The Two Most Controversial Words In My Bio

A recent conversation with a friend made me realize it’s time for me to tackle the biggest announcement I’ve made in my business in a long time. Read on for a little context, history, and some vulnerability about where I am and where I’m headed.

When I began working with my first coaching client at the beginning of 2020, I couldn’t have told you what my niche was or who my ideal coaching client was. I knew all of those answers for my virtual assistant (VA) business, of course, since that business had been going strong for a couple of years. But I think it’s fairly common to begin a business like coaching or freelancing or working as a VA and to not actually know, or at least not articulate, who your ideal client is. (And the truth is that sometimes, for some of us we actually have MULTIPLE ideal clients – and while that’s hard to manage as a business owner, it’s the truth for some of us multi-passionate folks!)

This uncertainty or lack of clarity in our marketing tends to happen for two reasons – we’re either living in a scarcity mindset, feeling we need to take every potential offer that comes our way if we want to survive in this business, or we honestly just haven’t done enough work in our chosen field to have made a decision about who we serve best and who we actually want to serve in our work. (And quite often, both of those things are true, to one degree or another!)

But if you know anything about marketing or have ever started your own business or project, you’re probably familiar with the compelling reasons to consider clearly defining your niche. As I began adding mental fitness training and Enneagram work into my business, I had multiple coaches encouraging me to get more specific with my niche so that other people knew who to refer to me and so that I could be a more unique presence, and even a thought leader in the world.

As I looked back at the clients I’d had to date, I started to realize there were a few patterns in who I tended to work with:

  • Women in their late twenties to early fifties (with exceptions occasionally on either end, and the occasional compassionate man or non-binary client in the mix)
  • People with a creative interest, hobby, or business that they’re passionate about
  • Neurodivergence is common (ADHD, highly sensitive, autistic etc.) though they often weren’t aware until adulthood
  • Spiritual or spiritually curious in some way (nearly always)
  • Childfree (meaning they don’t have any children)

The truth is, we get to decide who we want to work with! And it’s never too late to reinvent ourselves. But when I looked at who I’d attracted as clients to date, ALL of them people I’d really enjoyed working with, I realized that there was wisdom to be had there. And while I am truly open to working with ANY client who resonates with who I am, what I believe in, and what I am called to offer the world, I realized that one of my most particular gifts (and privileges) stems from the fact that I am childfree.

When I use the word childfree, it means someone doesn’t have any children. For me, and for many of us in the world, it’s a great neutral term for people who don’t have any children. Just like dairy-free means without dairy, I don’t have any kids.

There are many ways people self-identify. I don’t choose the word childless, because in my experience, I associate that word with those who, for one reason or another, were not or are not able to have children. While I have a lot in common with those people, given my lifestyle, I am personally “childfree by choice”, meaning I’ve had the privilege of choosing a life that does not involve having or raising a child.

So in the category of childfree, I’d personally include both “childless” people as well as “childfree by choice” people. We all have a lot in common, because we’re able to plan our schedules and set our goals without needing to consider any of the complex needs of children in the equation. We may also have other experiences and concerns in common, like worrying about who will care for us as we age, for instance.

So while I don’t personally know the pain of a person who desperately wanted to have children and couldn’t, I have a lot in common with them, and I am able to bond with them and other childfree women in a lot of areas.

What’s controversial about the word childfree? Well, some people have a hard time when I talk about being childfree. Heck, some people have a hard time when anyone talks about being childfree. Just as people get up in arms about critical race theory or or drag story hour, there are a lot of parents and people more generally who take offense when people talk about their childfree life.

Just a quick scroll through social media shows me gems like this:

“So sad when a woman doesn’t have children to call her own. Lonely life.”

The truth is that our society (and most of them around the world) is built on the assumption that we will be parents, and we will raise children. (Incidentally, it also tells us children will fulfill us and make us happy – and that is just as flawed an assumption!) And because we’re not taught to discern the thoughts we’ve internalized and made autopilot that we’ve inherited from our caregivers and society, many of us don’t even question the assumptions that we’ll have children until we’ve already had them – wild to think about, isn’t it?

Learning to question the assumptions our society makes and that we’ve probably inherited about child rearing is one of the steps toward becoming a wiser, more nuanced, more thoughtful version of ourselves. As we do the work to learn to pause and reflect before doing or saying or getting caught in a thought/panic/emotional spiral because of a particular trigger, we learn to live less from our personality, which is made up of the layers of ways we’ve learned to interact with the world, and more from our sage, wise, internal knowing – that being we’ve been ever since we were born, and that intuitive, creative, intelligent soul that we tap into when we’re meditating or otherwise in a state of “flow”.

