Get Small

get smallWhen life is at its most excruciating, most painful, at its most “I can hardly deal with this minute much less imagine how to deal with the next one,” I get small.

Small like wind tightly around your very core, curl up, tuck in, get low kinda small.

It’s a strange dichotomy. If you know me, you know I have always been drawn to living a big life. In J-school in college I realized I didn’t want to be a journalist because I couldn’t stomach the thought of having to write day in and day out about what was happening right next door. Like, in my town? Blah, blah, snore, BORING, save me. To this day I never watch the local news unless there’s a tornado warning. I’m all about 30,000 feet. Big Picture. National, if not INTERNATIONAL. I don’t want to travel in my state, I want to CROSS THE SEA. I don’t want to work in the field, I want to SET THE OVERALL STRATEGY.  I don’t want a few people to read my blog, I want it to be MILLIONS. “And my heaven will be a big heaven, and I will walk through the front door …”

This isn’t a value judgment, it’s simply a statement of what I I found interesting and what drew me forward.

Yet when life slams me square in the gut I’m driven to get as small as I possibly can. I want nothing more than the most smallness that small can be.

I don’t care about social media. I couldn’t give a flying fuck about Donald Trump. Or what’s gone viral. Or what everyone is going on about today, or the next day, or the day after that. Go on loudly if you must. Rant and rave to your heart’s content. I can’t manage international, country, state, or county. Not municipality, suburb, or even street. I’m focused on square footage about the size of the skin I’m in. Over here in the quiet. In the corner, with the Strugglers.

You don’t get to judge the Strugglers. You don’t get to tell me what I should be doing. What I’m supposed to be speaking out about. Or caring about. Taking action on. Feeling. You don’t get to decide anything at all about me because you don’t matter. Not a single iota. What matters is breathing.

I care about breathing right now. Can I breathe today? Can I not spend the day crying, and if and when I do cry can I allow myself that moment, embrace it and then move on? Can my feet feel the energy radiating out of the sun-baked earth? How thinly can I slice this radish and what are its nutrients? How long will this laundry stay toasty after I take it out of the dryer? I am 100% the wide, embracing foundation of the pyramid of needs, thank you Maslow. Air. Food. Safety. Warmth.

I move slowly. I talk less and to fewer people, if almost none. I notice small movements and the littlest sounds. Early every morning I get up, make myself a cup of coffee and go sit outside on the patio. I just sit there. I look at the trees. The sky. I watch the breeze flutter Bentley’s fur. I listen to the birds and I wonder about them. Thirty minutes pass by while I contemplate everything and nothing.

I got an app on my phone called Calm and I sit there and do the daily meditation even though I’m terrible at meditating, honestly, but I don’t care. I don’t care how good I am at it because I’m not about achieving a damn thing right now. No my breath work isn’t that great and yes there’s all sorts of stuff coming into my head and hell yes I’m going to scratch that itch, and screw it because, whatever, I’m sitting here trying right?

I’m achieving nothing other than living and providing care and love to my children and that’s it and that’s cool. It’s as big an achievement as any other. That’s my entire assignment, the one I’m giving to myself right now because NO ONE ELSE is allowed to make any assignments for me but me. I am no longer in your jurisdiction.

I’m sorry that I’ve let you down by not focusing on you and making your life better. I’m sorry I’m not doing or saying whatever you think is important. I’m so sorry I can’t save your life today. I’m just super busy over here trying to save mine.

For the longest time I believed I had no value in the world unless I saved as many lives as possible. And so I did. I don’t regret that for one second. I’m so glad and grateful to have been able to dedicate more than a decade to other people’s health and welfare. Some people will scoff at me saying that because they like to scoff at things, they love scoffing and grumbling and sneering and snarking, and well, those people have a whole different set of problems and I see you shaking your head because you know exactly what I mean.

My set of problems, a different set, has had a lot to do with focusing on everyone else. What I could achieve for everyone else. How I could make sure others were happy. Because then? Then, I will be okay. I will be worthy. THEN, my biological mother will love me. It will happen THEN. I will earn a place.

THEN, I’ll be enough.

Now, though, I’m at a place where simply breathing is more than enough. And as bad of a place as that is, it’s also a very good place. A strange and wonderful place. Because breathing is … enough. What?!

