Righteous Anger: How COVID Effed With My Growth Mindset

I spent the last decade fully bought into the self development world and dabbling in spirituality, mindfulness, and now neuroscience. I am the one with the growth mindset, the perspective, the flowery words and the lilting, leading tone to make you believe in something within as well as something bigger than you. I still believe it. Ish.

“Pandemic,” as my friends are now referring to it, has added an edge to my grace, a darkness to my dry humor, and heart palpitations for added measure. This was the year my startup was to find investors. The year my weird little blended family was going to click into place. This was the year that all the manifesting I did was going to bloom and show itself.

Instead I write this in the robe I slept in and next to an unlit Christmas tree I put up way too early in the hopes I could usher in the spirit of joy. My toxic positivity was going to save us with peppermint-spiked everything and The Grinch and Home Alone on repeat. I jingle jangled all over the living room almost exactly a week before my boyfriend’s daughter showed her first mild signs of COVID. By the time my boyfriend was knocked out on the couch, feverish and covered with a blanket like Jesus in the shroud of Turin, I knew we were in trouble.

We did the things we were supposed to do. We separated everyone, notified the exes and anyone we could’ve exposed. Everyone got tested. Up the nose, tears, with pleading, “I’m so scared,” squeezed hands and the RN’s sigh, “I really hate testing children.” She stopped for a moment and locked eyes with me over Liv’s sobs. It was a glimpse of her exhaustion, her humanity and a defeated moment where we both nodded, understanding what wasn’t being said.

The positives, as I’ve now lovingly named them, are isolated upstairs with all the devices, arts & crafts, Chloroseptic, pain relievers, and fluids their little hearts could desire. In rapid succession our co-parents have made care package deliveries for both children because we are the modern #coparentinginapandemicgoals family. All the women in this village agree we like each other more than the men most of the time and that we really should have our own reality show.

My daughter and I – the negatives – wait. For what, we haven’t figured out yet. Are we waiting for the first signs of illness, the health of our loved ones, the aliens that would not even be outlandish for 2020 at this point?

When we are not waiting I deliver meals and meds to closed doors and clean like I alone will uncover the physical veil between us and the matrix. My daughter has named my delivery service, “Momazon,” and my house is run like a Navy Destroyer ship. She is currently creating a comic book (from the art supplies dad just dropped off) where COVarty, the villain, is being beaten by the hero of this story, “Momazon,” complete with the robe, “that hair” as she refers to it, and fluffy Cheetah slippers.

There are roll call texts in the morning, instructions for movement, bathing, laundry, trash pick up, lunch, snack and dinner Momazon deliveries, and lots and lots of FaceTime calls. Some between my boyfriend and I as we confirm symptoms and discuss what he will eat with a throat on fire. The evening FaceTime call has taken place of our family evening prayers.

There are days when it is really funny. When my boyfriend peeks his head out of his lair, fully masked, and says, “I am an independent man. You don’t control me. I do what I want. I go where I want to go,” and then turns and retreats to where I’ve banished him to cough and sputter until he gets his next charge of energy.

There are days when it is really hard. When trying to serve, care for and keep myself and my daughter healthy feels overwhelming. When the positives really want to move and the boredom and malaise makes them mopey. When I have to tell a ten year old child she has to stay isolated even though she feels much better than she did when this unholy disease found its way into our lives. When I just want to find a time machine or know the ending to this particular story.

A very close friend called, “Tell me. The real.” I laughed, “I’m mad. I have done everything to keep this God-forsaken virus out of my house and it is in here with its spikes and its bullshit infesting my home and my people and I’m fucking angry.”

He said that was a good place to be.

Optimism is great when it serves you, but this is not a space where I’m about to share lessons learned. No, I want to tell you that this is not my favorite situation. Maybe in two years we’ll have lessons learned and life will be so good we can sit within the glow of toxic positivity once again, like naive grifters selling themselves on their own grass instead of the green on the other side. Maybe we won’t have to do that because we’ll have seen both sides and we’ll land in the middle, fully embodying our growth and the traits that make us survivors. Maybe “Pandemic” is what bridges us from our extremes and our need to box ourselves in and create ways to judge our very humanness.

But today?

