opt-in

How to get your inner mean girl to shut up

innermeangirlbabysitter

I don’t know about you, but I’m waaaaay harder on myself than anyone else could be. And I’ve noticed this trend among all the smart and successful women I know. It’s like we each have an inner bully​, or Inner Mean Girl, that loves to beat us up and point out any imperfection, constantly telling us we are not enough.

So when I met my friend, Amy Ahlers, at a dinner party a few years back and she told me about her program, Inner Mean Girl Reform School, I knew we had to connect.

Not only is Amy a fellow entrepreneur, but we had our babies just one day apart and she’s one of those women who seemed to instantly “get me”.  Her joy, brilliance and warmth is seriously one of kind and I am so thrilled to have her as this month’s blog babysitter.

Today, Amy is going to teach you how to stop being so hard on yourself. As you get to know and even love your Inner Mean Girl, you’ll find yourself lightening up in all kinds of ways (including in your body, but even more importantly, in your spirit). It’s all about waking up to more self-love and self-compassion. And treating yourself like a BFF.

And if you’re really ready to stop the self-bullying, I highly recommend that you join Amy and co-founder Christine Arylo, for one of their upcoming Inner Mean Girl Reform School webinars called: Stop Being So Hard on Yourself: 3 secrets to Transforming that Self Sabotaging Critic in your Head to a Self Empowering Ally instead!  You can register for free here.

And here she is…Amy Ahlers!

Amy Green Shirt Final

How to Stand Up to Your Inner Mean Girl

“You don’t deserve it.”
“Who do you think you are?”
“This will never work out for you, you know that, right?”

Recognize that voice? It’s the voice of your Inner Mean Girl. The one that is causing all of that self-bullying and self-sabotage. She’s negative. She’s catty. She’s judgmental. She compares your worst to everyone else’s best. In her eyes, you lose every time.  She spews cruel words at you and makes you feel like you’re in 7th grade again—and NOT in the popular group. Your Inner Mean Girl’s favorite thing to do is to make you feel small, inadequate, and unworthy. She’s always finding evidence to prove her theory: you are not enough. She’s harsher than any outer Mean Girl could ever be because she knows your hot buttons and loves to push em. And push em. And push em.

It’s time to stop letting your Inner Mean Girl run the show!

Try the tips below to stand up to your Inner Mean Girl once and for all:

  • Identify your Inner Mean Girl’s Top 10 List of places, situations and environments where she is likely to show up and criticize. Is it at work? Social events? In bed? Whenever you look in the mirror? Once you know what circumstances are likely to trigger her, you can be better prepared to deal with her.
  • Next, draw a picture of your Inner Mean Girl. Is she fat with big glasses? Perfectly pressed and all in pink? A slob with a cigarette in one hand and a martini in the other? Don’t worry if you think you can’t draw – no one will ever see this but you, so go for it!  And if you really don’t want to draw, can you find an image in a magazine or on the Internet that captures your Inner Mean Girl? It’s important that you have a clear mental image of that voice that tortures you.
  •  Get to know your Inner Mean Girl. Notice what makes her happy and notice what makes her power diminish. What happens if you just yell “Shut up!” at her? What if you just look her calmly in the eye and reassure her that everything is going to be all right? Maybe she needs a compliment every now and then? After all, Inner Mean Girls need love, too.

I’ve got news for you: your Inner Mean Girl is a liar.

She tells you big fat lies to try to maintain the status quo and keep you in your comfort zones. Even if your comfort zones aren’t all that comfortable. For example, poor body image, constant financial distress or any kind of addictive behavior can be an area where your Inner Mean Girl thrives. She will tell you over and over again that “you can’t change,” ​ “you’re fat and will always be,”​ and “you’re a loser.”

But that’s a lie. You can change; your body is a wonderland​ and you are certainly not a loser. In fact, you are magnificent.

