Boundaries: Liberation without Intimidation

Boundaries: Liberation without Intimidation

In our fast-paced world, it’s essential to prioritize self-care and establish healthy boundaries to protect our well-being, but far too often, we suck at doing just that. Living in a world with healthy boundaries is not beyond your reach. There is so much noise in the world today, and within it are so many misconceptions about boundaries, and we are going to demystify them.

  1. Discover how setting boundaries is an act of self-care that benefits both you and your relationships.
  2. Break free from the misconception that boundaries are self-centered, and instead, learn how they pave the way for a healthier and happier you while deepening your connections with others.
  3. Learn the gentle art of boundary setting and understand that it’s about self-expression – not aggression.

Here’s a quick video where I get asked by the one and only Laura Bell Bundy, founder of  the Womxn of Tomorrow platform, to share three things about boundaries. As an EducateHer for the community and a leader in B.I.G. Believe.Inspire.Grow empowerment community,  I have the honor of discussing boundaries monthly with the incredible humans who show up with us! There is so much to say, so I figured I would share some thoughts with you!

Let’s get clear on a few things as we head out on a transformative adventure of self-discovery, empowerment, and liberation without intimidation. Are you ready to rewrite your boundaries and strengthen your relationships? Let’s break down some myths and explore your truth!

The Truth about Boundaries

Boundaries are: “I love you, I love us, and I love ME.” Three things can be true at the same moment. Not all will be the priority in each moment, but when each person’s needs are met and managed, everyone can find peace. Setting boundaries is a healthy act of self-care that benefits both you and your relationships, and they become the sturdy framework of a house; they provide structure and support for our mental, emotional, and physical well-being.

“There is no one way liberation” Liz Gilbert. We hold this idea that putting boundaries in place and implementing them will be a self-centered act. In order to truly benefit from boundaries, we must break free from the misconception that boundaries are self-centered. In reality, they are the key to a healthier and happier you, paving the way for deeper connections. To bring this to light, we must become aware – curious. Listen to your inner voice – the voice that knows what feels safe, strong, and sure. Too often we let the noise of the world amplify beyond this voice, but we must turn down the noise.

Understand that boundaries are about expressing your needs, not telling others what to do. Find your voice and assert your boundaries with grace bu understanding that there are three ways to communicate: aggressive, assertive, and passive.


Setting boundaries in an aggressive manner often involves forceful or confrontational behavior. Instead of expressing your needs, you might end up demanding or dictating what others should do. This approach can lead to conflict and strain relationships, as it lacks the sensitivity required for effective communication.


On the other hand, being assertive in setting boundaries means expressing your needs with confidence, clarity, and respect. It’s about finding the right balance between standing up for yourself and being considerate of others. Assertive communication allows you to define your boundaries while maintaining open and healthy relationships.


In contrast, passive individuals tend to avoid conflict by not asserting their boundaries at all. They may not express their needs or preferences, which can lead to frustration and resentment. It’s crucial to recognize that passivity in boundary setting can negatively impact your well-being and relationships because your needs go unaddressed.

So, remember, the key is to aim for an assertive approach when setting boundaries. It allows you to express your needs clearly while respecting the needs and boundaries of others, ultimately leading to healthier and more fulfilling relationships.

Setting boundaries is perceived to be an act of pushing away, of putting distance between you and the other. But a boundary in its most sacred form is simply delineating between what happens within a certain space & what does not. In this sense, creating boundaries is a drawing in rather than a pushing away.

Anne Lamott’s statement, “No is a complete sentence,” holds a profound truth when it comes to setting boundaries. This simple yet powerful phrase encapsulates the idea that you don’t need to provide elaborate justifications or explanations when you say no. 

In essence, “No is a complete sentence” means that you have the right to assert your boundaries without feeling the need to offer lengthy excuses. Your decisions and limits are valid on their own. This concept empowers you to honor your needs and protect your well-being with clarity and confidence. It allows you to maintain a healthy balance between giving and receiving in your relationships, all while respecting your own values and boundaries.

Examples of healthy boundaries include:

  • Setting Personal Limits:
    • Demonstrating the ability to decline requests or commitments you’re not comfortable with.
    • Example: Politely declining an invitation to an event you’re not interested in attending.
  • Emotionally Responsible Communication:
    • Articulating your emotions in a thoughtful and considerate manner.
    • Example: Instead of angrily blaming someone for your frustration, you calmly express how their actions affected you.
  • Open and Honest Sharing:
    • Being candid about your experiences and thoughts.
    • Example: Sharing your personal struggles and achievements with a close friend.
  • Timely Responsiveness:
    • Providing timely responses when necessary.
    • Example: Promptly answering an important message or email to maintain effective communication.
  • Direct Conflict Resolution:
    • Confronting issues directly with the individual involved, rather than involving a third party.
    • Example: If you have a problem with a coworker, addressing it with them directly instead of complaining to your supervisor.
  • Transparent Expectations:
    • Clearly communicating your expectations to avoid misunderstandings.
    • Example: Discussing with your partner what you expect from a shared household, such as chores and responsibilities, rather than assuming they’ll know.

Boundaries are necessary when encounters or relationships leave you feeling anxious, resentful, or compromised. Boundaries also teach us the delicate art of vulnerability—the courage to be authentic and express our needs.