If you’re in the Strugglers’ corner right now, and if you’d like to, you’re welcome to breathe with me. Get small with me. Come look at the way the sun casts shadows in the afternoon. Listen to the fly buzzing in the kitchen. Ignore the phone calls and the shoulds and the listicles and the cacophonies and just breathe with me. Live. Just live. Just be. Exalt in the expansive BIGNESS of the smallness.

And to those who can’t stand when the Strugglers turn away and focus in? Get over yourselves. Your sputtering self-righteousness is honestly the only thing we find utterly hilarious at the moment.

Right now, almost nothing is everything. Living is enough. Breathing. Seeing. Walking. Sitting. Sleeping. Feeling your heart beat inside your chest. It’s more than enough.

To the Warrior Moms

It’s been a tough couple of months. I’m still feeling it and I imagine you are too.

I know many of you are disappointed. Deeply. That makes me sad. Take whatever amount you are disappointed and raise it to the 537th power and you might get an idea of how disappointed I am. So I guess we can all be disappointed together. There’s no way around that, only through. You did great work. We did great work. We all worked so hard together. You have every right to be disappointed. It sucks. So much. I acknowledge and share in your feelings about that. Sometimes life doesn’t keep going the way we think it will, but it doesn’t mean even better things aren’t to come.

I’m also sorry that many of you still feel confused and in the dark about what happened. That sucks too. But I know that it wouldn’t have helped anyone or made a single thing better by me calling people out and sharing lots of screenshots and shouting back. In fact I’m quite sure it would have made things even worse. When people are willing to say anything and everything, how on earth are you supposed to fight back? I know many of you wanted me to engage, think I should have, are mad I didn’t. Some of you tried to fight back, and then you got hurt too. Somebody very important to me taught me that when you find yourself involuntarily in a horrific and even vicious tug of war the best thing to do is drop the rope. You don’t have to keep pulling. When you drop the rope they fall backward and you can remain standing with at least some of your dignity still intact.

I’m sorry some of you feel split between “sides.” I’m sure that hurts. I hate that what was a gloriously beautiful community arrived at that point, and I have a lot of faith in a lot of people that many of those rifts that should be healed will be healed. I’d like you to take a minute and really think about the fact, though, that I didn’t ask you to choose sides. I never, ever, not ONCE, asked you to choose between anyone or anything. Not ever. If other people asked you to, told you to, and you chose to do that, then that is between you and them.

If you’re waiting for me to apologize for things that didn’t happen, please know that I’m not going to. Ever.

I will not apologize for knowing that we were working our tails off to figure out how to serve as many mothers as possible in as many ways as possible, including marginalized ones. There are people on our team who know exactly what we were doing. How much we talked about it. They know, for instance, that our second largest program budget — second only to the Warrior Mom Conference, because conferences are hella expensive — was our program budget directed solely at minority and marginalized moms. More than the Climb Out of the Darkness budget. More than our online awareness budget. More than our research budget, offline awareness budget, fundraising budget …

A couple of weeks ago I got word that Postpartum Progress won a federal grant, our very first. The grant wasn’t in funding, it was in technical assistance and partnership with the government. I found and I wrote that grant because I wanted us to learn how to better work with states to support women in programs like WIC. I cried when I found out we got it, because of course now it won’t be used. Postpartum Progress wasn’t perfect, of course, because no one ever is as they do the important work of growing and learning around inclusivity. But if someone wants you to think that we didn’t care or weren’t trying, well, I don’t know what to tell you.

I will not apologize for the decision we made to shut Postpartum Progress the nonprofit down. As unbelievably excruciating as it was, we made the right decision at the time. I know that and those who have more information than you know that. We’re not happy about it, but we still know it. I couldn’t let Postpartum Progress be held hostage. And if you ever held even the teensiest microbit of trust in me, here’s what I want you to do your very best to try and believe: If we hadn’t shut down and had capitulated, what you loved about Postpartum Progress would have gone away. Postpartum Progress wouldn’t have been Postpartum Progress anymore. The things about it that I and you and many others worked so hard to create and protect, which made it feel the way it did and accomplish the things it did, would have gone away. You can think you know otherwise but I swear to you on my life that you don’t.

I saw someone say at one point during the whole affair that Postpartum Progress was just a brand and that anyone can do what we did. I would submit that perhaps that person doesn’t understand the power of branding. A brand becomes successful, makes an impact, for a reason. It’s not out of thin air. It’s not a fluke. It’s because you create something that does a great job of filling an unfilled need and creating a feeling that makes people want to be part of it. Makes people feel like they can (which of course they can, but they just need to feel it first to know that they can) do something. Be something. Feel something. Be understood. Be supported. Be a part.

