Unpopular opinion ahead...
Ever heard that phrase...you shouldn’t hand hold...??? Well here’s the truth...I’m a hand holder. Physically and metaphorically. It’s kind of my super power. I’ve held all kinds of hands over the years and it’s shaped my heart. I make no apologies (anymore, there was a time I was berated for this). Hand holding is a gift that I know not everyone has...but if you are like me, embrace it. Don’t shy away for one more second, ok??
Society cautions against it for many reasons...but we all know I don’t do what society “thinks I should”. Yes, I believe in boundaries and self respect...blah blah...but NO ONE HAS EVER LOST THEIR LIGHT BY SHINING IT FOR OTHERS. (Yes, I’m yelling for the folks in the back).
Anyway, here’s the deal...I believe there is a HUGE difference between hand holding and enabling...doing the hard things must be a personal choice and I do not believe in pushing someone where they are not ready to go...that being said...I will always choose extending my hand over “letting them lay in the bed they’ve made”.
I lost my Dad 5 years ago and ever since we spread his ashes, my mission has been to hold as many hands as possible. Why? Because I’m able. Because I love hard. Because it gives back to me as much as I give. Because it’s how Jesus loves.
Hand holding isn’t about “doing it for them”...it’s about turning on the light in the darkest rooms people have ever sat in. It’s about compassion, love, strength, and togetherness.
Don’t feel alone friend, I’ll hold your hand.
What if I told you...you can find/have your voice...share your passions...and belief system...
W H I L S T welcoming others to have their own?
Listen, I share what I love and believe in...most of you do too, however some don’t more often when they want to...because t r o l l s who try to bring others down.
I’m NOT a fan of unsolicited advice or opinions. I work daily on mastering the art of taking a deep dive into my OWN values, life, happiness...AND it remains very important for me to HEAR and SEE others and cheer them on. Especially when we have different perspectives. In fact you’ll catch me cheering the loudest for many of my people who don’t think like me at all!
Respect isn’t a pipe dream y’all. Respect is possible when you can learn to appreciate that we are all simply humans...trying to survive...and however one decides to live out their dreams, life, next coffee choice is entirely up to them.
You can NOT be interested in what someone has to offer or what choices they make in career, family, children, location, business, school, on and on...AND still respect their heart and zest for life! Yep. You sure can. ❤️
Today I challenge you this...if you find yourself itching to “tell someone how it is”, offer advice that wasn’t directly asked for...or be quick to disregard another because they don’t look like you...try giving that emotion to a higher power. Try taking a deep breath and saying OUT LOUD 3 things YOU are grateful for, instead? Replace that need to “correct” someone with gratitude and encouragement. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Find your voice. Stand for what you believe in...and NEVER step on anyone’s courageous steps to do so. We are all beautifully and wonderfully made. I hope you know this truth today...and if you do, remind a fellow human how special they are too 💕...
F I N D I N G • Y O U R S E L F
It feels a bit like searching through a library. (See what I did there 😉🤣) You’ll pick up a book, dive right in...only to set it down and forget to pick it back up. Books are incredible. They tell stories and friends your story matters.
We get distracted easily as humans don’t we?? Do we ever really FIND ourselves?? Or are we chasing the next moment that will make us feel alive...only to stumble back and realize that the new has worn off and we are searching all over again to “find ourselves” or “become someone”...
Can you relate?
You know what I’ve learned?? It’s so much less about finding who we are...and SO MUCH MORE about letting go of who we think we are “supposed” to be. Letting go of the plans that didn’t come to pass. It’s shedding the layers of guilt, pressure, opinions, fear, bad choices, disappointments, failure, and lies...peeling them back until our beautiful lights shine as bright as they’ve always been meant to.
The world has a way of shaping your mind if you let it. Never mind all the people in your life (who truly mean well I believe) when they suggest what your life “should” look like. But here’s the truth...you make the rules. You get to be YOU. It’s your right and duty because, there is only one YOU. Your life matters simply because you woke up this morning. You hear me?? 😘
So today, shed a layer...own your story and learn to share it with others. Its uniquely yours and can make more of an impact that you may even realize.
It’s not about becoming...it’s about BEing YOU. I see your light and I love your heart.
9 months living the FASTer Way...and 6 months shouting it from the rooftops as a Certified Coach!
I’m still amazed/surprised at how my body changes week to week (thanks body dysmorphia)...I’ve never tried anything (including the f$&@ it attitude) that has changed my body this way. My hormones are in check, I burn fat for fuel, and I’m NEVER hungry.
Want to know my favorite part of being a coach??? It’s YOUR wins! Watching my clients give themselves grace, celebrate their bodies, and lock this in as a lifestyle brings me so much joy!!!
Listen, I believe in wellness and sustainability, call it what you want...but it’s definitely not a diet...because, in my humble opinion Chicken & Waffles must be a part of my lifestyle. Can I live off it daily?? Maybe (wink emoticon here).
But really it’s about mindset, intentional exercise, whole food nutrition, and not depriving yourself...so you don’t go buck wild after one “bad” food choice (or even week)! You literally can’t fail at this unless you just quit on yourself. Chin up. You’ve got this!
