Mother's Day is a day of mixed emotions. For some, it's a day to feel appreciated and celebrated. For others, it's a day to feel guilt and self-doubt. And for others, it's a day to feel sadness and grief, remembering losses and pains from years gone by.
The other day, in a FB Live episode, I spoke of these mixed emotions, about how hard Mother's Day can be, about the guilt and how to overcome it, and about what we moms want most: to not only know but to FEEL that we are appreciated. We had some excellent interactions with moms who could relate. But one woman commented and asked, “What about those of us who could never be mothers?”
I appreciated her question, because it's always on my mind. I know something of the pain of those who could not be mothers, of those who have struggled with infertility, or who have lost a child, or several. And I include these beautiful women in my tributes and work for moms, because as women, we mother. We are all mothers.
Are we not ALL Mothers?
As a psychologist, I specialize in women’s emotional health across the lifespan. I therefore get to work intimately with women of all ages and stages.
Over the years, I have witnessed what I see as a “soul-stretching love” that defines mothers of all kinds in all kinds of situations:
mothers holding vigil at hospital bedsides
mothers carrying on despite grief or mental illness
mothers on field trips
mothers finding their way alone when a spouse decides to leave
mothers teaching preschool
mothers fighting for special needs
mothers encouraging, motivating, and cheering children on
mothers doing crafts, losing sleep, and cleaning up vomit
mothers rocking babies
mothers holding their tongues with teens
mothers standing by adult children who’ve gone astray
mothers raising grandchildren
mothers who have lost mothers
mothers who foster children
mothers who have buried children
mothers who were never able to have children
As women, doesn’t each of us have a distinct call to nurture and love? Are we not all mothers?
I can say with a surety, “Yes!”; it is part of our chemical makeup. Research shows that even as infants, female brains are wired for empathy, hearing others, being heard, observing others, and reading emotion. Female babies seem born to study faces, and by 3 months old a baby girl’s skills in eye contact and gazing increase by over 400% while baby boys skills do not increase at all.
All of these details mean that the female brain is a machine that is built for connection. As aunts, sisters, friends, teachers, mothers—as women we are called to connect, we are called to love. And if mother equals love, then by the transitive property our call to love means that we are all mothers.
I believe this, wholeheartedly. I believe this, because I see women “mothering” everyday, and many of these women have never borne or adopted children. I see teachers and administrators mother my own children. I see counselors, doctors, and home aides mother other mothers and children. I see women mother strangers, care for loved ones, and nurture all they meet.
Yes, we are all mothers.
This Mother's Day, Give Yourself a Gift…
This mother’s day I ask women everywhere to give yourself a gift: the gift of self-love.
Use your female brain to connect with the ones you have loved, nurtured, mothered, and receive their love in return.
Let go of anything that stands in the way of your divine mothering call as a woman: Let go of guilt. Let go of blame. Let go of resentment. Let go of loss. Let go of the past. Let go of the future. Let go of the belief that you have to have a child to be a mother. Let go, and let love in.
Freely express your love for the women who have mothered you. Freely soak up all the love that comes your way. Freely accept where you are and who you are called to become.
Then become the mother you were called to be, in whatever way you are called to mother. Yes, the definition of a mother is LOVE, so women, mothers, receive some love this Mother’s day. You not only deserve it, but it's in receiving love that we become full of love, allowing us to love even more.
Mother's Day–the one day set aside each year on which moms feel appreciated, loved, and celebrated. It's a beautiful idea.
But the ugly truth? Mother's Day is one day out of the year when moms feel the greatest guilt.
It's true. We moms too often spend Mother's Day feeling like a failure. Feeling like we haven't done enough, or like we aren't good enough.
I know this feeling all too well. I can't tell you how many Mother's Days I have simply felt like a failure. Hearing of other mothers' successes, reading sweet and thoughtful posts, hearing talks about incredible moms in church; as beautiful and encouraging as they're meant to be, they too often make us feel like “I'm not as good as that.” And then?
The overthinking kicks in: “I'm not good enough,” “I shouldn't be celebrated,” “I'm failing as a mom.”
We've all been there. Or at least, many of us have, including me. So, why is it so easy to fall into the mom guilt trap, especially on the day when we're supposed to feel good about our role, work, and love we so freely give as a mom?
Loving my baby, but exhausted. This is reality.
Why ‘Mom Guilt' on Mother's Day, and all year long?
First, we feel guilty because we love our families.
Yes, love can lead to guilt, because we care so deeply. We love our children, our spouse/partner, and we want the best for them. It's therefore easy to feel down on ourselves when that “best” isn't happening. Postpartum depression, anxiety, motherhood depression, hormone shifts that wreak havoc on our emotions, and major life events and stress can make us feel like we're “weak,” like we can't do the job we so desperately want to do in the way we want, need or feel we “should” do it.
Second, we take WAY too much upon ourselves, thinking it's “all my fault.”
When kids make poor choices, we moms often take it upon ourselves, making us feel like we've somehow failed as mothers. It's simply not the case. How our kids behave, what they choose to do, and who they choose to be? These are not up to US; they're up to THEM, and they definitely are not what makes or breaks a “good” mother. This is the basis of my latest book/event/course, Mastery Of Motherhood, and it's a crucial truth to acknowledge: “The fruit of motherhood isn't how our kids turn out; it's how we turn out.” (Join my Mastery Of Motherhood (M.O.M.) LIVE event!)
Third, we get stuck in our own heads, ruminating over the past and future, and forgetting the present.
Guilt over our own frustrations, weaknesses, and learning moments and what these might have “done” to our children.Guilt over not doing enough, not being enough. Guilt that maybe we really aren't good enough.
We feel guilty when we're exhausted and need a break, when we need help, and even when we're feeling good and just want some time to ourselves. We feel guilt when we don't “love” every moment of motherhood, even though that's just part of the deal of being a mom. And the list goes on…
All of this can lead to overthinking and feelings of self-doubt, guilt, shame, and even self-loathing that bring us down, down, down in a spiral of negativity and despair. This is what guilt does, and why I always say, “Guilt is good for nothing.”
