My Take on Five Promises Every Woman Needs to Make to Herself

My Take on Five Promises Every Woman Needs to Make to Herself

I read an article by J. Courtney Sullivan on Oprah’s website today, and while I agree with her five promises, I immediately thought of five more that I would recommend. And here they are:

1. Fall in love with at least one person and if it’s only one person, may it be you!

“Ain’t love grand?”  it’s a famous quote, and oh so true. Nothing beats love. Everything about it: the  initial glimpse, the falling, and then the sheer comfort and joy of being in love. There’s a peacefulness about accepting yourself (or a significant other) just as they (you) are. One typically drops the notion that they have to please everyone around them or that they must be “perfect” when they love every bit about themselves. There’s also the saying (that I agree with): you can’t truly love another until you love yourself.

2. Meet as many soulmates as you can

There are several definitions of soulmates, however, the one that makes the most sense to me, is that as we journey though life, we meet people with a particular message or they provide a much needed service. When we learn the lesson and evolve, we open ourselves up to new messages and thus new soulmates. This section could easily be titled: “Keep Evolving”, but I like the idea of soulmates . It’s much more romantic!!

3. Take a solo vacation

I do quite a bit solo, but I haven’t always. Post  college, I remember running into an old acquaintance at a party. She turned me on to another party, but she wouldn’t be attending and suggested that I just go alone. I was taken aback by the suggestion, why would I go alone? Years later (not too many) I began venturing out solo, and I can honestly say that I prefer it in most situations. I tend to meet way more people when I’m the only person I know in the room, and this suits my personality.  

Other than business trips (where you’re really not alone), I’ve not taken a solo vacation, however, it is on my to-do list. I relish the idea of doing exactly what I want to do when I want to do it on some tropical island. The idea of a meditative few days alone seems simply divine. No kids, no spouse, or partner, no worries, just me.

4. Write your memoir

You don’t have to be a writer to write, however, I believe that we all have a very interesting story, that if shared with the world, it would resonate for many, if not a few. There’s something about reliving moments in your life in detail that appeals to me. It can be cathartic, refreshing and nostalgic all wrapped in one. It’s always good to see how much you’ve grown or to just relive a pleasant moment.

Your memoir doesn’t have to be published, if that’s not your goal, but I think back to the movie, The Bridges of Madison County and how the main character’s children got to really know their mother through her diaries. Beautiful.

5. Create a signature dish!

At some point in your life, you will be asked to “carry a dish” to a fill in the blank: (pot luck, holiday dinner, work function, family outing) and it takes a lot of pressure off, knowing that you have a perfected dish that is sure to please all who aren’t allergic. In my twenties, it was a layered dip and I was constantly asked to carry it to family functions. While delicious, it was a bit time consuming, so make sure yours is simple enough to whip up at a moment’s notice. 

In my thirties, I retired it and my go-to dish became my spinach dip. These days, I’m the appetizer queen at most family functions and I’m comfortable with this. I have three dishes I can conjure up within a day’s notice, and I’m confident that it will be the best appetizer in the room, and will have everyone asking, “who made this?” I can confidently say, “I did. Would you like the recipe?”

Honorable mention: Start your own business

Or business plan. Should something happen, forbid, to your current corporate career, what would you do? This business may never come to fruition, but it could and you’ll be ready with a business plan in hand. Treat it as an important hobby and at the ready stand by. Who knows, if you flesh your ideas out enough, garner an interest in them, perhaps one of them can be your second (first, or fifth) career.

Back to Yoga

Back to Yoga

Determined to lose the weight I gained after taking meds to address the DVT and PE I suffered, I took to the gym. This summer, I worked four to six times a week: a series of cardio, core and resistance training.

Six months later and after a bout of food poisoning which jumped started the weight loss, I am 25 pounds lighter with defined muscles (will show you upon request, and sometimes, you don’t have to ask…).

Tuesday, however, I felt a tingle, a return to yoga had been itching. All weekend prior I would spontaneously strike a pose; downward dog, butterfly, half-moon pose. I remembered that there was a class Tuesday around 10:30, so I heeded my intuition and went to the studio. The class was set for 10:45, and the class was titled, Surrender.