Once you realize that she is a liar, see if you can’t catch her lying to you. (Hint: whenever you’re feeling bad about yourself, she’s probably right there with a megaphone.) Then do this simple three-step process to see through your Inner Mean Girl’s lies:

  • What’s my Inner Mean Girl saying?  Write it down. Can you identify the lies?
  • What does my Inner Wisdom know?  Write it down. Can you see the truth? (Hint: it helps to sometimes close your eyes and take a deep breath before asking this question. The truth is always there, waiting to set you free.)
  • Now write down an action you want to take in light of this new information. Is there something or someone you need to commit to? Something you must stop doing?  A new perspective you will hold?  Do you need to forgive yourself or someone else?

Here is the truth: your Inner Mean Girl is really a voice of insecurity and anxiety. Uncertain of her own power, she becomes a bully. Once you start really listening and writing down her rants and accusations, it’s easy to put her in her place.

The truth is, you are fabulous.

And I know, because my Inner Wisdom told me so.

Love,

Amy

P.S. I have so much more to share with you about how to turn down the volume of your Inner Mean Girl. In the past three years, over 15,000 women and girls have chosen to take their Inner Mean Girls to reform school. Join us here so you can stop the self-bullying & choose self love. ​

My life after baby. How I make it happen (kind of).

my life after baby

A friend of mine recently asked me what my life looks like post baby. How do I get work done? How do I take care of myself? How to do I be a Mom without going crazy?

You may think this is a story about motherhood, but in reality it’s a story about strategy and focus, so even if you don’t have kids, I know you will find this super helpful.

I always like hearing how other people do things, and then I can take what works and change was doesn’t. This is by no means the only way to live, it’s just a way.  As you’re reading this, I want you to think about what you like and more importantly, what you don’t like so you can craft your ideal day.

This is what I strive for in my life. I probably get it right 70% of the time. The other 30% I’m a mess and try to judge a successful day by if my baby is still alive.  And what they don’t tell you is that keeping a human alive and relatively comfortable is A LOT of work.

Overall snapshot of the week:

I work Tuesday, Wednesday Thursday and spend Monday, Friday and the weekend with Marshall. Jonathan and I go out once a week, and I try to go out to a girls dinner once a week, but in reality this happens more like twice a month.

Working Days:

Marshall wakes me up around 7am. I nurse him and we hang out in bed for thirty minutes to an hour. This is my favorite part of the day.  I try really hard not to pick up my phone, but being totally present is something I really want to work on. Any tips? Leave them in the comments below.

At 7:45am-ish, I make myself and Marshall breakfast while he plays on the floor or goes in his jumpy thingy.  We eat together, sing a lot and hang out.

Around 8:30 (I’m usually late though), I bring Marshall to our nanny share two blocks away (a nanny share is when one nanny watches two babies at the same time. I wanted Marshall to be over at the other house 100% of the time so I can have the house to myself).

After I drop off Marshall, I move my body.  Currently I’m enjoying dancing, Pop Physique and long walks. Then I come home, shower and have a little me-time. Sometimes it’s reading a magazine, sometimes it’s getting my nails done.

At noon I am in full blown work mode. I ALWAYS go to a cafe. I work till I’m hungry, eat without distractions and then go back to work until 5.  This time is super focused, no Facebook, just work.  And if I have time I will answer emails at the end of the day.

At 5pm, I pick up Marshall and usually meet my mom friends at the playground or we’ll get together at one of our houses and have happy hour.  Being a mom can be very isolating so I try very hard to spend as much time with other moms as possible.

At 6pm, we come home and I feed Marshall dinner and then go into his bedtime routine, bath, books, breastfeed, bed.  He is usually out by 7:30/7:45 and stays asleep (thank you sleep training).

I then sit for a bit and have a bit more me time (like 15 minutes) before I pull a quick dinner together.  Jonathan gets home between 7pm and 8:30pm, he does all my dishes from the day and helps me with dinner. We eat around 8:30, talk, snuggle on the couch and start getting ready for bed around 10.

Days with Marshall:

After our morning routine, Marshall takes a nap at 9am and he sleeps from an hour to 90 minutes (again thank you sleep training) during that time I shower and read a magazine.

I always meet up with friends for lunch and afterwards I’m open to possibilities!

