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Happening Now

Give It All You've Got

I remember when my daughter, Grace, was four. We'd have the what-do-you-want-to-be-when-you-grow-up conversation, and her answer was always the same:

I want to be a waitress

This was her answer for two (if not three) years. It was a long two (or three) years for this mama. 

While I prayed that her career aspirations would surpass this particular occupation at some point, I also realized that 4-year-olds don't have any comprehension of what's a "good" job or a not-so-good job. They only know what sounds fun. And there is most definitely value in that.

So while dreams of carrying a tray covered with spaghetti and sundaes were her constant companion, I simply told her, "Grace, you just give it all you've got, and be the best waitress you can be!"

Regardless of whether she became a waitress (she dropped the dream at age 9), a veterinarian (dreams of carrying a tray of food turned to dreams of carrying a tray of surgical tools, apparently), a singer (age 10), a music therapist (age 15) or a psychologist (age 16), what I've tried to remind her (and myself) is that in any vocation, it's by being more than "just another [fill in the blank]" that she---or anyone---will make their mark. 

Through putting one's whole heart into whatever they do, they put their unique stamp onto it. The Starbucks baristas who sing to their customers, the dedicated and determined street artists who end up doing huge commercial installations, the grocery store baggers who smile at and make every customer's heart swell---these are the people who are giving it all they've got. 

And in a sea of anythings, it's the ones who give it all they've got who make a difference---not necessarily for what they're doing but for how they're doing it.

This morning, after Grace and I left a doctor's appointment, we exited the highway so I could drop off some packages at the post office.

There was a man on the ramp with a handmade sign. And, to be clear, there is a man (or woman) on every ramp with a handmade sign these days. Also on every median. And shopping center exit.

But something about this man struck me.

"Wait. Is he CARVING his sign?" I asked Grace.

"Oh yeah. He's here all the time. He's always carving," she replied.

The light was red, and I simply watched him.  

He had a shopping cart full of "stuff," and on the top sat a piece of wood into which two intersecting hearts had been carved. Taped to the front of the shopping cart was the commonplace cardboard sign that read "Homeless. Anything Helps. God Bless You."

Most of the people working the exit ramps and medians walk up and down the lane of stopped cars, making their presence known and otherwise compelling us to help.  

But this man wasn't paying attention to us. He was too busy working.

He sat on a bucket, and on his lap he balanced a longer piece of wood into which he was actively carving.

I squinted to try to make out the words, and because he had only completed the basic outline of most of them thus far, the only words I could read were "The Lord Will."

"I think he's carving his 'Please Help' sign," Grace contributed, as she momentarily looked up from her Instagram feed. 

I found this to be one of the most incredible things I've seen in a long time. 

Every other person working an exit ramp or a median or a shopping center exit simply went the standard route: find a piece of cardboard, find a writing utensil, write something about being homeless, having 3 kids, that anything helps and God Bless. 

But this man, THIS man was giving it all he had. And he stood out. 

I never have cash. Ever. But today I did. 

"Grace, get the cash out of my purse," I said.

"Um, what if he doesn't want cash?" she asked.

"Uh, I think the 'Homeless. Anything helps' verbiage on his sign indicates that he might, in fact, be okay with me giving him money."

I caught his attention as the light turned green.

"Sir?" I called out.

He looked up from his work, saw my outstretched hand, jumped off of his bucket, gently took the money from my hand, and said, "Thank you. God Bless." 

He's not begging his way through his situation. He's carving his way out of it.  

Who you are isn't defined by where you are. It's defined by what you do with where you are. 

So whatever you do, wherever you are, just give it all you've got. 

I Found My Unicorn

You might (or might not) remember the custom necklace I made and posted about a while back. I mentioned that it came with a story. Said story is ready to be told. 

*insert high-pitched squealing

Unicorn and gold bar necklace

Let's talk about unicorns for a moment, shall we? 

Here's the thing about unicorns: some people believe in them; (many) others don't. 

Those who do not believe often don't based on the simple fact that they've never seen a real, live unicorn. 

Those who do believe often do so---not because they have seen one---because they believe merely in the possibility. 

Belief in possibility changes everything.

I believe in lots of things that don't come packaged in a box with a perfectly tied bow and tangible proof: God, true love, miracles, and unicorns.

Also, pigs that can fly. 

I remember hearing, years ago, about the many agents who passed on J.K. Rowling's first Harry Potter manuscript. While the focus was often on those who said "No," the agent I wanted to have lunch with was the one who said "Yes."