Coke is a brand. In today’s advanced technological age anybody could likely break down the chemical properties of Coke and recreate it and sell it and have it look and taste the exact same way. But it would never feel the exact same way because it wouldn’t be Coke. There are billions of dollars worth of goodwill wrapped up in that brand’s value, and that’s something that cannot be replicated. Period. There are people who didn’t like some of the values of Postpartum Progress. Who openly made fun of some of those values, actually. Who wanted to change the mission of Postpartum Progress and make it a different organization altogether. Well, I believe we had the right mission and good values and were doing our dead level best to do the right things and the right work. And if we weren’t going to be allowed to do that anymore then how on earth could we have continued to be Postpartum Progress?

That doesn’t mean other organizations don’t have their own set of values and focus and brands too, or aren’t doing good work. Go and experience working with those other organizations out there already doing the work in maternal mental health, like Postpartum Support International. Or, like I did, you can create your own organization. And you get to choose how you want to do it. And what your mission will be and what your values will be and how you will go about the work. And you get to make all the decisions and believe me there will be a zillion decisions to be made every single day, and sometimes you’ll make good ones and sometimes you’ll make bad ones and I hope the world allows you to be imperfect because you will be because we all are. And some day, when you are in the position of being the person sitting in the chair where all the bucks stop, and making all those decisions and answering to all those many needs, you may know what it feels like to make the right, but searingly painful, decision. Or maybe you’ve already done that in your life, so you can relate. Judge me if you like. And be mad or sad. You’re allowed. And I’m allowed to believe, without a shadow of a doubt, that given the horrendous circumstances I did the best I could and so did our board.

There are so many of you I love. Respect. I’m sorry that you are hurting. None of this ever should have happened, yet I can see now very clearly that it was going to happen no matter what.

Now you get to choose how you go forward. Now I get to choose how I go forward.

Just as I did the best I could at the moment I’m guessing you did too. And now we go on.

The Dark Middle

I recently had to fill out a form and list my occupation and I sat there, completely horrified and frozen, trying not to cry. It’s these little unexpected moments that stick the knife in deep. What am I? I’ve had an occupation for forever and now, at least for the moment, I don’t.

I was so proud of it. I was so proud of what I was doing and how hard I worked to get there. I was so proud of being a #girlboss and being able to offer flexible and fulfilling jobs to other mothers. I was so proud of my own paycheck that I earned, even if it was just $17/hour. Plus, the issue was so close to my heart and the impact we were making was astounding.

And this week I’m in a waiting room filling out a form and … Occupation: __________________________.  [blink, blink]

I’m at a loss as to what to put there, which is actually more about what’s going on with me right now than what word to write in a blank.  I’m at a loss about everything. I’m not doing work I thought I’d be doing, was SURE I’d be doing, to help mothers until I retired at some ripe old age. There are people out there who believe things about me that are unequivocally untrue. There are people who have sat in comfortable and righteous judgment about something they know almost nothing about. I am at a loss about the behavior of humanity. I see people who used to talk to me on social media all the time who don’t say a peep now and I sit and grapple with whether:

a) They believe I’m a terrible person. Or;

b) They don’t want to be seen talking to me for fear it will hurt their own reputation, even though they actually know I’m a good person. (So page views in the end may be more important than people?)

The person I always was before all this happened is the exact same person I am now, and yet I’m supposed to prove I am actually that person? The person I still am and always was? The one you used to know, who is still me?

I’m in bizarro world.

Still, I’ve been reflecting a lot and looking inward and the funny thing about all of this is that there are a lot of mistakes people think I made but didn’t, and yet other mistakes I’m now so clear I made that had not one thing to do with the whole kerfuffle. And yet time and change and pain all lead you to sit and examine and see where you could have done better.

I was a good leader. There’s no question about that. I created and led a movement and that’s a fact and I’ll never not be proud of it. NEVER. At the same time, I can see I wasn’t the best manager. I can look back and identify things I should have done differently. One key one being not to manage out of fear. There are some decisions I should have made early on and I didn’t make them because I was afraid. Of what people would say, of what people might think, of what I’d have to deal with after the fact. I regret that. Deeply. I should have listened to my gut. I should have listened to what other people were trying to tell me. You can’t manage out of fear and succeed in the long run.  Sometimes the wolf outside the fence is better than the one inside.