I am riddled with anxiety and panic attacks as I hear the positives coughing. I forced my boyfriend to change the subject when he started the “handling affairs” convo and wanted to make sure I knew how to get in touch with his family. I feel bad/sorrowful/apologetic that I’m caring for two girls who deserve to be playing with their friends, hugging their other parents and siblings. I apologized to my daughter last night. I told her that I’m supposed to keep her safe. It is my biggest charge as her mom and I feel like I’ve failed her… as we wait… for what we still don’t know. She wouldn’t accept my apology. She said there was no need for it, because “you are the best mom ever.”

I don’t know what tomorrow brings.

I don’t know much of anything and that is becoming the space I now hold and hold well. Just being. Just making the next best decision. Just feeding people because it is the thing I can do. It is the only thing I can control. The kitchen and my iPhone have become my command deck and I promise you everyone feels safer, calmer and more at ease because I act like I know what I’m doing and I’m really good at telling people what to do. #momlife

Right this second I know that I made the breakfast Momazon deliveries and everyone is comfortable.

I know that I will serve pineapple as a lunchtime side for two of the people in the house, because the third only likes things that are “4% sour.” She’ll get strawberries.

I know that I am a really good mom.

I know that I lucked out in the co-parent lottery with an entire group of people across multiple homes who all act like we share DNA.

I know there are no certainties, and that this storyline has been far worse for so many other people. I know that I “should” sit in gratitude for all we have and yea, yea, yea, I promise we’re doing that too.

I also know that this is real, there are no answers or magic 8 balls, control freaks are losing their shit, and maybe that is the lesson we weren’t ready for in 2020.

My dear friend, who agreed that my anger was righteous, asked me what I saw on the other side of this situation, and for us in particular. I immediately saw an image of small green shoots, new growth, new perspectives. I’m holding on to that image. It may not be profound, but it is hopeful, and we could all use a little hope right now. Even if it is the size of a fledgling sprout.

Please stay safe out there. You have no idea how one small decision you make for your own comfort could affect an entire family or community. This. Is. Not. Fun. Nor do I want it for your family.

Now, how do I start a Gofundme for the vacation to Hawaii when this is all over…..

Originally posted at loveisviral.com

Gold with Jeanette Schneider Episode 61: Duality & Creation with Sylvester McNutt III

Sylvester McNutt believes in the beauty of duality, and allowing all aspects of self to be accepted and explored. Sylvester is the Best-Selling Author of 8 books, Inspirational Speaker, YouTube, and Podcaster who explores ideas around healing, self-love and finding yourself.

Today Sylvester and I dig into the concept of duality, and have a deep, beautiful conversation about the birth and life of an author and creator. He shares his story of how he found his vulnerability, and his voice, in the pages of his notebooks. We talked about the importance of authenticity online and the advice he is often asked for by his readers. 

You can find him on Instagram @sylvestermcnutt or online at www.sylvestermcnutt.net.

Today Gold is brought to you by LIV Media and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

Through mindfulness and accountability offerings – including meditation, breath work, intentional living routines, challenges, and lifestyle coaching – the new LIV app will provide you with the tools, community and support you need to live your very best life, leveling up in every aspect.

LIV meets you where you are and grows with you.

For a limited time LIV is available for free for Apple iOS users. Download LIV today!

Until next time – in the words of my grandma, “Love each other every day.”

In your ears, filling your heart.

Xo,

J

Gold with Jeanette Schneider Episode 58: Go Play! with Barbara Butler

Barbara Butler believes we all need to play more, kids and adults alike! Through play and immersion in nature we are able to quiet the noise in our minds. Children use play to build their own social structures, problem resolution skills, and it offers them a social, emotional and physical outlet.

She is the founder & CEO of Barbara Butler Artist-Builder Inc. She has been designing & building extraordinary custom treehouses and play structures for children for over 30 years, both residential & commercial, within the United States and internationally.

Barbara’s mom wanted her to be a lawyer, but she loved working with her hands. School breaks were spent working for her brothers learning bricklaying and construction. After graduate school, she gave up on the idea of getting a real job and moved to San Francisco to be an artist. She started painting, then building decks, then landed her first play structure job working for Bobby McFerrin (“Don’t Worry/Be Happy”). That was all it took for her passion to be realized.

