MSA’s Synergy Network

Ever wish you could sit down with like-minded women and talk about issues that matter to you?

That is what we did Wednesday, May 30. I was invited to participate in a Table Talk sponsored by Mission Support Alliance’s Synergy Network. In particular, we discussed the overwhelming expectations placed on girls and women, how we navigate all the schedules and busy-ness of our society, and how to find balance. Many of the network members brought their teen and young adult daughters, who joined the discussion. (I love these girls for keeping it real!)

Child mental health specialist Madora Sadler and I served as panelists. The discussion was moderated by NBC Right Now anchor and journalist Tracci Dial.

3 Ways to Begin Living with Peace and Confidence

Last time I wrote about three things that keep women stuck, overwhelmed and feeling anxious. (If you missed that post, you can see it here.)

Today I want to show you how to combat those things so you can live with peace, joy, and confidence.

1. Discover and Nurture Your Divine Identity

If you’re going to live a life a peace and joy, you are going to have to be honest with yourself about who you really are, what you really want, where you’ve settled in your life, and where you’ve taken on goals and pursuits that were not yours. Too many of us are living the lives we think we are supposed to live rather than living from real desire.

If you were being totally and completely true to you, who would you be? How would you live? What would you accomplish? Begin by asking yourself what you don’t like about your current life circumstances. What do you wish you could change? If every aspect of your life was AMAZING, what would it look like?

Your truest, most authentic self is divine and connected to the power of the Universe. You have a Goddess spirit that wants to grow, love, and express itself. You tap into that authentic self by asking what it wants if there were no limitations, if you knew you could not fail.

Now, some people erroneously take this as permission to be their basest self. They say, “I’m going to be unapologetically me. I’m gong to swear more and speak my mind, even if it’s rude or hurts someone’s feelings. People can just accept the real me or get lost!”

Don’t fall into this trap. That’s not their authentic self speaking. That is ego and a victim mindset speaking. It is the self hiding. Once you strip away the base tendencies and defense mechanisms we have learned from society, you can discover the divine self.

You can identify your divine self by the way it feels. The divine flows with light, upward and outward energy, as opposed to the constricted push-pull energy we experience in day to day life.

2. Begin Living Your Life Mission

Once you discover what your divine self truly desires, begin aligning yourself with that desire. Most of the time your life mission will require learning and growth, which won’t happen overnight. However, you can make small steps toward your dreams every day.

Ask yourself, “What can I do today where I am with what I have?”

Let’s say you want to become an inspirational speaker, but you don’t know the first thing about speaking as a career. You could look up how to write an inspirational talk and begin drafting one of your own. You could watch inspirational messages on YouTube and make notes about what makes the delivery effective.

Baby steps can take you all the way up the mountain if you just keep going. Take a baby step toward your dream life.

3. Connection, Collaboration, and Support

I don’t know about ¬†you, but I’m a do-it-yourself kind of person. I have a hard time asking for help. And, sometimes I have asked for help and not gotten the help I needed, so I gave up and soldiered on alone.

This is a recipe for failure. I didn’t start making real progress toward my goals until I began connecting with other people who had similar goals.

You are not an island. Chances are you won’t reach your goals on your own. You will need help along the way, but you must be cautious about who you share your dreams with.

As my friend Lynette teaches, there are Dreamkeepers and Dreamsmashers out there. You have both in your life. Often the Dreamsmashers believe they are just looking out for you. They want to protect you, but there is no growth in safety. There is no growth in your comfort zone.

You will need the support of like-minded people in order to become your truest self. Collaboration is key. A rising tide raises all boats. As women, collaboration is in our nature. Begin by being a support and a cheerleader for someone else’s dreams. Connect people who can help one another. Learn about the skills and aspirations of women you meet.

Finally, ask for Divine help. You are connected to the mind of God and the power of the Universe. Too many people take on the attitude that “the whole world is against me.” If you believe that, it will be true. You will attract struggle. What if the opposite is true? The whole universe is conspiring for your success. When you change your perspective, you will being to see small miracles everyday.

Let me conclude by saying that the key to moving out of stress, overwhelm and anxiety is to shift your perspective and your priorities. Most people think a change in circumstance will create the emotional shift they seek. However, shifting your thoughts and your focus will allow you to release negative emotions, no matter what circumstances you find yourself in.

I believe that every woman has a unique and divine purpose and identity. If you want to explore more of your divine identity and you need 1:1 help, schedule an exploratory session with me by clicking here.

Until next time,


3 Things that Keep Women Overwhelmed, Stuck, and Feeling Anxious

Think about the last time you felt overwhelmed. Maybe it was last week. Maybe yesterday. Perhaps you feel that way right now.

