Time Management for Your Last Day

bigbirdz

Every day, you have a day.

One day, you won’t.

 

We all know that, of course.

We just don’t think about it.

 

Let’s think about it now, but just for a minute, okay?

Causing REALLY thinking about it is scary, right?

 

<Deep Breath>

 

Okay, ONE day will be your last day.

And you don’t get to know what day that will be.

 

Maybe it’s in 30 years or so.

But maybe it’s this June 27th.

 

June 27th WILL be somebody’s last day.

This we know.

 

But, even though we know this, we act like it couldn’t possibly be OUR last day.

But, it could be.

 

Let’s just say, for a minute, that it WILL be.

That gives you about 12 weeks left to live.

 

If you had 12 weeks left to live, what would really matter?

 

I’d write my book.

Yep, I’d write my book, but I’d publish it in daily blog posts on Life After Tampons, in case I died before I finished it and also because I could combine writing my book with connecting with Beautiful You.

 

And I’d set aside some of my money so that my husband and boys could get it published.

 

And, I’d set it up so you could buy a copy if you wanted one.

 

I’d also make supper for everyone I love. Every night.

(Oh, wait, I already do that.)

 

Okay, I’d give one final flute recital.

And invite everyone I know and raise money for . . .

 

The Mahila Partnership cause my friend, Angela Devlen runs it and I really believe in her and her work.

 

And I’d find some other charity that helps young musicians in need.

Cause music changed my life.

 

I’d put my former band director, Carl Jeffrey Bianchi, in charge of that.

Cause everything I know about excellence I learned from him and Barbra Schultz, my high school honors English teacher.

 

What about Beautiful You?

What do you currently spend time doing that you would stop doing?

Whom do you spend time with that you’d say “goodbye” to?

 

Whom would you say “hello” to more often?

 

Now, some of you may think this post is a downer.

That’s fine. And fair, even.

It’s just that I don’t really give a hot damn.

Downer or not, it’s REALITY.

 

We all know reality in the back of our minds, but we LIVE as if reality doesn’t apply to us.

 

We live as if we have lots of time left.

Therefore, it doesn’t really matter when we quit on ourselves cause there’s always tomorrow, right?

 

If we can, let’s just pretend for a second that we are brave enough to talk truth.

Here we go:

 

Your life is RUSHING by.

Truly, think back to when you turned 40.

Wasn’t that like 5 minutes ago?

 

How much longer are you going to let your fear of selfishness keep you from living –REALLY living – your one beautiful life?

 

Think you don’t?

 

Well, guess what, buttercup?

I just completed a survey of our readers and you know what the NUMBER ONE reason was that you don’t make and KEEP the priorities and promises you make to yourself??

 

FEAR OF SELFISHNESS.

 

Yep, nearly HALF of you said in one way or another that when you claim some space for yourself, you are afraid that, in taking something for yourself, you’re STEALING something from someone you love.

 

Further, when you make plans for yourself and someone else’s shit rises up, you completely QUIT on what you want in order to take care of the other person’s shit.

 

What’s with that?

 

A bunch of the rest of you talked about your lack of deservedness.

 

I’ve been crying for three days about that one.

 

Now here’s the thing: I’m getting ready to launch a course for women who want to make and KEEP the priorities they make to themselves. I know it is the NUMBER ONE problem for women here at Life After Tampons.

 

I KNOW it is.

 

But what are we going to do about this tremendous Fear of Selfishness we face?

How are we going to solve that problem so we can take a turn in our own damn lives?

 

And what does this all mean for Beautiful Me?

 

Am I working for nothing? Will you see the opportunity – the ANSWER – and refuse to “pull the trigger” on making that answer yours because of your fear of being selfishness?

 

How long will we let this go on?

 

If your last day is June 27th, you don’t need my upcoming course.

 

Don’t buy it.

 

Cause the reality of knowing your last day is just weeks away WILL CRYSTALLIZE what matters most to you.

 

“I guaran-damn-tee it,” as my mother would say.

