12 Feb 9 Secrets of Lifebook’s Working Moms
A woman is the heart of her home.
Our energy is woven into the very fabric of our families. No matter what we’re doing, if we’re unhappy, everyone is unhappy. And conversely, if we’re content, everyone is content.
The beauty (and sometimes, the burden) of motherhood is that we are at the center of our family’s universe.
For better or worse, we are the heartbeat of our home.
This is why we feel so much pressure to be and do everything in our lives.
As mothers, wives, career women, homemakers, and a dozen other things, we often feel like we’re being pulled in a million different directions… and it can be difficult to maintain a positive, patient, loving, happy attitude when we feel exhausted and divided.
So how can we create more balance and coherence within the different categories of our lives?
Lucky for us, there are tried and true strategies we can use to create real, powerful change right now.
This month, nine stunning Lifebook Career Mamas banded together to share their very best advice for creating balance and harmony within the many roles they play.
Read, smile, laugh and cry along with us as we honor these brilliant ladies, and support one another on our wonderful journeys of becoming the best women we can possibly be.
As always, once you’ve had a chance to read through each of the posts, share the love by commenting at the bottom of the article.
We want to know what daily steps you take to maintain your inner strength!
Creating My Ideal Day
By: Laurie Gentempo
When I finished my first Lifebook session I was in overwhelm! My life vision was so far from my current reality. I wasn’t sure how to go about tackling all 12 categories while continuing on with the already overstressed life I was living. I had to take a step back and answer the question, what is this all really for?
I not only wanted to get to the point of obtaining the vision, but also to love my daily life while building it.
The very large, beautiful landscape of my Lifebook was composed of millions of tiny moving parts. I realized that I only needed to very effectively identify how I needed to spend one day of my life, and eliminate all other activities.
This led me to create a process I called My Ideal Day.
I began the process by identifying the absolute foundational elements that needed to be in my day. It consisted of wellness care time, meaningful connection with my husband, business-time with my husband, quality time with my children and focus on my home environment.
It took me some time to learn how to carve my life out of my day, but I was persistent and began to cross off a huge amount of commitments that just didn’t matter that much. I’m pretty sure that over the years I have offended and put off people by not working harder at fulfilling their needs. Thanks to my mentor Devers Branden who taught me how to say NO without giving reasons and keeping it a simple, strong process. Saying less is more.
Over time, as those foundational areas began to achieve what I call ‘flowy automation’, I was able to use cross-category leverage to begin adding new layers of commitments that were aligned with the same core values to grow my existing ‘Ideal Day.’
This process is organic, dynamic and changing because that is the nature of life itself.
I continue to use this conscious process to spend the currency of my time with utmost care, because when we stop thinking about how to live, then life takes us.
I choose to create my life rather than exist at the whim of life’s chaos.
Rocket-Fuel Nutrition – Starting Your Day Off With a BANG!
By: Camilla Franson
If you are reading this, it’s safe to assume that you’re mastering a lot of areas in your life already, and for that I congratulate you! It takes vision, purpose, planning and execution to lead a full, successful life… but sometimes our system in any category may start to fall apart.
It’s my experience that when our schedule backs up and the deadlines are looming, one of the first things to fall on the wayside is nutrition.
After all, the human body seems to be infinitely resilient in its marvelous make up… until a point!
It’s fair to say and (obvious to some) that a toxic, deficient body will perform at a lower level than one that is getting an abundance of its nutritional requirements, day-in and day-out, over a lifetime!
If I’m preaching to the choir and you have this category down pat – wonderful!!!
If not, let me just give you my two cents on the topic;
The way we feed our cells is directly proportionate to our wellness and our longevity, and we get a fresh start – a new chance – to do it right every morning!!
The morning begins the night before, right? Besides getting to sleep on time, here are some strategies that have turned into vital behaviors for our family;
The night before:
- Make sure that your kitchen is cleaned up before bed so that you are ready to execute the next morning!
- Fill up your food grade, stainless steel water bottle and place it next to your keys, in your purse or bag. That way you will not leave the house without your source of hydration. (You should drink about half your body weight in ounces/day. Sipping all day is a great way to meet this goal!)
- If you have kids and prepare their lunch boxes, cut up the fruits and veggies and place in resp. containers in the fridge overnight to make the morning less stressful. (Or have them do it themselves to take ownership of their food intake!)
- Throw some raw almonds in a bowl, add some water and cover and let sprout on the counter (12 hrs) for easy grab in the am.
In the morning;
- Green smoothies!!!!! I have found no better way than this to get great nutrition into yourself and your family quickly and efficiently! Invest in a Vitamix or buy a blender; fill it with spinach and some water, add fresh pineapple and half an avocado for healthy fats, maybe half a banana and some cucumber and don’t forget hemp seeds – so yummy!! Blend and enjoy! Make it more about the greens than the fruit so that you don’t have an insulin bomb first thing! Adding some grass-fed whey protein powder can be a good idea as well.