We must learn to get out of our heads, out of our falsely created emotions, and SEE what's happening right in front of us. I witness this all the time: moms who sit in my office, telling me what a terrible mom they are while simultaneously breastfeeding and nurturing a crying infant. They are proving themselves wrong, and we do this all the time. We are so caught up in the past and the future that we fail to see the present moment and the goodness, beauty, and love we're creating right here, right now. (Read “Daily Mindfulness: 6 Ways to put more BEING into what you're DOING”)
“Motivational vs. Depressive” Mom Guilt
Actually, I used to say “Guilt is good for nothing..,” but now I add, “…unless you use it for something better.”
I have learned over the past 22 years working with moms, women and families, that there are two types of guilt. Understanding the difference between these can make all the difference in overcoming mom guilt, on Mother's Day or any other day of the year.
Type 1: Depressive Guilt
Depressive guilt is that downward spiral I described above. It drags us down and makes us feel low and useless. This type of guilt is good for nothing, for the more depressive guilt we have, the worse our situation gets.
Type 2: Motivational Guilt
Motivational guilt comes when we've done something wrong and we know it. It comes when we feel remorse for our words, thoughts, or behavior, and we know we need to change. Motivational guilt has the potential to lead to change; in fact, by nature, this type of guilt is meant to help us change.
Allow me to explain, using my favorite metaphor for guilt: Gasoline…
Gasoline is a good thing when we use it for good things, like helping a car drive or a lawn mower mow. But, gasoline is also highly flammable. Guilt is gasoline.
If we pile up gasoline in our garage, or rather, if we hold on to depressive guilt, allowing it to fester or rot or bury itself deep inside and adding to it over and over, eventually, all it takes is one little spark and “Boom!” the whole thing goes up in flames.
If, however, we use that gasoline (or motivational guilt) for some greater purpose; if we put it in our car and drive somewhere beautiful, or if we put it in the lawnmower and make the lawn beautiful, then we're actually using it for change and growth. Motivational guilt can help us apologize, forgive, repent, and seek a better way, leading us to that “somewhere beautiful”we so long to be.
Mastery Of Motherhood, in my world, means: being the calm in the chaos!
How to Overcome Mom Guilt
So how can we use this understanding of the two types of guilt to overcome our own mommy guilt? Try these steps (preferably before Mother's Day), and feel guilt-free.
1) First, acknowledge the guilt.
We can't do anything until we acknowledge something needs doing. Only once we've identified, “Yes, I feel guilty,” can we truly begin.
2) After you acknowledge the guilt, examine it.
Ask yourself, “What is this guilt all about?” “What am I really feeling guilty for?” This will help you determine if it's guilt for something you feel remorseful about and want to change or guilt that's just pointing fingers, filling your heart with despair, and dragging you down.
3) Ask, “Is this depressive guilt or motivational guilt?”
Answer honestly. Remember, guilt is a feeling, an emotion. It's not a reflection of who you are.
4) If it is motivational guilt, pointing you to change, then it's time to start the process of change.
You might go and say you're sorry right away; you might take some time to formulate a plan for change in your parenting approach; or you might need to take a whole lot of time as you work on true forgiveness of yourself and others. As long as you use the guilt as fuel for change, it doesn't matter how long it takes. (Read about the Spiral of Change, here.)
5) If it's depressive guilt, then the answer is to practice letting go.
I know “letting go” is much easier said than done, but it's an essential element in overcoming mom guilt, much of which tends to be of the depressive sort.
How can you let go? That's a big topic for another day and another post, but to start, you can do the following.
FEEL. “Freely Experience Emotion, with Love” (This is How We Grow,p.184). You can't let go of something you haven't fully experienced yet. You must FEEL the guilt in order to heal from the guilt, in order to let it go. Tell yourself you can feel the guilt and that, even if you don't like feeling it, you will survive feeling that emotion.
Remember letting go is a choice we make over and over again. Yes. Letting go is a continual choice only we can make. When I work on letting go, it's helpful for me to ask myself, “What would I feel like if I didn't have this emotion? If I didn't carry this burden? If I could really just let this go?” I then imagine how I'd feel, and let me tell you, it is a hundred times better than carrying things around I can't change and don't need. Try this, and then cling to that imagined feeling of release, and choose to let things go. Repeat as often as needed until it has gone.
You ARE better than you think you are. You ARE enough. You ARE worthy of all the time, appreciation, care, and love you and your family wish to give you this Mother's Day and any other day.
You're worth some alone time. You're worth saying “yes” to you! You're worth not only feeling good enough, but feeling like a good, great, exceptional mom! You're worth joining Mastery Of Motherhood and feeling like a master mom. You're worth so much more than you feel, moms. You're the example, the light, the way for your children. You're the leader, the lover, the hope and comfort and care. You're doing so much better than you think you are. Don't you ever forget it.
“Guilt is good for nothing…unless you use it for something better.” Don't forget. Choose to work on overcoming guilt so you can feel these things I'm telling you and begin to believe them for yourself.
Let go of the guilt by joining me for Mastery Of Motherhood LIVE!
“Next level motherhood. Next level children. Next level YOU.”
Several months ago, I joined my very first “mastermind” group, the High Performance Mastermind, created by Brendon Burchard. I had no idea what a Mastermind even was (other than a funny kids' movie!), but I quickly came to realize I was joining a group of high performers, a group of go-getters, a group who weren't afraid to have an audacious dream and go for it, or rather, who might be afraid but went for it anyway.
I have met the most incredible individuals from around the world in this group, and one of my favorites is Anna Renderer.
With Anna Renderer, as we were about to board a multi-million dollar mega-yacht with our High Performance Mastermind group!
You might know Anna as the host of PopSugar Fitness. You might have worked out with her (as I had done and didn't even realize until she mentioned PopSugar). Anna is also a certified High Performance Coach, and has incredible programs and resources on her website, www.AnnaRenderer.com.
But most of all? Anna is a new mom, with an 8 month-old son. She gets it. She gets being a career-woman, going for huge, audacious dreams. She gets becoming a mother and the incredible impact it has on every facet of your life. She gets “high performance,” and why it's so important for we mamas. That's why she created, “High Performance Mama.”