Unfamiliar with this class, so Googled it of course. It’s another form of yin yoga, which I’m familiar with, however there was a twist. Poses would be held anywhere between 5-11 minutes. This class claimed to tap into the feminine and my tingle grew stronger. I was going to take this class.

I’d arrived early so I jumped on my favorite cardio machine—not quite an elliptical machine as it motions side to side rather than front to back—for 20 minutes. When my cardio was up, I entered the studio. There were about 15 attendees, which is light for this particular studio. It was perfect.

The instructor played lovely music that lent itself nicely to what was to come, my surrendering. I allowed the soothing tunes to lull me during the opening pose, shavasana. My mind raced, it’d been a while, but the instructor’s British tainted voice cut through willing me to breathe deeply. As I relaxed, this article began to form.

First, I was surrendering my yang practice, the masculine, constant moving, weight lifting exercise that brought me down 25 pounds. That was time well spent as I’m stronger and more fit than I’ve been in almost two decades. I was, however, missing yoga.

Yoga can be both yin and yang. I believe my yang practice outside the studio fully prepared me for surrendering to my new yin practice. As I rested in one particularly trying position, I actually surrendered to the discomfort, allowed myself to push past the pain and then the deep breathing brought me back to the mindfulness I needed to embrace. What came to mind was that I would also have to surrender my 20’s.

Back then, I was rather shy and quiet (no one who knows me today can believe this, but it is true). I married at 27 and held several prestigious positions. I had a mission.Today, I’m less serious, way more gregarious and confident. There’s a saying, the 40’s are the new 20’s and I think I took it literally as I’m often mistaken as much younger than I am (I’d like to hold on to this and did I mention that I’m in my best physical shape?)

I’ve been reflecting on my 20’s and I will take what made me special then and honor it, but I am surrendering those years and embracing my 30’s.  I discussed this with a two separate friends and they both noted a “shift in the universe”. Additionally, this all happened during Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. I can’t think of a timelier awakening.

Continue to heed your tingles, you never know the message meant for you.

Intention of the Day (Smile!)

Intention of the Day (Smile!)

In yoga, before practice starts, the instructor may suggest that you set an intention: dig deeper, respect your body, or don’t compete with your neighbor… I’m writing another book, My Intentional Year, where I chronicle a year of setting a daily intention.

I decided that on one particular day, I would smile at every person I came across. Now, I didn’t tackle anyone who didn’t (or  wouldn’t) meet my eye and I promise you I didn’t look like a psychopath grinning ear to ear Jack Nicholson style  a la The Shinning. It was very natural, if someone looked my way, they would be met with a toothless smile.

I didn’t set expectations, as I didn’t know what to expect. I was just trying something new. My findings:

  • Men met my eye more frequently than women
  • If he met my eye, the majority of them smiled back
  • In the few times women did meet my eye, maybe 40% of them smiled back
  • Some people actually waved at me
  • Older people smiled 80% of the time
  • Children smiled 100% of the time
  • It made my day better whether or not there was a return smile

Now, perhaps this is not a scientific study based on the homogenous nature of this group out here in Chicago’s Northern ‘burbs, but it’s what I experienced.

An interesting encounter: I made a necessary trip to the library. A woman and inquisitive little boy made a rather slow trek inside. The little boy asked about the mesh on the ground. The mother explained that it was there to protect the grass from birds…as I approached (walking way faster than they were) the mother turned and saw me approaching and she began to stammer (despite my beautiful smile!). She continued, “so that the uhm birds… that they don’t eat ummm…”

As I passed them, I smiled brightly and said, “Seeds.” And continued to the entrance.

“Right! The seeds.” She smiled, and chuckled nervously.

Regardless, this encounter didn’t mar my experience and I continued to smile at everyone I passed. My hope is that my intention brightened everyone’s day (whether they returned my smile or not) as my day and spirit was lightened.