I’m childfree. I coach childfree women. I also coach people with grown children, and people with children. But since most of the people who are drawn to my work and who reach out to me are childfree, I’m not going to shy away from sharing that part of my life with you. After all, being a traveler and adventurer, creating a life I love, and helping others to do the same, has been a much easier and natural road for me because I am childfree.

If you’re going through a transition, struggling to overcome anxiety or overwhelm, feeling like you “should” be happier but aren’t, or are ready for the next step in life and wanting some help to get clear on your next life or career choices, I’d be honored to speak with you. Even if you don’t have a clue what you’re looking for but this resonates, let’s talk.

And if you know someone, perhaps someone childfree or whose kids have left home, who might enjoy reading this or speaking with me, I’d be honored if you’d connect me with them.

Just grab a spot on my calendar if you’d like a gift from me – an hour of my time where I can help you to gain clarity on what’s next. Zero cost or obligation. Thank you for reading. Let’s connect.

P.S. If you’re childfree, I’d love to hear what resonates from this message. And if you’re not, do you have any more questions for me? Don’t hesitate to share them too.

waiting for your chance?

Good news if you enjoy a bargain. I decided to offer a few sales. If you’ve been on the fence about working with me or my previous offers weren’t in the budget or quite the right fit, please check out these. (All info in the images is also duplicated below.)

I’d love to support you, and if this resonates with you, sharing helps me to connect with other people who are ready to take their next step. You can reach me at rossandjamieadventure @

Spring Sale! (expire after the equinox on Monday, 3/20/2023):

One-Off Coaching/Consulting Power Session: Know where you’re headed and want some coaching or consulting on your particular question or situation? This is made for YOU.

Includes pre-session worksheet, 75 minute session, follow-up summary w/ road map and suggestions for next step

Ex. What are the next best steps for me to take in my business? Can you help me to create a schedule that’s more aligned with my values? How can I set some boundaries so that people stop expecting me to do everything? Which of these awesome hobbies/side projects should I pursue as a business?

Regular price $179, sale price $70 (more than 60% off!)

Buy Two Months of Coaching, Get One Month Free: For new 1:1 clients, purchase two months of coaching and/or mental fitness training and receive your third month of coaching free! (I am actually not allowed to promote this discounted price publicly, so message me for a free coaching session and I’ll share all the details with you!) Prefer a group session? Reach out to me for additional savings opportunities.

Free Session & Save: New clients who book their free session with me receive a credit of $200 that can be used toward any regularly priced coaching package before the end of June, 2023.

Enneagram-Curious: Considering working with a practitioner 1:1 to discover your number and learn more about who you are and why you do what you do? Know your number, but want some support figuring out what you can actually DO with that information? I’m offering an introductory price on this new offer of only $50 for an hour of Enneagram training, or only $150 for 4 sessions.

Coaching-Curious Sampler: Intrigued by mental fitness training, coaching, consulting, and the Enneagram? Not sure where to start? This sampler includes four sessions with me where you’ll be introduced to each of these modalities and explore the roles they might play in your personal development. If you’re ready for support in creating a life you love (or in embracing the one you have) but feel some blocks and are craving clarity, this sampler is designed for you. Introductory price: $250

Sometimes, All It Takes is a Nightstand

I was half asleep on Monday, January 24th when I reached over to grab my eye mask and realized it was soaking wet in my hands. All of a sudden, my brain went to work. It computed that, in fact, the whole nightstand was wet.

(The portable humidifier had been on it. In that moment, I realized that the humidifier had leaked water everywhere, soaking everything from tissues to eye masks in its path.)

I had a brief thought about beginning to clean it up, which I knew would wake me up completely and make it hard for me to get a good night’s sleep. But then, instead, I called out to Ross, calmly and with complete control.

“Hi Ross! Do you have the spoons to come help me with something?”

Previous to my Enneagram and mental fitness work, I would have asked that question as if it was an absolute emergency. In fact, it wouldn’t have been a question at all. “Ross, come here!” I would have yelled across the apartment. “There’s a mess, and I need help!” Cue flashbacks to”‘the time I knocked an entire bowl of Chex Mix on the floor” and “the time I realized my cat had fleas”, among other memorable moments.