Why “High Performance?”
My first question for Anna, when I interviewed her for “Motherhood” Radio/TV, was, “What does high performance mean to you, and why it's so crucial for women and mothers?”
Her reply: “High performance is developing yourself as a woman, maximizing your strength within, and maximizing your potential to do what you need to do. Because, if you're trying to grow, then you're ok with challenge, you're ok with the work, but it takes the skills and the practices to armor yourself and make yourself ready.”
This is high performance. And we mamas need to learn these skills and practices in order to “maximize (our) potential to do what (we) need to do.”
As a mom, it can feel like all we do is “be productive.” We do SO much, all the time, and many times, without much of a rest or break.
But is this really productivity? Is productivity simply busyness?
No. Busyness does not equal productivity. Productivity has more to do with ensuring the things we ARE doing are the BEST things, and not just an endless list of GOOD things that will wear us out and never get us where we truly desire to be.
Anna suggests asking, “What are the needle-movers in our lives? What are the most important things we need to be focused on?” And right along with this, I always suggest asking, “What matters most?”
Can you identify the top 3-5 things that matter most in your life? Are you spending your time and energy on these things first and foremost? If not, what is standing in your way?
As we tune in and pay attention to what really matters, and compare these things with how we spend our days, we begin to sense what productivity really means. And only then can we start to move the needles forward in motherhood, career, family, life.
“Balance is really about choices.” That's how I see it, anyway. It's not like we can just “balance” ourselves, but as we make the right choices for ourselves and our families, we experience a state of balance. Balance is the outcome of healthy, focused choices.
Ever since my concussion, I've struggled with balance–physically. I just can't seem to hold those yoga poses like I used to, and I especially struggle when I'm in a Barre class, in a balance pose, and find myself looking around. Even if I'm looking at my teacher, I begin to wobble. Every single time. If I'm focused on anything but myself and my own progress, I wobble, and sometimes, fall.
The same goes for balance in our lives. If we're looking to others to see “how” they've done it, if we're trying to follow what “they” do, if we're doing whatever works for somebody on Instagram but doesn't work for us, we're going to wobble and possibly fall.
To learn the skill of balance, we must go within. Go within our mind, body, spirit, listen to what we need, crave, desire, and then? We must obey. Obey those whispers, listen to the voice within, and take action in the right direction, according to what we know to be true for us.
This is balance, or the beginning of it. It's a skill of choices, daily made, that leads to a beautiful, balanced end result, or a fall.
With Anna in Miami Beach, 2019. This is what high performance can do for you. Incredible people, incredible places, incredible mastery of YOU!
Want to Be a High Performance Mama?
There are so many more skills of high performance to be learned, and Anna's High Performance Mama program, and my Mastery Of Motherhood LIVE and online programs are great places to begin.
In fact, Anna and I are partnering for Mastery Of Motherhood, so you'll be seeing much more of us together!
THAT is the benefit of choosing to be a high performer and then getting yourself around other high performers. We push each other. We challenge each other. We support each other. This is an essential skill of high performance–we are there for one another and cheer each other on!
Choose to push yourself, mama. And then? Join us and choose 5% more: 5% healthier, 5% happier, 5% more productive, one day at a time. Those “5%'s” really add up quickly, and you'll be a Master of Motherhood, life, YOU in no time, if you just choose to give these skills a shot today.
Let's do this.
Join me in Scottsdale for MOM Live!
The first event of its kind!
As I wrote in This is How We Grow, “Perhaps, being truly strong means being vulnerable enough to allow our story to be written— to accept where we are, learn the lessons we are taught and courageously live the story we are given, no matter how over- or under-whelming it may seem.”
What it Really Means to "Be Strong," Motherhood TV, Dr Christina Hibbert - YouTube
Recently, I had the pleasure of discussing “being strong” with a truly strong and remarkable woman, author of The Brave Art of Motherhood, Rachel Martin.
Rachel is a single mom of 7 kids (SEVEN!) and an excellent example of someone who's been “through it” and come out stronger on the other side.
BUT…she didn't do it perfectly. She didn't do it alone. And she certainly didn't do it without help, all of which has made her even stronger.
So, how did she do it? Just like you will…One day, one step, one real moment at a time. Listen to her words, below, and consider the thoughts I've added to them. Then, listen to or watch the full Motherhood episode, above, because believe me, it's worth it. It's one of my all-time favorites!
1) “Here's my real. Come into my space. I love you for your real, too.”
Oh, how I love this! This is strength, my friends! This is that vulnerability that allows us to show how we really are, and that invites others to connect with us so we can be there for each other. Realness is my jam, 100%.
2) “Sometimes, we're forced to be strong, but we need someone to say, ‘Thank goodness you're so strong, but what can I do?'”
So many times, we praise others for holding it together, bearing their burdens with grace, for “being strong,” when really, they don't feel they have a choice, and even more so, they'd welcome help all the same. Yes, we might be “strong” and handling it well, but that doesn't mean we don't need a friend, someone to help bear the burden so perhaps we don't have to be quite so “strong” for a while.
3) “From the exterior, you might think, ‘She's got it together,' but behind the picture, there's this greater story…. Everybody has a story, and you can have great moments juxtaposed with moments that are deeply challenging.”
Can you relate? I know you can, because this is so many of our stories. We hold it together. We pull it together, especially in public. But deep inside, we struggle. We fear. It's hard. We all have a story, and this paradox of life, as I call it, is prevalent: the good with the bad and the ugly, all mixed into one. Don't assume anyone is as pulled together as she seems, my friends. Always ask, because often, you can't tell by looking.
4) “Let's re-examine busy.”
Yes, lets! Busyness is not strength. It's not a badge of honor to be constantly rushing and running to and fro, never stopping to breathe. We miss out on so much when we fail to slow down. True strength involves stopping, re-examining, and seeing what is good and what is not so good, so we can adjust and re-align.
Me, last week, practicing self-compassion with some much-needed sunshine and alone time at the beach.
5) “I love that (our kids) can see us taking care of ourselves, because it teaches them to take care of themselves their entire life.”