I know for myself, I’m really good at recognizing the immediate cause of my stress and anxiety. Like, I have to be at an appointment in fifteen minutes, but I have to load the dishwasher, run a kid to practice, and drop off the house payment before the appointment. I recognize that I’m feeling stressed because I have too many things to do in too little time.

What’s more difficult is uncovering the underlying conditioning and expectations that put me on the stressed-out hamster-wheel in the first place. Expectations like:

  • It’s my job to keep the house clean and tidy.
  • My kids need to be involved in sports and activities in order to be happy and healthy.
  • If my kids aren’t happy and healthy, then I’m a bad mother.
  • Not paying bills on time makes me fiscally¬†irresponsible and a bad person.
  • Being late for an appointment makes me irresponsible and not trustworthy.
  • And on, and on, and on.

The truth is that our day to day tasks are not the source of stress in most of our lives. It’s the underlying and overwhelming expectations that go along with those tasks. Those subtle and prevalent expectations keep you stuck, overwhelmed, and feeling bad about yourself.

Doctor Stephen Hinshaw called it “the problem with no name.” He went on to study, explore, and name the pressures at work on teen girls and women in American society. In his book The Triple Bind, Hinshaw shows how three major factors create a societal pressure cooker for women and girls.

Expectation #1: Be good at all the traditionally female stuff.

Used to be if you could bake a decent loaf of bread and keep your floors swept, you were winning at being a woman. In the era of blogs, Pinterest, and Instagram, this is no longer the case. Not only are women expected to be nurturing, kind, understanding, and to place others’ needs above their own, they are expected to throw themed birthday parties, maintain an immaculate home where every room is decorated to perfection, plan a month of freezer meals, take professional-quality photographs, dress like a hipster, and work out every day.

Of course, women are also expected to be good daughters, to take care of aging parents, make those parents proud, and bring honor to their families.

Women are expected to be good wives, to understand, support, and help their husbands. Women are expected to be good mothers, to make sure that their kids are mentally, physically, and emotionally healthy. Moms are expected to shuffle kids from one activity to the next, provide cookies for the bake sale, be involved in PTO, and help out at everything from dances to track meets.

I’m not saying that being a good daughter, wife, and mother is a bad thing. I’m saying that the expectation of what it takes to BE a good daughter, wife, and mother has multiplied exponentially, so that no matter how much you give to these roles, you still feel like a failure.

Expectation #2: Be good at all the traditionally male stuff.

So, let’s say you COULD master all of the traditionally females stuff listed above. Well, in today’s society, it’s not enough. Women are not only expected to be good at all the traditionally female stuff, now we are expected to be good at all the guy stuff, too.

Girls are expected to get good grades, win admission to top colleges, be competitive in sports. As women we are expected to get good jobs, work hard for our employers while balancing our roles as wife, mother, and daughter. We are expected to manage money, save, and invest, while travelling the world (and cataloging our vacays on social media).

Women are expected to mentally and emotionally strong, to lead, to manage, and make tough choices. Do you see how this directly contradicts the expectations placed on us to be nurturing, kind, and cooperative?

When women are expected to fulfill to contradictory roles at the same time, it places us in constant turmoil. No matter what you excel at, you’re failing at something. No matter how much you accomplish, you can’t be all things. In the early 90’s Dr. Mary Pipher called this the double bind, and she showed how it was devastating to the mental health of women and girls.

Fast forward twenty years. Things haven’t gotten better. They have gotten worse because now we have the addition of the third and most difficult part of the Triple Bind.

Expectation #3: Conform to an ever-narrowing standard of thin, hot, and sexy, while making it look effortless.

This is the most insidious part of the Triple Bind because it is impossible for nearly everyone. Not only are you supposed to be good at all the traditionally feminine roles AND the traditionally masculine roles, but you must fill those roles while looking like a supermodel, wearing a size 2, and¬†without “trying too hard” because that makes you look desperate.

No, women are supposed to have effortless perfection, and BTW, we are not supposed to KNOW when we are beautiful.

This. Is. Madness.

Knowledge is power, and the more women understand the overwhelming, contradictory, and ridiculous expectations being placed on us, the more able we are to redefine ourselves in authentic ways.

The Triple Bind is what keeps women feeling stressed out, overwhelmed, and anxious. It is this way because we have allowed society to define us. We didn’t trade one role for another, we just had more baggage heaped on our backs until we crumbled. But, it doesn’t have to be this way.

There is a solution to the Triple Bind. The solution is for women to redefine themselves, to create authentic identities, and to begin living from the inside out.

This is what the Priceless and Feminine Project is all about. It’s about education. It’s about empowerment. It’s about all of us finding authentic and lasting joy in being the women we were meant to be.

Thank you so much for following along on this journey. I know you know other women who are feeling dis-empowered, stuck, and anxious. Please do them a favor, and share this movement with them. We are stronger when we stand together.

If you haven’t done so already, click here to join the movement.