‘Tis the season…for complicated family dynamics! In this super short, super digestible solo episode, we’ll dive into how to set some simple mindful boundaries with your family, through the holidays and beyond. We’ll talk about how to manage negative talk around the table, redirecting tough conversations, and how to be yourself when you feel like you need to play the role of someone else.
This episode is in support of Together Rising. Together Rising transforms collective heartbreak into effective action. Since 2012, Together Rising has raised over 2o million dollars, and 100% of what Together Rising receives from every personal donation goes directly to an individual, family, or cause in need. Together Rising identifies what is breaking the hearts of their givers, and connect the givers’ generosity with the people and organizations who are effectively addressing that critical need. To learn more, visit Together Rising’s website orfollow them on Instagram.
'Tis the season for joy, laughter...and a lot of conflicting emotions around family, food, spending, socializing, and more.
Instead of a gift guide this year, I thought I'd give you something you can use through the season and beyond: a field guide of some of our WANT community's favorite tips, tools, and resources to shift your self-talk, especially during the most wonderful time of the year.
Scroll through, then gift this holiday guide to a friend who might need some extra support this season...
SETTING (MINDFUL) BOUNDARIES WITH YOUR FAMILY DURING THE HOLIDAYS + BEYOND
Setting boundaries (mindful boundaries) with our loved ones right now is crucial to not only our sanity, but to our relationships with our relatives. For most of us, we’re only with our extended fam a few times throughout the year, so it’s important that when we're all together, we’re working to build the kinds of relationships – and, so cliché, but the kinds of memories – we want to have.READ MORE ➪
I WAS SO BAD: BREAKING OUT OF FOOD GUILT
Even the teeniest bit of food guilt is more than likely to arise at one point or another, especially during the holidays. To fight against food guilt and fight FOR the body that deserves to be loved (<-yours!), put these three tips to use year-round. READ MORE ➪
AN INTROVERT’S GUIDE TO BEING SOCIAL (WITH SOUL)
Parties make you sweat...but also don't want to miss out on holiday cheer? I hear ya. Introversion and extroversion are not black and white; every single person has a bit of both inside them. The trick is not to try and change yourself into an extrovert or go against what feels true to you – it’s to know how to play up your strengths no matter the situation. Here are 7 ways to stay social while still being true to who you are at your core – no faking required. READ MORE ➪
DO’SHA KNOW: AYURVEDIC STRESS RELIEF 101
Stress is high year-round, but during the holidy months it seems to runneth over. Sahara’s take on stress: find your dosha and go from there. Think this is just another personality test? Ayurveda is about way more than the individual. It’s about living in harmony with the world around you, too. Take the quiz:READ MORE ➪
HOW TO DO A PLANNED FREAK-OUT
I can't get over how many of you have told me that this exercise is LIFE-CHANGING. I don't know about that...but I do know it has prevented many a meltdown in my own life, and also made me stay focused on what really matters. Here's how to do one.READ MORE ➪
ON SPENDING WISELY + LETTING THE GUILT GO
Maybe GIFT-GIVING is your love language. That's totally okay. Here's how to curb mindless spending...and how to check yourself when you're in the midst of "retail therapy."READ MORE ➪
I’m sure you’ve heard it before. Maybe a little, maybe a lot. Maybe it’s been forced or routine. But this is a different kind of thank you. An honest thank you, to all mothers, biological AND emotional, a thank you for everything you teach to those around you on a daily basis…whether you realize it or not.
TO ALL MOMS OUT THERE… everyone speaks of the sacrifices of motherhood, but in my eyes I have only seen freedom. Maybe not the freedom to jet off for a spontaneous weekend or sleep in ’til however long you’d like on the weekends, but an awareness and a courageousness that comes with being a mom – and that represents an incredibly unique type of freedom. Freedom of the heart to love as hard as it pleases, freedom of the spirit to dive into the kinds of big decisions that most only dip their toes into. It’s a kind of freedom that’s not often talked about amidst the hardships and challenges and struggles of motherhood, but it is a freedom that sets an example for the rest of us, a crash course in how to own your own unique brand of leadership. It’s a freedom to allow yourself to start with a fresh slate, to scrap everything you thought you knew, over and over again.
From the time you see that little plus sign all the way past when your first grandchild is born, being a mother means being able to start over with renewed confidence and focus time and again. Most people stay in their bubble of comfort for far longer than it serves them, afraid to begin anew or open themselves up to life’s many shifts. While I’m not saying you’re never afraid (you’re only human!), you feel the fear and do it anyway. Thank you for constantly moving forward. Thank you for showing the rest of us what a different kind of freedom looks like.