 

You will be compelled to ACT, at long last.

 

But for the rest of us, what are we going to do?

We can talk about it and talk about it and all agree and stuff,

 

But, UNLESS we ACT,

We’re gonna be having this exact same conversation next year.

 

And the year after that.

 

And, if that’s what you want to do, I don’t know what I’m going to do.

 

Cause my last day is out there, too. And I absolutely KNOW that it has to matter that I lived.

 

I HAVE to make a difference, and I WANT to make that difference to other Difference Makers.

 

And I don’t care if that’s selfish.

I’m not stopping.

Love, Jen

P.S. To find out more about our upcoming course, sign up here:

photo:flickr, bigbirdz

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19 Dream-Killing Thoughts

Purple Slog

This post is for women who are sometimes unkind to themselves. It is for those of us who have tried to change something about our lives (weight, work, finances, health, whatever) and been thwarted in our efforts.

This post is for women who sometimes think the following:

“This wasn’t supposed to happen.”

“How’d I end up here?”

“I thought my life would be different by now.”

“Why can’t I make changes that stick?”

If that’s not Beautiful You, feel free to go out for a celebratory donut while the rest of us figure this shit out.

Before I continue, I’m raising my right hand and saying, “Been there. Done that.” Still in process, in fact, on some things.

You all already know it took me twenty YEARS to go for the life I really wanted to live. (For the rest of you, read “My Deepest Regret.”)

What I have slowly come to realize is that, often, I was my own worst enemy. I now understand that most of my “problems” were of my own making – or, rather, THINKING.

Here are some of the most common mistaken beliefs that trip us up:

 

  1. We think way too hard about stuff.

 

  1. We tend to make things way more complicated than they need to be.

 

  1. We have trouble battling the gremlins in our head that tell us “it doesn’t matter” or “I’ll do it later.”

 

  1. Or, sometimes the voices in our heads tell us that we can’t do this, that we don’t have any self-confidence, or that someone else is doing it better. The bottom line is that our mind tells us that we’re not good enough.

 

  1. Sometimes the voice is really really mean and goes so far as to invoke shame – “Who do you think you are,” for wanting x or y or z?

 

Well, we’re just like every other woman who ever lived. Maybe we don’t even want all that much. But we just want something a little different than the way it is right now.

Okay, some of us want things to be a LOT different, but we can’t even get a steady foothold on progress.

 

  1. We question our decisions and doubt ourselves.

 

  1. We worry about the stuff that’s either in the future or in the past, forgetting that life happens in this moment. Nope, I mean THIS moment. And then, THIS one.

 

  1. We worry desire ebbs because we think we have to stay excited about our dreams or they’ll never happen.

 

  1. We lack self-assurance in our will, talent, and ability because we can’t get past our limitations and the mistakes we’ve made in the past.

 

Basically, we’ve let ourselves down so many times in the past we find it difficult to believe that “this time” it will be different.

Because it won’t, love. Until we correct the problems with our thinking, we can’t begin effect right action, since all action begins in thought.

So, we barrel ahead with life unaware that is our habitually thinking that keeps us stuck.

 

  1. We don’t believe that we’re worth it, or that we can do it. We feel SELFISH or like we’re cheating those we love if we take “too much” for ourselves. (click to tweet)

 

  1. We think we have to be sure of what we want before we begin, since we have lost faith in ourselves we doubt what we think we want, perpetuating the problem.

 

  1. We tell ourselves that exploring the things we THINK we want is frivolous, and we feel guilty for wanting time to do that.

 

We still want it, though. And that gap between what we have and what we will allow ourselves to have causes all sorts of pain and chaos.

 

  1. We have trouble keeping our focus on the promises we make to ourselves.

 

  1. We can’t sustain our commitments because we forget that if we, for example, go to the gym today we’ll be glad tomorrow. All we can think about is how much we don’t want to go right now.