Amen! I preach this all the time, because it's TRUE. As we develop our talents and strengths and share them with others, our children do so, too. As we see and live into our full potential, we show our kids the way to do the same. This is what Mastery Of Motherhood is all about, mom friends. It's about being the role model, showing our “real,” trying, failing, and getting back up; it's about developing ourselves and being the leader for our families and all around us.
How do you start your day? Do you wake up feeling happy? Excited to get started? Grateful for each new, beautiful day? I do. At least, NOW I do.
It wasn't always that way, however. Perhaps you can relate more to how I USED to wake up each day–feeling tired? Stressed? Like you have to rush out of bed and hurry to do the million little things you don't really want to be doing?
I felt this way for too many years, especially as a mom. Finally, last year I noticed that every time I woke up, I immediately heard myself saying, “Hurry up and…”. “Hurry up and get the kids up for school,” “Hurry up and get that article finished,” “Hurry up and rest!” It was all too much!
I began to wonder, “Isn't there a better way?” And then I remembered my daily morning gratitude practice.
Waking up feeling exhausted, overwhelmed and grief stricken, I'd force myself outside for a walk in the morning sunshine to move my body and get a little light therapy, and then? I would focus on the blessings. All the gifts I'd been given, starting with my feet I was walking upon, up to my heart that kept beating, no matter what, to my breath steadily increasing as I walked yet always there, grounding me.
And then, I'd pray. I'd pray a prayer of gratitude, listing as many people, places, events, and things I could think of for which I was deeply grateful. I'd ask for nothing. I'd simply notice and thank God.
And 30 minutes later, I'd return home smiling, full of love, and ready to love my family and do the work I'd been given to do, all because I'd taken the time to REMEMBER the things I am grateful for.
Watch my Motherhood TV episode, “How to Use Daily Gratitude Practice to Flourish,” for more ideas and strategies, here.
How to Use Daily Gratitude to Flourish, Motherhood TV, Dr Christina Hibbert - YouTube
Gratitude Practice–Essential to Flourishing!
We can all do the same.
Not only does daily morning gratitude practice enable us to wake up on a brighter note, it enables us to LIVE more gratefully, and to flourish.
I used to fear I wasn't meant to flourish. In fact, it was only last spring that I realized I even had the fear. “I'm just meant to overcome, and overcome, and then become, and overcome some more,” I heard myself saying. It surely felt that way, but it wasn't true. I had to deal with my insecurities and fears and realize I WAS meant to flourish.
And so are you.
We all are. Flourishing is our birthright, our ultimate blessing, our destiny!
How to Start a Daily Gratitude Practice & Flourish!
There are many ways to practice gratitude, but there are some key things to remember:
1) It has to be a PRACTICE. Yes, any moment of gratitude focus is good, but if you want all the benefits of flourishing, gratitude needs to become a daily practice.
2) It's simpler than you think. Gratitude practice can be simply thinking about your blessings or noticing the beauty of the world around you. It might be thanking your children, spouse, or friends, or saying a meaningful prayer to thank your Higher Power. It doesn't have to be complicated. It just has to be.
3) Gratitude is about noticing. It's about paying attention, seeing the good, and taking it in. Too often, we fail to practice gratitude simply because we fail to notice the good. Stop. Take a breath. Find 5 beautiful things around you, in you, in others. Take it in.
4) Expressing gratitude is even better. Positive psychology research on gratitude shows that expressing our feelings of gratitude has a powerful effect–on us, and on the receiver. In fact, one of the best ways to immediately improve your joy in life, according to the research, is to do what's called a “gratitude visit.” Write a note to someone you are deeply grateful for. Then, show up at their front door and read it to them in person. This one activity has been shown to profoundly increase satisfaction, love, and joy–in other words, flourishing. Notice what you're grateful for; then, share it with those you love.
5) It doesn't HAVE to be in the morning, but…. Of course, we should focus on gratitude all day long. Ending the day with gratitude, either by writing, pondering, or praying about what we're grateful for, is a powerful practice, too. But imagine how much better each
6) A grateful heart is a flourishing one. As we see and feel and express gratitude, we ARE flourishing. And the more we do it, the more we flourish.
Don't Miss Out…
Don't miss this simple, powerful way to bring more love and joy and peace into your life.
As I worked on myself, I was a better mom, wife, friend, daughter, author, speaker, and psychologist.
I have come to know for sure, that I am not the only one who's . . .
>> experienced self-defeating thoughts, feelings, and beliefs,
>> struggled with self-care, and
>> asked, time and again, “How?”
“How?” is the question of personal growth.
What does it mean to GROW?
To me, GROW means “Grasp the Repeating Opportunities for Wisdom.”
Are we seeking the “opportunities for wisdom” in our daily circumstances? When life gets tough, are we “choosing to grow?”
HOW, exactly do we Grasp the Repeating Opportunities for Wisdom?
Not only have I personally faced many challenges, leaving me asking, “How?” but I’ve worked with hundreds of women in my therapy and coaching practices, in my books and teaching, to help them understand “how,” too.
I know not everyone can come to me, or someone else, for private therapy or coaching. I know it’s time consuming, expensive, and can be challenging to fit in to an already busy life.
So, I wondered “How can I serve more women in a way that offers the tools I teach to my private clients, but in a much more affordable, convenient way? How can I better utilize my online platform to reach and help others around the globe in our pursuit of the skills of ‘How’?”
GROW Monthly is THE solution, my friends, and I created it with you in mind!
GROW monthly is the convenient, affordable program where you can learn the secrets, strategies, and skills I’ve learned personally, clinically, and through years of in-depth research and have used to treat and train clients over the past 15 plus years.
I’m sharing THE solutions of “how” with you.
Once we know how; once we develop the skills of overcoming, becoming, and flourishing; once we learn the strategies, the mindset, the tools; then we begin to become unstuck.
Then, we find ourselves moving forward, onward, and upward into the purpose and potential we deep down know we hold!
This letter may come as a shock to you, but it’s been weighing heavy on my mind for some time.
I can’t be with you anymore.
I can’t put so much time and energy and effort into you–into your big ideas, selfish motives, and heart-pounding emotions. It’s a roller coaster ride, and I’m finally getting off.