Sometimes I take Marshall for an urban hike (hitting all the San Francisco hills) in the running stroller. I’d like to say that I run with him, but it’s happened twice in the past 6 months.  Sometimes we go to the park, sometimes to a museum.  I’ve also ended up at the beach and at a bar! I love having this unstructured time.

You may notice a few things missing…

Errands, grocery shopping, cleaning, laundry. I hire all of this out. When I had Marshall my mother helped me understand that I am mother, not a maid (I’m so grateful she was a role model for me in this way).  If you’re interested in learning more about how to hack this, and make the money you need to make this a reality for you, you’ll have to join us for LIVE FREE next weekend! Seriously, you should just look at flights, we have a few spots left.

AND, this isn’t as easy at it sounds…

Almost every day I feel like I didn’t get enough done, and I didn’t get enough time with Marshall. Some days I am absolutely exhausted and close to tears because I’ve been with Marshall alone all day and he was having some terrible teething induced, three hour fit.  I don’t think any Mom ever feels like she has the perfect balance, but it’s still important to try.  And this schedule took a lot of trial and error and I’m sure will change again and again.

But even though there isn’t a perfect solution, and things always change, having a schedule is very important and here’s why: Without a schedule that matches your desires and priorities, you are going to feel seriously stressed out, which leads to overeating, and you will never be “on top of things” enough to create the life you really desire. You end up feeling like things are spiraling out of control and you’re going to wake up one day and wonder, “how has all this time gone by and I feel like I’ve done so much but accomplished nothing?”

So now I have a big job for you.  I want you to write out your ideal day and post it in the comments below.  This will give all of us inspiration AND help us hold you accountable.

I can’t wait to see what your schedule is like.

Sarah

photo credit: Krista Marie Photography

The show’s over people. Time to get real.

youbehindyou2

Have you ever stopped to wonder who you are really? If you were not your job, your position as a wife or mother, your income, your body… who are you?

As my mentor, Elayne Kalila Doughty puts it, “Who was here from the very beginning? Who is the YOU behind the you? It’s the part of you – who that when you move into the room with no words, is felt.”

Can you identify that part of you?  I also had a hard time with this.

For so long I used what I was doing, what I was wearing, who I was seen with, how much I weighed, how many likes I got on my Facebook post…to define me. I was convinced that who I really was, my essence, that person who is left when all the red lipstick, ruffles, picnics and concealer is taken away, wasn’t good enough.

So I layered on the “show” in my friendships, my work, even with the people who love me the most – my family and my husband.  I became really good at the ruse, I built a beautiful life, had a great wardrobe and just tried to look happy all the time, but I was spending so much time on the outside, that I neglected the inside.  It was like I built this incredible castle, but the queen who lived there was wasting away.  And we all know, there’s no point in having a castle if there’s no queen living there.

Over the past three years, I have been working on peeling off the layers of my life to really get to know my inner self, my essence, my light.  Elayne calls this the Path of the Priestess, which in my heart means walking a path of truth and being a stand for what really matters in the world.  Being on this path is not comfortable, and honestly at times it’s excruciating to let go of the forms I have held onto so tightly.

But as I am spending more and more time thinking about how I am being and less what I am doing, I am discovering a constant flow of energy, peace and grounding that wasn’t there before. I’ve learned that a queen who truly knows and loves herself, her real self, doesn’t need a fancy castle to be powerful.

I am still very much on this path and fully committed to peeling off layer after layer. You’ll be seeing a lot more of the ME behind the me from now on.

Last week I was on a call with Elayne where she talked about this path and the effect it can have on you and the world. I was so moved that I pulled some strings and was able to get you the recording of this call (she’s doing me a favor, please tell her thanks) because I just knew as I was listening that you needed to hear it.  You can access the link here.

This work is important for many reasons, but the thing that struck me the most is how our bodies become such a big part of our identity.  We can go down this rabbit hole of “Since I am fat, that means that I am not disciplined, strong, powerful etc. so I can’t go out there and get what I want (the lover, the job, the vacation…)” So we hold back and wait till we get our weight situation handled.

But I have news for you, listen closely…

You are not your body.  YOU are amazing, powerful and brilliant just the way you are, just by being you.  You don’t have to DO anything to be loved, to matter.