I also didn’t realize how balls-to-the-wall hard I was working all the time and I mean ALL. THE. TIME. You get so used to it you don’t even notice. Thirteen years of it. Now that I have all the time in the world to garden and relax and read books and cook and take care of my family and hang with my kids I can see it very clearly. My excuse was, “The mission is everything. This has to get done.” It was a good one because preventing suffering and loss from maternal mental illness is so important. At the same time, it was too much. It wasn’t good for me and it definitely wasn’t good for the PPI team. Many of our staff were working equally as hard as I was and I was overwhelmed and they were overwhelmed and I should have recognized that. I could have slowed things down. We kept growing and growing and I was afraid … there’s that fear again … of losing momentum and I should have decided that we didn’t need to do everything all at once. Some things could wait.

Sometimes you don’t learn a thing, as Brene Brown explains in her book “Rising Strong,” until you’re face down in the arena. I’m here. Face down, bruised, had the crap beat out of me. The things that got me here today, at this moment, are things that have very little to do with me and a lot to do with other people and their own issues. I get that. I accept that. And yet I’m here now so I’m trying to use the time to learn because there’s always something you can learn. No one is perfect. We’ve gotten to a place in our society, especially in social media right now, where we expect perfection. If someone screws up, or even if we think they’ve screwed up but don’t know for sure, we don’t even consider all the moments they didn’t. All the millions of actions strung together that were done right; only the mistake. Every single day on social media someone anew is being ripped to merciless shreds. I don’t know what happened to grace. At Postpartum Progress we always encouraged mothers to be gentle with themselves and others because we recognized that everyone is struggling in some way. No one is perfect.

I’m sure upon continued reflection I’ll find more things that I need to learn. Of course I will. I might have learned them without all of this happening. But I might not have. So … bright side.

Meantime, I don’t know what my occupation is. Or where I’m headed.

Dark middle. Dark middle. Dark middle. Dark middle. Ugh. Patience. Faith. Patience. Yes. Okay. I’m trying.

Magic Through Nerves And Reason

Paper Freedom, Origami abstract vector illustration.I remember decades ago reading something about nervous energy simply being a sign that you’re doing something important. Something you’re passionate about.

I’m a bundle of nerves. I am shot through with adrenaline on a minute-to-minute basis these days and it’s not letting up. If you could check my pulse right now you’d probably be shocked, and it’s been that way for days on end. Racing. Racing.

I’m trying to embrace these nerves. I know why I have them. I’ve taken a full nosedive into my nonprofit and an effort to change the world to help moms with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. I’m trying to tackle some very big things. I have my hand stirring countless pots, and I need some of them to finally boil. I need obstacles removed. I need to make things happen. The longer this takes the faster my heart beats, and I worry it may explode.

I’m convinced I could run from here to New York and I wouldn’t burn off this energy. And no, it’s not mania. I sleep, believe me. It’s more of a final acceptance and embrace and commitment to getting certain things done and the fear that comes with not knowing exactly how to do them but going for it anyway. It’s decades of the pent up need of thousands of mothers all pounding inside my heart muscle and binding my chest and I can hardly breathe.

Today I searched for that quote about nervous energy from my youth and I couldn’t find it anywhere, so maybe I was deluding myself with that one, but I did find this:

“When magic through nerves and reason passes,
Imagination, force, and passion will thunder.
The portrait of the world is changed.”
― Dejan StojanovicCircling: 1978-1987

My life right now. Magic through nerves and reason. The portrait of the world will be changed.

Photo credit: © blinkblink – Fotolia.com

The One Where I Delete My Compulsion to Delete

I have had the serious inclination to delete yesterday’s post. DELETE. Not that I will, of course. But there’s something about telling people you do NOT have it all together that is very frightening.

Don’t be vulnerable in public, for goodness sakes. Vulnerable around friends and family, okay. Your community, sure. But when it comes time to be a leader, nope. Especially not when you’re planning to go round the world telling everyone how buttoned up you are and why they should give you money to change the status quo of postpartum depression. God forbid you appear to be wavering. Or hesitant. Or lacking in fortitude.

But then I remind myself, you don’t have to be fearless to be fierce. That’s my credo, and I’m the one who needs to be reminded of it more than anyone else.

You don’t have to be fearless to be smart and powerful. Or to make change. You don’t have to hide the fact that you have anxiety when you are an advocate for women with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, DUH. You don’t have to have a special degree to know that change needs to come now for pregnant and new mothers.

