Say Yes To YOU

For a long time I struggled with saying no.  I thought I should be able to do it all. I thought I should be an exuberantly willing participant in the doing of it all. I thought it was part of the job description. If you’re a woman living on this planet, you can probably relate.

Eventually I came to understand that sometimes, saying yes to me meant saying no to something or someone else, and that’s okay. Wanting time for what’s important to me doesn’t make me a bad person or a lazy parent; it makes me human. And being that this is my life and all, it’s sort of my responsibility to do the things that are important to me.

So, I set about mastering the art of saying no. I practiced a lot, and I got better at it (mostly.) But over time, even though I felt a huge sense of relief from taking a lot of things off of my plate, I still didn’t feel like I thought I would feel.

I kept wondering what was going on…I was saying no left and right, I had more time, but I still wasn’t saying yes to ME. 

Whoa. That realization hit me hard. Because if I’m honest, the one area in my life where saying no was easy, was to myself. I had been saying no to myself for so long that it had become a habit, and little by little, it was stripping away the things that made me me.

The next thing I had to learn was how to say yes to me. Yes to things I didn’t necessarily feel worthy of; yes to things that scared me a little bit (or a lot.) I wish I could say I’ve mastered this, but it’s a work in progress.

I have post-it note on my desk with this reminder to myself: sometimes no keeps sane, other times it keeps you safe (but not in a good way.) Say yes to YOU.

Christy  xo

A New Level Of Mastery

If you’ve been following along on Facebook or Instagram, you may have caught a glimpse of this little guy. Meet Marcel!

He’s been keeping me on my toes, so I haven’t posted many pictures of him. Or gotten much work done. Or taken a shower on a regular basis. Puppies are hard, yo.

In fact, I had a little bit of a meltdown this morning.

But let me back up for a sec. Marcel came home two weeks ago, and despite the fact that he was already almost four months old, he was not potty trained. Like at all. The first few nights, I got up to take him out every two hours, and every single time, he’d already peed (or worse) in his crate. 2 am baths were becoming his new normal.

Luckily, after making a few adjustments to his crate to make it a little smaller (and probably after he’d gotten over some of the stress of leaving his family to join ours) I was able to establish a more reasonable nighttime routine with him: bed at 11 pm, out at 3 am, up at 6:30 am. He’s been able to make it 3-4 hours at a time without having an accident–HALLELUJAH!

Some sleep is better than no sleep, for sure…but after finally resolving YEARS of sleep issues, it hasn’t been easy to purposefully reintroduce them. Hence this morning’s meltdown.

I couldn’t go back to sleep after getting up at three with the puppy. I tossed and turned for hours, and just as I was drifting off, the alarm started dinging. The alarm my husband was supposed to get up to, but was pretending not to hear. I reminded him that it was his turn to take care of the dogs. I poked his side. I asked him to please get up (maybe “asked” and “please” are slight exaggerations) but all I got was incoherent mumbling in response.

So, I let out the most exasperated of sighs, threw off the covers, and went downstairs to let the Marcel and Leo out. And cried, and cried, and cried. The wrath of sleep deprivation had gotten the best of me, and I was feeling really sorry for myself. 

I kept thinking about when we got Leo two and half years ago, and went through the stress of potty training, and teaching him to sit, lay down, and not eat everything in sight. We’d mastered all of it, and now here we were, back at square one.

But that’s how life is, right? You put all the work into reaching a certain level of mastery over a particular area, and before you know it, you’re starting all over again. And it can feel like all that work was for nothing. It’s not though, I promise.

All the work you put in is what allows you to reach the next level of mastery more efficiently than the last. It allows you to experience fewer bumps and bruises along the way because you’ve learned some things and you’ve grown. That’s kinda what it’s all about, isn’t it?

I know Marcel will be potty trained soon, and the 3 am jaunts to the backyard will end. We’ll probably be able to teach him some things even quicker than we taught Leo, because we’ve figured a lot of things out along the way. In the meantime, I’ll try to remember that when I’m running on little to no sleep.