TO ALL MY FRIENDS WHO ARE MOMS… thank you for showing me what motherhood looks like from all angles. From you, I’ve learned that one style does not fit all, that there is really no “technique” that is fool-proof and no way that’s the right way. In observing you approach motherhood from your own angle, I’ve learned something way beyond what it means to be a mother – something bigger. I’ve learned what it means to attack life without being a carbon copy, about how to navigate life on your own terms.
I look upon you with awe as you make decisions for your family and yourself with such confidence, with such assuredness, because there are more important things that must be done than let uncertainty rule your day. I can sometimes sense a slight fear of not knowing what’s right, and when I’m lucky, you let me behind the curtain and share your uncertanties with us. Please know I will always, always listen. You consistently show me that the only “right” choices are those you make from your heart. Thank you for letting me in on your journey.
TO MY OWN MOM…the thank-yous could pile up if I let them. Thank you for encouraging my creativity, thank you for being an open book, thank you for driving me around and reading to me from four books every night. But if I could thank you for one thing only, I would thank you for teaching me how to be a leader, both personally and professionally. You realize that relationships, just like anything else worthwhile, are work – and you put the care and effort in every single time. In your friendships, you’re happy going out on the town yet equally happy to sit on the couch with a glass of wine and storytelling. You’re one of those women that was born to be a mother, born to be a shoulder for everyone you love to lean on. And yet you never forget to take care of yourself. You’re not a pushover in the least, you’re not a people-pleaser. And yet you somehow know how to take care of everyone at once, including yourself. You know that you cannot love anyone else unless you love yourself first. Yes, there are times you complain about the lines around your eyes or the rogue grays at your roots, but every step you take is that of a woman who at her core absolutely loves who she is. You’re a presence – even when you’re not trying to be. Thank you for teaching me how to walk with that kind of confidence.
I’ve also learned about myself, my uniqueness, and in trying to emulate you in so many ways I’ve learned who it is I really am. I am silly, sometimes in the same way you are, sometimes in a way that’s completely my own. While you are the life of the party, I’m the person who sticks with one or two conversations all night. I laugh like you, I think, at the same things and with the same reckless abandon. I cry when I laugh, every time, which I know I inherited from you too (thank you for laughing so much). I’ve learned that although we joke and claim otherwise, you don’t know everything, and that you’re just as often wrong as you are right. Because of that I’ve learned it’s okay not to have all the answers. I’ve learned that there are lessons I am yet to learn, ones you’ve known for your whole life – and similarly, there are lessons I’ve got under my belt that you’re still figuring out. I don’t fault you for it, I love you more for it. I’m more like you, mom, than I’d sometimes like to admit – and less like you, mom, than you’d sometimes like to admit. It’s that fine balance of similarities and differences that is at the core of our relationship.
We all have something to love, whether it be a child or pet or even a vase filled with flowers picked by hand at the Farmer’s Market. While not all of us will choose to be mothers in this lifetime, we will always have the women who came before us and walk alongside us to teach us how to lead, how to love, how to embrace the freedom you feel when you make a decision and stick with it.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of you who possess and demonstrate that inherent maternal instinct on a daily basis – the one that is such a blessing, the one that protects and loves in a way that’s uniquely your own, and teaches us all to do the same.
all photos by krista ashley.
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The holiday season. On one hand, it’s a time of food, fun and family togetherness. On the other hand… it’s a time of food, fun and family togetherness.
Getting together with the family can bring out all sorts of emotions. No matter how close your clan is or how different you all are, the various personalities at play coupled with the high-energy of the holiday season too often means we end up associating this time of year with stress, obligation and forced oversharing. Everyone somehow gets entangled in everyone else’s business, and come mid-December we’re counting down the days until the parties end and the New Year strikes. What a waste of holiday cheer!
Setting boundaries (mindful boundaries) with our loved ones right now is crucial to not only our sanity, but to our relationships with our relatives. For most of us, we’re only with our extended family a few times throughout the year, so it’s important that when we are all together, we’re working to build the kinds of relationships – and, so cliché, but the kinds of memories – we want to have.