Examples of red flags:

Here are some examples of red flags that may indicate boundary violations:

  • Disregarding your explicit requests: When someone constantly ignores or dismisses your direct and clear requests, it’s a clear red flag. For instance, if you’ve asked a friend to stop sharing your personal information but they continue to do so, your boundaries are being violated.
  • Overstepping physical boundaries: This includes invading your personal space without permission, touching you in ways that make you uncomfortable, or not respecting your physical boundaries in intimate situations.
  • Constantly making demands: If someone frequently makes unreasonable demands on your time, energy, or resources without considering your needs or limitations, it’s a sign of boundary violation.
  • Ignoring your emotional boundaries: When someone invalidates your feelings, dismisses your emotions, or insists that you shouldn’t feel a certain way, it’s a violation of your emotional boundaries.
  • Gossip and spreading personal information: If someone is sharing your private information or discussing your personal life with others without your consent, it’s a breach of your confidentiality boundaries.
  • Unsolicited advice and judgment: Constantly offering unsolicited advice, criticism, or judgment about your choices, lifestyle, or decisions can indicate a violation of your boundaries.
  • Interrupting your personal time: When someone consistently disrupts your personal time, such as by calling or texting excessively during your downtime or expecting you to be available at all hours, it’s a sign that your boundaries are not being respected.
  • Manipulative behavior: Manipulation, guilt-tripping, or emotional coercion to get you to do something against your will is a clear boundary violation.
  • Crossing moral or ethical boundaries: Violating your values or ethical principles, such as pressuring you to engage in behavior that goes against your beliefs, is another significant red flag.
  • Stalking or harassment: Extreme cases of boundary violations can involve stalking, online harassment, or threats, which require immediate action to protect your safety and well-being.

It’s important to remember that setting and enforcing boundaries is your right, and it’s essential for your mental, emotional, and physical well-being. If you notice any of these red flags, it’s crucial to address the issue and communicate your boundaries clearly. If the violations persist, you may need to reconsider the nature of the relationship or seek support from trusted friends, family, or professionals.

It is not telling others what they can and cannot do. You are telling people what you will do. It is always from the self.

Setting boundaries is as much about what you are saying ‘yes’ to as it is about what you are saying ‘no’ to. It is actually generous to reveal your boundaries, and a deep act of vulnerability to ask for what you need. But first, you must realize that you always have a choice.

Between stimulus and response, you have a choice. Take the Pause. By cultivating a habit of pausing, we create a space between the stimulus and our response. In this space lies our power to choose. It’s in this moment that we can ask ourselves, “Do I truly want to engage in this situation? Is this my responsibility? What are my options? Is there someone else who could do it?” By acknowledging this choice, we empower ourselves to respond consciously rather than reactively.

Remember, ‘Choose Your Hard.’ What’s required is vulnerability and a deep connection with your unique values. It’s crucial to recognize that you can always change your mind. But when you do, you must communicate your boundaries as needed. As Seneca wisely stated, ‘We suffer more often in imagination than in reality.’ 

These principles emphasize the power of mindfulness and self-awareness, allowing you to make choices that align with your values. They remind us that we have the ability to pause, reflect, and decide how we respond to various situations, and that often, our perceptions can exaggerate challenges. ‘Choose Your Hard’ underscores the idea that life presents difficulties regardless of the path we choose, so it’s essential to align our choices with our values. Vulnerability is key in expressing our needs and boundaries, and the reminder that we can adapt and communicate as needed reinforces the flexibility of boundaries in different contexts.

The Art of Setting Boundaries

Discover the practical steps to boundary-setting:

  • Address Perspective: Challenge the truth of your beliefs.
  • Challenge Assumptions: Examine the agreements, both implicit and explicit.
  • Identify Non-Negotiables/Values: Simplify your values for clarity.
  • Define: Identify desired boundary & Explore Risks & Rewards.
  • Educate on the New Way: Communicate your boundaries clearly and consistently.
  • Focus on Safety: Prioritize your well-being in every situation.
  • Maintain Consistency and Compassion

Embrace the bumps: Choose your hard, embrace the process, celebrate milestones, and navigate setbacks with compassion and resilience. The Journey of Practice: Honoring Progress, Embracing Imperfection. Building boundaries is a skill that strengthens over time with practice. By nurturing healthy boundaries, we create space for self-care, personal growth, and meaningful connections. Remember, progress, not perfection, is the key.

“Improving by 1% isn’t particularly notable, sometimes it isn’t even noticeable, but it can be far more meaningful – especially in the long run. If you can get 1% better each day for one year, you’ll end up 37 times better by the time you’re done.” ~ James Clear

Things to remember on your boundary journey:

  • The Gentle Art of Boundary Setting: Learn from Melissa Urban the “We Can Do Hard Things” podcast:
  • Keep your eye on the energy drains & gains: Understand the concept of energy transactions and their impact. Recognize when you’re giving more than you’re receiving in any interaction as well as recognize when you are getting more (or enough) in situations. Focus on more of what you gain from and eliminate (or reevaluate) what drains you.
  • If they push back, evaluate the health of the relationship. “If you are offended by my boundaries, you are probably one of the reasons I have them’”
  • Know when to withdraw – to stay safe.
  • Check in daily with your emotional, financial, time availability, and resources. If you need a moment to think about it, take the moment.
  • Accountability is key. Find a coach, friend, trusted mentor, online group, or whatever – but find accountability.
  • Find your empowerment from within: Remember, your boundaries are about you and your well-being, regardless of external factors.

Why Set Boundaries?

  • Boundaries are designed to improve your relationships and ensure your own safety and health.
  • You Are Not Responsible for Others’ Reactions: Your responsibility is to communicate your boundaries kindly. How others respond is their journey.
  • Stay True to Your Path: Maintain your course with unwavering clarity. Your well-being is paramount. Stay curious.

Are you ready to rewrite your boundaries, strengthen your relationships, and step into your power? If you’re ready to explore the power of practice further and want guidance in cultivating boundaries and empowerment in your life, reach out to us. Our team of experts is here to support you on your path to personal growth and well-being.

Join me on the Course for Joy – a transformative journey towards finding your authentic self and embracing the joy that life has to offer. 

Curious about the Course for Joy? LINK

Ready to register for the Course for Joy? LINK

Overcoming Overwhelm: A Journey to Thriving

In the bustling realm of high achievers, where the demands of leadership, entrepreneurship, parenting, and business intertwine, overwhelm often looms as an unwelcome companion. The pursuit of greatness can sometimes lead to a chaotic juggling act, leaving us feeling stretched thin and struggling to keep up with the multitude of roles we play. But fear not, for this blog post is your beacon of guidance in navigating this terrain.