Because, no doubt, he believes in unicorns. 

I admire the music producers and directors and agents who pluck someone out of obscurity, not because they know that their work will make them a fortune but because they simply can't just walk away from that voice. They have to take a shot. They see how remarkable someone is in the dark, and believe that they have a responsibility to attempt to bring them into the light so that they can bring others out of the dark.

Adam Levine's unicorn: Jordan Smith (yes, it almost always comes back to Adam somehow).

United Feature Syndicate's unicorn: Charles Schultz

Britney Spears' manager Dan Dymtrow's unicorn: Taylor Swift

I think that just finding your unicorn in this world is a miracle in and of itself. You have to be open, you have to trust, you have to be a bit crazy, and you have to be ok with uncertainty.

Which is ironically hysterical because I'm not even a little bit the last one. Ask anyone who's spent more than 2 minutes with me.

So there I was on a normal, average day in October when, through the magic that is a few awesome women procrastinating via Facebook with their triple-shot venti latte, Genevieve Georget's glorious Facebook post showed up in my feed (proving that my friends have fantastic taste in coffee and people). 

Among other revelations, she noted that she had always wanted to publish a book, but was afraid no one would think it was worth reading. 

I, for one, KNEW it was worth reading. I wanted to read it, so I needed her to write it. Also, I was pretty damn sure that thousands and thousands of other women ALSO needed her to write it. Because THEY needed to read it. 

I simply had to try to connect with her. "She will likely never see my message amidst the thousands she's receiving," I thought. "But I'm going to send it anyway." 

I took a chance. Because if you don't take the shot, you'll never know. To use her analogy, if you don't let go once you pull back the arrow back, you'll never know if you might have hit the bullseye.  

She wrote back. 

And we are exactly alike (meaning that I have just a few of her many amazing qualities and she has just a few of my crazy ones). 

She freaks out on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday while I take Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

We love the Starbucks red cups and give zero thought to the controversy surrounding them.

We're both scared to death every second of every other day. 

I've yet to meet her in person, yet I'm pretty sure I've known her for thousands of years. 

She let the arrow soar by "outing" our plans this morning

And we have no idea where this will go. But I'm all in.

Because she's my unicorn. 

Keep Dancing

 

You know I love analogies. And today I've got two of them to weave together, so bear with me. 

In anticipation of traveling to Ethiopia to meet our daughter 7 years ago, I read an emotion-stirring, eye-opening book titled, There is No Me Without You

"How on earth," I asked my mom, only 45 or so pages in, "am I going to be able to leave behind all the other kids who need a forever family?"

A few weeks later, a package arrived in the mail from my mom. It was a sterling silver starfish charm, along with the following story:


Once, a little boy stood on a deserted beach throwing back to the sea starfish that had washed ashore, knowing they would otherwise die. 


An older man approached the boy and said, cynically, "You know, you can't save them all."


Without stopping, the boy picked up the next starfish, flung it back into the sea, and replied,  "No, but I can save this one."

To be clear, I have never thought of my daughter as someone I saved. Far from it. In fact, in many ways it's been very much the other way around. There were many people in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, however, who needed assistance---and that starfish charm reminded me that there is value in focusing on helping one person instead of on the fact that you can't help everyone.  

There was the old man sitting on the side of a bridge with an open wound on his hand. There were children on the backs of other children desperate for food. There were hundreds of people with makeshift shoes, or no shoes at all. There were babies in government orphanages, two or three to a crib, with blanket-propped bottles because there simply wasn't sufficient staff to personally feed them all. 

It was heartbreaking not to be able to do what we could easily do in this country --- bandage a wound and provide antibiotics, donate shoes, feed a baby and know that he'd never again be fed by a blanket, lead someone to a shelter where they could have a warm bed and food.

My travel companions and I focused on what we could do for one.  

For the children with children on their backs, we gave our containers of peanut butter (which is like gold in Addis Ababa). For people without shoes, we gave shoes. To the kids in the orphanage looking for entertainment, I gave harmonicas. I almost immediately regretted it, and the staff probably hopes I never return, but nonetheless. For the man with the gaping wound, I said a prayer. And I watched in awe as one of the dads traveling with us jumped out of our slowly moving van and ran to the side of the road to pray over a disabled, homeless man.

There are so many people in need in this world. In this country. In this state. In my own neighborhood. When each of us focuses on what we can do for one person, we can collectively help a whole lot of people. 