Sure, we’ve had some good times—or, at least, you have, as you’ve toyed with me and my feelings. But I’m no toy to be played with. I’m so much better than what you have made of me.
I’m better than the fear and anxiety and worry you continually drop in my lap. I’m better than the pain I’ve caused myself and others because I’ve allowed you to control my thoughts and emotions for far too long.
I’m better than the insecurity and wondering if I’m good enough—for you, or for anyone else. I’m better than the paralyzing beliefs that “I’ll never get it done,” “I can’t slow down or I will fail,” or “I’ll never be as good as I need to be.”
I’ve come to realize: I am good enough. I am good enough to go it alone. I am better when I’m not with you.
To make it easier on us both, I’ve come up with a few “rules” for our breakup. I ask you to honor these and keep your distance, since, as of this moment, you are my past, and this is my future…
1) I will take care of my body, by sleeping, moving, and eating energizing foods each day. I know that when I don’t do these things I make myself vulnerable to you, and I can no longer afford to do that. I must be physically healthy and strong if I am to keep you away.
2) I will prioritize my mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing, including daily meditation, mindfulness, prayer, and spiritual connection. I will give myself time—time to tune in, to think about what matters most, and ponder; time to listen to the whispers and decide what’s best for me without all the pressure.
3) I will rest and relax. Yes, that’s right. No more “go, go, go” all the time, feeling like I have to “keep up” with some impossible standard, because you keep telling me I do. I will slow down, listen to what my body-mind-spirit needs, and even stop when needed, to rest and replenish. I will take time to talk and connect with those important to me, and to always feel free to say “no” if it’s not something I absolutely love or feel inspired to do.
4) I will no longer allow you to interfere in my relationships, like a weapon I wield that prevents others from wanting to be around me. I will focus on healthy connections, on listening and just “being” with my family and friends. I will let go of all you’ve made me fear in my relationships and simply love the ones I love. I will leave behind of all the people who follow after your ways of thinking, and instead, spend time with those that build me up and bring out the best in me, the opposite of what you have brought out in me.
5) In my work, I will listen to that higher, truer voice, guiding me step by step along my path and not your harsh, belittling voice telling me I’ll never achieve success, that I’ll never be good enough. I’ll believe that higher voice, follow that truer path, and won’t glance back as you quickly fall behind.
6) I will continually seek to let go of you, moment by moment, choice by choice, so I may fill myself instead with peace, and love, and joy, and light. I will then share myself openly, calmly, lovingly, with all around me as I pass on to others all I’ve learned and gained from leaving you.
Again, please respect my terms, and don’t try to get back together with me. If I sense you coming, I will turn and walk determinedly the other way.
We are over for good, stress. And I am already so much better off as a result.
Want to really learn how to leave stress behind for good?
Join my new membership program, G.R.O.W. Monthly, and “Grasp the Repeating Opportunities for Wisdom,” every month, with me!
This is for all you moms, and women, and caretakers out there.
The holidays are over. The kids are heading back to school (hallelujah!).
It’s time for YOU.
Yes, it’s time to finally take care of that one thing that should always be at the top of your list but is too often forgotten.
It’s time to restore your energy, recharge your batteries, and yes, replenish yourself–body, mind, and spirit.
It’s time for powerful self-care.
The 8-Day REPLENISH Self-Care Challenge
Let’s face it, this is the time of year when we women and moms and caretakers are worn out from trying to “get it all done” and “make everyone happy.” It’s been one of the busiest times of year, and when you’re the one making it all happen, it can leave you feeling depleted, to say the least.
What can we do?
That’s right. Replenish.
This isn’t your typical New Year’s challenge, or even like any I’ve done before, because the whole point of this challenge is to create a new approach to the New Year, to the things you’d like to change and the things you’d like to keep.
This isn’t a pushing, forcing way to start the New Year; it’s a gentle, loving way.
It isn’t a “set ‘x’ amount of goals I must achieve this month” way. It’s a “take care of myself in powerful ways and see how it makes me feel” kind of way.
The beauty is that this challenge is all about caring for YOU. And when you care for YOU, you’ll magically find yourself achieving more goals, feeling happier, and becoming who you desire to be.
Because that’s what most of us need right now. We need to “fill [ourselves] up again,” to “make good,” and to “restore.”
We need to “fill with inspiration or power”–ourselves, that is.
And so, the word REPLENISH became the inspiration for this challenge, and for all it will entail.
This will help us to REPLENISH, focusing on the following principles:
Day 2: Energize
Day 3: Play
Day 4: Love
Day 5: Enjoy
Day 6: Nurture
Day 7: Inspire
Day 8: SHare
Each day, I’ll be going live on social media to teach one of these principles of self-care.
1) the psychology and research behind each principle,
2) the deeper understanding and meaning of the principle,
3) specific strategies for how to implement the principle into daily life, and
4) a daily challenge to practice that principle.
You sign up. You get an email each day with a couple helpful ideas, suggestions, and tools. You tune in to the live masterclass sessions and learn with me. You put at least one of the suggestions into play that day and give it a try.
Then, you report on how it’s going, in our Facebook group, via email, or by commenting on the daily posts.
And we see what a little intentional self-care, in these 8 core areas, can do for you.
What can this do for you?
Simple as it may seem, intentional self-care is powerful self-care. It’s powerful, because it unleashes our power–our energy, creativity, inspiration, love, light. It helps us tune in to what we need in the moment–to listen to our bodies and emotions, but not let them rule us. It allows us to take back control of who we are and how we want to be in this world.
Then, as we focus on goals or dreams or whatever we most desire to achieve, we do so from the place of self-love, and not from the place of perfectionism, self-punishment, or fear.
That’s the bottom line of this challenge: It’s learning to ask, “What’s the LOVING thing to do/say/be in this moment?” instead of, “What’s the right/good/best thing for me to do?”
Because sometimes, the “right” (ideal, perfect) thing to do or be is hard to figure out (or doesn’t really exist)…but the “loving” thing? It’s usually right there in front of us. It’s learning to lead with the heart and the spirit instead of the thoughts and emotions. It’s learning who you really are, and being more of her.
