ll strategically and accurately move forward in life. After all, if you keep minimizing your emotions, how can you possibly resolve them?  

And THIS is where the science of self-compassion is a game-changer. 

So let’s dive right in —

Kristen Neff, the world’s leading researcher on self-compassion, explains that if faced with setbacks or insecurity, most of us fall into the trap of self-criticism. Especially women. 

And this in turn breaks down our wellbeing. 

Conversely, self-compassion builds us back up. It’s a source of empowerment, learning, and inner strength. 

And it all boils down to 3 main practices: 

  1. Self Kindness. Yes, it’s as simple as it sounds. All this means is when you feel yourself slipping into toxic ruminating thinking, talk to yourself as you would a dear friend (or child). Be kind to yourself! 

(I mean come on, would we ever tell our child, husband or friend: just give it up. You should not even bother going to college. Y’know what? You suck at football. Forget it.)

Yet, that inner voice does it to ourselves all the time…

2. Embrace what Kristen calls ‘Common Humanity.’ You’re not alone. We ALL experience challenging times. If you’re anxious, depressed, overwhelmed, feeling less — you’re human. The only people who don’t experience painful emotions are psychopaths (or dead people) so remind yourself — it’s okay not to feel okay. (In fact it’s very normal.)

And if you’re feeling this way — let me validate the hell out of you. Remind you that you have the fortitude to push through this. Heck, you deserve to push through this… 

3. Take a balanced approach to negative emotions, so your feelings are neither suppressed nor exaggerated. In short, notice the struggle that’s arising. Acknowledge and strive to understand it. And better support yourself to move forward. 

Don’t allow yourself to get stuck, brooding in chaos… 

Yes, it sucks that my mother has alzheimers. Unimaginably. And I’ll honor that at my core — but I’ve got to remember there’s no point in ruminating on it. That is never going to serve me.  

So, next time you hear the voice of self-criticism, get smart AND strategic. 

How? Start by rubbing your goals and aspirations up against reality… 

For me this means having the support to STOP being superwoman. Sharing the struggle with my girlfriends or husband. Being a cheerleader for myself — remembering to talk to myself as I would a friend or a client…

‘Holly, this is super hard. But you can do this.’ 

Because, here’s the deal. Anyone who’s achieved greatness will tell you the road to success and wellbeing is anything but easy…

And whether you’re actively moving from perfectionist to optimialist (or simply staying committed to the best version of yourself) flipping that script from self-criticism to self-compassion will help you navigate the toughest times. 

Ladies, it’s time to stop getting in your way and become your own biggest cheerleader.  Martyrdom is getting old. 

XO 

Holly 

P.S. What self-critical narratives have you been telling yourself — and how are you planning to flip that script? I’d love to support you through this journey… hit reply and let me know.