- Protein; make egg muffins ahead of time and heat up in toaster oven (egg, sautéed bacon, onion and tomato in muffin tins, bake at 350 for about 12-15 min). Soft-boiled eggs with a spoonful of salsa work well too. If you can hire and train someone to do some food prep ahead of time, by all means do! We always have a pan of Paleo banana bread in the fridge to heat up in the toaster oven – quick and filling!
- If you can’t eat a big breakfast, grab a handful of sprouted almonds on the go in the morning with a smoothie and you just had a great start nutritionally.
- Supplements; No matter how hard we try, most people require some supplements in addition to an excellent diet in order to thrive. You can easily get lost in the “vitamin jungle”. We mostly stick to the following core supplements; good quality fish oil for your omega 3s, probiotics (need to be guaranteed live), Vit D (about 2000 IU for kids and 6000 IU for adults) and a good quality whole food or chelated multivitamin. The morning is a great time for these. Have small, colorful cups (we use egg cups) to serve each family member their ration!
I find that when you start your day off right – eating high-density nutrition – you are more inclined to stay the course throughout the day. You feel better, look better and have more energy than before. So get up 20 min earlier, make it a really important part of the day, get your family all fueled up for the day and set an excellent example for your kids!
Make it a 21-day challenge and see how it works. If you’re already there – all power to you!
Just stay the course and know that it is not only helping you and your family, but indirectly, the entire planet!
Camilla Franson D.C.
Keep Your SH*T Together and Have Fun!
By: Missy Butcher
Life is a creative and interactive experience… not just a series of events to be check-marked off a list. Its essence is flowing, unpredictable, exciting and challenging. And it’s meant to be enjoyed deeply.
Living a conscious life means really being here, and experiencing the moments of it.
My life is made up of years, months, weeks and days. And my days are made up of hours and moments. These moments are my life. As I experience them, I create them, and they in turn define me. These very moments are everything. Being present during (and enjoying) these moments is LIVING.
As you might imagine, this continuous practice takes continuous vigilance and it depends immensely on my emotional fortitude and my emotional resilience…. I call it my Inner Emotional Environment.
My Inner Emotional Environment, or my inner state of being, controls everything… It is the foundation of my entire world.
It controls how I process the moments of my life. It creates my aura and from there it permeates every aspect of my life.
It creates a deep, open and impenetrable connection with my man. It sets the emotional tone in my home. It sets my children at ease and calms them. It puts them in a place of nurturing safety where they can flourish. It is felt by everyone I come into contact with, or anybody that comes into our home.
This is my internal emotional environment, and it seeps out of me and into everything and everyone I touch and every place I inhabit.
My internal environment creates the underlying emotional ambiance and tone of my external environment. It permeates the world around me.
It is how I show up in the moments of my life – it’s how I experience the present.
Now you can see why this is so unbelievably important to me and why I take it hella serious. I MUST apply my powerful self-discipline to being in a state of inner peace (the stakes are just too high not to).
Because when I’m not, you can imagine the carnage. The ripples are like tsunami waves that crash into my love relationship, my work, my home’s energy, my family’s entire wellbeing… my whole life experience.
If I’m not practicing and ‘being’ in my ideal state of inner peace – if my Inner Emotional Environment is in turmoil – then so will be the moments of my life. This is simply not acceptable.
So my #1 strategy for balancing a big life is…
Keep your sh*t together and have fun in the present moment! J
Ha – way easier said than done, I know…
For my in depth recipe for keeping my Inner Emotional Environment (a.k.a. “sh*t”) together, click here.
A Thousand Thank You’s
By: Tamara Strachan
Exactly 5 years ago this month, I was rushing my kids out the door to take my son to his preschool. I kept saying, “put your shoes on, put your shoes on, we’ve got to go!”
By the time we got to Tai’s school and I was dropping him off, Tai was crying. I stayed with him and helped settle him down, but as I said good-bye and drove away I had a pit in my stomach.
Right then and there I made a declaration… Our mornings would be filled with ease and grace.
That declaration has stuck and is such a foundation for me now.
My mornings now start with rituals that feed my soul.
I begin my day with meditating, exercising, having a green drink and expressing gratitude. I now feel like I’ve poured love into myself and can be fully present with my kids and with Derek.
I have a big beautiful life and expressing gratitude is single-handedly my best practice in maintaining balance.
Expressing gratitude each day for this brilliant life.
When I express gratitude it anchors me to the present moment. It’s a burst of love that surges through my body. It pulls me toward joy and allows me to fully love my life, and appreciate all of its abundance.