But this time, I recognized that it wasn’t actually an emergency. This situation was relatively stable. There was no need to introduce more stress and drama into the equation.

Ross came in, cracking some cute joke or comment about spoons. I calmly explained to him what had happened, in a very matter-of-fact way. Instead of asking him to completely handle it, I asked him if he’d go get a garbage can. Then, in my half sleepy state, I took him through solving the situation, one step at a time. I did used my handy problem-solving skills, which I excel at, apparently even when half-awake, so that I could avoid Ross feeling overwhelmed, as I know he would have navigating it solo. (You can learn a lot after 13 years of dating or marriage!) I never got out of bed this entire time. I heard myself saying things like, “Can you please go hang this somewhere?” or “Can you please go get a towel?”.

I trusted him to take care of it. I let go of the need for it to be done a certain way. And somehow, when it was done, I just went to sleep. (Yes, I went to sleep! No panic, no racing thoughts, no getting out of bed to see where he hung things…I just went to sleep.)

A good friend and member of one of my Enneagram groups asked me what was different about this time, and I shared that it was a few things.

The main difference is that there was a space before doing. Old me would have IMMEDIATELY started handling the clean up, before I even stopped to think about how I wanted it done, or what should be done, or if it was mine to do or I could ask for help or if I should wait or gather some things first. As I did the cleanup, I would have felt feelings of frustration and anger, and I would have resented doing it solo…and by the time I would have asked Ross to help me, I would have been resentful that I had to ask or that he hadn’t helped me yet.

Ross would have come into the room with his guard up, and his stressful vibes would have fed on mine and caused a “saboteur contagion”, as we call it, with him struggling so much with my energy that he a) probably wouldn’t have finished helping me before giving up and leaving the room, upset and b) whether he finished it or not, he’d have ended up a complete wreck by the end, and then I’d be upset he was upset and I’d be unable to let it go (or sleep).

Instead, there was a space. A breath. A pause as I processed what happened and held off acting for a second. Instead of acting on autopilot, going to darker and depressing parts of my mind, I had the space to breathe and ask for help, calmly and without needing things to be done a particular way. It just became an “any old situation”, not an emergency. Even when I woke the next day, I didn’t get dazed when I walked into the bathroom with stuff hanging everywhere. Again, I just let it go.

My mental muscles are now so strong that I didn’t get triggered and have saboteurs react. There was a pause and then a move into my sage/wise mind/calmer self. And I stayed there the entire time.

Another friend shared with me that she was truly impressed because with all the work she has done on herself, she knows she still would have had to have control of that whole process. She couldn’t have stayed in bed to manage and would have had ways it had to be done. My first friend suggested the two of them should join my mental fitness program. My third friend has already, so I told the other two, join the club!

If you’d like to learn the science and get the practical tools to finally, once and for all, be able to be less reactive, more happy, less stressed or fearful, more efficient and effective, let’s connect. Mental fitness has been an absolute game-changer for me, and I want you to experience it too. Book a time here for an intro, with no obligation. You deserve to be happy. We all do.

P.S. If you’ve been doing your own work and already have rock-solid mental health practices, go you! Please consider sharing this with a friend or family member (or many) if it resonates with you and you want to share the benefits of a life you love and daily practices that support you.

Time for Reflection

This is the time of year when I take time to reflect.

Where was I at this time last year, and how much progress did I make?

What moved the needle for me?

Am I satisfied with my progress?

Am I proud of what I did, in spite of all of the challenges and pressures?

Ultimately, this reflection needs to be in balance. Shaming ourselves for what we didn’t accomplish or beating ourselves up isn’t the answer.

Likewise, brushing past our shortcomings and forgetting the ways we let ourselves down entirely risks us repeating mistakes again.

There is a gift in everything that happens to us, if we choose to see it. There is a gift in every choice we made, whatever the outcome, if we are lucky enough to make it through.

The key, though, is deciding there’s a gift, and then finding what it is.

And showing ourselves, and those around us, empathy is an essential part of the process.

I do this reflection work in several ways; on my own, in my mastermind, with close friends, and sometimes with a coach, like I did yesterday.

I will do similar work as I set goals and plan how I will hold myself accountable and set up great habits in 2023.