Our journey begins by tapping into identifying our relationship with overwhelm. We must peel back the layers and understand how this all-too-familiar foe affects us. To master overwhelm, we must first recognize its presence in our lives.

Next, we delve into clarifying the roles of perspective, priorities, and purpose. These three pillars form the foundation of our approach to conquering overwhelm. By gaining clarity on our perspective, honing our priorities, and defining our purpose, we create a roadmap for navigating life’s complexities with intention and purpose.

Embracing the process and power of self-reflection is a crucial step on our journey. Self-reflection is the mirror that allows us to see our inner landscape clearly. It helps us identify the triggers of overwhelm, our strengths, and areas for growth. Through self-reflection, we gain insight into our thought patterns and behaviors, enabling us to make intentional changes.

But the journey doesn’t stop there. We are committed to building strategies that transform overwhelm from a foe into a friend. Efficiency, the revered hallmark of growth-oriented individuals, often feels like a symphony of productivity. The rhythmic ticking off of tasks generates a profound sense of accomplishment—a reminder that we hold the reins of time. Yet, in this dance of productivity, a formidable challenge arises when life’s unexpected disruptions shatter the graceful pattern we’ve woven. It’s then that we must heed the words of Stephen R. Covey: “The key is in not spending time, but in investing it.” This revelation marks the genesis of our journey towards mastering the presence of overwhelm.

In the throes of overwhelm, the energy that normally fuels our cognitive prowess retracts from its command center—the prefrontal cortex (PFC). This cerebral hub orchestrates a symphony of intricate functions, from planning to decision-making to insightful epiphanies. Regrettably, stress acts as a siphon, diverting vital resources away from the PFC and thereby eroding its effectiveness.

In stark contrast, the amygdala, often referred to as the “reptile brain,” remains steadfast in its primal roots. Acting as an ever-watchful sentinel, it detects stressors and sounds the alarm for the fight-or-flight response, ushering in anxiety—the heartbeat of overwhelm.

While the amygdala stands as a proud sentinel, the prefrontal cortex, nestled within the frontal lobe, represents a newcomer in the evolutionary timeline. Responsible for focusing our attention, making ethical judgments, navigating complex decisions, and adhering to societal norms, it proves susceptible to the ravages of stress, often leading to irritability and detachment.

The path to restoring the prefrontal cortex’s resilience is paved with mindful steps. It requires not only tempering the fight-or-flight response but also nurturing the cortex’s durability. The cultivation of meaningful social connections, the embrace of mindfulness practices, and the pursuit of therapeutic guidance act as powerful catalysts in the development of coping mechanisms and heightened self-awareness.

But the choice is yours: do you commit the insights gleaned from this exploration to paper, casting aside hesitation and judgment, or do you brush off the abundance of information presented, a choice that acknowledges the weight of the content?

As we stand amidst the deluge of tasks and responsibilities, a beacon of hope emerges: the beacon of prioritization. Effective time management is not a tale of ceaseless toil; rather, it’s the art of making intentional choices that optimize your use of time. Prioritization, goal setting, meticulous planning, strategic delegation, and a firm stance against the siren call of multitasking are among the strategies that elevate productivity and focus.

Prioritization isn’t a mere task; it’s a skill that empowers high achievers to align their personal and professional pursuits judiciously. By understanding the value of priorities, individuals can harmonize work and life, leading to improved productivity, reduced stress, and enhanced decision-making. Sustainability and profitability intertwine, creating a tapestry of success. High achievers who invest in self-care, continual learning, and meaningful connections reap the rewards of integrated success.

As you embark on this journey armed with knowledge, determination, and the willingness to evolve, you will transform your relationship with overwhelm. It’s a transformation that promises not just survival but true thriving. The optimization of time isn’t just a tool; it’s a way of life. With each deliberate choice, you carve out space for growth, creativity, and fulfillment.

In the orchestra of life, success isn’t solely measured by the volume of achievements. It’s defined by the harmony between your aspirations and your actions. Effective time management is your conductor’s baton, guiding you to invest your most valuable resource—time—where it truly matters. By doing so, you craft a future where you’re in control, stress is tamed, and your potential unfurls its wings.

So, embark on this journey with courage. As you master the symphony of time management, you’ll discover that you’re not just a player in life’s orchestra—you’re its virtuoso. Your crescendo of achievements will resonate, not only as a testament to your hard work but as a melody of balance, purpose, and fulfillment.

Are you an Architect of Joy?

The Power of the Pause

Welcome to a journey of self-discovery and intentional decision-making. In a world filled with constant stimulation and endless distractions, it’s easy to lose sight of who we are and what truly matters to us. But by taking the time to actively and intentionally make decisions, we can become architects of our own boundaries, creating a life that aligns with our values and brings us joy. Today, let’s explore the power of the PAUSE and how it can transform our lives for the better.

As a certified Life Coach, I work with individuals and groups on an individual and group basis. Specializing in boundaries and empowerment, I work with the divine gift within all of us to find joy and to give joy in a sustainable and liberating way for all! Using holistic and science-based approaches, each individual is uniquely working toward their own goals, but we all need to learn the Power of the Pause!

The Space Between Stimulus and Response:

Have you ever noticed the moments when you react impulsively, without pausing to consider the consequences? By cultivating a habit of pausing, we create a space between the stimulus and our response. In this space lies our power to choose. It’s in this moment that we can ask ourselves, “Do I truly want to engage in this situation? Is this my responsibility? What are my options? Is there someone else who could do it?” By acknowledging this choice, we empower ourselves to respond consciously rather than reactively.

