Scarcity is a Shame Conversation


It was one year ago this week. Brian, Asher and I were in Shanghai. It was our final day and we were headed back to our friend's house to pack our bags and head to the airport. We'd experienced such care and generosity during our 7 days in Shanghai, which had highlighted a few glaring truths I didn't like.

One, we could never do for others what had been given to us that week. We didn't have the capacity because of our own beliefs and realities.

Two, we wanted to be those kinds of people who bless others extravagantly, without strings attached. 

I knew enough of our friend's story to know that abundance wasn't always a part of her life. Sitting in the backseat, at a stoplight, turning left toward her house, I blurted out my burning question,

"Have you always had an abundance mentality?" 

I don't remember the exact words that came out of her mouth next, but I remember her relaxed posture, the glow on her face, her effortless smile, and the truth of her story generously shared.

Sitting in the backseat of her car in Shanghai I sensed a deep shift in my spirit. I sensed a journey before me that would move my self-limiting beliefs from scarcity to abundance.

For the last year, God has been dismantling my scarcity mentality piece by piece. I was arrested by Fr. Richard Rohr's daily meditation and have continued to do inner work to replace this false belief with truth. 

There have been several key moments this last year - primarily around finances - where I've had the opportunity to live in abundance or scarcity. I'm sure you cannot relate. <wink wink>

This last week has been another giant test. 

Disappointment. Shock. Loss. Conflict. As I've processed another painful experience, I've wrestled with looming questions:

  • Am I enough?
  • Am I good?
  • Can I make it? 
  • Will there be enough for me and my family?
  • Is what I do valuable?
  • Do I deserve this?

The truth is: Scarcity is a shame conversation.

Shame tells us we aren't enough; we aren't worthy; we are bad. But that's an inner conversation filled with lies, darkness, and scarcity. The truth is that we are loved beyond anything.

Abundance says there is enough, even beyond what we can ask or imagine. Abundance says there is a hope and a future. Abundance reminds us that what happened yesterday doesn't dictate the future. Abundance calms the angry fears that we don't have to hustle for our worthiness or our paychecks. Abundance says there's more than enough room at the table for all of us. Abundance confirms that grace is found in the quiet, not the earning. Abundance focuses on what you are gaining rather than what you are losing. Abundance illuminates opportunities and potential. Abundance shifts your perspective from hoarding and possessiveness to generosity and open-handedness.

Abundance is love. THIS IS THE PERSON I WANT TO BE! 

I'm still wrestling with all this, friend. I haven't arrived. I'm not bursting in an abundance mentality all day, every day. But I am steadily plodding to replace those questions with statements of truth. And it is some of the most liberating inner work I've ever done. 

My hunch is that you could do some of that work, too. Am I right? Our society, experiences, and sometimes those closest to us will reinforce that shame conversation in whatever language we are most comfortable to accept. It can be insidious and unannounced. It can surprise you like an intruder and take over your day. But shame is not welcomed to stay. Scarcity is as much of a perspective to accept as abundance.

I'll close with this beautiful piece of poetry by Tara Sophia Mohr from Your Other Names. You can see the abundance oozing out of her words and imagery ... even when scarcity is ever-available to believe.

Even in the struggle, you are loved.
You are being loved not in spite of the hardship, but through it.
The thing you see as wrenching, intolerable, life's attack on you,
is an expression of love.
There is a part of us that fears and protects
and defends and expects,
and has a story of the way it's supposed to turn out.
That part clinches in fear, feels abandoned and cursed.
There is another part, resting on the floor
of the well within, that understands;
this is how I'm being graced, called, refined by fire.
The secret is it is all love.
It's all doorways to truth.
It's all opportunities to merge with what is.
Most of us don't step through the door frame.
We stay on the known side.
We fight the door, we fight the frame, we scream and
hang on.
On the other side, you are one
with the earth, like the mountain.
You hum with life, like the moss.
On the other side, you are more beautiful:
wholeness in your bones, wisdom in your gaze,
the sage-self and the surrender heart alive.

The "It Is What It Is" Lie


Life can sometimes feel out of control and defeating. Can I get an AMEN? It's a shared human experience when "life happens", punches you in the gut, and leaves you slumped over on the racetrack of life. It can be beyond discouraging when you feel like you take two steps forward and one step back ... or worse yet, when you feel like you've made a step forward and then take a couple steps backward. 

I was just coaching a leader and he said, "I don't quit on other people. Ever! But I always quit on myself." STOP. Always? Do you wanna reinforce that language and belief? Our conversation bounced back and forth as he determined that up until now he's quit on himself when he's felt defeated and life has sucker punched him, but that doesn't have to be the narrative moving forward.

What has been isn't what has to be. It is what it is, is a lie.

I've started paying more attention to when people glibly quip, "It is what it is". I hate it! It's a statement of resignation, passivity, and complacency. Nothing is what it is. We always have control and contribution to what it is and could be. The future isn't set in stone. Your responses to what is and your decisions about the future will write what the future becomes. Your participation in life is essential.