You should receive a welcome email with all the details right away, and you’ll also receive emails throughout the 8 days, with inspiration, encouragement, and bonus tools just for those registered, including free audio downloads, exercises, and worksheets to help you REPLENISH your body-mind-spirit these next 8 days.
Then, be sure you’re following me on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, and tune in for the daily LIVE masterclass sessions. Your emails will give you all the details about when/where I’ll be, so you can join us live or watch the replay later.
Whether you join me in this challenge or not (and I really hope you will), the thing I wish most for you is to live with self-compassion, self-kindness, and self-love through self-care.
It means more than you likely realize, and there’s always something we can do to improve. Self-care is the key to self-love and self-worth, and the key to loving others and helping them see their worth, too.
Let’s REPLENISH this coming week, and see what a difference it can make.
It’s New Year’s morning 2019, 10 am, and I’m in my warm bed (still), looking at the piles of snow outside my window, thinking of the change and growth 2019 will bring, and writing to you.
We all want good things for this, and every, new year, don’t we? We want better things, best things. But how is that to be?
New Year’s Resolutions have been the “way” for ages, and the concept of “resolving” to do better, to be better, in the coming year is one I respect greatly. But New Year’s Resolutions don’t usually LAST for most of us. Why is this?
Why is it such a challenge to change?
Research on change teaches us a couple of important things:
1) Most of us aren’t actually READY to make the changes we desire. We may WANT to change. We may THINK we’re ready, but most of us aren’t quite there yet. We haven’t given ourselves the opportunity to really tune in with where we are and what we need at this point of our lives. We haven’t allowed time for honesty and depth of understanding about what we are actually READY to change right now.
2) Too many of us fail to make a solid plan. We don’t give ourselves enough time to go through all the stages of change, (and there are actually six, not just one like most of us believe)! Instead, we say, “Hmm. I don’t like x, y, or z about myself, so I’m going to be ‘better’ at x, y, and z this year.” We may set goals about x, y, and z. Then, we TRY to be better at x, y, and z, only to find, a week or two or four later, we’re back to square one.
3) Finally, we forget that true change isn’t about a goal or two or ten, which we set because the calendar says it’s time to set goals. True change is a PROCESS, and often, a long one. It requires not only a readiness and willingness to make the changes we desire; it requires contemplation and planning before taking action, and then a plan for maintaining the change, too. It requires a willingness to go back to the drawing board and change our plan for change, as needed, to ensure we’re continually on track for where we hope to one day be and who we hope to one day become. It requires a willingness and ability to continually choose to grow.
This is why I’m suggesting perhaps the best way to “do” New Year’s change is to NOT do New Year’s Resolutions.
Instead of sitting down today, or yesterday, or tomorrow or next week and writing out a list of goals and plans we didn’t really have time to comprehend or prepare to undertake, what if we do New Year’s change differently?
What if, instead of “New-Year Resolutions,” we instead choose “ALL-YEAR growth?”
3 Ways to NOT Set New Year's Resolutions, Motherhood TV, Dr Christina Hibbert - YouTube
3 Simple Strategies for (Lasting) New Year’s Change
I offer three simple suggestions as a potential place for us to start…
1) Set a “yearly theme.”
This is the way I’ve been doing New Year’s change since 2004, when I first realized that setting goals and making resolutions just wasn’t working for me. Sure, it led to some positive changes and even some growth…but, it was short-lived. It didn’t last all year, and I wanted to REALLY grow and change, all year long.
My themes have ranged from phrases–“Carpe diem!”–to words and ideas of who I’m striving to be–“Gratitude,” “Charity,” “Grace.” But they are more than just a word or a group of words, to me. They are the “theme” for my entire upcoming year–the focus, the traits and understanding I’m striving to learn and implement into my being.
A theme is like a party theme–it sets the tone for the entire event. A yearly theme offers guidance, suggestions, and hope for true change and growth all year long.
Not only do I set the “yearly theme;” I actively work on it in different aspects every month of the entire year. Sometimes, I set a goal to read a book on the theme, or to write what I know so far about the theme. Then, I look for new ways to not only learn, cognitively, about the theme, but to really and truly implement the principles behind the theme.
For example, this past year was my year of grace. I started reading good books explaining grace, reading scriptures, writing my thoughts on all I was learning each month, and I began to see a pattern. Every month, I was learning one major new insight related to grace. And eventually, I saw that I was no longer learning about grace; I was learning grace. I was seeing it in my daily activities and attitudes. I was feeling it empower and change me. I was witnessing myself change through grace.
My theme for 2019 I started pondering and working on several months ago. In fact, I almost selected it last year but last minute knew “grace” was for 2018 instead. This year, my theme is, “Faith,” and already I have a specific focus for month one of my new theme: the power of faith. I have books and scriptures and my journal ready to go, and have even already read some powerful articles that are guiding my focus on faith this year. It will evolve as the year progresses, but one thing I can say for sure: By the end of 2019, I will have grown significantly in faith. I will have become a more faithful woman, with more understanding of how to use faith day-to-day, and with a knowledge of faith that, while it might not surpass anyone else’s, will surely surpass my own knowledge and wisdom that of faith I have right now.
You might set a monthly goal related to one aspect of your yearly theme. You might use suggestion 3, below, to create a “vision” for your yearly theme, and to focus in on how your theme will lead you closer to your life’s purpose and help you fulfill your life’s mission.
However you set it up, a yearly theme can be a tool of power, for as I have learned in the coming on 15 years I’ve been doing this: a yearly theme can be a powerful tool of change.
This is the power of not only a yearly theme, but of any method of New Year change, done right: It has the power to change not only some of what you do, but to change who you are and to empower who you are becoming, every single day.
This has become a popular way to do things in the past several years. You’ve no doubt seen all kinds of blog posts, and even jewelry, all encouraging you to find your “word” for the year. And I love the idea. It’s very similar to a yearly theme.
Having one word or intent for the year helps us overcome the blocks to keeping resolutions mentioned above by simplifying things into one main focus. It can bring clarity and insight, and like the yearly theme, can offer an entire year to make change, and not just the first few weeks of the first month of the year.