Know Thyself:

To become an architect of boundaries, we must first know ourselves. This is not about striving for perfection, but rather understanding what is divinely ours, what truly matters to us, and what we are willing to protect and share with the world. This self-awareness is unique to each of us, and it forms the foundation upon which we build our boundaries. So, take the time to pause, reflect, and embrace the joy of discovering who you are. When you know who you are, it becomes easier to know where you are going safely. As your life coach today, finding ourselves may be challenging with all of the noise today, but the intuitive and long-lasting benefits are far greater!

Embracing Curiosity:

Intellectual curiosity is the driving force behind intentional decision-making. By questioning why we do the things we do, we unlock a deeper understanding of ourselves. Curiosity encourages us to explore our desires, values, and aspirations. It propels us to examine our choices and determine what truly aligns with our authentic selves. So, let curiosity be your guide as you embark on this journey of self-discovery.

Navigating the Challenges:

Creating boundaries requires practice, endurance, and support. Just like building a marathoner’s stamina, it’s a journey that begins early and continues throughout our lives. Start by establishing your individual and partner values and goals, and revise them regularly as you grow. Engage in open conversations, using “I” statements to express your needs and desires. Remember, it’s crucial to allow others to opt-in and respect their boundaries too. Stay clear, consistent, and don’t be afraid to ask for space when needed. Taking the pause is perfectly okay.

By taking the time to actively and intentionally make decisions, we become architects of our own boundaries. We free ourselves from living a life without direction and embrace a joyful existence aligned with our true selves. The power to choose lies within the pause, the space between stimulus and response. So, I invite you to reach out to me, a life coach, for a consultation. Let’s embark on this journey together and design a life that reflects who you truly are.

Remember, it all starts with the PAUSE.

You have choices!

If you are struggling with this, please check out the perspective shifting self-guided journey with the Course for Joy. This content packed series offers you an invitation to finding and giving more joy!

In just 15 minutes a few times each week, our enlightening video lessons and engaging workbooks will guide you through self-discovery and growth.

As a special bonus, when you enroll in the “Course for Joy,” you’ll receive an exclusive 50-minute live 1:1 coaching session with me. We’ll celebrate your progress and create a roadmap for your journey ahead.

Ready to paint your life with vibrant joy and purpose? Follow this link to learn more about the transformative “Course for Joy.” Let’s amplify your joy and ignite your purpose – together.  As your boundaries and empowerment coach, we will walk side by side to bring you through the hard things to find and give joy.

You are so worth it!

The Pursuit of Joy: Making Sense of Happiness and Suffering

In our quest for joy, we often find ourselves entangled in the complexities of life. We frequently experience moments of unhappiness and suffering, longing for a state of joy and contentment. This conversation needs space to explore the profound distinction between happiness and suffering, delving into the idea that true joy is independent of external circumstances, and that suffering can be transformed into a purposeful journey.

Our human condition, with its deep-rooted memory and intense imagination, can lead us down the path of unnecessary suffering. This is the illusion of suffering. We tend to project our fears and anxieties into the future or dwell on past regrets, causing immense distress. However, it is important to recognize that suffering and happiness are not prerequisites for joy. It is merely a product of our perception and mental state standing in the way of our joy.

Life is a constant interplay between happiness and suffering. While suffering may arise naturally, joy is always within our reach. It is essential to understand that finding this peace is not contingent on external factors. It is a state of being that can be cultivated by acknowledging and embracing the present moment. The challenge lies in consciously choosing how we interact with life despite the circumstances, actively working towards inner peace and contentment. Actively seeking joy.

To comprehend the true nature of joy, we must differentiate it from happiness. Happiness is often dependent on external circumstances, such as achieving goals or acquiring possessions. Whichever it is, we spend a great deal of our resources (time, money, energy, etc.) in an effort to please the expectations we think others hold of us. In this way, we seek approval from our external sources. We think we will be happy when we make others happy even at our own expense. This is the illusion of happiness. 
On the other hand, joy transcends these conditions. It is a birthright, an innate state of being that can be experienced despite life’s ups and downs. By understanding this distinction, we can liberate ourselves from the limitations of external validation and find lasting joy within.

We often fall into the trap of believing that certain achievements or possessions will bring us lasting happiness. We may think, “Once I get that job, then I’ll be happy,” or “If I earn a higher income, I’ll finally find contentment.” Or we may think, “If I lose those last ten pounds, “ or “If I get the diamond ring,” or “If I just suck it up a little longer…” This is the illusion of more. However, this mindset perpetuates suffering as we constantly seek more, expecting external circumstances to provide lasting fulfillment. True joy arises when we awaken to the present moment, appreciating what we have and embracing the richness of life as it unfolds.

The Stoic philosopher Seneca wisely noted, “We suffer more often in imagination than in reality.” Our minds often create elaborate scenarios of suffering that rarely materialize. By recognizing this tendency, we can alleviate unnecessary suffering and focus on purposeful growth. Embracing practices such as mindfulness, self-reflection, and resilience can help us navigate the challenges of life without succumbing to needless anguish. This results in the opportunity for transformation. 

But transformation doesn’t come in a vacuum. In my experience, I had to get out of my own way in order to embrace this idea – the idea that happiness and suffering are inevitable, it’s what we do about it that makes the difference. In so many instances, it was coaching that allowed me to open my mind, but all of this was enhanced by what I absorb, by what I ponder, and by what I read.

Here are some books that have helped me make sense of these ideas that may help you on your journey: 

Wisdom Simplified: “The Four Agreements”

Author Don Miguel Ruiz offers a powerful framework in his book, “The Four Agreements.” These agreements—Be Impeccable With Your Word, Don’t Take Anything Personally, Don’t Make Assumptions, and Always Do Your Best—can guide us toward freedom, true joy, and love. By aligning our actions with these principles, we can cultivate healthier relationships, let go of unnecessary suffering, and experience greater joy in our lives.

