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/

 

 

The Myth Of Having It All

The Myth Of Having It All

Hey ladies, remember these…?

Those delightfully damaging Enjoli advertisements from the ‘80s?

*Gulp.* (Imagine that making the Superbowl break nowadays?!)

That’s right. As Gen X-ers we REALLY were spoon fed that we could ‘have it all.’ The children. The career. The husband…

And of course we’d ‘never NEVER let him forget he’s a man.’

Yikes.

The thing is, whether it was our well intentioned mothers cheering us on — from a generation where women’s rights were little more than a novelty — or the subliminal craziness of ads like these popping up every 30 minutes…

Where has this internal dialogue left us?

>> Burnt out

>> Exhausted

>> Leaving our own wellbeing limping in last place

And deep down you know that’s not serving anybody…

So, this month I’m examining the psychology behind letting our purses (and our minds) constantly overflow with this baggage…

I’m looking at why we ALL fall into one of 2 camps when it comes to aspiring for more in our lives…

AND why we’re all still suffering from a bad case of comparisonitis. (And yes, what the heck we can do about it!)

So ladies, let’s dive in!

You may have heard of Tal Ben-Shahar? He’s a leading light in the world of positive psychology and one of my absolute heroes…

Tal’s the author of 3 books including Happier, and taught the largest class in Harvard’s history: ‘Positive Psychology 101.’ He also founded the HSA (Happiness Studies Academy) where I studied for over a year — gaining coaching certification in the science behind happiness.

Tal believes there are 2 distinct forms of perfectionism:

  1. The ‘Perfectionist.’ This individual who’s gotta be SO on point they’re suffering from anxiety, depression — even addictions.
  2. The ‘Optimalist.’ A healthy, striving individual who uses high standards to fuel their growth.

And here’s the big difference: the Perfectionist fails to embrace reality. They’ll work 16 hours a day… AND stay super-healthy/be a model spouse/the perfect parent/be super active in the community/BFF to millions…

BUT, they’re failing to embrace the constraints of reality. They simply can’t do all those things. And when they inevitably fall short of their own expectations, they beat themselves up and… it all comes crashing down. Perfectionism for them, has become a great source of misery.

On the flip side, the Optimalist has equally high standards. But they rub their vision up against reality. They aspire to be their best — within reason. They understand there are only so many hours in the day, and healthily construct an OPTIMAL life within these boundaries.

So, be honest now. Which one are you?

If you’ve ever felt exhausted or burnt out, I think you’ll agree unhealthy perfectionist tendencies come with some serious consequences…

But, the truth is, decades on from the Enjoli woman, we’re now a helluva lot wiser…

And we are DONE playing by the rules that no longer serve us. 

So, if we’ve been dealt a bad dose of the unhealthy perfectionist syndrome (as I call it) how can we still hold to a strong commitment AND evolve into the best version of ourselves? How can we embrace the constraints of reality just a little more today?

In other words, how can we move our mindset from Perfectionist to Optimalist?

Well, we can start by remembering ladies, life is not about perfection —

Progress, yes.

We can have it all. Just not all at once. 

Be gentle on yourself. Remember, frying that bacon up in a pan after a hard day at work for your man is probably in your DNA! It’s gonna take a little rewiring to let that past conditioning go.

But, now you’re aware of the difference. Which means you can actively bring your best self forward…

So, next time you feel the pang of perfectionism, be realistic. Look at life through a different lens — and flip that script from Perfectionist to Optimalist.

XO

Holly

P.S. If you’re a recovering perfectionist (and let’s face it, who isn’t?) how does it manifest in your life? When do you feel the wheels coming off? Hit me back and let’s talk about it.

P.P.S. And if you want to read more about this topic Ben-Shahar’s book ‘Pursuit of Perfect’ is an ahem, perfect place to start.