Today Barbara and I talk about the importance of play and imagination in children’s lives, why we need to join them, and we dig into some of the lessons she learned as a woman in a male dominated industry. 

I loved Barbara’s encouragement to play and “lollygag.” We all need the reminder to get out of our heads.

You can find Barbara at www.barbarabutler.com

Today Gold is brought to you by LIV Media and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

Through mindfulness and accountability offerings – including meditation, breath work, intentional living routines, challenges, and lifestyle coaching – the new LIV app will provide you with the tools, community and support you need to live your very best life, leveling up in every aspect.

LIV meets you where you are and grows with you.

For a limited time LIV is available for free for Apple iOS users. Download LIV today!

Until next time – in the words of my grandma, “Love each other every day.”

In your ears, filling your heart.

Xo,

J

Gold with Jeanette Schneider Episode 49: Your Temple: Sexual Health with Dr. Christina Madison

Dr. Christina Madison refers to herself as the Dr. Ruth of Pharmacy. She believes sexual health is your overall health, and wants to reduce the stigma and shame surrounding the conversation of sex. She stresses the importance of open and honest communication, not only with your sexual partner but also with your physician.  

Dr. Madison is an Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice with Roseman University of Health Sciences (RU). She completed a pharmacy practice residency at the New Mexico VA Health Care System in 2005, has been a board certified ambulatory care pharmacist (BCACP) since 2011, has been credentialed with the Academy of HIV Medicine (AAHIVP) since 2013, and was elected Fellow of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy (FCCP) in 2018. She maintains two active practice site with Huntridge Family Clinic, which focuses on the LGTBQ community and is one of the largest providers of HIV prevention and gender affirming care services in the State of Nevada as well as Volunteers in Medicine of Southern Nevada (VMSN) where she offers immunization and communicable disease care. Dr. Madison is an immunizing pharmacist and has been a trainer of student pharmacists, community/hospital pharmacists since 2008 in both Nevada and Utah. She actively participates in both state and national pharmacy and healthcare organizations to facilitate awareness of healthcare policy, education, and advocacy. Her research interests include the HIV prevention and treatment, Pharmacy Based Immunization Delivery, Women’s Health, Sexually Transmitted Infections, LGTBQ Health, and Gender Affirming Care. 

Today Dr. Madison and I dig deep into the world of sexual health. We discuss the vital need for self advocacy, education, and awareness to make your sexual encounters as safe as possible, the options available for STD testing, prevention, and treatment, and the importance of full disclosure with your partners. 

Let’s dig in. 

Thank you so much for joining me today! I love Dr. Madison’s reminder that our body is our temple, and to treat it as such. By advocating for our own sexual health, we can feel confident and empowered to make safer choices and to have honest, open conversation with partners. 

Connect with Dr. Madison:

Website: ThePublicHealthPharmacist.com

Instagram: @ThePublicHealthPharmacist

Facebook: @ThePublicHealthPharmacist

Twitter: @PublicHealthRx

As always, please subscribe to this podcast, leave a review and don’t forget to share with your friends. I’m always interested in content that uplifts, so if you have things you’d like to hear about, please share them with me in the comments. You can also find me on Instagram @ms.jeanetteschneider or Twitter @msjwrites.

Today Gold is brought to you by LIV Media and I couldn’t be more thrilled. 

LIV is an app that will launch Christmas 2019. I have partnered with a team previously of Disney/Pixar who wants so deeply to use tech for good.. and we’re using tech for great. 

Through mindfulness and accountability offerings – including meditation, breath work, intentional living routines, challenges, and lifestyle coaching – LIV will provide you with the tools, community and support you need to live your very best life, leveling up in every aspect. 

LIV meets you where you are and grows with you.

I have a special VIP experience built out and planned for my Gold listeners. You guys have been on this journey with me so I can’t wait to introduce you to my baby. Don’t forget – Gold listeners will receive a free 30 day VIP experience. That means access to all of the bells and whistles by using code GOLDVIP at loveisviral.com. Join the movement.

Until next time – in the words of my grandma, “Love each other every day.”

In your ears, filling your heart.

Xo,

Walk Me Home

I am coming face to face with my own mortality.

When you are twenty you think you will live forever. Forty seems a million years away.

