When your sisters are your best friends and your best friends are your sisters

“The greatest gift our parents ever gave us was each other”  

It’s National Sister Day this week and if you have a sister or someone like a sister, it’s a great time to think about your relationship with her and what it means. 

I can’t imagine going through life without my two amazing sisters.

But it wasn’t always that way.

A tale of three sisters

I remember when my younger sister arrived on the scene.

I didn’t much like her at first. I was 2 ½ and immediately threatened by the fact that I wasn’t the little darling of the family anymore.

Maie, my sister, bit me once.

She was 2. There was a conflict over something like wanting the same toy and Maie used the only tactic she had…biting.

My mother told me to bite her back. (Parents had little training back then in how to parent…it was called I'm the boss and you do whatever I say).

I remember thinking, “but I don’t want to hurt her”...

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My Mother Told Me That Only Bad Women Wear Red Panties...

My mother told me something a little startling when I asked for a pair of red panties. 

I was 9 years old.

She said, “only bad women wear red panties.”

I  was puzzled by what she meant by "bad women" but whatever it was I figured, I didn’t want to be a bad woman.

 

Where did we get this label...bad women?

I remember my aunt told me that her parents said "no" when she wanted to be a nurse. They wouldn’t allow it and explained that “respectable” women weren't nurses.

I wondered about that, too.  

Instead, my Aunt Billie stood, at the age of 16, right beside my grandfather who was a pharmacist at Hatcher's Drugstore in a tiny little town in South Georgia. 

Aunt Billie worked alongside my grandfather, filling prescriptions as a compounding pharmacist. There were far less regulations then and so she was allowed to do this. 

She had learned from her father how to fill prescriptions. So, even more, confusing...

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How to go on a personal retreat 

Let’s get real. We all live in an over scheduled world with endless to do lists, and an overload of technology.

Our brains have had it with trying to deal with the pandemic and adapt over and over again.

If you find yourself like most people, you’re wired and tired. And you may even feel like what’s the point?

That’s when you know that it’s time to take a personal retreat.

What the heck is a personal retreat?

It’s the time you take to step away from your ordinary life and just be with yourself so that you can reset and come back refreshed and be a better version of yourself.

The benefits of a personal retreat

The outcomes of being on a solo getaway personal retreat are numerous.

Even though you think, I don’t have time to stop, this is the very moment to get away.

"The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it. " Sydney J. Harris

Learn more about the benefits of going on a personal retreat and my story of how I...

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When your soul is tired, it's time for a personal retreat

 "When our souls are tired, we don't need sleep, we need to get away and just be.”

What is a personal retreat?

A retreat is a time when you step away from your daily life to reflect on where you are in your life at the moment. It's a time to rest, restore, reset and it's a time for deep listening.

When we're exhausted, our body is working hard to just keep up with the daily tasks. When our brains are tired, we can't put anything else in.

This is where I was. Totally blah. Tired and wired. Sick of everything. No pizazz. Dull.

Taking a week off for myself

I decided to save myself and take a week off.  From everything.

I knew I needed to get away and let myself do nothing.

I chose a beautiful place...the California central coast.

The first morning when I woke up without an alarm, I felt strange.

I resisted my impulse to do the usual thing...get up, check the news, check my emails, my texts. Instead, I heard a little voice say, “wait… you don't have to...

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How To Handle Unexpected Changes

The tent that ran away 

Here’s a story about how easily things can change, unexpectedly, and without warning. 

I believe life is easier if we know that we might have to change course when things happen out of our control.  

I think it’s a matter of three things: staying calm, allowing yourself to feel disappointment, and feeling grateful. 

Here’s what happened.

It was going to be a test run. We had just purchased a rooftop tent. This tent camper sits on a rack on top of the truck and with the push of a button and in less than a minute, the tent is fully upright and ready to sleep in.  There’s a ladder that attaches to the truck to get you up there and voila! Instant camping. 

A Trip To Death Valley

We decided that Death Valley would be a great destination as the weather was going to be idyllic for the desert...highs of only 80 and cool nights.  

We were on the road by 6 am as we knew it would be long 8-hour drive....

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How To Make This Your Best Summer Yet

Summer is the best time to feel like yourself. And, after we've been cooped up for a year, it’s a perfect time to savour every day.

Summertime has the potential to help you:

  1. Reset and restore
  2. Have fun
  3. Get creative 

When we're having fun, we put aside the worries, the goals, the stress, the have to’s. We can look at where we’ve been and where we’re going. 

Let's start with what you want 

Sometimes, we're so busy, we don't even know what we want and we don't take time to figure it out.  

Start here:

Ask yourself these questions:

What would make this an unforgettable summer? 

What if it was the first summer I got to ________

If I had all the free time I wanted this summer, I'd ________

The best summer I ever had was _________.

These questions can give you clues to what you're longing for and what makes you happy. 

Sit down right now and write it out.

I give you full permission to dream

Want to go to Hawaii? To some...

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Three Simple Ways That You Can Listen To And Trust Your Inner Wisdom

Trusting your inner wisdom isn't always easy, but if you don't you will miss out on experiences in life. This is my story about trusting myself and my inner wisdom, and three ways that you can start listening to and trusting yourself more. 

Full disclosure: I’ve never really trusted myself.

I’m not proud of this.  

And besides that, this not trusting myself has caused me problems my entire life. 

Learning to listen to myself

But I’ve changed all that. 

I’ve learned that rather than going back and forth and making myself crazy, I've learned to take a breath and listen to myself. 

So, for instance. 

When I really want to do something and that desire keeps nagging at me, I know that this is something I must do.

I’ve never gone wrong by listening to my desires.

But it’s hard to sort out why I hold back unless I give myself a chance to sort it out...what’s keeping me from just doing that thing that I want...

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Resiliency and Gratitude: Two people who know how to be mentally tough

What would you do to get back home?

This is Part 2 of the story about two people in my family who were caught off guard away from their homes in March by the pandemic.

Their story is one that will inspire you. If you didn’t have a chance, you’ll want to read Part 1 of the piece I wrote about how they got stranded. You can read it here

 Bev

She waited and waited for months for a possible opening to fly to Vanuatu, her new home.

The borders to this tiny country with no covid have been closed since March.

In September, a repatriation flight from Auckland opened up.

It took a boatload of emails and phone calls to the Vanuatu government and the New Zealand government in order to coordinate the tricky business of getting Bev on that flight. Stephanie, Bev's daughter, worked hours and hours to get clearance for Bev to fly.

There were so many on and then off again moments...for weeks until they knew that Bev was approved for the flight. 

It took 70 hours...

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Podcast On Saying No

 
 
 Listen to my podcast to learn how to start saying 'no' to things you don't want to be doing, to give you more freedom, energy and time for the things you do want in your life.  
 
You can also listen and follow me on Insight Timer:
 
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Women's Special Fall Online Weekend Retreat

Friday 25 September - Sunday 27 September

Fall is a time for us to slow down, to ground ourselves and to nourish our bodies. This retreat is designed to help you stop and listen to what it is you need right now. It's a fun and restorative weekend with mindfulness exercises, morning yoga, an online cooking class with the fabulous Chef Bai, healthy recipes to try at home, meditations and group calls to connect you with other women.