I come from a large extended family, one I’ve been lucky enough to have living closeby my entire life. Because of this, we’ve developed some pretty close relationships – my cousins on my mom’s side are more like siblings, and my extended family on my dad’s side are some of the coolest people I know. But just because we’re two steps away from Brady Bunch status (mostly TV show, not movie) doesn’t mean it’s always peachy. I know firsthand that disagreements within the fam are usually unavoidable, and it can be easy to get into a scuffle when there are lots of different personalities in the room. And that’s not even taking into account the questions, comments, and demands that might just be one step too far. Even the Bradys couldn’t avoid it (mostly movie, not TV show).
Whether you’re talking politics or your one aunt just won’t stop asking when you’re going to settle down, here are three ways to keep things civil, compassionate and in control without resorting to anger or putting up walls:
1.) COME PREPARED WITH QUESTIONS. You know the saying, “Treat others as you’d like to be treated.” Ask the questions you’d appreciate being asked. If you don’t want to give a play-by-play on your love life, don’t go there with others. If you don’t want to explain your year of “funemployment” to your uncle, choose to ask him about his hobbies, travels, holiday plans or something other than “How work’s going?” You get the picture.
Just because you have boundaries doesn’t mean you’re closed off or not invested. Everyone has their own limits as to what they’re comfortable discussing, and everyone is an open book in other areas of their life. Use your empathy skills to gauge what others might love discussing…and what might make them break out into hives. Showing people how you are both genuinely interested in them and respect their privacy will send off signals that you’d appreciate if they’d do the same. And by the way, if someone is prying, it is perfectly okay to give a vague answer and steer the conversation in another direction. You are in charge of how much you are willing to share.
also, don’t pry into others’ lives if you don’t want others prying into your life.
2.) SHUT DOWN THE NEGATIVE SELF-TALK. From griping about life events to commiserating over body image woes, casual negativity is a bonding tactic – a cheap and easy way to form connections and find common ground. I’m not talking about legitimate, concern-causing grievances (signs of depression, eating disorders, abuse, etc). I’m talking about the emotionally loaded conversations we have simply to bond with one another.
Large family gatherings can be a cesspool for negative bonding sessions. When you hear the members of your family griping about how “bad” they’ve eaten, counter that with a comment on how awesome your aunt’s cooking was, then ask about a recipe. When you notice a conversation about work is veering down a negative road, ask to hear about a hobby someone loves or a recent success. Lead with your own pragmatic positivity, and make a pact with yourself that you will not be roped into feeling bad about yourself just to fit in.
just own your coolness, Cindy.
3.) BE WHO YOU WANT TO BE. Whether we’ve grown up around them our entire lives or only see them once in a blue moon, it can be easy to fall into past roles with our families. You’re a “grandchild” in the mix? You’re still a kid in your aunts’, uncles’, and grandparents’ eyes. The oldest child in the fam? Maybe you’re expected to play that part even though you don’t really feel like you’ve gotten anything figured out yet.
Just because you’re the “kid” in your family does not warrant that you’re treated as such. Whether your aunt is infringing on the way you parent your little one or your older sibling is bossing you around in the kitchen, the holidays are a fantastic time to renew your vow to yourself to be the you you know you want to be. It’s a time of year that can bring out the very best of us – or the very worst. It’s up to us which one we choose. Sure, words speak volumes – saying, “I’ve got this” or a simple, “No thank you” sometimes does the trick – but when it comes to setting boundaries with your loved ones, actions speak encyclopedias.
one of my favorite scenes of all time. it’s a rocky road to a healthy self-image, but you’ll get there.
As impossible as it might seem, you can prevent a disagreement from turning into a disaster if you’re coming from the right place. No matter the topic of conversation or vibe you’re getting from the other person, make sure the underlying emotion you carry with you is love. Be empathetic. Be assertive. Listen to your heart for cues on when to budge and when to stand firm – and on when to speak up and when to let it go.
Most importantly? Just because you’re with your family doesn’t mean you need to morph into a different version of yourself. Ease is contagious – and so is authenticity. And you don’t have to always feel at ease to be authentically yourself. The more you do you, the more they’ll catch on. The more they catch on, the more comfortable they’ll feel doing the same. And that’s the best holiday present you could give them.
WANT Yourself: Do you struggle with setting boundaries when it comes to family – or even old friends? What do you do when you start to feel the anxiety kick in?
Hold the phone. Stop the presses. We are, officially, IN THE DOUBLE DIGITS. When you’re creating one new pod every three weeks, getting to double digits feels like forever – so, to me, this is a huge deal (we’re heading towards the 6-month mark!).
Especially because of this one little not-so-secret: I was scared out of my mind to start this podcast. I had a smidge of sound editing experience under my belt, had NO clue how to record with someone over Skype, and forget about even getting the tech stuff up and running. This podcast has taught me to be ballsy and just make things happen – because once you’re ballsy a few times in a row, it starts to get easier and easier.