Tessa Prothera is a beautiful, vibrant, determined little girl battling neuroblastoma, which in and of itself is unfathomable to me---and not only is she fighting this beast with everything she's got, she's dancing in the rain instead of waiting for the storm to pass.  

When I come across people like that --- especially when they are kids --- I think, "I could not be more disgusted with myself for thinking the day was ruined because Starbucks was out of coconut milk." 

Those moments are what I call a DIP: a Dose of Immediate Perspective. And they are what drive me to walk along starfish-covered beaches. I don't pick up starfish because I believe that I'm saving them. I pick them up because I take one look at them, and they save me with their Dose of Immediate Perspective.

Yesterday I walked the beach, and one of the starfish was dancing. Her name is Tessa. And I picked her up.  

Keep Dancing, beautiful girl.

*******

KEEP DANCING

*Proceeds from the sale of each Keep Dancing bracelet will be donated to Tessa's medical, travel and dance party fund. 

    

 

 

Is Passion Enough?

Join the Girl Boss Chronicles, where we're in the Business of Building a Life Fueled by Passion:

This past weekend I watched a fantastic LiveStream hosted by Suzanne Evans and Larry Winget. They are dynamic (and hilarious) speakers, and about 10 minutes in they began talking about their belief that PASSION isn't really what you want to be going for.

Larry used the following analogy:

"If you were about to have a quadruple bypass, and you had two surgeons to choose from---one who was passionate about cutting people open and another who was the very best at cutting people open---which would you choose?"

The assumption is that you'd choose the one who was the very best over the one who was simply passionate about scalpels and blood, I suppose.

But there's a component I think they missed.

Perhaps not inherently, mind you. 

If your greatest passion involves surgery, for example, you likely won't be born with top-notch skill as a surgeon. Gaining that skill will require years and years of study, practice and mistakes (hopefully not on a living person!).

But BECAUSE YOU ARE PASSIONATE about fixing the human body through, in many cases, surgery you will ENJOY the process of learning and honing your skills.

I'll make an admission, and tell you a quick story.

I don't have a ton of perseverance. I picked up a tennis racket my junior year of high school and put it down again after I wasn't Martina Navratilova within a week. I picked up a guitar my freshman year of college and put it back down after I wasn't Eric Clapton after 27 minutes.

It's not that I couldn't have GOTTEN there (well, probably not all the way to their level, but...) it's that I wasn't truly passionate about tennis or the guitar.

Fast forward a decade (or two) to the point when I became interested in jewelry making. 

Guys, you should see the first (also, the 2nd, 4th and 10th) items I soldered. They were ugly with a capital U. 

But I was fascinated. I became more and more passionate about the art of it. And I practiced and practiced and my passion grew and grew. I found new materials, new teachers, and more than a few times new materials altogether after I melted the ones I had!

So while I agree with Suzanne and Larry that you can't JUST be passionate about a topic, you must HAVE passion for it in order to persevere and, perhaps ultimately, make a GirlBoss-style living doing it. 

Because while being a Girl Boss only means that you have a passion-fueled life (not that you necessarily make a living from it), if you DO intend to make a living from it, you gotta love 95% of the minutes you spend doing it. 

Making millions of dollars doing something you aren't passionate about isn't what a Girl Boss does. Period.

So, now I want to hear from YOU, *|FNAME|*!

What are you SO passionate about that your spirit simply will not allow you to quit, even after you mess up or advance more slowly than you'd like?

Leave a comment and share! I can't wait to hear from you!

With great love,


The Girl Boss Chronicles: Episode 1

It's time.

Time for an honest, fun, what-really-goes-on-behind-the-scenes look and how-the-heck-does-one-do-all-this conversation with and for women who want to pursue their dream business or are in the midst of pursuing their dream business.

And who, some days, wake up and think 'I love this life!' and other days wake up wondering 'What the hell am I doing?'

This is a conversation for women who are at once excited, passionate, overwhelmed and terrified.

 

From the nuts and bolts (how do I even form a business?) to the practical (how do I grow an authentic Instagram following?) to the real insanity (how do I care for 3 children and 2 dogs if I'm supposed to spend every waking minute launching a business?), we will debunk the myths, streamline the essentials, and support one another while we laugh our way through.

Feel the Fear. Do It Anyway.

To join the (completely free) group and ensure you don't miss a thing, simply CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP

Click here to sign up!

PS -- In order to get this project off and running most efficiently, I need to hear from YOU!

Where are you stuck? What practical questions do you have? What fears are holding you back?