When you are in your thirties you are in blind denial, but have started looking into eye creams and may just be flirting with Botox.

When you turn forty you become a little reflective. Some people have full-scale meltdowns on sailboats off the coast of Miami, but then realize nothing really shifted that day after pep talks and tequila, so own it sister.

Then you start noticing some funny little changes. I’m not talking about the gray hairs, the lines, or the mammogram forms that ask, “Are you STILL having your period?” like a real passive aggressive jerk.

No, I’m talking about how you don’t process alcohol as well as you did when you were toasting your badassery and future plans. The way you are still tired when you wake up. That left knee that clicks in yoga poses.

But, I drink green juice! I work out at least 4 times a week! I take care of myself!

Yes, but genetics, time, and all those delicious splurges have caught up and some doctor sits down, after asking if you are STILL having your period (isn’t this a fifties thing?), and tells you that you are not immortal. That decisions you make today are going to decide some important outcomes. Like how long you live. Like the pill box he may be suggesting you buy. Like, whether you spend the balance of your life in good health or narrowly avoiding your own demise.

“We can keep driving 10 miles over the speed limit, or we put on the cruise control and avoid a heart attack in a couple years. It’s your call.”

So, my call is to stop. Stop and breathe and realize I am immortal. To accept the inevitable. I cannot stop aging, but I can do it consciously. One day I will die, but I’d really like for it to be after I’ve seen my own grandchildren and spoiled the ever living hell out of them… and then sent them back to Liv’s house.

I have a lot of say in my outcome, so I’m setting the cruise control, which looks a lot like greens, grains and self control. It means reading the packages instead of throwing them in the cart because I’m in a hurry. It means cooking my meals at home. It means breaking up with my twin flame, sugar. Our connection is #nextlevel, but I’ve told him I’ll see him in our next life. Seriously. That’s my relationship with sugar. I can feel him even when he’s not with me. We have lived many lives together. God, I miss him right now.

We can’t stop our eventuality. When we’re little we want to be big. When we’re big, we want to be legendary. In the middle of all of that we want love, to be seen, to be happy, to be successful, to know that we matter and our life has purpose.

And one day, we’re reminded of our simplicity. That we’re cells and a soul that will one day be a memory, and as Ram Dass said so eloquently, “We’re all just walking each other home.”

Gold With Jeanette Schneider Episode 30: Crisis of Faith: Where Resonance Meets Spirituality with Rabbi Jacob Rupp

Rabbi Jacob Rupp is the most woke Orthodox Rabbi I’ve ever met and this conversation is next level amazing. We talk about the fundamental need to ask yourself what it is you want in life, to understand what excites you, and why you should follow your own heart, not the guidelines man provides. He also reminds us that many times religious concept has been lost behind the human and to go back to the fundamentals, not the one who has framed it for you.

We walk through the unwinding of belief systems, turning them from parent-formed to a personal relationship with your Higher Power, be that God, Universe, Allah, etc. Rabbi Rupp reminds us that God desires a broken heart and is bigger than petty human emotions. Then he quotes Tupac.

Rabbi Jacob Rupp grew up in a spiritually ambiguous home with a loving, but highly dysfunctional dynamic, and a desire to help others. He realized he wanted to become a spiritual teacher before he truly understood Judaism.

Rabbi Jacob Rupp is a rabbi, coach, syndicated columnist, podcast host of Lift Your Legacy, speaker, and business strategist. He helps clients achieve clarity on goals and strategies, become honest and forgiving with themselves and others, and live more spiritually connected lives. He does one-on-one performance and marriage counseling, group coaching, and is a keynote speaker. Rupp draws from the gamut of cutting edge business, relationship, and leadership strategy and roots them in ancient Jewish tradition.

Rabbi Rupp has been happily married for over a decade, has four children, lost over 100 lbs., and built his own business, Lift Your Legacy. He helps those who are driven and spiritually seeking to obtain access to the tools they need to live purpose-driven lives. He also started and grew a social media marketing platform, focusing on helping workers who wish to identify and create alternative income streams and communicate their messages out to a wider audience through the medium of podcasting.