Today I celebrate me:

  • I am a childfree coach supporting women and all who are ready to create a life they love
  • I have made incredible strides in my mental fitness
  • I have made professional gains in the arts and in my writing (and a bit in my speaking career too)
  • I have gained a lot of clarity in my business
  • I have shown love, and compassion, and supported many dozens of people this year, not least of all my family
  • I’ve helped my clients improve their lives and find more joy and success
  • I’ve started three new group programs
  • I have had so much fun
  • I have made new friends, strengthened existing friendships, and further contributed to and built community around me

I wish you joy and peace in this holiday season, whatever you celebrate (or don’t).

P.S. I do have at least one more spot in my mental fitness program for January. If you’d like an affordable route to accountability, peace, success, and even community, you can grab a spot on my calendar to learn more. Please book ASAP as I am taking some time off for the holidays and the group program starts the second week of January. Feel free to email rossandjamieadventure @ if you don’t see a time that works for you.

P.P.S. What is the one thing you are celebrating yourself for as we close out 2022?

Anxiety: a path forward

Woman in shades of pink walks forward into a canopy of trees

I keep changing and changing and changing this title, but in truth, I know exactly what I’m going to say. The conundrum, of course, is that while I have learned that anxiety, even lifelong, chronic anxiety struggles, can get better, I also don’t want to be one of those people promising you snake oil or making you feel invisible if your anxiety proves to be way more stubborn than my own challenges have been.

So, with that caveat, here’s an update on where I’m at, how I did it, and what I can suggest for other people who are struggling too.

The Recap

Last October, I started having panic attacks. Debilitating ones, that were really getting in the way of my work and my life. While I had experienced perhaps a half dozen panic attacks while living in an RV and traveling the US, I was otherwise completely new to them. And when I’d had them, they hadn’t gotten in the way of my work or my life – I knew what triggered them, and within a few hours, I’d been able to move on from them.

But last fall was different. My husband was really worried. I was really worried too; as the current primary breadwinner in our relationship, and with a husband who was a full-time student, what if I couldn’t pay our bills? So I was having panic attacks and I was spiraling further, getting anxious about having anxiety, which I’ve since read is a sign of an anxiety disorder rather than simply anxiety (which everyone has on some level, and which is 100% normal, to my totally not clinical but still very educated on anxiety understanding).

On one particularly bad day, after a series of particularly bad days, I wanted to go to the mental health clinic. But, of course, I was anxious to go. I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t quite believe they’d let me in, especially because I hadn’t received my health card yet (which is your ticket to free health care as a Canadian resident).

My loving husband took me. He sat with me patiently in the car, and he came inside with me too. And the therapist I saw was so affirming, so understanding, and so encouraging as she got me on the list for free province-provided therapy. She even believed me and took notes when I told her I’d recently realized the ample supplies of nightshade vegetables I’d been filling my diet with were apparently a huge anxiety trigger (tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, and eggplant were filling my diet during this harvest season), based on my own Googled research.

This began more than six months of challenges as I waited, and waited, and waited to get that free therapy. Backing off the nightshade vegetables helped make the panic attacks less frequent (think 1-2 per week rather than daily), and I finally signed up online with my first therapist since college. She went from being okay for a few months, helping me to treat the anxiety, to being completely awful, around the same time I was seeing a very mediocre (at least for me) free therapist (finally) provided by the province.

Things Began Shifting

By the spring, a few things began shifting in my life:

  • I wrapped a contract with a client that had been having a negative effect on my mental health for a very long time, giving me space to begin healing from what I later realized was pretty intense burnout
  • The work I’d been doing on myself using the Enneagram was paying off, and I was seeing the benefits in my relationship with Ross, with my family and friends, and most importantly in my relationship with myself too
  • I found a new therapist who was NIGHT AND DAY from my previous experiences; she’s still supporting me, and I am grateful every day that I didn’t give up on finding the right person for me
  • The time I’d invested in finding community on PEI was bearing fruit; I had local friends and was doing meaningful work, collaborating in multiple music ensembles and enjoying the opportunity to lead one of them
  • I created an Enneagram group and had a really successful pilot program (my first group coaching program over several months)
  • I discovered the Positive Intelligence framework and became a major advocate for the benefits of mental fitness (and subsequently, I became a mental fitness trainer and incorporated the work into my coaching business)
  • I finally stepped outside of my comfort zone into an Anti-Anxiety program offered free to Islanders (called I CAN) and completed it successfully

According to my anxiety coach, my last panic attack was in late August. I know it was a combination of the techniques I had internalized by this point (learned in both I CAN and in my mental fitness studies) as well as some of the deeper personal development I had done. Having my therapist to cheer me on was especially helpful on the days I needed someone to vent to – whether you work with a therapist as well (always ideal) or just find a friend or hire a coach or accountability partner, that safe space was key.

