Yes, I can painfully attest to the fact that this old dog, ME, can learn a few new tricks! Tricks in the form of figuring out how to place a button to “sign up for my email list” on my Facebook page. Yeppers, only took me twenty seven trial and errors and about 5 hours. BUT I FIGURED IT OUT. I am damn proud of myself!
While I was tinkering around on Facebook, I thought I’d give my ABOUT ME section a little update. So here is goes, Girlfriends.
My Girlfriend Voice is the opposite of my inner critic. She’s supportive, inspirational and honestly, she’s my lifesaver! She is someone who knows exactly what my intentions are and how the past influences (biases) the present moment. She is the conduit to my intuition and inner-wisdom. My Girlfriend Voice empowers me to love who I am and to show up unapologetically as Cara, the “Too Much Woman”.
Yes, I hear quite a few voices in my head! My Girlfriend Voice competes for stage time with a crew of critical characters like Penny the Perfectionist, Nikky Never Good Enough, Hopeless Hannah and Bad Bitchy Bertha. Those ladies love to bark and moan– misery loves company, ya know? Funny thing though; those voices provide me with some pretty valuable insight into the blueprint of my being. I just wish they’d hush up sometimes — enough already!
I’ll be posting stories and strategies about how to tame and transform the inner critic while we “lean in” and listen to our inner mentor, My Girlfriend Voice. The mean girls likely won’t go away any time soon so there is no sense fighting with them or agreeing with them! I’ll help you learn to manage their harshness while unleashing your self-compassion and grounded confidence!
So here is a little info to help you see who I be; the zany wackadoo who not only listens to the voices in her head, but is willing to share her most private thoughts and stories with this community. Just keeping it real, y’all!
1. Best advice ever received? “You alone are responsible for your happiness”. No blame games. No martyrdom. Get to it!
2. Best advice I’ve ever given? No is a complete sentence AND focus on HOW you want to feel and align your actions accordingly.
3. I’m innately curious which is truly a blessing! Whenever I am stuck, I get curious. Whenever I am sad, I get curious. When I’m angry, I send a nasty text and then get curious. (Just kidding about the text part!)
4. Why don’t people RSVP? Ugh. Drives me nuts. Drives me almost as nuts as loud talkers and people who chew with their mouth open.
5. Fear has muscle memory. It’s one workout I don’t feel guilty giving up.
6. If I could go anywhere, I’d want to go with a Girlfriend. (We could have fun in a cardboard box!) Find your tribe; find your community! Connection is vital to our health and wellness.
7. Vulnerable is not weak. Humble is not small. However, stupid is stupid.
8. My previous “drug of choice” was being too busy. If I worked really hard, I felt productive. If I solved your problems, I was important. The more I did, the better I felt. What I was really doing was avoiding my thoughts and feelings; avoiding the pain in my personal life. It worked until it didn’t and I crashed into a clinical depression.
9. I am passionate about removing the stigmas associated with mental illness and substance use disorder. Remember, behind every “junky” is a human in crisis and behind him or her is a grieving Mother. Be kind, people. Addiction is a disease not a moral failing.
10. I will learn to accept what I cannot control. (Grrrrrr, the hardest one) I think this must be the lesson I was sent here to learn……and learn….and learn!
That’s it for me today. Go out and be kind in this crazy world.
From the heart,
Procrastination is a learned behavior. So why do we dance around our To-Do list?
Why do we pump up our anxiety while those tasks loom in front of our face? I think I know why…..but be sure to tell me if I miss anything! Here are 20 reasons why we procrastinate.
1. You don’t like the task so you delay.
2. It’s hard to ask for clarification or help.
3. You don’t function as well when you’re overwhelmed or tired.
4. Perfectionism keeps you from starting or finishing.
5. You do everything for everybody else except yourself.
6. Perceived lack of time or resources.
7. Fear of looking incompetent or stupid.
8. Difficulty prioritizing tasks.
9. You only respond to deadlines.
10. If you wait long enough someone else may take care of it.
11. The task is too large or too complicated.
12. It’s not my job.
13. You don’t care about the task.
14. You’re disorganized.
15. Fear of failure.
16. You are easily distracted.
17. Mental clutter!
18. Tedious tasks bore you!
19. Low self-confidence
20. You thrive on drama!
I know that I procrastinate when the task is boring or tedious. — There are so many other things I would rather do I no longer believe in “perfect” yet those tendencies have muscle memory and I delay finishing while I revamp and revise again and again. Ultimately I have a fear of humiliation and failing. I want to over-achieve, over-produce — I want to shine!
More importantly, I am softening into my KNOWING. My desire to be calm and comfortable drives my behavior and prioritizes my decisions. I crave peace over perfection. I strive to be impactful without the hustle and grind. (the whole work smart not hard thing) I prioritize my overall wellness, even if that means getting those damn expense reports done when I’d rather be playing!
Do you delay today what can be done tomorrow? If you identified with any of those 20 items then guess what? You too procrastinate! Join the club!
- Break the task into smaller pieces.
- Prioritize the icky stuff – get it out of the way.
- And finally, lean in and listen for your Girlfriend Voice. She’ll remind you that you’ve got this covered! #justdoit
From the heart,
Wow, it’s been a long journey from my first blog post in 2011. I have grown and slipped backwards, cried, laughed and had my heart broken. I’ve changed jobs, become an “empty-nester”, had my 50th and 55th birthdays and FINALLY finalized my divorce. The good the bad and the ugly; it’s all part of life, Girlfriends, yet not all of us chose to share those stories publicly, right?