May 2018-Monthly Learning Teleconference Schedule

May 2018-Monthly Learning Teleconference Schedule

All classes are scheduled on either Sunday or Wednesday evenings for 1 hour. EST. 8:00 PM-9:00 PM/ CST. 7:3O PM-8:30 PM/ MST: 6:30 PM-8:00 PM/ PST: 5:30 PM-7:00. To register contact 847-274-7958, or awrighter247@gmail.com

May 2018

Tapping into Your Intuition — Sunday, 5/5/18
Based on the book “Trusting the Tingles

You’ve heard about intuition, gut instincts, and the sort, but how do YOU begin to tap into your intuition?

What is Your Environment Telling you, and can you Trust it? — Wednesday, 5/16/18
Based on the book “Trusting the Tingles” We get messages daily that usher us along our paths, what is your environment telling you?

Get to Know the Person Inside—Sunday, 5/26/18
Based on the book “Knowing” Release date TBD. When we define ourselves, no one can tell us who we are, but do you know who you are?

When Bad Labels Happen to Good People — Wednesday, 5/30/18 Based on the book “Knowing” Release date TBD.
Have people mis-labeled you? Labels happen, how can you turn it around?

These classes will be held again in August 2018 All classes are $50 per person. Limited space available

Confidence. Can it be Taught?

Confidence. Can it be Taught?

As a mother to a teen daughter, I certainly hope confidence can be taught if not sent via osmosis but to be fair, she is a tween and thus hormonal. As a baby, toddler, and little girl, she was fearless. She tried different foods, new games, learned readily and commanded her environment. And she was headstrong…very headstrong. I assumed that this would translate into a confident young tween (and I have another six months to witness this transformation).

She believes she knows better than I, but this is the time when my opinion doesn’t count as much as her friends no matter how I try to coach her to believe that no one’s opinion matters more than her own, and to yes, determine your own mind about all important things now so that she may go through her teens unbiased by her peers. 

As I recall my teen years, and I remember that I was painfully shy, and that didn’t read as confidence, two very different things. When I graduated grade school, I attended a very small, private high school…not my first choice, but rather my parents’. I went with the promise that if after two years I hated it, I could change schools (I was rather headstrong myself). My daughter exhibits this same behavior, so I don’t fret. If I grew out of it, and I believe I was shier than she, so I think she’ll be fine.

I stayed at the small private high school the entire four years. I didn’t hate it, and perhaps, that was just my path. I don’t know where my 5’4’’ frame would be co-captain of the volleyball team, and I really did learn a lot about myself there. While it wasn’t an exact replica of how the world works, how it really is, during that time I gained a quiet sense of confidence. I witnessed how friendships were made and broken. Most importantly, I think I learned to accept myself just as I am, which is key to anyone transitioning to adulthood.

The one thing that helped me was sports, which is why I made it a priority in my daughter’s life. She’s a sophomore now, and I’m keeping an eye on her. I do make sure I talk to her about self esteem and confidence, as I don’t want it to let it off my radar, or hers. There is a train of thought that says that children are our mirrors, especially girls and moms. If this is the case, it behooves us to show up at our best we can muster when in their presence. It can’t hurt, right? So ladies, shoulders back, head up, eyes front and center. 

So while the jury is still out about teaching confidence, making your teen aware of it is super important. It’s got to be a part of the weekly/bi-weekly/monthly discussion because it is that critical. 


a lot that=E2=80=99s happened in my life that I’ve just accepted: little n=
uggets of wisdom or dumb luck that goes unexplained. Whether it be =E2=80=
=9Cthe=E2=80=9D perfect opening to a story, an insight, turning left and av=
oiding an accident, losing a job, finding money, winning the lottery (the l=
argest single winning to date: $290) or maybe meeting someone serendipitiou=
sly and having them in my life significantly for a bit, a while or a lifeti=
me. Life is an uncertain, yet thrilling experience if you pay close attenti=
on to all the messages coming through.

I explore the ways we experience intuition in my book, Trusting the Tin=
, which will be published this Winter.
In what ways do you find inspiration and/=
=C2=A0or direction in your life?