Our nightly ritual with our kids is then expressing what we are thankful for in a gratitude journal. We’ve done this their whole lives. I want them to deeply understand that being grateful will always pull them toward happiness.
As I rest my head at night, my centering thought is, “Thank you, thank you, thank you… a thousand times thank you.”
Self-Discipline = Freedom
By: Jessi Kohlhagen
I wear a lot of hats in my life (and, if you’re reading this, it’s safe to assume you do too!).
I’m a wife, mother, careerwoman, homeschool teacher, maid, chef, and chauffer… and underneath it all, I’m a human being who wants to create the best possible life for myself, and the people I love most.
If I had to pinpoint the single most important characteristic I employ to be the very best woman I can be in every area of my life, it would undoubtedly be SELF-DISCIPLINE.
SELF-DISCIPLINE is the key to FREEDOM and FULFILLMENT everywhere in my life.
It seems counter-intuitive, I know. Self-discipline implies restraint, control, and limitation — where freedom signifies flexibility, allowance, and even indulgence.
But in my own experience, I’ve found that these two traits are inseparable… You can’t truly experience the power (and privilege) of freedom without first activating self-discipline.
You can’t have a vibrant, healthy body without applying willpower toward what you eat and how well (and often) you move.
You can’t experience the enjoyment of having a peaceful, beautiful home without spending some amount of time organizing and caring for it every single day.
You can’t be a rock star in your career without getting your hands dirty and putting in the necessary hours to get the job done well.
Self-discipline is the giver, not the taker, of freedom.
By applying self-discipline I get to show up as the woman I really want to be in every area of my life, consistently.
With uncompromising self-discipline I get to accomplish light-years more than usual, and even the days that end with unfinished business feel rich with a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment that I simply can’t achieve any other way.
Of course, self-discipline is a lifelong practice that I’m trying to strengthen every day. I have my great days, and I have my not-so-good days, but the key is to flex these muscles as much as possible, so they become more second nature to me.
So here are some of the specific self-discipline habits I’m strengthening in my own life to create a happier, healthier, more harmonized experience for my entire family.
- I put myself first. Wake up at least one hour before my babies so I can move, sweat, breathe, shower, and make myself beautiful. My own essential needs are fulfilled for the rest of the day, and I’m free of the stress and guilt that go along with not knowing if I’ll fit them in.
- I put myself last. Ultimately, I put myself first for a reason… so I have the inner reserves to put myself last for the rest of the day. This manifests itself in simple but very important ways…
- Doing the things that are needed of me regardless of whether I feel like it (dirty dishes and mopping, I’m looking at you).
- Responding to my husband with kindness even when I’m frustrated out of my mind.
- Responding to my children with loving patience, even when my 2-year old is having a meltdown.
- Skipping a very enticing afternoon nap to get my best work done while I have a solid block of childfree time.
- Ultimately, I mandate self-discipline first in exchange for glorious, well-earned freedom last. And boy is it sweet.
- I make the hard, good decisions. I choose salads over sandwiches, deep breaths instead of angry words, saving instead of spending, books over TV, creativity over consumption, playing with my kids instead of resting, tea instead of wine.
- I remember that I’m the heartbeat of my home. This is a big one and it really deserves it’s own article (coming soon!), but in a nutshell, this boils down to being conscious of the power I hold as the queen of my kingdom, and wielding that power wisely. The emotional atmosphere of my home hinges greatly on the energy I (as wife and mother) bring to it. My family’s happiness depends on my own. And that is a choice I must make every single day… but especially in the challenging moments.
- I prepare the night before. I’ve always been a list-lover, but never have lists been as important in my life than they are now. The one that works best for me is a simple weekly checklist. I have one weekly sheet with a block for each day, and just keep my checklist organized by day. This way I can plan my entire week in advance, and add tasks as I go, based on my true availability. At the end of each workday I plan my entire next day (sometimes if it’s a super busy day I’ll even time-block things to make sure I’m being realistic with my workload). I go to sleep with the glorious freedom of an empty mind.
- I sleep in a clean nest. I never, ever go to sleep with a messy house. Every single night I do a quick walk-through and put everything in its place, making it a beautiful, clean space to wake up to. (This is especially important because we homeschool, and our environment determines much of the energy we share throughout the day.)
What are some of your most treasured self-discipline habits?
By: Katie Rubicz
Motherhood is the true test of balancing (or attempting to balance) the 12 categories of our lives. There are so many solutions, tricks, ideas, and pieces of advice at our fingertips on how to manage it all.
We all have such different needs from, and for, our 12 categories to find and create balance. It becomes a bit of a trial and error on what works… especially because our lives can quickly change. Sometimes life throws us curve balls.
So, what is something that helps us parents/mothers/women to try and keep balance or bring balance back when it has become lost?