 

Oh, we yield way too often to the whimsy of the moment. Cause change feels hard, the results are “out there” in the future, but the sacrifice is happening RIGHT NOW and we’re not sure we really want that thing we said we wanted when we signed up for that gym membership … masters degree …. charity event… whatever.

Instead,

 

  1. We think we need to know WHY we’re not ready and fix that problem first. This is such a flawed strategy, because we spend most of our lives navel-gazing instead of LIVING into the bigger reality we want for ourselves.

 

  1. We think we need to see “the big picture” and all the steps involved BEFORE we begin.

 

  1. We can’t allow ourselves to take comfort in the journey because we fear we won’t end up where we want to be. After all, look what happened the last time we didn’t have the whole thing mapped out.

 

  1. We have difficulty keeping the momentum and excitement as strong as it was at the beginning of the promise we make to ourselves; and, even worse, we think that actually matters.

 

  1. We don’t understand that it is DEVOTION, not love or passion that takes us to where we want to go.

 

Basically, a whole lot of our thinking is Bass Ackwards.

Fortunately, this is a simple, yet not altogether easy, problem to address. Changing our minds takes time. It’s a process.

Anyway, something to think about.

Love, Jen

P.S. Big stuff is coming up. In just a couple of weeks we’re going to get very serious about making yourself a priority. To get all of our updates, and join an amazing community of like-minded women, sign up here:

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My Deepest Longing + a Gift for Beautiful You

Flavio~ flickr

For as long as I can remember, I have had the deepest almost inexpressible longing to make a difference in the world. I feel like I’ve been on this lifetime search to figure out why I matter and what I can bring to the party.

I’ve never really made this next confession before, I suppose because, even now I can’t find the words to express how deeply this has mattered to me.

To me there is almost nothing that matters more than the legacy you leave behind.

I can’t imagine any reason for being here than to serve in some meaningful way to the betterment of humanity.

I feel this with a passion that often leaves me breathless with need and longing.

It MUST matter that I lived.

And it MUST matter in a very BIG way.

That’s the part of the confession you’re not supposed to make.

Culturally, it’s the unseemly part.

It seems immodest — and lord knows that middle-aged women are supposed to be modest about their longings.

But you know what?

 

FUCK THAT SHIT!!!!!

I don’t feel modest about my deepest desire. And I sense that there are LOTS of other women who feel the same way about the depth of their individual passions.

Until now, we have languished in silence and isolation. Nice, slightly graying middle-aged ladies aren’t supposed to want much more than what we have already been given.

We fear that wanting more (or even, other) makes us seem ungrateful. You oughta be ashamed, right?

WELL, NO MORE!!!

From here on forward I vow that Life After Tampons is a community for women who have DEEP desires. We will no longer keep these hidden. And we will no longer hide the depth of our passions.

Not even from ourselves!

If we are ever to realize our dreams, we are going to need to get more honest with others and ourselves.

We dream. We DESIRE.

And the depth of that desire is VAST.

Now, it doesn’t matter one WHIT if we don’t really know what is missing. It doesn’t MATTER if we don’t yet know how we want to MATTER. We’re going to figure all of that   out together.

What matters is that we now claim a bigger place for ourselves and our beautiful dreams. We are not just Difference Makers. We are high-impact women who refuse to settle for a small little splash in the world.

We take up SPACE!!!!!!!

In a few days, I’m going to launch a new program that will help those of you who are ready and very brave to step into the VERY BIG SHOES of high-impact Difference Makers.

To launch us on our new collective purpose, I have created a beautiful new poster for you to download. It is our Life After Tampons Creed: Our Statement of Intent.

It’s the flare that we are firing up to the Universe that illumines our collective intent: that AT LONG LAST we are here and ready to be the bold women we are meant to be.

 

Are you with me?

From this moment forward, that is EXCLUSIVELY the mission of Life After Tampons.

If you are THAT kind of Difference Maker, the BIG kind, then please join me. Download your copy of the Creed and pass the link along to all the other cloistered women you know who have been playing way too small for way too long.