Rabbi Rupp holds two BA’s, one from the University of California, San Diego and the other from Ohr LaGolah Hertz Institute for International Teacher Training, and was ordained by the former head rabbinic judge in Jerusalem. He is an avid reader and is continually engaged in the study of Torah, leadership, psychology and related fields.

I LOVE this conversation and reminder that sometimes the way we understand the world around us, faith and path, is through a very narrow lens. Get clear on what you want in life and be open to what comes next.

As always, please subscribe to this podcast, leave a review and don’t forget to share with your friends. I’m always interested in content that uplifts, so if you have things you’d like to hear about, please share them with me in the comments. You can also find me on Instagram @ms.jeanetteschneider or Twitter @msjwrites.

If you want some help moving toward that intentional life, join me every week on my intention journey. I’m inviting you. Totally free. From my heart to your inbox. Sign up for my #girltribe at jeanetteschneider.com and before you even wake up on Monday mornings there will be a huge dose of motivation waiting for you. Yes, I will wake you up on Monday morning with intention setting prompts and give you some tips as to what is setting my soul on fire. On Fridays I’m going to remind you to let go, recharge, and love yourself up with some self care prompts to get present in your down time. Intentional living is where it’s at, y’all!

Until next time – in the words of my grandma, “Love each other every day.”

In your ears, filling your heart.

Xo,

J

Gold with Jeanette Schneider Episode 13: Women and Security with CIA Counterterrorism Expert Gina Bennett

Gina Bennett takes the scare out of national security and approaches it as a woman and mother. She talks resiliency, how women experience personal security differently from men and the importance of including girls in our conversations about security. 

Gina is a member of the CIA’s Senior Analytic Service, and long-standing member of the Senior Analytic Service currently on assignment as the Senior Counterterorrism Advisor in the Directorate of Strategic Operational Planning in the National Counterterrorism Center. She is a seasoned counterterrorism specialist who authored the earliest warnings of some of today’s terrorism trends, including the 1993 report that warned of the growing danger of Osama Bin Laden and the extremist movement he was fomenting. We talk about her shift into national security and what I’m calling her sixth sense when it comes to the insightfulness of her work over decades.

Gina was featured in the 2015 Showtime documentary, Spymasters, the HBO documentary, Manhunt, and in the PBS documentary, Makers: Women Who Make America in their episode on women in war for her role as a trailblazing woman in the counterterrorism field. She has been featured in the cover story of Newsweek’s issue on “Women in CIA” in 2016 and in a previous Newsweek article for her role as a female pioneer in the targeting; and in a variety of media for her book, National Security Mom. 

Gina teaches ethics in intelligence as an adjunct faculty member at Georgetown University in the Security Studies Program of the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service and at the George Washington University in the International Policy and Practice program at the Elliot School of International Affairs. She is also a founding board member of Girl Security, an educational program to familiarize elementary-to-high school girls in national and international security issues. She is a single mom of five children. 

I love Gina’s advocacy for women, her argument that we cannot allow fear to change the way we behave and the importance of women’s voices in security based on our personal experiences and perspectives.

As always, please subscribe to this podcast, leave a review and don’t forget to share with your friends. I’m always interested in content that uplifts, so if you have things you’d like to hear about, please share them with me in the comments. You can also find me on Instagram @ms.jeanetteschneider or Twitter @msjwrites.

My new book LORE: Harnessing Your Past to Create Your Future. Get into the work with me. LORE is available now available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.com.

Living intentionally is where its at, and if you are anything like me, you get out of bed and reach for your phone. I’d love to say that I do yoga first thing, but let’s be honest, I open my eyes to news and I’m ready to counter that with my own weekly intention journey. I’m inviting you. Totally free. From my heart to your inbox. Sign up for my love notes at jeanetteschneider.com and before you even wake up on Monday mornings there will be a huge dose of motivation waiting for you. Yes, I will wake you up on Monday morning with intention setting prompts and give you some tips as to what is setting my soul on fire. On Fridays I’m going to remind you to let go, recharge, and love yourself up with some self care prompts to get present in your down time.

Until next time – in the words of my grandma, “Love each other every day.”

In your ears, filling your heart.

Xo,

J

New Years Tears: Grieving the Old Stories While Welcoming The New

BethanyPaige-4195

I have New Year’s tears.

I didn’t expect them.