When we say "it is what it is" it resigns us to participating in a better future, a solution, an alternative ending. It moves us into passively receiving what has been dealt to us. No one is inspired to live their best life when we resign ourselves to a less than desired future. 

Perhaps the better response is to acknowledge what "is", know our perspective is limited and recognizing that our perception isn't necessarily a truthful reality. And then respond with how you want to navigate what "is". 

What is now doesn't dictate what it will be in the future.

Your move. Your call. You get to decide what is today and what will be tomorrow. I've particularly learned a few practices that move me from the passive, victim lies of this statement. May they guide you as well:

  1. Practice Gratitude. The brain science behind what being grateful does to our mental and emotional health is astonishing. Saying "thank you" often to people, God, and yourself shifts your mental trajectory. Naming 3 things you're grateful for as you start the day sets the tone for your participation in your day.
  2. Take Ownership. Only you are responsible for living your life well. No one else leads your life. You must take responsibility for the choices you make, the relationships you cultivate, and the work you do. Blaming circumstances and others may make you feel better for a hot second, but it doesn't produce any transformation in you, nor does it allow you to lead your life well.
  3. What got me here won't get me there. Past experiences are powerful guides and informants to us for the future. But they are limited. There are really helpful tools, skills, relationships, and disciplines that got me where I am today. But if I want to change the narrative for my future, it commands that I do new things to get different results. Learning, growing, trying new things, failing, exploring, and cultivating curiosity are all practices for me to reject the lie of "it is what it is".
  4. Call me on it. It's crazy how easy passivity and lack of participation in my own life can sneak up on me. I work hard to live with intention, discipline, and from a healthy center. But I don't do it well all the time. I need those closest around me to call me on my poor thinking, unhealthy responses to circumstances, and lift my vision to what can be. I need my people to call me on my shit and my potential. 

Don't believe the lie. You were made for more and the world needs you to bring your best to every facet of your life. Show up and create a beautiful new future.

My Body is My Vehicle

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I have spent the majority of my life not taking care of my body well. In my childhood, I didn't grow up playing organized sports or eating particularly well. I was an active kid but craved intensity and people all the time. As a young adult, I was naturally thin so I ate like crap and exercise was a swear word. The intensity I craved in my early years turned into workaholism and a lust for more, faster, stronger in my job. I remember my first years of work putting in 60-80 hours a week just because I could. Stress became a way of life. Tension headaches, messed up hormonal cycles, feeling wound tight more often than not, and a generally inactive body was my way of life. 

At the risk of sounding all doom at gloom, I have always been a rock star sleeper. zzzzz.... The intensity and assertiveness with which I live my life has allowed me to fall asleep the moment my head hits the pillow. I've fallen asleep in more movies than I've stayed awake in (much to Brian's annoyance). And while my early years didn't give my taste buds a palette for brussels sprouts over Butterfingers, I made a turn in my eating in my late 20s. 

Thankfully, I've had mentors for years who have lead me toward self-care and doing the internal work necessary to live fully. They've taught me so much about caring for my soul and leading from a full heart. I'm forever grateful for the rhythms and practices they've invested into me, so my soul is healthy and thriving.

Still, my body has lagged behind my mind and spirit. I've learned as an Enneagram 8 that the ignoring of my body is what we do. It's almost as if our body gets in the way of what we really want to get done. We deny ourselves the 'luxury' of caring for our bodies because we don't deem it important or significant. Instead, we pursue power and brut force of our lives. Think: bulldozer. Challenge? Accepted. Too hard? Watch me. We use and abuse our bodies.

I remember over a decade ago spending a year being coached by the incomparable Jack Groppel. He co-founded Johnson & Johnson's Human Performance Institute that works with top athletes on their energy and rest quotients. (Ha! And he agreed to coach me, the super non-athelete!!!). It was honestly the first time I really considered that my body is a temple, that my physical health and wellness is the foundation by which I can do everything in life. I literally didn't have a mental framework to consider what rest, Sabbath, hobbies, and being alive in my own skin meant. I struggled that year with Jack gently and strongly coaching me that I needed to pay attention to my body or my body would get my attention one way or another.

When you have your health, you have 1,000 dreams, and when you don’t, you have one.
— Unknown

My body did get my attention through a cruel infertility diagnosis. Years of testing, poking, prodding, medicating, and physical dysfunction kept me on the journey toward understanding what my body was trying to tell me. The natural shifts of your body from the 20s to the 30s caused me to begin asking more questions and making more changes. Slowly, I was catching on.

Fast forward to today. I've been radically changed these last couple years in learning to listen to my body. I'm learning to honor when she says "I'm tired. I need a break." I'm learning to listen to my hunger pains - physical or otherwise - and validate they are real and need to be addressed, not shamed and shoved away. I'm learning to listen when something hurts or isn't quite right in my body and take care of it, not ignore it. I'm increasingly aware of my physiological responses to anxiety, fear, and nervousness. I am so much more in tune with the signs and clues my body is giving me about what she needs and how I can best honor her. And as I've been honoring my body, the benefits have been phenomenal.