I can’t pretend to be that other kind of person that barges into the boardroom.

Well, that’s not true, now that I think about it. I can. I did that when I was at Coca-Cola and I did just fine. But not about this stuff. This is different. This is my life and the lives of women and their babies we’re talking about. And there is data, there are numbers and I can put together all sorts of charts and I will because that’s what people will want to see but behind that is humanity, including mine. And vulnerability, including mine. And so I can’t delete the previous post or the one before that or the one before that because that would be in direct contradiction to the message of my life and of Postpartum Progress and the Fierce blog: It’s okay to be vulnerable and have fear and for those of us who have had or still crushing anxiety and doubts as we charge forward, that’s perfectly okay too.

No deleting.

That “Oh My Hell, What Am I Doing?!” Feeling

You know that feeling you get, the whirring, whizzy, fizzy “Oh My Hell, What Am I Doing?” feeling that courses through your nervous system and makes your internal organs vibrate when you think of stepping into something massive or doing something significantly different or taking a risk that could end in disaster? When you try to do something that feels definitely possible yet so much bigger than you and you can’t see how to get there or how you can get it done and yet you know you have to do it and you realize you can’t ignore it any more which really sucks?

That’s where I’m at.

I don’t like this, Sam I Am. I feel sick to my stomach. I want to sleep in. Or run away. Or pretend I’m not me, and therefore I don’t need to do the BIG THING. Historically I’d rather let my focus wander over to the shiny fun stuff in the corner — wheeee!! — than on what’s right in front of me, glaring at me, saying, “No, this! This is your thing. The universe has given you this BIG THING and you must do it and too bad if you’re scared. We’ll just keep whacking you over the head until you surrender. So get on with it.”

In a couple of days (July 13th), Postpartum Progress will hit its 9th anniversary. Nine years!! Nine years ago I started blogging about postpartum depression and I had no idea what would come of it. I only knew that what was happening to women, my fellow mothers, was not cool at all and I couldn’t stand for it, so, hey, why not start a blog? ::blink blink::

Then about seven years in I thought to myself, this blog is kicking so much ass and yet things still haven’t changed enough. There are still annoying gobs of uninformed physicians out there doing damage to moms. Still mothers who either don’t recognize what is wrong or are too scared to say anything and so they don’t get help. They don’t know the damage suffering in silence can do to both them and their families. Still organizations that purport to care about women’s health that fail to even mention PPD, the most common complication of childbirth. I’m not satisfied. So hey, why not start a nonprofit?

::blink blink blink::

I started the 501c3 organization Postpartum Progress Inc. (PPI) in 2011 because I wanted to take the magic that had been created with Postpartum Progress and all its wonderful Warrior Moms and spread it from the blogosphere out into the entire world. I wanted to do more than just write blog posts, answer emails, tweet and give speeches. I wanted to create informational materials and raise money and gather data and fund research.

But then, of course, I had an emotional crisis. I now had a nonprofit and was immobilized like I can’t even explain. What the hell have I done? I can’t do this. I don’t know how to raise money. I suck at it, and P.S. I don’t know any rich people. I don’t know about social investing and grant writing and policy development and all that Skoll Foundation sort of stuff.

For a while I engaged in massive scope reduction, scaling back those dreams in order to protect my fragile self. I gave me a very convincing speech: “This is cool. You can have a teeny, tiny little nonprofit and do some teeny, tiny little helpful things and hey, it’s better than doing nothing so you can be satisfied with your giveliness (I know it’s not a word, I made it up for this sentence) and maybe you’ll get into Heaven or something.”

But I’m learning the universe, when it’s convinced, doesn’t give in.  A few months ago my wonderful friend and PPD survivor Deborah Rimmler, who is on the PPI board of directors, came up with a fundraising idea called “Climb Out of the Darkness.” She said she’d climb a mountain to signify her climb out of the darkness of PPD, and she’d ask people to donate to PPI in support of her climb.  And I said, well hell I can climb a mountain too and I love the idea so let’s do it. We decided to share the idea on the blog, thinking maybe a few people here and there would join in. And then, to our absolute shock, in a mere four-week period a little more than 150 survivors created nearly 100 Climbs in seven countries and raised $40,000. For the nonprofit. The one I was thinking maybe wasn’t going to need to be a big deal or anything.