Let me know in the comments, so we can address them and get you on your way to running the business of your dreams. 

Would you be ready?

Have you ever said, "I'm ready to receive everything that's meant for me. Right now. (I swear.)"

Of course you have. Who hasn't? 

Ironically, I thank God some mornings (literally) that I was not given all that I thought I was ready for 5 (or even 2) years ago. 

5 years ago, I definitely would have pulled an MC Hammer and squandered it all for one simple (but incredibly powerful) reason: I didn't know who I was.

When you don't yet know who you are, if given the opportunity you'd like attempt to BUY in some way who you think you are SUPPOSED to be. You would think: 

"Oh, I think I'm that big house with a central vacuuming system," or

"I'm 99% sure I'm that awesome car that parallel parks with the touch of a button," or

"I'm definitely that trip to Fiji, staying in one of those $5,000 a night huts on the water. Yup. All me," or

"I'm pretty darn sure I'm that not-on-sale outfit from Anthropologie."

Well, that last one is true in my case. I went into Anthropologie yesterday prior to the Victoria's Secret swimsuit try-on debacle, and I am here to profess that I AM about 9 dresses in there. I am NOT, however, a Victoria's Secret swimsuit. But hey, now I (and all of you) know.

Anyway, I digress.

The point is, we THINK we're ready all the time. And why wouldn't we? Who says, "Oh, I'm not ready for all that good stuff. I wouldn't even enjoy riding in a car with curtains on the windows!"

Wait...I actually wouldn't. It's weird.

Reframe.

Who says, "I don't want a 5-star trip to Fiji. I'm not ready to receive that." Or,

"I don't want a gorgeous new wardrobe that fits me well and lasts more than 3 wears without developing holes. I'm not ready to receive that." Or,

"I couldn't possibly accept having a bank account big enough to support all of my kids through college. I'm not ready for that; I'd rather sit here and stress about it instead."

If you could utter any of the above, you're a more in-tune woman than I, my friend.

For years, I thought I was ready for EVERYTHING.

But the truth says that you attract what you are ready for --- nothing more, nothing less.

The reality of your circumstances is the universe talking. Now, whether you make good choices when you actually receive great circumstances? That's your humanity talking.

Looking back, while I so believed I was ready to receive it all 5 years ago, I realize now that I was not. 

And, of course, I believe that today I'm beyond ready.

But I continue to work on myself -- honing my values, my desires, the way I love and support and give to others, so that when the universe DOES decide that I'm ready, my humanity will be ready as well and we can go on a crazy fun authentic adventure together.

Because I'm not sure the universe gives second chances on that kind of thing. And I'm sure as hell not crazy enough to test the theory one way or another!

Tell me, if you were given everything that you desire right now, would you be ready to receive it? Are you in a place emotionally and spiritually where you feel like your choices of what to do with that gift would be in line with your true self? If not, how can you continue to intentionally get closer and closer to your true self on a daily basis so that when the universe hands you all you've ever wanted, you can receive it with gratitude and honor the gift?

With Love,

How to Be a Mermaid

*Important Note: I, Elizabeth No-Middle-Name Lyons, would not DREAM of taking credit for the brilliance of this post. It was written by the fabulously insightful Katie Marie Frank (who was, in so many ways, completely created to be my friend even if she does not yet know it), and originally posted on Elephant Journal. You can follow Katie's Instagram here or check out her unique Etsy shop here. Katie, if you read this, I must meet you. I must. <3

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What do you think of when you hear the word “mermaid”?

Oceans, mystery, beauty, blues, greens and purples, strength, songs and a bonus clamshell bra, right? They represent a sort of freedom and artistry we land-bound mortals ache for. A depth of perception and wonder we can’t help but dream of and long for.

I must be a mermaid, Rango. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living.” – Anais Nin

Well, as my best friend (a rather remarkable human) has declared, this is the “Year of the Mermaid.

In other words this is the year to be brave, be honest, be the glorious, beautiful, incredible human we all know you are.

If someone says your life has to go a certain way, look them in the eye and ask “Why?” Then do whatever the f*** you want. Someone says that you have to be or do something in order to be successful? Laugh, take a shot of bourbon and do whatever the f*** you want.

This is the year to write your own story.

Paint your own walls with the colors that make your heart happy.

Make something beautiful every day—or every other day, whatever.

Sing—just sing, goddamn it. Just do it. It’s good for your health and nobody actually gives a f*** about how it sounds—as long as you mean it.