As a result of this up-and-down journey, I’m increasingly convicted that we have one body to do our life well. Everything in our lives flows from this body we inhabit. Jesus says he’s come to give us life in its fullness. I want to honor this body with what she needs and not mask the issues with medications, cover with socially acceptable coping mechanisms, or settle for “it is what it is”. I want to be well and live to the fullest.

You with me? I'd love to tell you more about the biggest changes I made and how you can make those changes as well. Join me.


My Deep Dive with dōTERRA

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Seven years ago a friend from church gave us a kit of dōTERRA essential oils and a diffuser as a gift when Judah and Addise came home. We were brand new parents and pretty clueless about how we would best care for their little bodies and hearts. I had literally never heard of essential oils before before, but I was grateful for what seemed like a generous and special gift. I busted open a few of those little amber bottles and LOVED how they smelled (okay, Oregano was crazy intense and Melaleuca smelled like the dirt to me, but the rest of them were pretty amazing). Lavender seemed to make sense to diffuse at bedtime to calm our babies. Breathe was obviously to be used to help them breathe better if they were a little congested. OnGuard resonated as an oil to diffuse to guard our kids from germs and sickness. 

We saw results immediately with our kiddos and continued to casually use them for several years. We really had no idea what we were doing with them but I like the smell and I liked what they did for our babies' health and wellness.

Fast forward to 2015, a change in zip code and emotional well-being jolted me into diving deeper into natural solutions for supporting our bodies and emotional health. I started learning, exploring, and experimenting more. I learned about how many toxins and chemicals are in the average American household (HUNDREDS!) and how few are approved by the FDA (a handful!). I became very discontent with the contents of our medicine cabinet and their side effects. Our health insurance changed and I didn't want to spend so much time and money at the doctor's office. I began researching supplements. We continued to replace product after product in our household with chemical-free, essential oil products. We were saving money and lowering our toxic load! We made incremental steps forward at times and giant steps forward at other times. After a year, we were making massive changes to our lifestyle. 

And our family has experienced an incredible benefit of wellness - body and mind!

A year ago I hesitantly decided to start building a business with dōTERRA. I was constantly sharing with people what I was learning -- and if you know me, I'm not a crunchy, granola momma by nature. But the evidence was too compelling not to share with family and friends. I tiptoed around business building for the next 5 months but I kept experiencing other people's stories of transformation and change.

Those stories captured me. Our story captured me. 
I decided to move from hesitancy to whole-heartedness. 

There's a lot to this essential oils business. It's a life-altering, life-changing, lifestyle that empowers us to care for our bodies and hearts in whole ways. One of my favorite descriptions of oils is that oils are bossy. They have to work because they are chemistry. It's how the plants been designed by God for our benefit and wellness. They walk into a body with a purpose and a mission to accomplish. It willl command an audience to move your body to homeostasis.

Explore dōTERRA with me.


I'd love to schedule a wellness consult with you to see what goals, priorities, and needs you have and how oils can help you accomplish those needs. No pressure. What do you have to lose? Nothing. What do you have to gain? Everything. My mission is to walk alongside you in your journey so you can experience your own transformation in health and wellness.

Speaking for your People - Words Matter. Hope Moves.

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When you have an opportunity to gather your people together, what happens during that time is priceless. Holy. Potentially life-altering. How you curate the words that are spoken and hold the space for your people to experience a new thing is important. 

Inviting someone into that space is vital. Asking them to use words that bring hope, life, and truth is a risk. I get it. It's a gamble to ask someone to step in for a day or a weekend to bolster what's already been happening in your community and what you're hoping will continue after they're gone. It's nerve-wracking to ask someone to speak on "this" and hoping they don't talk about "that". You cross your fingers that you won't have to do any clean-up after your speaker leaves.

This year I'm inviting you to ask me to come and bring words of hope, life, and truth to your people. I boldly want to ask you to trust me. I humbly ask that you'd consider what my unique voice could bring to your people. I commit to bring my best, to love your people, to thoughtfully consider the specific words they need to hear. I promise to be a voice of hope in a world so desperately in need of it. 

Don't only take my word for it. Here are some words that will tell you what I bring with me and how my words will intersect your people.

If you'd like to explore a retreat, a conference, a service, or a training, take a couple minutes to fill out my speaker request form. It'll help us cut to the chase and figure out if it'd be a good fit.

Even if I cannot speak into your people's lives this year, know that our words matter. Being leaders and people of hope moves us into possibility and our fullest potential. Speaking words of life are so needed in all our lives. Rooting our hope in what lasts beyond our present circumstances allows us to move forward in spite of fear or doubt. 

May your words bring hope. May those you invite to speak into your people's souls do the same.