I will add, however, that the reason I prefer the “theme” to a word or even intent is because of the deeper meaning behind the practice. While a word and intention is great to guide us as we start the new year, it will only create lasting change if we REMEMBER and actively WORK on that “word” or “intention.”
Change doesn’t usually happen by chance. It is a process of hard work and effort that requires our full attention. If you’ve chosen to use a word or intent for the year, then perhaps you could try some of the suggestions above to go deeper into that word or intent. Perhaps, you could add some specific goals for how you will use the word or intent this year to learn, improve, and grow.
One final idea is to create a New Year’s “vision,” or to focus in on your true purpose and mission for this year.
This is a huge part of what I do with my yearly theme, as it should be part of whatever type of change, goals, or resolutions you choose to set. We must first “see” where we are currently headed and where we desire to be headed, if we are to truly make change that lasts. Unless we can envision our desired future, it will be very difficult to get to that future.
Bottom line: If you want a new YOU this new year, then you need a new U–a new University of learning, a new way to grow, a new approach to your personal development, improvement, and self-mastery.
The three ideas above are a start, but there are countless ways to become the you you’ve always wanted to be.
As a start, you can join my “8-Day REPLENISH Self-Care Challenge,” starting on Monday, January 7-Monday January 14! Registration opens soon, so keep your eyes peeled, because I’ll be sharing the best tools to help you slow down after the busy holiday season, take stock of who you are and striving to become, and then put not only the plan but the TOOLS in place to enable you to get there.
And, coming January 14th, at the end of our free challenge, I am launching my brand new program, “GROW Monthly!” This is an exciting new way for you to grow, monthly, with me, all year long, and details and registration are on the way!
These are just the beginning of the personal growth, self-mastery, and “overcoming, becoming, flourishing” skills, tools, and programs I’ll be sharing with you in 2019, so be sure to SUBSCRIBE to my newsletter/email list, above right or below, so you won’t miss a thing!
It’s going to be an incredible year, my friend. That is, it will be if we choose it to be. Let’s choose growth this year. Let’s slow down, go deep, and prepare for incredible change and growth not only on New Year’s Day, but all year long.
The holiday season is one of joy, and fun, and celebrating, and family togetherness! BUT, let’s face it, it’s also one of the most stressful times of year, with so many things “to do,” cold and flu season creeping in, weather changes, decorating, preparing, finals and end of semester activities, recitals, concerts, and games for young people, and “finish the end-of-year” work for older people…whew! It’s a lot, to say the least.
I, myself, have fallen prey to the stress of the season, once again, this year, and even got sick as a result. Being down, in bed, for nearly a week, while so many “things” I “need” to “do,” but couldn’t, plagued my head, finally brought the lesson home to me: “You can’t do it all. And you shouldn’t even try. Just do your best and forget the rest.”
And so I did. And as I let go of thing after thing and thought after thought, I realized just how much I, we, so many of us, struggle with self-worth this time of year.
We struggle because we can’t “do it all,” because we don’t feel good enough, or even want to do it all, because we’re grieving, or depressed, or anxious or overwhelmed and feel we shouldn’t be. Because we put way too much pressure on ourselves to not only do as much as possible, but to do it all “right,” and when we don’t, we blame ourselves: “I shouldn’t feel this way.” “I should be stronger.” “I should be able to handle all this by myself.” “I’m just not good enough.”
The Gift of Self-Worth
Please, listen, my friends, when I beg you to “Stop ‘should-ing’ all over yourself!”
This time of year, when things are naturally busier, is the perfect time to tune in to who you really are, what you can really do (and not do), and what you’re really made of. It’s the time to stop for a moment, or two, and notice how you’re treating yourself. Are you giving yourself any gifts? Any love? Any charity? Any joy? Or are you spreading it all away and leaving yourself high and dry?
The best gift I could give anyone, I’ve learned over the many years I’ve been in psychology practice, is the gift of self-worth, of not only “knowing” their true worth, but of feeling it, experiencing it, day by day by day.
I’ve come to see that the gift of worth comes in the form of other, surprising “gifts.” These “gifts” may not even seem like gifts from the outside, but they are. Oh, they are! As we open and share these gifts, we begin to not only feel our true worth and value; we begin to act from the place of worth, showing others their true worth and value, too.
Watch the beginning of my Motherhood 2.0 episode, “Holiday Self-Worth: The 11 Gifts of Worth” to hear the full story of how imperfect I am, and how this post actually came to be! Also, tune in for more details and suggestions related to the following 11 “gifts.” Be sure to SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube channel for updates on all my new videos!
Holiday Self-Worth: The 11 Gifts of Worth, Motherhood TV, Dr Christina Hibbert - YouTube
11 (Surprising) Gifts of Worth
I intended to do 12 gifts of worth for the 12 days of Christmas, but I just didn’t get around to it in time, and by the day after, I felt like “I can’t do it now, because I missed the ‘perfect’ timing of the 12 days of Christmas.” And that’s when it hit me: Actually, the imperfectness of missing the 12 days, and now being the 11th day, WAS perfect for my gifts of worth, because worth is not found in perfection. It is found in the following 11 ways…
1) The Gift of Slowing Down.
The gift of slowing down is the gift of being. It is doing less as we are being more. As we slow down, we begin to see–to see ourselves and the world around us, not as we idealize or criticize it to be, but as it really is. We begin to get a sense of who we really are. Slowing down is a gift of worth, meaning that it gives us a sense of our true worth, and it allows us to then give a sense of true worth to others. Whereas busyness leads us away from our worth, even if we think it doesn’t, even if we think being “busy” means we ARE worthy, it doesn’t. It actually keeps us so busy that we don’t have time to stop and notice who we really are, or to stop and notice and feel the worth of others. Give yourself, and your family, the gift of slowing down. Remember the love you feel and receive. Remember who you truly are. Feel your true worth as you slow down.
This little moment of slowing down, with my husband, turned into doing “tricks,” laughing, and making a memory. See the full post on my Instagram & FB and hear the story on my Motherhood 2.0 episode video or podcast!