December 31st represented the end of my career in finance. It was the job I started when I was 18, making $7.35/hour. It was the mentors and the five year plans and the rejections and the assertions and the decisions. It was the people who told a poor girl from the violent neighborhood who had seen too much bad that she’d never get to more than customer service and shift differential. Who then congratulated her when she became a Senior Vice President and managed billions of dollars. The girl who barely made ends meet and lived off of cans of corn and potato flakes from the scratch and dent store who just facilitated the largest single gift the Girl Scouts have ever received in their history. A new camp for generations of girls to learn how to be the girl she never thought she could be, but the girl she had to become, because you can’t go back once you leave. You keep going.

I’ve been going since the day I learned what happened to the women in my neighborhood if they didn’t get out.

That girl died on December 31st.

I officially changed my title on Linked In to represent the life I am creating out of purpose as opposed to fear. I am so grateful for the company that raised me, the bosses that led me, the mentors who changed me. I am thankful to them for parenting a girl from the worst part of town who had no direction. A girl with a need to survive and never go back. A girl who turned that into a beautiful life.

A girl who is now harnessing those years of experience, drive, and success to make a difference for the ones who come next.

On her terms.

 

Just Start

BethanyPaige-4175

It’s 2:30 on a Saturday afternoon as I write. I’m still in pajamas and wondering what the hell I’ve accomplished today.

A lot actually.

My book is coming out next month and Dear God, I had no idea what was involved in all of that promotion/marketing/distribution/weaving miracles part. I thought writing the book would be the hard part. I had no idea that figuring out how to get books from printer to people would consume so much of my time.

I had no idea that at some point in my life I would have to accept credit cards.

But, this post isn’t about me.

It is about you.

It’s about the two women who asked me to dig into my soul and give them a little advice this lovely Saturday. They are both on the verge of their new lives and in the recon stage. The part where your old life is pushing you and your new life is pulling you and you start to lean toward the new life because it smells like baby powder and star dust. It feels like warm water and bath salts, like a cool breeze and green grass under your feet. Like fields of lavender brushing against your legs and it wants you to become so bad that you can’t help but put your finger near the socket.

They are taking the steps toward their purpose. The leap toward their destiny. The leaning in that requires new people to show up in your life and take your hand, this way sister, I’ve got you.

They asked some form or variance of the same question about my path, “what did you do?”

I think most people expect me to provide a list or bullet points. As if I have the formula. I guess I do. My answer? I started.

Just start.

When I published my first LORE blog and threw a launch party I had no idea what the ever living hell I was doing. I knew my intention. Ish. It was in grays and cloudy blues, but I gave it room to take shape and form itself, to become brighter, more crystalline as it toddled and learned to eat solids. Curious eyes arrived at that launch party, wondering. I figured if I celebrated it – it had to become something.

When I announced my Love Letters project I only had a handful from women who wanted to share the things they wish they would’ve known when they were girls. I knew that if people loved them as much as I did then more would arrive. They did. Quickly.

When I started interviewing women on camera I had no idea what eyes would view their stories, but that the pure heart and soul showing up on the screen would take your breath away. I have a Letter of Intent for a show that may or may not become. I give room for it to become or to fall apart because I never set my heart on any part or storyline. I allow my project to grow into herself and I love her unconditionally.

When I wrote my book I didn’t know if it should be memoir, anthology or workbook. As the stories began to weave a pattern, a backbone, it became clear it shouldn’t be any of the above and I cannot wait for you to see it. It is beautiful. Not because it is my book, but because it is blessed with so many women’s intention and story that it is far bigger than me. It has its own energy, it’s own path and I’m simply astonished when I hold it in my hands.

9781982201562_FQA.indd

When I began sharing my project with women I had no idea it would form a #girltribe, which is feeling more like a #girlgang these days. They are warriors who want to see the stories I’ve been gifted and intention created shared with the world. I didn’t know it would result in eight speaking engagements within one month of release.

I didn’t know anything, no expectations, no certainties, but I also live and breathe comfortably in this space, this in-between. It is a beautiful place of creation. You never know what will happen, but you can’t hide behind spreadsheets and what ifs. You can’t leave the life you were meant to create drafted in pencil, hiding in daydreams, in limbo wishing to become.