Follow this link to grab your copy of our new Creed. And pass this message along.

I’ve made it super-simple for you. Here are some social media posts you can just grab and share:

For Facebook: We’re no longer playing small. Grab your beautiful Life After Tampons Creed. http://www.lifeaftertampons.com/creed/

For Twitter: Tired of letting yourself down? Here’s your stake in the ground: The Life After Tampons Creed. http://www.lifeaftertampons.com/creed/ (click to tweet)

Together we stand proud and TALL in the truth of our individual and collective mission and desire. And TOGETHER we reach out to others who need and want our help and bring them along.

Let it begin with me.

But, most importantly,

LET

IT

BEGIN!

 

Love, Jen

P.S. In just a few weeks, I’m opening a course for women who are tired of playing small. If this rings true for Beautiful You, please enter your contact info below and we promise that you’ll be the FIRST TO KNOW more.

 


photo: flickr, Flavio

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Sometimes People Suck: Reprise

David Goehring

A few weeks ago at the coffee shop I overheard a very disturbing conversation.

One of the “ladies” from the Friday morning “Ladies Group” was talking to a friend of mine while her group met. He asked her if she wanted to join her group and she said, “No, I’m thinking about quitting this group. It’s just full of cliques.”

I was so disheartened. The Ladies Group is a circle of women in their 70’s and 80’s who have been meeting at the coffee shop for more than 10 years.

I guess I thought that, at some point, women finally got old enough and wise enough to let go of pettiness when it comes to friendships.

Then, just a couple of weeks later, I was on the receiving end of just that kind of pettiness.

Ugh.

I used to feel somewhat crushed by the meanness and unkindness of other women, but not so much anymore.

Not everyone does her “work” in life.

Not everyone chooses to grow in her own strength and talent so that she is no longer threatened by yours. (click to tweet)

Not every women loves herself enough so that she doesn’t need to perpetuate the middle school BFF phenomenon.

You know what I mean.

If you aren’t secure enough in your own truth, then you might need to tear others down.

If you aren’t secure enough in your own truth, you might need to go around to all your other friends and sully the image of those you feel threatened by.

If you aren’t secure enough in your own truth, you might choose to be silent while the sullying happens.

If you aren’t the one doing the active hurting, it might be easy to tell yourself that you aren’t involved.

But you are.

Tacit approval is approval nonetheless.

Friendship can be difficult. Loyalty can be confusing.

But ANY time you need to exclude someone else or pull someone else down is an opportunity to explore your own truth.

Have you done your work?

Can you stand tall on your own, or do you need a legion of fair-weather friends to build you up again and again and again?

Do you owe allegiance to the wrong people?

Does your circle of “friends” require you to exclude relationships with those outside the group?

It is true that people come and go in our lives, and I suppose that’s the way it’s meant to be.

But the truly strong and compassionate woman can stand in the light of her own truth and move on without tearing another asunder.
 

I am so sick and tired of racism, classism, favoritism, elitism, meanness of spirit, people with false smiles and hidden agendas.

I know it’s human. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it.  Or, respond in kind, even though, at times I am certain I do.

Once again, it comes down to this – Let It Begin with Me. Let me look to myself and see where I have been wrong. Let me bring the spirit of love and forgiveness knowing that I so often need it sent my way.

Let me be a better friend. Teach me how to resolve conflict in ways that heal, if possible.

If it is time to “move on,” help me to do so in a way that doesn’t harm others.

Help me to grow along spiritual lines that I may be of better service to those who need me.

Help me to extend compassion to those who are confused, broken, and afraid. Help me to see the brokenness of others just as I see it in myself.

Help me to love better, recognizing that sometimes that means I love you from afar.

Basically, just help me.

Amen.

P.S. I’d so love hear your comments below, but REMEMBER – Life After Tampons is a sacred community of women who Thrive. We don’t need to do so at the expense of others. We aspire to combine truth with kindness. We don’t always hit our mark, but that’s what we aspire to.

photo: flickr, David Goehring

 

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