S T R E N G T H...it comes in all shapes and sizes.
Lately I’ve had to dig deep into my reserves people. This season of life has tested me at every turn. If you want to know the truth...I hit rock bottom (again) towards the end of last year. Sure, this wasn’t the first time I found myself in a life I didn’t recognize (cue the shame shitstorm right @brenebrown) but as I wallowed in all my perceived failures, tossed out who I was “supposed” to be...something new started to happen...I began to rise in brand new ways. For the first time I saw a blank slate ahead (instead of a 10 year plan). The fog started to clear and one choice after the other...I could FEEL my joy again. Full disclosure, I still stumble y’all...more often than I’d like but I’m adopting this new idea and failure is part of it all. The falling down matters too. It’s where you learn to heal. It’s where you learn who you ARE! I’m realizing my mindset and how I speak to myself is QUEEN.
So the truth is, it does matter how you fall apart friends, that’s the guts of it all...but the glory is in how you put yourself back together. One piece at a time.
You aren’t broken. You aren’t less than. You aren’t any of those lies you tell yourself.
You are strong...even when you don’t feel like it. It’s hard to drown out the noise sometimes, I see you...but you can.
Getting back up doesn’t really mean you know which way to go or that your next choice will be the “right” one. It is simply choosing to grow and learn through the humility and heartache anyway. One step at a time.
You are stronger than you give yourself credit for...today take a moment and look back at what you’ve survived to sit in this moment today. You are pretty freaking amazing.
Today I’m channeling my inner @jennakutcher so let’s celebrate each other...share with me what makes you feel strong (hint: there are no “right” answers).
Girlfriends. Gals. Sisterwives. Besties. BFFs. Ride or dies. My people. My tribe.
When we moved to New England I was lonely. Starting over is hard. Hell moving across the country was the hardest I thought I’d do at that time.
I didn’t know if I’d ever make friends again...(I mean friends in your late 20s-early 30s?!? What?? 🤷🏼♀️ where do you find them...)
And then we moved to Grafton. I started a new Nursing job and I found some life long friends there. Jess and Lorraine, in fact changed my whole life. 💕
Then we F I N A L L Y finished our home build and I genuinely had no idea what was ahead. In the last 6 years I’ve gained a whole mess of family here. It’s been my honor to be a part of your families, watch these kiddos grow, to enjoy holidays together when we couldn’t travel to TN or CO, to have shoulders to literally cry on as I stumbled through life...through both our IVF failures...through a l l the t h i n g s...
The point...I thought I’d come here and leave as quickly as possible. We never thought MA would be home at all. We had homes after all.
We were wrong and with his latest promotion, we for sure will be here for longer than we ever first imagined.
The truth is...I resisted hard against making this a home. Why?! Because the great fear I have of losing people. I didn’t want to love hard and have to say goodbye, again. But God. ❤️
I’ve lost a lot in the last 6 years...but my MA family has held me up. Loved me when I was a shit...and talked me off some of the biggest ledges of my life.
I’ve learned it’s ok to let the new in. It’s necessary for survival. And most of all...you can’t lessen the pain of loss by keeping people at arms length. You gotta go all in.
This place is now one of my homes. It’s shaped me into the human I am today. I don’t know our next move, but I do know that I love you New England, North Grafton, and High Point...you are forever tattooed on my heart. ❤️
The left pic was 90 days ago (which was 5 months into living the FASTer Way)...the right is from this morning...why is this significant??
Notice I’m not using •before and after• this time?
Nope, I’m not and I won’t ever have to again. Yes there’s a “before” FASTer Way pic...but I don’t want you to look at that one and think “oh wow, this will be a quick fix because she got results pretty fast...”
Because I didn’t. I was on the wellness train long before FASTer Way came along. It’s important you know that. I tried all the things. Researched and took tips that worked...until they didn’t anymore and I was left looking for the next quick fix. I found myself on an endless rollercoaster.
FWTFL gave me the one concept I never had before...control over my nutrition. So, what’s the secret?
Consistent choices and whole food nutrition. Yep FOOD. You read that right...eating real food and MORE of it is contradictory to anything I’d ever been told. But I did it afraid and it worked. It works actually. These pics are meant to show you that this isn’t a rollercoaster. I follow a lifestyle, friends. One that doesn’t have me saying know to lunch with my girls or some wine with my hubby.
This is so much but it’s NOT a diet. Not a destination to be reached. It’s progress (even if that means maintaining where I’m at).
I want you to help me celebrate that in the last 90 days (chock full of travel, nights out with friends, spirits, yummy food, celebrations, and lots of LIFE LIVED!!!) I’m still seeing results. I don’t return from vacation saying “ugh I really let myself go” OR wake up Monday regretting my weekends. Here’s the thing...it’s not the vacation or the Saturday that ruins your progress...it’s the mindset that you should punish yourself with exercise for the foods you eat. Bottom line. So today, don’t regret the weekend or feel like if you” never miss a Monday” that’s all it takes.
What it takes is work and continuing to choose YOU...with grace and a little bit of strategy. If you need to jump off the rollercoaster, I’m here to help.
An open letter from a gal who’s been “trying” to become a Mom for years...