And most importantly, be honest—with everyone, especially yourself.

Something isn’t feeding you or making you happy? Be honest about why this is so and get rid of it.

Something won’t leave you alone? Get to the bottom of that sh**. Can’t get thoughts of someone out of your head? Tell them.

Peel away that fear inch by inch and keep moving forward.

Give “the man” a giant middle finger, scream into the wind off the ocean and live your goddamn life the way you see fit.

But then reality comes knocking: you need a job to pay the bills.

Okay, but why can’t that be doing something I love instead of something that sucks my soul out through my eyeballs and leaves me dripping ooze all over the carpet?

Okay, reality again: following your heart isn’t the best business plan.

We’re not all business people. I sure as hell am not. Yeah, I run an Etsy shop and can do my own taxes, but f***—the last thing I want to do is sit in a cubicle and do paperwork.

I’d rather shovel horse sh**.

Wait, I have shoveled horse shit.

It was one of the best jobs I ever had.

So do I look down on “real” work? Hell, no. I’ve waited tables, I’ve worked behind a desk, my mom and sister have cleaned houses, my dad worked construction between desk jobs and I am a better person when physical labor is involved in my work.

But joy should also be in your work. Yes, joy. Find it. If you can’t, find something else to do.

Here’s an idea! Sell the sh** you don’t need, it’s a start to making some money. It’s actually pretty amazing—all the crap you probably have in your closets and cabinets or on your shelves is just sitting there, collecting dust because these things are never getting used. Why on earth do you even own them in the first place?

Sell that sh**. Craigslist, Facebook, yard sales—use the money to pay off a credit card debt and get rid of that sh**, too.

Being held back by possessions or debt will never make you happy, nor will it further your life. It’s a literal weight, preventing you from being the amazing human you are supposed to be. Throw off the weight that’s dragging you down and swim freely in the ocean of your life.

Seriously, people, life is supposed to be beautiful and fulfilling and genuine and lovely. Use what you have, get rid of what you don’t need (that includes people and regrets, too) and live more freely, more honestly and full of joy.

Find your tribe. You hear that a lot, that surrounding yourself with people who have similar interests, loves and heartbeats will help you be the incredible mermaid you’re striving to be.

Guess what? It’s true.

My closest friends are scattered all across the country and all over the world, but there is a cord of steel connecting us together. The electric current that runs between us is amazing, it holds love and light and ideas and joy and encouragement and a certain brand of take-no-sh**-attitude that keeps us all honest with each other.

We’ve got each other’s backs. We also call each other’s bullshit. You can’t be a mermaid if you’re swimming around pretending to be a seahorse. Your tribe will keep you frank and forthright.

Get specific about what it is you want out of your life. “I want to be happy” just isn’t enough. What things make you happy? How can you do more of that?

"I want to be successful." Well, what the hell is this success you’re talking about? Define it. Get to the center of it. The nitty-gritty, salty details of what you want, what it looks like and how you can get there.

There’s a great big ocean out there, loves. You need a map to get across it. You’re going to have to dive deep into some dark waters without a flashlight and kind of feel your way for a bit.

But then there’s the the other side. Picture the Great Barrier Reef. That’s how f***ing gorgeous it’s going to be.

Finally, write a manifesto. Declare to the world the kind of life you want and the things you’re going to do. It doesn’t have to be all serious and all intellectual. Just let yourself know what will help you be the most unique, most genuinely you mermaid in the whole damn ocean.

Here’s mine:

I’m going to dye my hair blue. I’m going to make a short film. I’m going to write a f***ing book, called something like “Lioness Roar: The Ramblings of a Wild Heart“. It will have pictures I draw and poems and essays and dredges of heart song. It will be messy and beautiful—like my life. It won’t be entirely true, but it will be entirely real. My heart stains will be on each page, my paint-covered fingers and dirty nails will leave prints in the margins. It will be my life on paper. My tears and blood-splatters turned into words.

This is my goal. This is ultimately where I will end up: leather-bound but free. Flying. Just waiting for you to decide to open the cover.

Because I am a goddam mermaid with flowers in her hair, and I will do what makes my heart sing.
Keep swimming, my salty loves.

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Sing Your Song Bracelet Mermaid Bracelet Dare Greatly Bracelet

Dear Katie,

THANK YOU for reminding us how much power we have. THANK YOU for teaching us how to be the mermaids we were born to be. When you decide to write that book of yours, it would be an absolute honor to answer any questions you might have about the process. :)

Who's Your Person?