For me, it has been to SIMPLIFY.
To live simply but consciously.
By simplifying my life (in ways such as reducing material items, forming easier schedules, growing my own foods, and keeping my home calm, clean and serene (as much as possible) I have achieved excellence and clarity in so many vital areas of my life. It is, as we all know, a circle… and all connected.
The sayings “quality vs quantity” or “less is more” or “work and live smarter not harder” have much meaning.
First, not having so many un-needed material items creates calmness in my home. It also creates less spending which leads to financial security. A smaller, smarter, quality home also leads to leaving and creating a smaller carbon footprint, closer family time, and spending more time outdoors connecting with nature.
Another example of living simply but consciously for me has been food. Eating cleaner and more simply along with growing our own food has led to better health, saving money, creating quality family time and helping our Earth. Being creative with the whole foods that we grow can be such a beautiful thing.
A third example of living more simply but consciously is our schedules. In a ‘do more’ culture, the need or pressure to have ourselves and our children involved in so much is very overwhelming. Our family simplified our schedules to ensure we have family dinners together, consistent quality family time and date nights for my husband and me (even if it means kids have an earlier bedtime and mommy and daddy have an at home date). It allows us to slow down, stay connected and stay strong.
Living simply but consciously has helped my family and I tremendously when it comes to figuring out what our priorities are in life. We have created balance that, of course, can get rocked from time to time. But with slowing schedules down, eliminating stuff, connecting with nature, eating more whole foods, and being present in each other’s lives, those unbalanced moments in life are a bit easier to manage.
Live simply but consciously.
Cheers, to encouraging and supporting other Mama’s and parents.
The Power of Prep-Time
By: Nicole Moore
A wise mentor once shared with me how to organize your work life with prime time, prep time and play time.
As a chiropractor, prime time is when I’m seeing patients.
Prep time is anything else I need to do so that when I’m with patients, that’s all I’m focusing on.
Having prep time to get everything done also means that your play time is truly your own.
I applied these principles at home too.
To run a home efficiently also requires a fair amount of prep time. I outsourced and delegated as much as possible and then scheduled what I had to do.
As a result, when I was at work, I only thought about work, knowing that I’d also done the prep time at home and my family was well cared for.
When I was home I could relax and have quality time with my family knowing that I’d put in the prep time for work.
It worked well for me!
Rituals and Rhythms of Wellness
I love being a mother and our son is one of the greatest joys of my life. I have listened closely to our son, and it’s been an adventure for me to observe and support his blossoming into an amazing young man.
I was very intentional that I wanted to be a full time mother. The early years were filled with an abundance of joyful times together. I totally loved it.
When he was nine years old, a wonderful career in health and wellness opened up for me. It was perfectly timed, as it was time for our son to move out into the world too!
Our son is 14 years old now, and balancing work and motherhood has been an opportunity for both of us to grow.
Following very important rhythms and rituals that flow from our personal values has created stability and balance for us.
Our intentions are very clear about creating a happy, healthy and harmonious family life.
My husband is an amazing chiropractor and both of us are committed to vibrant health and our well being is a priority.
All three of us (YES – our son too!) practice meditation every day. We eat high quality organic food and drink green smoothies almost daily. We love food, and enjoy indulgences too! Our son created an amazing website: www.happykidseat.com – with video food reviews from all over the US and the world. We exercise regularly, with each of us doing our own thing. Our son is on the golf and water polo teams at his school. I love to swim daily. We also know that SLEEP is essential to well being, so we keep regular bedtimes in spite of busy schedules and homework. Not having a TV helps us big time!
I have the blessing of working from home, which has been awesome because I can still be around a lot for our son!
Every morning for the first 90 minutes, I focus exclusively on work that moves my business forward!
All three of us have three goals for every year that we focus on, and my husband and I have 90 day goals as well.
Weekly, I participate in a mastermind group of successful business women who are mothers too, and it is incredible what these women are creating and accomplishing!
We have a value of “keeping good company” and we surround ourselves with incredible people, business associates, clients and friends.
Our son has been fortunate to have great mentors, excellent teachers and coaches and wonderful friends.
I feel very blessed to have work that I love and a son that I adore, and it also has been a work in progress! I know that our intention and consistent focus to create happiness and harmony has been our foundation.
Thank you Lifebook for supporting us in creating lives that are 12 categories awesome!
Really Learn to Say NO
Meredith has gotten so good at saying “no” to non-priority tasks, she lovingly declined to contribute to this post! 🙂 And we couldn’t help but share her resolve with the community.
She’s currently harnessing ALL of her energy to nurture her two adorable boys and loving husband, while launching a new company in the health and wellness industry. You go Mere! 🙂
So ask yourself… what are some things you’re doing that might not contribute to the big picture in your life right now?
Is it time you really learned to say no?