There was much crying and sobbing and pacing back and forth between this desk and my kitchen as I watched the dollar amount raised and the number of people involved tick higher and higher.  Because yes I know it’s not $500 million or anything, but that’s forty thousand dollars that a few women who don’t know a thing about fundraising either went and GOT in four weeks, scrounged up all on their own, because they believe. THEY BELIEVE.  They believe in Postpartum Progress. They believe in the collective power of survivors of postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety/OCD, antenatal depression, postpartum psychosis and more saying, “We waited long enough for big change and it hasn’t come. We’ve waited long enough, and we’re not going to wait anymore. We’ll get this done our damn selves.”

And so I tell myself, commit. And okay yes I committed nine long years ago or I wouldn’t still be sitting here talking about PPD. I know that. But I mean commit to the bigger thing. THE REALLY FUCKING (sorry but this definitely requires a swear word here) SCARY BIG THING.

Do more. Go bigger. And so I’m having conference calls with scientists and researchers and super smart health innovators. I’m spending hours not tweeting or Facebooking but reading about funders and how you’re supposed to get in front of people with lots of dough to tell them about the super exciting stuff that we’re on the cusp of being able to do to impact the health of new families. Things that will not just inform and comfort, as Postpartum Progress the blog has, but things that have the power to change everything.

This all means, of course, that I have to agree to being scared out of my wits on a continuous basis which, if you know me and my history of anxiety, is NOT part of my lifelong adherence to avoiding danger. Thus the whirring, whizzy, fizzy feeling. It’s hard to step forward when every self-preserving part of you says, “Oh no, sister. You’ve lost your mind. WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO COMFORT AND SAFETY??!!!”

I feel sick. And yet I think I’m ready to be done getting whacked on the head. I think it’s time to get on with it.

* * *

What’s giving you that “Oh My Hell” feeling? What BIG THING are you hesitant to take on? What would it take to move you forward?

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You Don’t Have To Be Fearless To Be Fierce

fearMy parents were 20 and 22 when I was conceived.  They were just dating, and I was an unplanned surprise.  My mother placed me for adoption, which I completely understand now that I’m grown.  I went home with a family from Texas I believe, though I don’t know their names.  I was there, I think happy and safe, for several months.

Then my dad decided to get me back.  I don’t quite understand how it all happened, because no one likes to talk about it, but he went to court, at some point punched out a bailiff, and in the end my two young, inexperienced, unmarried parents regained custody of me.

I’m told the first night I was home with them in their apartment they had a party with the prostitutes from across the street.  Then they put me to bed in the bottom drawer of a dresser, because they had no baby things.  And that was the beginning of me. [Read more…]

86% of Me Isn’t Enough

unfriend, unlike“I wouldn’t accept any friend request from someone who is a Republican.”

That’s the conversation I saw two of my friends having on Facebook a year or so ago. It wasn’t out of context. They meant what they said. The statements were as clear as day, definitive, and I saw them appear right before my eyes coming from two women I respected and still do to this day.

At that moment, I had a mini heart attack. I thought, well I’m one, albeit a super moderate one, and we’re friends. Maybe they don’t know my politics and if they find out they won’t want to be friends with me anymore. I’ll be unfriended. As they say in those submarine movies, DIVE! DIVE! DIVE! [Read more…]

The Day My Spanx Stuck Out at CNN

CNNI got the message while I was sitting at my desk, looking forward to a full Friday with no conference calls or meetings. Nothing to do but focus on writing and answering emails. Would you like to be on HLN TV today to talk about postpartum depression?

The answer to that is always, “Of course!” because I’ll take any mass media opportunity to give moms better information about the most common complication of childbirth, even if it means missing out on the luxury of a rare uninterrupted day of work. [Read more…]

Are You Too Much Or Not Enough?

too much, not enoughOn a recent Facebook update, someone who read my post about stepping into your light shared how she’s often been told by other women friends that she’s too much of something: “You’re too artsy.” “You’re too flirty.”

Her comment jumped out at me. You’re too ________. How many times has somebody said something like that, something that makes us shrink back and reduce the fullness of who we are or what we want to be? You’re too smart. You’re too good at math. You post too many blog posts. You talk too much. You care too much. You’re too involved. You’re too concerned with making money. You’re too rich or successful. What have you been told you’re too much of?

And what about the opposite of too much, when you’re not enough? You’re not good enough. You’re not tough enough. You’re not experienced enough. You’re not qualified enough. You’re not “mom enough.” You’re not attractive enough. [Read more…]