I see you. We all matter. 💕 Like ALL of us. #infertility #miscarriage #IVF #stillbirth #childfreebychoice #adoption #dogmom #singlemoms #momlife #angelmoms each and everyone of us.
Listen, I love my life. I live and do as I please. I make snap decisions without the pressure of having the responsibility to think of anything else except what I want. The only creature I am responsible for is this little nugget right here #dogmomlife (and my hubby 😉) and they make life pretty awesome. I travel and vacate life on the regular. Want to know a secret?
I cry a lot. Like A LOT. I am still grieving the 2 failed IVF transfers and years of negative pregnancy tests. I still struggle with feelings of inadequacy when I’m in a group and I have no children to talk about. I will always remember the pain we endured only to hear “I’m sorry Mrs. Calderon your test is negative”. So, I may seem to “live the life” but none of this is easy. Navigating life as a childless woman is hard friends. I don’t need your sympathy although I know your heart breaks for me. I don’t want you to stop talking about kids when I enter the room. I don’t want you to think I don’t find joy I’m being part of your lives or their lives.
But the truth is this...if you could see the size of the whole in my heart you’d understand why this day is so bittersweet for me. Why I am writing this through tears.
I absolutely adore my own mother. My grandmothers. My bonus moms. My SILs for becoming mothers to my niece and nephew. I’m wishing all Moms a beautiful happy Mother’s day because you deserve to be celebrated. I say that with all the sincerity in the world. Moms are so special and I am so proud of you all. 💕
I just want to be sure and speak to my loves that are crying with me today...who are holding their shit together (everyday) praying and wishing for our time to come. Maybe it will, maybe it won’t...but listen to me...I love you and you aren’t alone. Find the ways you are already a “mother” and give your very best. We are needed, too. Time heals all pain they say...but it’s ok to grieve...it’s ok to cry...it’s ok to talk about it. In fact we must. I believe the more we talk about the hard parts...the more we will be able to see each other. Love each other. Know the truth. Break down the walls and shine bright together.
Infertility: The inability to reproduce by natural means....a definition for my life that I never saw coming.
Struggling through IVF I’ve discovered many things...some good, some heart wrenching, and lots of wtf moments. Our journey that (officially) began a year ago today (with 4 years of “trying” & praying for miracles before asking for help) has changed my heart and mind, but most likely not in the ways that you think though.
Infertility has actually been a journey I’m grateful for. Truly. It’s grown me. It’s stretched me. Made me even more compassionate towards other women than I thought possible. It’s broken parts of my heart that I’ll never repair...but most importantly it showed me how to look myself in the eye and GET BACK UP. To RISE despite the pain and unfairness.
Shots, needles, patches, prayers, failure, body betrayal, and beyond...and I had no control. None of us do. My patience was tested as well as my sanity...but I learned to walk in the darkness. I learned that the dark isn’t something to be feared...in fact it’s where the greatest work is taking place.
I had nightmares of gaining more weight than I could handle (related to elevated hormones, hasimotos, and body dysmorphia). Like literal night terrors. I had to learn to “rest” and be “stress free” which is a crock of shit for any of us struggling in the trenches. (Am I Right?!?!)
As I kept taking one step at a time...I really learned to share in the joy of watching my friends and family announce/raise/create their miracles (and I don’t say that lightly, it takes SO MANY stars aligning to get pregnant people...). For so many years we try so hard to not get pregnant...only to discover that it’s not as easy as thinking about sex. I’ve snuggled as many babies in the last year as possible. I’ve learned to take care of my body...(that’s really important turns out). But mostly I’ve seen who I really am
I love people hard. I’m beautifully and wonderfully made. I’m so full of hope. I’m encouraging and strong. I believe in the hearts of people and the good in this world. Infertility doesn’t define me. I do things differently...and you can too.
If your circle isn’t standing and clapping the LOUDEST for you when you win (or laughing through life with you)...girlfriend...get new people.
I mean that with ALL THE LOVE. ❤️
I heard this phrase (a lot) over the past 5 years and always rolled my eyes...
Until I didn’t...because I mean, (before filling MY cup first) I was barely capable of letting go of an old toothbrush...let alone a “friend”...
Then I learned boundaries and realized that we can be loving without accepting when other people are trying to work their shit out on us.
Listen up...you can take a break or exit a friendship or toxic relationship without a sit down...” I need you to understand what I’m doing...” conversation. Some call it ghosting. I call it self love. Quite often humans say HELL NO to looking at things from a different perspective. They are unreasonable and unkind (especially when we are scared)...but the beauty is this...YOU DON’T NEED PERMISSION to say NO. Shall I say it louder for the folks in the back??
Exit with grace and as much respect as possible and everything’s gonna be alright. 🎶😘
Remember there’s always a lesson. Maybe that person was meant only for a season of life or maybe you’ll reconnect once one or both of you work your shit out...but I can assure you this...fear is a liar. You are worthy of happiness and accepting that “it’s just the way they are”...is a choice you make. Choose wisely and be sure the circle you do life with...lifts and encourages you...loves and respects you...just as much as you do them! I love my people near and far, you know who you are!