I’ve now realized that I’ve been battling anxiety my entire life, or at least as far back as middle school. I also realize that if I had known then what I know now about mental fitness, I wouldn’t have needed to have the stress and overwhelm in my life. And I would have made healthier choices from a sage place rather than acting out of fear or to numb or distract myself.

What I Recommend

My own personal journey to get control of my anxiety was more long-winded than it needed to be, but there were also a lot of factors at stake. If I hadn’t been overwhelmed in my work, things might have played out differently, perhaps on a faster timetable. If I wasn’t so sensitive to nightshades, the panic attacks may have been less debilitating. But what I now realize is that the gift of my panic and anxiety struggles over the past year or more is that I now have direct experience I can use when coaching my clients. I can relate to them in ways I never could have five years back. What a gift!

Also, for those of you with access to some kind of free anxiety program, or one that’s very affordable for you, do consider it, if you’ve got the bandwidth for it. While I wasn’t learning many new things in mine, the daily practice and accountability (just like I use with my clients) helped me to finally finish integrating all the things people had taught me over the years. I CAN is a great option for Islanders. Find out what, if anything, is available for you.

If you want to sleep well at night, if you want a life with less stress and overwhelm, if you want the tools to find joy and peace and curiosity again, I’d love to introduce you to the mental fitness training we can do together. I have a few spots open in a small group program that will be starting up this January. I’m also developing a new program specifically with musicians in mind, and I’m planning future groups for a) for childfree people b) for men and c) for retirees.

If you’re intrigued, the easiest way for me to tell you more is for us to hop on a call so I can give you a tour of the program and a bit of coaching and some training to incorporate when you’re feeling anxious or fearful or angry or judgmental. I include a few of my favorite mindfulness techniques that you can actually use anywhere, at any time. It’s a free call, and if it intrigues you, I’m offering my programs on a sliding scale to make them as accessible as possible as we begin 2023.

I have such gratitude to be a coach and to be doing this life-changing work. Please reach out to learn more, and if you think this might resonate with a friend or a family member, please encourage them to do the same.

Take care, and be well.

Three Steps for Times of Stress

In the past month, I’ve launched my first two mental fitness groups (using the researched-based, acclaimed Positive Intelligence program and app that I’ve been studying for more than six months), conducted a performance of “O Canada” for a Canadian citizenship ceremony, completed an anti-anxiety program, completed a three month Enneagram group, been interviewed on a podcast, performed professionally as a member of Luminos Ensemble, written most of a book, coached childfree women (and people who aren’t raising children) on ways to create a life they love, and done writing and editing for clients. I’ve also dealt with the Hurricane Fiona aftermath, attended to a variety of personal and professional tasks, and made some time for fun fall activities, including getting together with friends.

One of the brilliant things about my work in the mental fitness realm has been realizing that I turn less and less things into stress in my life now. I’ve realized that rather than let all of the things in my busy life feel like things I “must” do, AKA things that cause me stress and need to be dealt with, I can instead focus on curiosity, on navigating my to-dos with joy or at least without the extra emotional weight I had a tendency to add to them. 

My mantra, which I developed in my first Enneagram group and continue to find exceptionally helpful, is this: “Breathe. Prioritize. Do what’s mine to do.” 

This mantra won’t work for everyone. You may in fact be one of those people who don’t take on other people’s tasks. Or you may need a mantra that’s more about doing and less about stopping and prioritizing for you personally to find balance in your life. But if my mantra strikes a chord, read on.

If you’re feeling stressed, unsure how to juggle all the responsibilities, both spoken and unspoken, in your life, try my three steps on for size. 