Embracing Creative Living: “Big Magic”

Author Elizabeth Gilbert encourages us to unleash our creativity and pursue what brings us joy. She advises us to let go of needless suffering, embrace curiosity, and face our fears. By adopting an attitude of playfulness and exploration, we can tap into our hidden potentials and live a more fulfilling life. Gilbert reminds us that within each of us lie unique gifts waiting to be discovered.

The Power of Community: “Tribe”

Drawing from history and anthropology, author Sebastian Junger sheds light on the innate human behaviors of loyalty, inter-reliance, and cooperation. During times of suffering and turmoil, these behaviors emerge, fostering a sense of belonging and unity. Recognizing our shared experiences and supporting one another in times of need can help alleviate individual suffering and create a more compassionate and resilient society.

Happiness and suffering are intertwined aspects of the human experience. There’s no escaping it. While they may be inevitable, it is not a prerequisite for happiness. By cultivating mindfulness, choosing joy in the present moment, and embracing purposeful growth, we can transcend suffering and lead a more fulfilling life. Let us remember that joy and fulfillment are not a destination but a journey we can embark upon right now, empowering ourselves to create a life of true joy and contentment.

If you are ready to take this journey, I am ready to meet you there. Request a consult here!

If you aren’t ready yet, please enjoy the bonus segments of my podcast. It is the Live Joy of Tarot where you get 30 minutes of content-rich conversation between myself and Lisa Trancredi of the Feel Better Group. It will get your mind thinking of how you can build perspective and power to find peace.

Thank you and make it a great day!
Much Love, ~M✨

Reclaim Your Rhythm: Embracing the Magic of a Morning Routine After a Vacation! 🍋

We just got back from an incredible trip to Tennessee. The people, the music, the excitement, the family, the time, the joy, and the glorious geography were more than we could have hoped for! We set aside the clocks and the unending to-do list and made space to simply be together which was our goal!

What I didn’t do was maintain the routines I keep in my day to day that support and complement my mind, body, and soul. The exercise, the diet, the meditations, you name it were all shifted or pushed to the side. This is okay. This was intentional. This was what I wanted. But it definitely threw me off my game. 

After indulging in a rejuvenating vacation, it’s not uncommon to feel a little off your game upon returning to your daily routine. The transition from carefree relaxation to the demands of everyday life can leave you yearning for that same sense of joy and balance. This is where the magic of a well-crafted morning routine comes into play. 

For many years, I wanted to be the kind of person who had a morning routine. I wasn’t. I wasn’t sleeping well, I was drinking too much, I was watching too much stupid TV. I was not making decisions that a person who wants a morning routine would make. So I had to make space for this ritual, but today, it is beyond routine and has become a lifestyle.

This takes dedication and desire, but by dedicating time to nurture yourself in the morning, you can set the tone for the day ahead, infusing it with warmth, joy, and a renewed sense of purpose. Let’s explore the importance of embracing a morning routine, especially after a vacation, and how it can help you get back on track with a smile.

  1. Reclaiming Your Rhythm: A vacation often disrupts our established patterns, and while the break is essential for recharging, returning to our daily lives can leave us feeling disconnected. A morning routine acts as an anchor, helping us regain a sense of rhythm and stability. By establishing a consistent wake-up time and following a series of calming rituals, we create a familiar structure that sets a positive tone for the rest of the day.
  2. Cultivating Mindfulness: Mornings offer a unique opportunity to practice mindfulness, which is especially valuable after a vacation that may have allowed your mind to wander freely. Incorporating activities such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or journaling into your morning routine helps you recenter your thoughts and reconnect with the present moment. This intentional mindfulness helps you appreciate the simple joys of life and enhances your overall well-being.
  3. Nurturing Self-Care: A vacation provides a temporary escape from the demands of everyday life, allowing us to prioritize self-care. However, it’s important to carry that sense of self-nurturing into our daily routines. Include activities in your morning routine that replenish your energy and bring you joy. It could be as simple as savoring a cup of tea, taking a leisurely walk, or engaging in a creative pursuit. Prioritizing self-care in the morning sets a positive tone for the day and reminds you to make time for yourself amidst life’s obligations.
  4. Boosting Productivity: A well-structured morning routine not only enhances your well-being but also boosts your productivity. By starting the day with intention and focus, you set the stage for greater efficiency and accomplishment. Incorporate activities that align with your goals and values, such as planning your day, reviewing your priorities, or engaging in light physical exercise. This proactive approach empowers you to tackle your tasks with clarity and enthusiasm.
  5. Creating Positive Momentum: After a vacation, it’s common to feel a slight slump or lack of motivation. A morning routine infused with joy and positivity can be a powerful tool to combat these feelings. Incorporate activities that uplift your spirit, such as listening to uplifting music, practicing gratitude, or visualizing your goals. These small acts of self-care and positivity create an upward spiral of motivation and optimism that propels you forward throughout the day.

The one step I do my very best not to skip is my morning lemon water. The benefits are many and continued practice will start your day with a little zest!

To maximize the benefits of warm lemon water, it is recommended to enjoy it first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach. Yes, you read that right! Essentially, when your feet hit the ground, their next move is to the warm lemon water. Starting your day with this (and a meditation, breathing exercise, journaling or whatever works for you is a nice pairing) sets the stage for a vibrant and balanced beginning.

Let’s explore the benefits that await you (thank you to ChatGPT for this nicely summarized list⬇️):

1️⃣ Revitalizes and Energizes: The tangy infusion of warm lemon water jumpstarts your metabolism, providing a natural energy boost to begin your day with renewed vitality.

2️⃣ Supports Digestion and Detoxification: Lemon water gently cleanses your digestive system, promoting optimal digestion, and aiding in the elimination of toxins. It stimulates the production of digestive juices, fostering a healthy gut environment.

3️⃣ Boosts Immune System: Rich in vitamin C, lemons fortify your immune system, empowering it to ward off illnesses and enhance your overall resilience.