Happiness Simplified

Happiness Simplified

Discover The Four Pillars To Wellbeing

Plan and simple, happiness is not a goal to be achieved rather it comes as a result of engaging in multiple, varied things that are meaningful and bring pleasure as a side-effect. Yet many of us tend to focus on snapshots of isolated parts of our lives and buy into the belief that if we can just find that perfect job, relationship, diet/fitness routine, this thing we call life will be a cinch to live. However, study after studies show that despite people initially experiencing a spike in their levels of wellness after obtaining things like financial prosperity, professional /educational achievements, loving relationships, or improved health-with time inevitably fall back to their original happiness baselines. And in some cases, people can even fall below their baselines feeling more defeated. Understandably, it can be disheartening to discover after working really hard and checking all the boxes to attain all those things believed would guarantee happiness is only fleeting. 

Truth is, safe guarding our level of fulfillment in one aspect of our lives will not secure our happiness nor prevent us from experiencing human highs and lows. To bring about sustainable wellbeing we need to build our overall resilience by attending to our whole self; body, mind, heart, and spirit. Sure, focusing on any one of these variables can make a difference but by attending to all four we will thrive. Moreover, when life throws us a curve ball-which inevitably it will because no one is excuse from life’s trial and tribulations-you will have an abundance of resources to tap into, enabling you to bounce back with greater ease. 

Below you’ll find a brief outline on each of the four pillars to wellbeing, coming this fall I’ll be doing a deeper dive for those interested in learning more about how to thrive rather then just get by. The program is called, Live To Thrive…The Science of Happiness Simplified, it will be a 9 week online, live, interactive course (calls will be recorded, should you be unable to attend) where participants will receive a ton of research based knowledge, tools, and strategies along with personal support to guide them in accessing not only experiencing higher levels of happiness but sustaining it for the long run. 

The 4 Pillars To Wellbeing

  • BODY- Let’s face it, when we are feeling physically strong, we have the best chance of experiencing the energy we need to complete the tasks and goals that are important to us. I start with attending to our body first because typically it is more easily assessed. We can see and feel how vibrant or drained someone is. We can hear it in people’s voices, postures, and faces. We can even measure it with medical devices. But remember we are all built differently, so there isn’t a single formula that works for everyone. What foods are most nourishing for you? What kind of movement works best for your body? How much sleep is optimal for your performance? Are you staying hydrated? Would your body benefit from supplements or vitamins? What, if any chronic or temporary illnesses/injuries do you need to consider in order to best support yourself.
  • MIND- This includes not only expanding our intellect but also training our thoughts to work for us. Attending to our mind is twofold, engaging in learning that is stimulating yet not daunting, enabling a cycle of constant growth. While keeping in mind (no pun intended) that our thoughts will have a way of getting the best of us, interfering with our ability to be present in the moment, wreaking havoc on our confidence, clarity, attention, and focus. Creating daily habits to expand this awareness (i.e  quality learning, meditation, journaling, single-tasking, self-introspection, etc) will clear the way for our minds to function optimally. 
  • SPIRIT- “He who has a why in life can bare almost any how”- Friedrich Nietzsche.Our spirit is what guides us to become fully ourselves and to live a meaningful life. In other words, it’s about connecting what we do and how we do it with who we truly are. What would you like to be remembered for? What drives you? What lights you up? What makes you unique? What things do you most want out of life? How can you share your strengths with the world? We must first accept that we all have this deeper inner side of ourselves and then find time to listen to it. Moreover, honor and then align in accordance with these inner urgings.  
  • Heart- Cultivate an open heart by practicing gratitude for the good things in your life, love and compassion for yourself, connection and kindness toward others. Remembering all feelings are legitimate and finely tuning in and accepting our full range of emotions can be used as tools to help us understand what’s going on for us in any given moment, enabling us to create greater wellbeing. 

Bottomline, we will have a much greater capacity to flourish and grow, to endure life’s challenges and stressors when we attend to our whole selves…Body, Mind, Heart, and Spirit.  

Wishing You Always The Best Of Success

 -Holly-