And it’s time for you to show the world that part of you.  Only then, when we feel truly accepted and loved unconditionally by ourselves will we finally find peace with our bodies.

This video by Elayne explains what I’m talking about a bit more, and I hope you’ll listen to the recording of her call, it really woke me up.

Sending you, the real you, lots of love.

Sarah

Is everyone talking about how fat you are?

talkingabouthowfatyouare

It’s time for another Throwback Thursday, and I have to say, this one is one of my favorites because it’s the number one thing my clients complain about: that everyone is talking about them behind their backs.

But if it’s one thing I know, most of us have created this conspiracy theory out of thin air.

Here’s what I mean:

You know that feeling when you just know everyone is staring at you thinking, “I can’t believe she’s eating that” or “who does she think she is wearing that dress?” or “whoa, she really needs to lose a few”.

We’re scared to get together with an old friend, don’t want to go to that party, or hate eating in front of our co-workers because we just feel so judged.

And most of us think that the only way to get them to stop talking about us behind our backs is to lose weight.

Not true.

The reality is that these people are most definitely NOT talking about you behind your back. Maybe .0001% of the time someone is, but they are probably a loser who feels fatter than you.  What’s happening is you’re projecting.  Since you’re embarrassed by your eating habits and the way you look, you assume that’s all the people around you are thinking.  I know it feels real, but I promise, it’s all in your head.

To make it go away, you need to deal with the embarrassment.  But here’s the kicker, though it may feel like you are embarrassed by how you look, I know from experience that you are actually embarrassed by how you are taking care of yourself.

The most profound disappointment we experience as humans is not being in integrity with our desires.  Though we focus on our appearance, all of us have a “taking care of ourselves recipe” for what it will take to look a certain way.  When we’re at the perfect weight we imagine ourselves enjoying our food, eating lots of vegetables, moving our bodies, enjoying sex, wearing great clothes, smiling at strangers, getting our work done on time and being super relaxed.  But we believe that once we lose weight, that’s when we’ll start doing those things, but we actually need to do those things FIRST in order to lose weight.

When you are feeling like you couldn’t possibly show up to that party because you just look terrible, what you are actually experiencing is the deep disappointment of letting yourself down for not taking better care of yourself.  Our culture has just brainwashed us to think it’s all about how we look.

When my clients and I lay out a clear picture of what it looks like to take care of ourselves, and we stick to it, even for just two to three days, we can look exactly the same but feel completely different around our peers.  If you don’t believe me, I dare you to try it.

The key is laying out a recipe for taking care of yourself that is realistic and feels good, here’s mine:

Get lots of hugs and kisses from Jonathan and Marshall
Spend time with my girlfriends at least 5 days days a week, both one-on-one and in groups
Be thoughtful about my outfit and beauty routine daily
Drink lots of water
Keep my home clean, organized and filled with flowers
Move my body daily, or at least as much as I can, a little yoga, a little dance, a little pilates, lots of walks
Eat lots of leafy greens
Stand up straight
Eat organic when I can
Talk to my family and my far away friends regularly
Always eat without distractions, slowly, only when I am hungry
Do something really fun everyday
Eat chocolate, ice cream, bread and cheese when I feel like it, but only eat the best
Drink wine, but not too much, almost everyday
Eat dinner with Jonathan almost every night and really connect with him
Take many weekend trips and vacations
Have regular adventures

Even on this plan my weight fluctuates with my periods, extra eating on the weekends, vacations, odd cravings, moving my body more or less… it’s just part of life, gaining and losing, especially for women.

But when I am in integrity with what it looks like for me to take care of myself, I never feel judged.  Maybe because I know that if I was, I could confidently say “this is the life I am consciously choosing, and this is what my body is doing this week as a result.  I’m happy, I’m loved, I feel beautiful, that’s what matters.”

Today, I want you to write down your recipe for taking care of yourself, and I’d love for you to give us some of the highlights in the comments below.

And I want you to see if after you stick to it for a few days, if your feelings of being judged start to fade away.

Can’t wait to talk with you about this more.

Love,

Sarah