4️⃣ Hydrates and Rejuvenates: Sip on warm lemon water to replenish your cells and restore vital electrolytes. Adequate hydration contributes to a radiant complexion and an inner vibrancy that shines through.

Here are a few quick instructions I follow:

  1. Do not check your phone or other inputs.
  2. Choose your perfect mug. Mine is used only for my lemon water. It says Mama Bird.
  3. Squeeze the juice of half a fresh lemon into a mug or cup. Any will do, but when I am home, I am partial to one particular mug reserved for this ritual.
  4. Warm some water (not boiling hot) and pour it over the lemon juice. This is not HOT lemon water. This is warm lemon water. Let it be palatable.
  5. Do not check your phone or do the dirty dishes during this time. Simply stay present – breath or stretch or look out a window. Do not check your phone.
  6. Stir gently and allow the flavors to meld for a couple of minutes. Stay present in this. Keep your intention on what you are choosing to do at this moment. Stir with calm attention.
  7. Find a cozy space to sit. You do not need a special pillow or music – you simply need to find comfort.
  8. Sip slowly, savoring each sip and let the lemony essence awaken your senses.
  9. You still have not checked your phone. You savor the tincture and the timeout. You stay intent on a day that has everything it needs.
  10. As you finish, find gratitude for this moment of relief and rejuvenation. Say it outloud.
  11. Wait at least thirty minutes (when possible) before eating or drinking (especially coffee) to let the lemon do its job!
  12. Consistency is paramount! Make this a cherished part of your daily routine to reap the remarkable benefits it offers.

So, as the sun rises, reach for that cup of warm lemon water and relish its goodness on an empty stomach. Allow this simple ritual to become a cherished part of your morning routine, and experience the transformative impact it can have on your well-being.

As you step back into your daily routine after a blissful vacation, don’t underestimate the power of a well-crafted morning routine. By embracing the beauty of mornings and infusing them with warmth, joy, and purpose, you can reclaim your sense of balance and bring back the magic of your vacation. Take the time to cultivate mindfulness, nurture yourself, boost productivity, and create positive momentum each morning. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself thriving in the joy of the present moment, setting the stage for a fulfilling and successful day ahead. So, rise and shine, and let your morning routine be the springboard to a life brimming with possibilities.

Wishing you a refreshing and vibrant start to each day!

Fear’s Antidote

Oprah says that we do all things from a place of either fear or love. We know we love the love part, but too often we hate (and therefore avoid) the fear part. Fear isn’t all it’s cracked up to be – it is vital to our survival and exists only to keep us alive. Yes – our cavemen brains still think tigers are going to attack us, and though we aren’t often in a position to be attacked by tigers, our brain’s attention to fear is real and can be pervasive. It is in these times that we need to explore how faith and the willingness to practice can help us confront our fears and live with joy and confidence.

Fear is a natural and necessary part of being human. It’s a programmed, evolutionary defense mechanism that helps us to avoid danger and stay alive. However, fear can also hold us backrestrain us from taking risks and pursuing our dreams. It’s important to recognize that fear is not necessarily a bad thing – in fact, it can be very useful in keeping us safe. But when fear is the only thing driving us, we may miss out on opportunities for growth and fulfillment.

To overcome our fears, we need to have faith in ourselves and in the universe. We need to believe that we have the strength and resilience to face whatever challenges come our way. Faith allows us to embrace uncertainty and to trust that everything will work out in the end. Faith can mean different things to different people – it may be a belief in a higher power, in oneself, or in the goodness of the universe. Whatever form it takes, faith can be a powerful tool in overcoming fear.

But faith alone is not enough. To build faith, we must be willing to practice. We need to be willing to take small steps towards our goals, even if we’re afraid. We need to be willing to try new things and to learn from our mistakes. This is where the concept of willingness comes in. It’s not enough to simply have faith – we need to be willing to take action. It’s often said that action is the antidote to fear, and this is true. By taking small steps towards our goals, we build confidence and resilience. We learn that failure is not the end of the world, but rather an opportunity to learn and grow. We learn that we are capable of more than we ever imagined.

So I encourage you to have faith in yourself and in the universe, and to be willing to practice. Embrace uncertainty and take small steps towards your goals, even if you’re afraid. Believe that you have the strength and resilience to face whatever challenges come your way. It’s important to remember that this is a journey, not a destination. We may never completely overcome our fears, but by having faith and practicing willingness, we can learn to live with them in a way that allows us to pursue our dreams and live with joy and confidence.

With faith and practice, you can confront your fears and live with joy and confidence. You can overcome any obstacle and achieve your dreams. If you need support finding this space for yourself, working with a coach can help you get there. Sign up here for a 30-minute consultation!

May faith and willingness to practice guide you on your journey to joy!

#findjoy #givejoy #facingfears #overcomingfear #havefaith #practice #believeinyourself #growthmindset #smallsteps #resilience #joyfuljourney #selfimprovement #selfdevelopment #lifegoals #positiveattitude #motivation #inspiration #mindfulness #mindset #mentalhealth #emotionalwellbeing #gratitude #lifecoach

I Used to Suck at Sleeping…You?

Are you one of those people who suck at sleeping? Are you tolerating the consequences? Good sleep is not an easy feat, and you are not alone. It’s a journey, but one that’s definitely worth it.

I used to be terrible at sleeping. I was tolerating a life without true sleep. I would toss and turn all night ruminating on the troubles of my mind and heart and judging my inability to simply sleep. I was waking up feeling groggy and irritable. But then I made a choice. I chose to see myself as a person who could get better at sleep, and I knew that I was worth it. And with time, patience, and a few tricks, I’ve gotten a lot better at sleeping.

Now, I’m not saying that I have all the answers. I’ve tried all the things, from tracking my sleep to buying all the pillows and finding the right sleep mask. I use a weighted blanket, listen to binaural beats for sleep, choose hot tea over alcohol (most days), wash my face routinely, turn off the screen, pick up a book, and get in bed at a reasonable time (most days). And while these things have helped, the most important factor has been my mindset.

