The onset of COVID 19 brought about a lot of uncertainty. It has fostered internal beliefs that were not very functional; it instigated unhealthy habits on so many levels. Personally and professionally, I did not allow this to fester inside of me, in my life, or my practice. I took this period to be a sign that there were greater things to be experienced, understood, and provided. I realized quite rapidly that judging and rigidity would not be practical if I were going to learn, change, grow, morph, and come out the other side even better than before.

So, I dug in, and I allowed myself to exercise and experience an even deeper level of self-compassion. I shifted my internal dialogue to be that of personal confidence, deeper empathy for others, and a willingness to share the most vulnerable corners of my life. I realized that bringing light to the negative thoughts and beliefs that I had worked so hard through the years to move through had a new place in my life, especially now, and I wanted others to experience that as well. I wanted to show other women that they can live for themselves first, experience true joy, become everything they desire, all while continuing to be the caring, giving, compassionate wife, mother, grandmother, professional, and entrepreneur they love to be.

What I realized was that so many people were giving in falling prey to an array of addictive behaviors, saying, “I’ll improve this when the pandemic is over “… “I’ll stop doing that when the pandemic is over”… “I’m just doing this for now while the pandemic is here”.

It pains me to see that so many people have taken on daily drinking habits, indulgent eating habits, and impulsive shopping habits. It saddens my heart to see their inner dialogue is filled with overthinking, fear of change, fear of failure, feeling invisible, feeling invalid, feeling unheard, feeling dismissed, lacking self-worth, and trapped self-esteem. Seeing them hide behind doing for others and avoiding the quiet time that they so desperately need to regain control, to improve their inner dialogue, to shift into more self-compassion, to be more kind to themselves, to be less rigid, to be less judgmental, to be open enough to focus on what IS right in their lives instead of what is NOT right in their lives.

I see people longing for what they perceive others to have. I witness their need always to be busy or seen as such. Yet I hear them saying they feel trapped in isolation, and what’s transpiring in their emotional sensitivity has started to fluctuate at extremes. They share that just about everything is getting under their skin, causing irritability, agitation, and unnecessary outbursts. They are at their wit’s end because their frustration has reached levels that make them want to bolt. And what we uncover is that they have positioned themselves in a manner that has them stuck, dragging their past around, ruminating and wallowing in the things that they have already survived, yet they cannot see the accomplishments.

What I have done since the onset of this life-changing event is taking the time to host “meet and greets” with like-minded individuals to cultivate new, purposeful, and productive relationships. I find that having open communication and dialogue inside groups where the focus is on living our best lives is infectious, motivating, and purposeful. I have always shared my practical approaches to ending addictive attitudes and behaviors. Now I have begun to share dietary practices, my beliefs about nutrition, my true beliefs about the relationships we have with our bodies, what I know to be true about our mindset, the life that we see ourselves living, and how we see ourselves in it. I am sharing with anybody who will listen that there is a way to stop the mental reels, there is a way to drop the habits that are holding you hostage and making you crazy, there is a way to feel heard, to feel seen, to feel worthy, valued, and valuable. I teach everyone I am gifted with the trust to do so that there is a way to control your moments, that we get to choose to focus on what is right in our life versus what is not right in our life, we get to choose how we want to see ourselves in our environment, we get to choose how we receive the stimuli from our environment. I am extremely passionate about how emotion regulation and distress tolerance are important skill sets and tactics that affords so much room for self-soothing, self-compassion, and self-love.

I get it; this is a tough time. Households are having to bring one parent home away from their careers, their work, their passion. Families have to learn how to shift into parent educators. I’m finding that many moms struggle with the level of patience, flexibility, and pliability necessary to sit in and move through this challenging time. I see these mothers reaching for things outside of themselves, alcohol, sugar, comfort food, shopping, and other detrimental self-help strategies to try to find some relief.  I am here to tell you we can live better, and we can lead better. My life and my practice is evidence of such.  We have to choose to be better.