You can’t mourn a life you were never brave enough to birth.

There comes a time that you have to move from self-help books, podcasts, journals and day dreams to action.

You must take action every single day.

Move it forward just a little bit, whether it is an email, a question, a research project, a book to educate you on your new (enter dream here).

Activity begets activity.

Your new life is waiting. Breathing. Wanting to root into you.

Just start.

Xo

J

**LORE: Harnessing Your Past to Create Your Future drops August 20th. If you’d like to pre-order a copy you can do so at https://lore-media.myshopify.com and it will be delivered to you the week of August 20, 2018**

Meghan Markle v #meangirls

Meghan_Markle_visits_Northern_Ireland_-_2018_(41014635181)

I didn’t mean to watch the Royal Wedding. I was in a hotel room in Florida and woke up before my alarm clock. I laid there, wishing myself back to sleep, but Instagram called. I followed the arrival of the guests and then finally sighed and clicked on the TV, I can’t be the only one awake who isn’t watching it.

I didn’t get caught up like others. I didn’t cry. I don’t know them. I’m always happy to see people in love, but my interest wasn’t seated in their romance.

No, I was more aware of the tone of the ceremony. It was one of marked diversity and inclusion. It asked the world to move from lines to love. It was purposeful and resolute. There was deep symbolism and meaning. Every moment was perfectly orchestrated. I saw two people who not only love one another, but who also recognize they are offered a global platform.

They said the things they needed to say without saying a word.

I was coming off a bit of a the world is changing kind of high. I had just watched Prince Charles reach out to Meghan’s mother, escorting her away from the alter as they supported their children by witnessing their marriage. This man, who will become King, also honored their family by walking Meghan down the aisle toward his son.

In those moments they were simply parents. Nothing more. Nothing less.

These are the moments that make me believe in people again. That make me fully aware that there is more good than bad, more hope than fear, more love than hate.

Until a bunch of women began posting comparisons of Meghan, a woman who just did what would have been considered impossible even a decade ago, to both Kate and Diana. Her dress was torn apart, her hair discussed in great detail and concerns over her minimal makeup were shared. Shared so that other women would join the discussion in a group-hating circle that would then be made socially acceptable by their complicity. Especially when toxicity begins with a compliment, “Don’t get me wrong, she’s amazing, but…”

They call this the Oreo Effect. Start with the good, say something terrible, and end with the good, so that the person eating your particular trans fat (or what they call constructive criticism in Corporate America) feel better about something negative.

If you ever start a sentence, “Let me start by saying…” or “I don’t mean to be a bitch, but…” check yourself.

Women have been programmed to take each other out. We are asked to compete with one another for jobs, security, mates, survival. We compare ourselves and others to feel better about what we consider our own shortcomings. At some point in time we believed we were unworthy in all matter of ways. I could go on for at least three more paragraphs about misogyny, the patriarchy, advertising and social influence, but you get the picture. This unworthiness, this competition, has become a hum in our veins, a social and cultural bias that has been coded into our DNA, and we don’t even know when we are doing it.

Start recognizing when you are doing it. Consciously monitor your internal talk. Do you judge others? How does seeing another achieve make you feel? If you aren’t happy for them, why? If you have to find something wrong, why? Recognize you’ve been triggered, send them a blessing, good for them, and dig in to why you are having a hard time saying something kind. I guarantee it has to do with you, your internal talk, your insecurities, and what you subconsciously consider failure or unworthiness.

Check your influence. Do you feel the need to share your negative thoughts with others so they agree with you or find you flip or funny? To feel right in your opinions? Justified? That’s you, girl. You need their approval. Why? Unless you are truly trying to build a band of #meangirls to yes you to death and tell you you’re pretty, recognize that negativity begets negativity. You don’t need it and you don’t need to attract it. You want good people in your life? Be good people.

I have such hope for women. I know in my bones that the world I’m leaving my daughter will be so much better and because of women I personally know or am reading about in the news. Women who are alive during my child’s adolescence. Women who are using their voices, their influence and their intelligence to change conversations.

Women like Meghan Markle who just told the entire world that she is here to make change and has the Royals in tow.

She wasn’t wearing a wedding dress, loves.

It was a cape.