In order to be the kind of person that sleeps well, I had to hold the mindset of a person who sleeps well. It is work. But it is work I will continue to do.

By choosing to prioritize my sleep and seeing myself as someone who deserves quality rest, the benefits are abundant. And you can too! Here are just a few of the amazing benefits of getting a real good night’s sleep:

  • Reduced stress: Sleep is crucial for regulating cortisol levels, the hormone responsible for stress. When you get enough rest, you’ll feel more relaxed and less overwhelmed.
  • Improved mood: When you’re well-rested, you’ll be more likely to wake up feeling refreshed and optimistic. This can help boost your mood and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
  • Avoid sickness: Sleep is essential for a healthy immune system. When you get enough rest, your body can better fight off illness and infection.
  • Reduced health issues: Poor sleep has been linked to a range of health issues, from heart disease to diabetes to obesity. By prioritizing your sleep, you can reduce your risk of these and other health problems.
  • Support healthy weight: Lack of sleep has been linked to weight gain and obesity. When you’re well-rested, you’ll be more likely to make healthy food choices and stick to your exercise routine.
  • Enhanced mental clarity: Sleep is crucial for cognitive function. When you’re well-rested, you’ll be able to think more clearly, make better decisions, and improve your memory.
  • Improved productivity: When you’re tired, it’s hard to focus and get things done. By prioritizing your sleep, you’ll be more productive and efficient throughout the day.
  • Better decision-making: Lack of sleep can impair your judgment and decision-making skills. By getting enough rest, you’ll be better equipped to make smart, safe decisions.

All of these benefits support you in achieving your goals, whether it’s in your personal or professional life. As a life coach, I can help you achieve your goals from sleep to relationships to boundaries and beyond through tailored guidance and support.

If you’re ready to feel empowered and take control of your life, I would love to help! Schedule a 30-minute consultation with me, where we’ll have a relaxed conversation about your unique needs and goals from sleep to so much more. I’ll provide you with personalized guidance and support to help you achieve the life you desire. Let’s embark on this journey together!

Are you ready to feel empowered and take control of your life? Let’s start by getting a good night’s sleep! Follow along on social media to get to know more about the work I do! I’m here to support you on your journey, and I can’t wait to help you unlock your full potential. Schedule a 30-minute consultation with me to get personalized guidance and support. Together, we can make your dreams a reality!

#sleepbenefits #selfcare #selfimprovement #sleepwell #productivitytips #mentalclarity #stressrelief #lifecoach #wellnesscoach #healthylifestyle #goals #mindbodyspirit #mindsetshift #healthylife #selflove #personaldevelopment

7 Signs Your Authentic Self is Shining Through

Are you tired of feeling like you’re living a life that’s not true to who you really are? Are you ready to embrace your authentic self and show up in the world as the real you? If so, you’re not alone. Many people struggle with finding their true selves and living authentically. But the good news is that there are signs that can help you know when your authentic self is shining through. Here are 7 of them:

1. Boundaries are now your superpower

When you’re living authentically, you know your limits and you’re not afraid to enforce them. You’re able to set boundaries that protect your time, energy, and emotions, and you’re not afraid to say no to things that don’t align with your values or priorities.

2. Your awareness has been raised around noticing behaviors

Living authentically requires a heightened sense of self-awareness. You become more in tune with your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and you’re able to recognize when you’re acting in a way that’s not aligned with your authentic self. You’re also more aware of the behaviors of others and how they may be impacting you.

3. You’re more in tune with your emotional responses

One of the most important aspects of living authentically is being able to express your emotions in a healthy way. When your authentic self is shining through, you’re more in tune with your emotional responses and you’re able to express them in a way that’s authentic and true to who you are.

4. You’re able to hold multiple truths at the same time

Living authentically isn’t about having all the answers or having a single, fixed identity. It’s about being able to hold multiple truths at the same time and allowing yourself to grow and evolve over time. When your authentic self is shining through, you’re able to embrace the complexities of life and hold multiple perspectives without feeling conflicted or confused.

5. You’re ager to learn new things, cultivate deeper connections, and find more peace in your life

Living authentically is a journey, not a destination. When your authentic self is shining through, you’re always eager to learn new things, deepen your connections with others, and find more peace in your life. You’re not afraid to take risks, try new things, and challenge yourself to grow and evolve.

6. You understand that other people’s issues and projections have nothing to do with you

One of the biggest obstacles to living authentically is the opinions and projections of others. When your authentic self is shining through, you understand that other people’s issues and projections have nothing to do with you. You don’t take it personally when someone tries to bring you down or when they don’t understand your journey.

7. You feel a sense of calm and contentment within yourself, and you’re able to show up authentically in all areas of your life

Finally, when your authentic self is shining through, you feel a sense of calm and contentment within yourself. You’re able to show up authentically in all areas of your life, from your personal relationships to your professional endeavors. You’re not afraid to be yourself, and you know that your authentic self is worthy of love, respect, and acceptance.

If you’re struggling to connect with your authentic self, a certified life coach can help you navigate the journey. A life coach can help you identify and overcome the obstacles that are holding you back from living your most authentic life. Remember, the journey to self-discovery is a rewarding one, and you are worth it!

Schedule your 30-minute inquiry consult here now!

The Window to the Soul

A reflection on Elie Wiesel’s Night and what we can learn today.

It was my first year teaching. At the time, I was very clear that I had a lot to learn about the profession, but I found myself overwhelmed with how much I had to learn from my students. 

In a sophomore English class (World Literature), we were reading the ever important Memoir by Elie Wiesel, Night. One motif carried through the narrative is the use of eyes as mirrors and windows to the soul. In a presentation on the topic, one young man finished with this: “If the eyes are the window to the soul, many of us need to open them up, dust them out, and let the fresh air in.”