I’ve slowly become more and more visible. You laugh? For those that know me, I am a big personality and it’s hard for me to be anything but visible. The visibility I am talking about is my personal life; my emotional honesty and my vulnerability. It’s easy to celebrate publicly and show you the good stuff but it’s so frick’in scary to struggle publicly. Like death and taxes, we all struggle, don’t we? We just don’t want to talk about it. It’s easier to keep up the perfect facade.
It’s kinda safe to hide behind words thrown out into the world wide web. It’s another thing to follow my own advice and be accountable publicly. I may look like a natural, however it’s daunting to host live video chats as my Miss Perfection voice sternly reminds me, “Don’t do anything stupid! The world is watching so don’t make even one mistake.”
It’s really scary to own my talents and someone who can zero in on the kernel of truth and distill valuable insights. I fight my critical voice, Miss Expert, as she grumbles, “Who do you think you are. You’re no expert! Why would anyone listen to you?”
It’s terrifying to tell you that I feel compelled to do more — to help women, especially Superwomen, who now feel less than, small, invisible, empty, unhappy and hopeless. I’ve been there. Ask me now I know? I’m both the student and the teacher! I’m living this journey right along with you.
I am so proud of my labor of love! It’s just like bringing home my firstborn from the hospital – I am over the moon excited yet scared to death that this baby is totally dependent upon me for survival. I have to feed it, help it grow and give it direction. The enhanced visibility and responsibility scares the crap out of me, yet I have no choice. This is my calling and to sound cliche, the risk is worth the reward.
My website, www.mygirlfriendvoice.com, will serve as the foundation and home for the My Girlfriend Voice community. I have more up my sleeve than blog posts so please “sign up” to stay in touch! There will be tools and events coming in the near future. I am taking one step at a time, quality over quantity! Come hang out with me, Girlfriend!
Under the tab “Work with Me”, you’ll find my new offer; a Girlfriend Chat. It’s an invitation for a virtual coffee date where over the course of the 30 minute conversation, we’ll identify the major critical voices playing in your head. And more importantly, we will identify your own Girlfriend Voice.
The big question is this…..will you come along with me? Will you be part of the My Girlfriend Voice community? You have everything to gain and only your critical voices to lose!
From the heart,
I love to learn. I’ve got my podcasts and a ever increasing pile of books; my coaching group, TED Talks, NPR and a selection of scientific journals. I am never at a loss for material on my favorite topics — anything about the brain, our emotions and overall wellness.
My heart is that of both a student and a teacher. I am blessed with the ability to translate something complex in to a simple story or metaphor. This is where I am going to tell you the story of my dirty laundry. [Read more…] about Let Me Air Some Dirty Laundry!!
Oh Momma…….. My heart is heavy because I learned on Friday that my Mother passed away. Thank God she transitioned swiftly in her own own home and on her own terms. She was terrified of becoming dependent on her children or living in a nursing home.
Mom had inoperable aneurysms and never knew if or when she’d leave us. Our relationship was good; not always easy but really solid. I’m so proud that we were on good terms. My relationship with my Mother was a priority so I forgave her and accepted her for who she was. She was a little wounded bird.
I hold on to her praise and how proud she was to have birthed a woman like me. She revelled in my kindness and my way with words. I still laugh about her asking me, “Why are you so honest?”
Mom loved My Girlfriend Voice and kept a binder of my blog posts. I hadn’t shown her the new MGV website yet — my only regret. She would have loved it— except for the swear words peppered here and there! I’m sassy, what can I say? I have to be true to my voice!
My biggest hope is that my Mom wasn’t afraid to die. I want her to know that everything will be OK here. I’ll grieve her absence and celebrate her memory. Wow, she lived so much longer than any of us expected, having been ill for almost twenty years.
I’ve traveled back “home” to visit her body to kiss her goodbye. I had to touch and talk to her face just once more. Losing your Mother, the person who brought you to Earth, is devastating. I trust that she is free. I trust that she feels complete and worthy. I trust that she is rejoicing with my Dad.
Please keep me, my family and Momma “Kaye” in your prayers. I picture her young and healthy, dancing and laughing— the broken body has been left behind. Her spirit lives within me and amongst us.
Mom is one of the two women who most impacted my life. And for that, I am grateful to be her daughter.
From my broken heart ❤ Cara
The Emotional Roller Coaster. The constant ups and downs; extreme highs and the lowest of lows. You alternate between exhilarated and devastated; passionate and detached.
How did you get on the damn roller coaster in the first place?
While my posts focus on the “inner voice” and managing our critical chatter, today I want to focus on our “outside” voice or how we speak to the world.
In light of the events in Charlottesville, it is critically important to state that I do not support white supremacy or any of their beliefs. It sickens me that there are 917 identified and active hate groups in this country (Southern Poverty Law Center 2017). How is hate a driving force with thousands, actually millions of Americans?
I spent last week observing more than acting. Don’t get me wrong, I am livid. I am sickened, saddened, enraged, threatened and shocked. I felt a shift too. I came to the conclusion that my angry vile words are not going to do anything but contribute to the problem. Let me explain…….
You lose your power and credibility when you spew hate. [Read more…] about Use Your “Outside” Voice — Question Everything!