In this busy time of year, it’s easy to get so caught up in physically “showing up”–at parties, activities, being a body in a place, doing “the thing.” Instead, what about showing up emotionally, mentally, and spiritually? Showing up means being present in your life, and what a present you can give to yourself–and others! Say, “I want to show up in my life. I want to notice all the beauty and love and light around me,” and then do it. First, slow down. Then, show up. Let yourself feel the emotions you feel. Honor them.
(I know for many of you, the holidays are a time of grief and sadness, missing those you’ve loved who are no longer with you. Believe me, I’ve been there many times, and again this year, as I’m missing my dear friend, Minae. If this is you, please honor yourself, and their memory by showing up. You don’t have to do it all, participate, or say “yes” to every activity, in fact, you may want to do even less this year. But show up to honor yourself–that you are surviving, that you’re learning to live–and love–again, and that you’re on the path to once again thriving.)
With Minae, just a couple weeks before her passing.
3. The Gift of Realness
Let’s be real and admit that it’s hard–it’s hard to just deal with “regular” life and parenting and work, let alone adding in the holiday stress and pressure and all we feel we “need” to do. We so easily translate that into all we feel we “need” to be. Watch the video, above, for my own “confessions,” (especially around 24.00) to hear more of my own real confessions. We can’t be who we truly are if we’re being anything other than real or authentic. And when we strive to be anything other than real or authentic, we put pressure on our children to have to “be something” other than they are, too. Let go of all you feel you “need to” or “should” be, and simple be who you are.
The pic I took of the gorgeous rose by my bed, for Instagram.
The pic I took of the whole scene–the REALNESS–around the rose. This is reality!
4. The Gift of Letting Go.
It seems counterintuitive, but especially when things get out of control, we must learn to let go of all we do not need. Think about all you absolutely HAVE to do, and all you THINK you SHOULD do, and find some things you can let go. Let go of sadness. Let go of grief. Let go of perfectionism. Striving to be perfect isn’t worth struggle; it leads nowhere. Let it go. Let go of the need to “be” anyone or anything other than who you are.
Humility is really just letting ourselves do all these things above–it allows us to slow down and stop the busyness, to show up emotionally and spiritually, to be real and authentic, and to let go of all you do not need. Pride is the opposite of humility. We don’t need to go around telling or proving to everyone who we are, how “great” we are, how much we can “do.” Only when we lay aside the pride do we really open the door to who we truly are–letting God and those we love, and ourselves, show us our true worth. Only in humility, when we’re teachable, can we truly experience self-worth. In fact, I’ve learned that humility and true self-worth are actually the same thing.
When we’ve done something wrong–we’ve hurt our friend or child, we missed something important, or whatever it may be–it’s important to recognize it, and then, to forgive ourselves. Sometimes, we experience motivational guilt–the kind of guilt that tells us we’ve really done something wrong, and we want to make it right. Pray, journal, ponder, and then go to the other person to make it right. And then, let it go. Like we said above, when we hold on to things we don’t need, we prevent ourselves from feeling our true worth. And sometimes, we’re experiencing depressive guilt–the kind of guilt that isn’t because of something we actually need to change, but we hold onto for things we “should have” done. We feel guilty about being at work when we should’ve been at home. We feel guilty about not doing the thing we “should” have done. But this kind of guilt just festers and makes us miserable, and it blocks our self-worth. Let it go. Work on self-forgiveness and letting go; what an incredible gift for you, and all around you.
You know I’m a huge proponent of personal growth, and I’ve written a LOT about how to do it. The most important gift we can give ourselves when it comes to personal growth is the WILLINGNESS to grow. The MINDSET of growth that says, “No matter what comes, I will use it to grow taller and brighter and fuller.” Choose to grow, my friends. Model the gift of learning and growth for all to see.
If we have a mindset of personal growth, then we must feel some inkling of our true potential. Why is that we so often struggle to see the beauty, talent, necessity, of what we have to offer the world? Believe in your potential. Spend time pondering your gifts, what you feel “called” to do, and how you might begin doing it. And JOIN my new “GROW Monthly” membership site (coming Jan 1, 2019) for tools, skills, and strategies to help you realize your potential, fulfill your life’s purpose, and keep growing through life, instead of just “going” through it.
You have a voice, whether you know it or not. It may come out through speaking up, singing, or teaching. It may show up through art, loving others, or advocating. It may show up through service, charity, or being a true friend. Whatever the way, your voice is YOURS, and it is essential to feeling, and living from, self-worth. How might you use your voice to uplift, inspire, heal, help, or motivate yourself and others, today?
Song of Love-Christina Hibbert and daughter - YouTube
10) The Gift of Loving & Being Loved.
Oh how important this is! We too often believe it’s because of the love of others that we have worth. This is so not true! We may have thousands of followers, receive a standing ovation from a crowd, have hundreds of friends, but it means nothing if we don’t love ourselves. It is actually in loving that we find our worth, not in being loved. As we love others, including our Higher Power or God, and let their love back in, we FEEL our true worth, talents, and potential. We develop a talent for loving others, and we develop a talent for letting others love us, too.
Loving and missing my son, Colton, this year, as he serves a 2-year mission in Fiji.
11) The Gift of Grace.
This year has been my “year of grace.” That’s my theme for 2018, and even more than learning about grace, I have learned grace. I have learned that there is so much more mercy and forgiveness and love that we realize, that we have access to more power and inspiration and wisdom that we know. All we have to do is tap into it. We have to tap into the gift of grace, by doing all the things listed above. As we slow down and see our worth, we can show up courageously for whatever life brings. We will be real, authentic, and let go of perfectionism or anything we no longer need, humbling ourselves, forgiving ourselves, and letting ourselves use all these things to learn and grow. We will begin to see and feel our true, full potential, to use our voice in our unique way, and to love and be loved to the fullest. This is grace in action, and it is how we feel our worth. It’s how we know, deep down, that we are beautiful, incredible, sent for a purpose, ready to start living that purpose with meaning and love, and being a light in our own way. This is self-worth. This is the result of the 11 gifts of worth, and as we receive this greatest of gifts, we give others permission to do the same.