It’s a good thing he’s cute.

A Few Of My Favorite Things

My passion as a coach and a writer is to empower as many of my fellow mamas to find more joy and create Happy, Hot & Healthy lives. Creating that kind of life encompasses SO many things, from mindset, to how we care for and express ourselves, to the clothes we wear, the products we use and the foods we eat.

I’m always experimenting and trying new things to see what inspires me, and what makes me feel and look my best. So in the spirit of that, I’ve decided to dedicate one post a month (we’ll see how it goes) to sharing some things I love that I hope will make your life better. It might be a book, or a product, or a recipe. It might be a website, podcast, or other resource I think you should know about. Whatever it is, I promise I’ll be the guinea pig! I’ll only share things that have added value in my own life before I tell you about it!

So, without further adieu…

After being diagnosed with adrenal issues a couple of years ago, I learned that our bodies experience stress in many different ways. We’re all familiar with the typical feeling of stress when we’re overwhelmed or have a lot on our plates, but our bodies are also under constant stress from toxins in our environment, food supply, and household and beauty products.

There are definitely some favorites I haven’t been willing to part with (hello, mani/pedis!) but I’ve tried and tested several natural, nontoxic health and beauty products and found a few that made switching totally worth it!

Hello Toothpaste: Believe it or not, I found this at my regular grocery store–no trip to Whole Foods required! The thing I love about it is that it has no artificial sweeteners, no dyes, no preservatives, and it doesn’t have that weird taste like some of the other natural brands I’ve tried. They have several different kinds of toothpaste in their product line up–whitening, no fluoride, and a kids’ toothpaste, to name a few. I have some cold sensitivity, so I like the sensitivity relief, which has coconut oil and aloe.

Biolage RAW Shampoo & Conditioner: This new line from Biolage was recommended to me by my hair stylist who had been using it for a week or so. She said it made her hair feel super soft, and didn’t leave a dull build-up that some shampoos do.  70-100% of the ingredients in this line are of natural origin–things like coconut oil, honey, quinoa husk, and kaolin clay. I’ve been using it for about a month, and my hair feels so much softer (I use the Nourish line because I get balayage, and the highlighting can leave my ends feeling pretty dead). I love that even though it’s free of sulphates, it lathers up really well, and a little goes a long way. Bonus points because it smells like a tropical island, and I can pretend I’m on vacation while I wash my hair!

Primally Pure Deodorant: I am so excited about this one! I’ve tried a ton of natural deodorants, and this is one is by far the best! It has 100% TRULY natural ingredients (Organic Arrowroot Powder, Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, Organic Tallow from Grass-Fed Cows, Baking Soda, Organic Beeswax, Organic Lemongrass Essential Oil), leaves no irritation, and doesn’t need to be reapplied throughout the day. To be clear, it’s not an anti-perspirant, so you will still sweat, but even after a grueling workout session in the middle of the day, I experienced no odor.

BeautyCounter Balancing Face Mask: Let me preface this by saying, I’m not a rep for BeautyCounter, but I love what they stand for, and that they’ve chosen to ban the use of toxic chemicals in their makeup and skincare products. I was slow to jump on the BeautyCounter bandwagon because I’ve had problem skin for YEARS, and I’d found a skincare regimen that’s been working pretty well for me. I didn’t want to jinx it by adding something new to the mix! But this mask came highly recommended, and it was something I could easily add to what I was already doing here and there. I LOVE IT! It feels so smooth going on, and when you wash it off, your face just feels fresh and clean.

It’s not always easy to find natural products that live up to your expectations, but it’s worth doing your research and trying different things out for yourself to see what works, and what you like. I think anytime you can replace a product you use on your body or in your home with something that’s more natural and works great, it leads to a happier, hotter, healthier YOU.

Christy  xo