  1. Breathe: Realizing your breathing is getting more shallow? Starting to feel overwhelmed or anxious? As soon as you recognize it, stop that thought train. Focus on your breath. In, and out. Again. Stop the “what-if” and the “must-do” and tune into your breathing. 
  2. Prioritize: Once you’re feeling a bit calmer, whether from breathing or doing other mindfulness exercises, NOW you’re in a healthy space. You’re now using the part of your brain that’s capable of navigating challenges and getting curious about what’s possible. So it’s time to prioritize. What’s the one thing that you could get done today that would make your week, or even your year? What are the deadlines that will really screw you up if you miss them? Who is more important, and what are they expecting of you? Prioritize. 
  3. Do what’s mine to do: Now, and only now, it’s time to return to doing. Since you’ve stopped the auto-pilot and tuned into what matters, you can now do what’s truly yours to do. Most things I think are mine to do are, it turns out, actually not. I make a whole lot of responsibilities up. Sometimes I think I need to do work for other people. So don’t blindly do: make sure you do what’s YOURS to do today. And always, or at least whenever you can remember to stop, consider what matters, and then move forward. 

Keep swimming, my friends. You are wonderful just as you are, truly, right now. And I believe in you.

P.S. If you want support in how to follow these steps, that’s what I’m here for. Let’s hop on a free call where you can learn more about mental fitness and how to handle life’s challenges with more efficiency and joy.

Hurricane Fiona

We’ve experienced hurricanes before. Living in New England, we’d catch the tail end of them occasionally, and in Florida, we experienced one in an RV, prepped with a go bag, near a bath house, and fearing we’d get COVID if we had to flee. (Luckily for us, it fizzled out by the time it was near us.)

Suffice to say, though, that when we moved to Prince Edward Island, Canada, we didn’t expect to encounter hurricanes.

I’ve been becoming more and more aware of my “prepper” tendencies. They increased significantly when COVID-19 came into focus in 2020, and finding the balance between prepared and hoarding can be trickier than you might think.

As we got wind a hurricane might come out way, a part of me felt it would be healthier to just use the food we had at home. And when my car started acting up, it meant I would have to shop on foot. But I am so glad I headed out Thursday for essentials, and Friday for a few more I couldn’t fit in the first trip.

Hurricane Fiona was no joke. We lost power Friday night, and as of this writing, I think our street is probably still days from it returning. And when 95% of the island lost power and nearly everyone it seems lost trees or gardens or suffered damage, gratitude isn’t hard to come by.

So I continue to offer gratitude. For a radio. For enough food. For access on foot to places to charge devices. For kind islanders offering food for a donation or a coffee. For all the privileges that set us up well for this. For past experiences that strengthened me in following my intuition and preparing accordingly.

I am about to launch a pilot of a mental fitness program that’s been transformative. I use the skills multiple times throughout the day, especially under our current stressors. Due to our power situation, I haven’t finalized the details in a pretty way. But if you’d like to be one of the first to try the program out with me, I’d love to hear from you. Leave your email below, or contact me at Rossandjamieadventure @ for the details. If you’re ready to take charge of your life and move the needle on getting out of your head and into a meaningful life that lights you up, let’s chat. I’d love to send you more info and learn about where you are at and what you’re looking for.

And wherever you are, stay safe, and take care. You’ve got this.

Mastering Mental Fitness in The Messy Middle

Have you ever heard the term mental fitness? I hadn’t until recently, but now that I have, I’ve realized it’s a beautiful description for the work that I’ve been doing.

I am currently in the midst of some major hustle for my business ventures, taking on new clients, promoting the work I do to support women in figuring out what they truly want and bringing it to life, writing a book, and taking a couple of great courses. I am really busy!

At the same time, I’m taking more time off than I have in a long time. We’ve celebrated our anniversary, my birthday, Ross’ half birthday (yup!), PEI Pride Week, and next we’ll be spending some time with family.

So right now, I am pulling out every trick in the book to work as efficiently and effectively as possible. And in part, that means relying on mental fitness.

Thanks to the program I’m working on getting certified in, I’ve got lots of tools in my toolbox. I’m doing a daily walking meditation as I start my day, but I’m also integrating quick breaks to help me to get focused and make sure I’m in the best headspace possible to address challenges and make decisions.

The painful reality of being in the messy middle of building my business is that most days don’t get wrapped up with a pretty bow, and I rarely complete my to-do list (though I am getting better and better and completing my daily priorities list). Mental fitness is what keeps me in a state of wisdom, gratitude, hope, and making progress. It’s what helps to keep me eager to jump out of bed in the morning and eager to go to sleep at night (and rinse and repeat tomorrow).

What tools are you using to navigate life right now? Do you find yourself getting sabotaged by anxiety or negative voices in your head? Let’s share what we’re doing to keep going.