Have you heard? 

We get by with a little help from our friends. 

Or dog.

Or mail person who's going to show up today with the latest Sunset magazine or a box from Amazon with who-knows-what in it but it's super exciting at first because you can't remember what you ordered or perhaps what someone ordered for you but then you get it home and discover that it's just the copy of 1984 you had to order for your son's Lit class.

Regardless, we all need "a person."

We need someone we trust to bounce ideas and fears and concerns off of.

Sometimes, balance and perspective requires more than 3 hours on a Pinterest board trying to figure out how to make your 6-year-old a canteloupe costume for Halloween and ending up redecorating your entire family room---even if only in your mind---and realizing you can do it almost entirely with pallets.

We need Life Coaches. Spiritual Advisors. Balance Gurus.

I'd love to hear from you. Who helps you navigate the most challenging moments you face? What is your greatest suggestion for someone who is still looking for her "person?" 

Please share in the comments below! I read them all, and I'll share some over on Facebook. Because we're all here to help each other navigate this craziness. None of us needs to go it alone. (Especially when there's a canteloupe costume to be made.)

Are You Following Rule 16?

I don't like myself; I'm crazy about myself

Rule 16: Give Yourself the Little Blue Box

On Jack’s and Henry’s seventh birthday, I lazily lay in our less-than-optimally-comfortable hotel bed and relived their delivery in my mind (which isn't the most pleasant of memories, frankly. Worth it, but not terribly pleasant).

Suddenly, someone with a very loud voice began poking me and shouting, "GRACE! GRACE! WHERE IS JACK?"

"Henry," I answered, "he and Papa went to pick up breakfast. I'm sleeping. And I'm not Grace."

He trotted back into the hotel room’s living area and opened the door to the hallway over and over hoping to catch a glimpse of his brother, undoubtedly to scream to him that it was their birthday (in case Jack didn't know).

I called him back into the bedroom and enthusiastically proclaimed, "Henry, Happy Birthday!"

"Happy Birthday," he sullenly responded.

"Henry, it's your birthday. You don't have to wish me Happy Birthday."

"I wasn't," he clarified, sounding just like Senator Eeyore. "I was wishing myself a happy birthday."

This made me laugh. It also taught me a lesson. Sometimes we wait for others to give us what we want or need. But one, we aren’t clear about what that is. And two, sometimes we have to be our own best friend.

There was a time when I thought the little blue box from Tiffany’s was love made manifest. I waited and waited and waited for it to be presented to me. It never appeared. I’ll admit that I spent some time feeling sure that this meant that David didn’t love me.

And then one day, I proactively ended my pity party and waltzed into Tiffany’s. I made nice with Margaret, the bejeweled lady behind the counter, and told her, “Margaret, I need a blue box. I’ve been waiting to receive one for years, and it appears it isn’t going to happen unless I do it myself.” She nodded in complete understanding, as though she’d heard this song many times before, and handed me the smallest blue box under the counter.

   I went home, put my engagement ring in it, put it on my pillow, and gave an Oscar-winning performance to the stuffed animals that lay strewn about our bedroom when I “discovered” and opened it later that evening.

The fact is, we must tell other people what we want and need. Dr. Phil is notorious for admonishing that we must teach other people how to treat us. Don’t waste time being a martyr in order to get what you need. Doing so assumes that others don’t want to give you what you need, and it makes it harder on everyone.

Relying on others to fulfill your needs takes far more energy than most of us have. I give myself a birthday present each year. Or I flat-out tell David that I want this book or that blanket.

Alice Roosevelt Longworth perfectly summed up my perspective. She said, “I have a simple philosophy. Fill what’s empty. Empty what’s full. Scratch where it itches.” If I need a girls-day-out, I don’t beat around the bush, hoping for someone to take the hint and then try to hit the nail on the head in terms of exactly how what I’m hoping to be asked to do. I call a girlfriend and say, “I need a day out. When are you available?” It’s the quickest path to getting what I need. Which is fantastic, because I don’t have a lot of extra time on my hands.

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Get all the rules that will have you on your way to a state of 95% sane and balanced (because, let's be honest, 100% sane and balanced simply doesn't exist) here

*And, yes, you can use code INSTALOVE for 20% off -- but only through February 9th! 

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How do you give yourself the little blue box on a regular basis? Or what would you like to (publicly) commit to start doing for yourself? I'll hold you accountable; I promise! Leave a comment below - share the wisdom; you never know who you will inspire! 

Carry on!