This sticks with me to this day. I remember my jaw dropping with a dumbfounded sense of awe at the visual he created and the sudden urgency I had to tell every single person I knew to bust open and refresh their souls. This message became one I would teach for years to come, and it has become a baseline belief of the work I do as a Life Coach.

✨When was the last time each of us took note of those cobwebs or distortions to the lenses we use to create our worlds? 

✨When was the last time you were clear on what your eyes were sharing about your soul?

✨When was the last time you dusted out the old ways of believing to allow your truth, as it is today, to shine through?

✨When was the last time you gave yourself permission to become the most true mirror of your soul?

I believe that clearing the way for authenticity to shine is the most direct path to individual joy and connection. It is my mission in life to help empower others to find this gem within and share it with the world, and you are personally invited to take the journey with me!

The world is going mad trying to divide us from one another and from ourselves, I would like to invite you back✨

Like the Joy,Inc page across social media @MyJoyCoach to follow along, share it with a friend or family member who needs to turn up the volume on their spirit, and reach out when you are ready to do the same!

Working with a coach can do just this. Together we can open up the windows, let some fresh air in, clear out the cobwebs, and move forward with clarity.

Much Love, 


Tattoos and Mindset Revisions

Last week I was asked about finding “ᴡᴏʀᴋ-ʟɪꜰᴇ ʙᴀʟᴀɴᴄᴇ”.  I giggled out loud a little bit, for this was one of my first questions to my first coach. I said to her, “I cannot seem to find it. ⚖️ It is hiding from me.”

There was a time in life when I thought I understood balance: It meant equal, stable, deeply rooted, and unperturbed by my conditions. Strong and firm. I wanted to hold on to this idea so much that I got the word tattooed on my left wrist to help me  ‘remember’ to stay balanced. 

In so many instances of the unfortunate conditions in my life that left me feeling wobbly⚖️, I would look at my wrist and get frustrated at my inability to maintain my balance (the strong and firm one that could withstand anything…gracefully). My inked reminder wasn’t working as it was supposed to. I wanted to see the word, remember the definition, and simply be balanced in the place I was.

When I realized, through work with my own incredible coaches, that balance can only be found within constant motion (the pull between happiness and suffering, work and life, healthy and unhealthy), and that it is my ability (or lack thereof at times in my life) to align with it that allows joy to shine (or joy to wait patiently in the corner), I was changed forever.

We see this dance in the push and pull of every moment between centrifugal force and gravity. It is undeniable that balance and stasis are not the same thing.

It is a reminder that change is the only constant: We can stand firm against it, or we can move with it. In this way, work-life balance (as so many other struggles) simply becomes an inquiry into:

✨𝕎𝕙𝕒𝕥 𝕕𝕠 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕧𝕒𝕝𝕦𝕖?

✨ℍ𝕠𝕨 𝕕𝕠 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕤𝕡𝕖𝕟𝕕 𝕪𝕠𝕦𝕣 𝕣𝕖𝕤𝕠𝕦𝕣𝕔𝕖𝕤 (𝕥𝕚𝕞𝕖 𝕒𝕟𝕕 𝕖𝕟𝕖𝕣𝕘𝕪)?

✨𝕎𝕙𝕒𝕥 𝕡𝕒𝕣𝕥(𝕤) 𝕠𝕗 𝕝𝕚𝕗𝕖 𝕤𝕖𝕖𝕞 𝕠𝕦𝕥 𝕠𝕗 𝕒𝕝𝕚𝕘𝕟𝕞𝕖𝕟𝕥?

✨𝕎𝕙𝕒𝕥 𝕤𝕙𝕚𝕗𝕥 𝕔𝕒𝕟 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕞𝕒𝕜𝕖 𝕥𝕠 𝕘𝕖𝕥 𝕔𝕝𝕠𝕤𝕖𝕣 𝕥𝕠 𝕒𝕝𝕚𝕘𝕟𝕞𝕖𝕟𝕥 𝕨𝕚𝕥𝕙 𝕪𝕠𝕦𝕣 𝕧𝕒𝕝𝕦𝕖𝕤 𝕒𝕟𝕕 𝕣𝕖𝕤𝕠𝕦𝕣𝕔𝕖𝕤.

In a safe and judgment free space, we get curious about what drives you toward your goals and what steers you away from your goals. We stretch and hold tight, we look outward and within, we celebrate and we struggle. But we will get you there if you are ready to find the joy within the ebb and flow of life’s conditions. 

Until then, to get you started on your journey to embracing the ever changing world of “ᴡᴏʀᴋ-ʟɪꜰᴇ ʙᴀʟᴀɴᴄᴇ” (or whatever you are seeking), I have a few nuggets of gold for you. I did not write this list, but it’s really a great starting point for finding the right balance for your particular work-life needs. A huge thank you to Marisa Sanfilippo, Business News Daily Contributing Writer, for summarizing it so nicely. Read the full article for more insights – they are good! Together, we can tackle all of these:

1. Accept that there is no ‘perfect’ work-life balance.

2. Find a job that you love.

3. Prioritize your health.

4. Don’t be afraid to unplug.

5. Take a vacation.

6. Make time for yourself and your loved ones.

7. Set boundaries and work hours.

8. Set goals and priorities (and stick to them).

Balance is never hiding from us.  It is always pulling us in each moment – to find the right balance for that right moment – always knowing it could change in the next. It requires your full involvement as well as your ability to shift and wobble and always seek to re-align. 

I didn’t disparage my tattoo as incomplete, but I decided to bring a new reminder to my left wrist – one that recognizes growth and change and adversity and triumph. So I got my #fourlittlebirds (Birdyshaw Family, Party of 4) tattooed above the precious word. Each bird is in its own stage of flight, in its own direction, in its own way heading forward – ever changing. Despite using the same ink to create them, they each have their own shading and appearance – so similar yet so different. My darling Birds remind me that though we move and fly through life, it is the adjustment to the wind that keeps us moving forward✨

Much Love, 

✨ Michaela