I will say, it’s a lot easier to be ballsy when you’ve got people in your corner. And today’s guest is a super special one, because she has been in WANT’s corner since literally the very first email conversation we had (she was actually the person who told me, “You HAVE TO START A PODCAST” and never let me forget she was waiting for it). She’s now become a dear friend of mine, a woman I admire endlessly – and, well, you probably already listen to her podcast religiously.
Jessica Murnane is the wellness Wonder Woman behind JessicaMurnane.com, host of the wildly popular One Part Podcast, and, the MOST exciting, author of a soon-to-be released full-on plant-based cookbook with Harper-Wave in 2017!
If Jessica looks familiar, it might be because she’s been on WANT before. After being diagnosed with Endometriosis and receiving a pretty crazy ultimatum from her doctors, Jessica decided to try overhauling her diet to see if she could heal herself naturally. Fast forward to today, and Jessica now has zero of those debilitating endometriosis symptoms and follows a full-on plant based diet.
In this episode we talk about the HUGE thing on Jessica’s mind lately, something I don’t think we talk about nearly enough in our culture if even at all: letting go of the past and what that actually looks and feels like in the body. We also talk endo, mendo (yup), listening fiercely to your body, and Jessica’s refreshingly honest take on motherhood. (This episode also contains a little bit of quasi-gangsta-rap-language, so if you’re sensitive to that, you’ll be getting fair warning beforehand.)
WIN WANT SWAG! So, did you notice those rad little WANT tote bags we had at the WANTiversary party the other week? To celebrate the 10th WANTcast, I’m giving away a WANT tote bag (first edition, y’all), plus some of the awesome swag it was filled with at the party to two lucky WANT Women!
To enter, sign up for the WANT newsletter here, then leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite guest, topic, or takeaway from the first ten episodes of the WANTcast. Extra entries if you follow @katiehorwitch and @jessicamurnane on Instagram – just let me know you did in your comment.
Two lucky winners will be chosen at random this Sunday, February 27th at 9pm PST. Crossing my fingers for you!
Like this episode? Shoot me a comment below, leave a review on iTunes (the more reviews, the more Jessica’s message is spread), share it on Facebook, tweet it out on Twitter, or post it on Instagram. Be sure to use the hashtags #WANTcast, #womenagainstnegativetalk, and/or #WANTyourself!
Lately, we’ve been talking about finding light in darkness (rememberDesiderata?) making decisions based on gut feelings. And today, we’re riffing off of that theme, in a brand new way…
I’m not a “things” type of person, but the “things” I DO own, it’s because they make me feel a certain way, or carry a certain meaning or message.
If you follow me on Instagram, you probably see a few things over and over: my stack of bracelets, and a tiny little “Hamsa” I wear around my neck.
Today’s guest is Rachelle Tratt, LA yoga instructor and founder of the jewelry line The Neshama Project.The Neshama Project has developed almost a cult following here in LA, and it was born out of her desire to bring her passion for educating others about a culture she loved and wanting to make the world a healthier, brighter place.
Rachelle inspires me because she’s not your typical yoga pro – or even your typical entrepreneur. She’s seen a LOT, which we’ll get into in this episode, and she always rode on the feeling that she was meant to do something important with her life, without even knowing exactly what that meant.
As you’ll hear, and as you probably already know about me, I’m not just interested in the light easy breezy moments or the dark rough spots, I’m most fascinated by the intersection of the two and how they can, as the tagline says, help you move forward fearlessly onto the path you’re meant to follow.
In this episode, we talk about the fallacy of the necessity of the 5-year plan, turning ideas into action, being a people person and the necessary boundaries that come with that, cultivating your intuition, moving forward through what seem like the worst of challenges life can throw at you, and finding not only meaning but a lesson in every single moment, even if it’s not clear at first. And of course, before this episode, I internet-stalked her and read a sentence somewhere about a Hummus challenge she took. So obviously, I had to ask about that.
If you’ve ever experienced extreme lows, loss, have a sense of adventure but don’t know how to cultivate that, or are interested in building a community that speaks to who you are and who you want to be, this is the episode for you.
*WANT DISCOUNT* Rachelle is offering our WANT community 10% off all Neshama Project products! I wear my necklace and bracelet every day. Use the discount code WANT10 at checkout, and be sure to follow them on Instagram, etc for special holiday deals!