Mastering your mental health is a muscle. We need to practice flexing those muscles just like we might go for a swim, take a walk, or do a pushup.

Take care, friends. Especially in light of the world. Focus on what’s yours to do today, and tomorrow will get clearer too.

Privilege, and Discerning What’s Yours To Do

Gosh. Where to begin.

I’m processing privilege right now, and I’m figuring out what’s mine to do. If you can relate to that, and if you aren’t going to get really uncomfortable when I talk about the current state of U.S. politics and the issue of abortion, read on.

When the Supreme Court of the United States recently decided to overrule past precedent (and, in some cases, to ignore what they’d promised to do during their confirmation hearings), they did so from places of extreme privilege.

These judges may have in the past been in vulnerable situations, but now, I can confidently say that were a member of their family or friend group in the position of having to raise a child or risk their life to do so against their will, they could afford to help that person. They’re privileged enough to be able to afford to send them to a safe clinic, in a neighboring state or country, and they have the intelligence and other resources to ascertain what’s needed and get it done. They also can be assured some agency in where they live – if they decide the laws of their current state don’t work for them, they’ve got options.

If it isn’t obvious, these folks are in the minority. They may or may not be in the “1%”, as recent politicians have called it, but they have the privileges of wealth, and power, and education, and likely others as well. Most of them are white, and most of them are male, and for the most part, they’ve gotten to navigate the world without their right to marry who they want or, in many cases, spend time where they want or pursue the life they want, being questioned.

The vast majority of people with uteruses in the United States of America do not have all of these privileges. And in fact, a majority of people living in the U.S., whether they’ve got a uterus or not, believe that the Supreme Court’s decision was wrong. It crossed a dangerous line by setting the precedent that people can be forced to raise a child, and yet the other person (the one with the penis) who contributed their sperm is irrelevant in the matter. We’ve already, just in the last week or so, heard the horrendous news that an eleven-year-old child was denied an abortion.

Eleven. Do some simple math and think about who might have fathered that child and whether forcing an eleven-year-old child to carry a child is really a good idea.

Prior to this decision, I’d pulled way back on my time spent on social media. I’m now in the position that, while most of my friends are on the same page about this as I am, I have to reckon with the fact that a few close friends are profoundly NOT on the same side of this issue as I am. And recognizing that people I know and love care more deeply for the potential of some cells to grow into a child, even if that child could be unwanted or unable to thrive in the world, even if that child surviving could kill the parent, metaphorically or physically…I honestly don’t even have the words here.

I know they have their reasons for their opinions. But my knowledge of history tells me that most of the reason for the church and its members adopting this opinion as such a hot button issue is because of white supremacy. It’s because when Black people fought for and won some concessions, FINALLY, in the civil rights movement, a hundred years after the Civil War should have made that fight moot but didn’t because people are stubborn and fearful, the church wanted and needed an issue, a scapegoat, a way to maintain power over women and minorities.

Am I generalizing slightly? Sure. Am I making any of this up? Not at all. Go do a bit of research if you don’t believe me.

So what am I, a white woman with plenty of my own privilege, even more privileged to currently be living in Canada, supposed to do with this?

How do I stand by knowing that women will die and lose the right to a life of their own choosing every day because of this ruling?

How do I support my family and friends? How do I support the people I don’t know?

How do I avoid getting consumed by the panic and fear and frustration and anger?

And you may be asking the same question too.

The truth, of course, is that discerning what is mine to do is a very, VERY personal choice.

I would love for every person reading this to begin contacting their representatives on a weekly basis if they don’t already.

I would love for every person reading this in the U.S. with enough privilege and safety to do so to begin attending protests regularly.

I’d also love for those same folks with privilege and safety to send some money weekly to organizations who continue to do the work to make sure all those who need this life-saving care receive it. Reproductive rights are human rights.

But whether or not you, or I, do any of those three things at all or as often as I would like to see it happen, I want ALL of us to take a pause. Take a moment to stop operating from a reactionary perspective.

Once you’ve done some meditation or taken a walk outside or journaled about your feelings or danced your face off for twenty minutes – you know, whatever mindfulness practices keep you going in the face of stress and anxiety and panic and anger – take a pause.

Survey the situation around you. What are your privileges? What are your skills? What power do you have right now? Ask yourself, what is mine to do? Consider what is yours to do today, and this week, and this month, and this year, on this issue.

And then take the first step. If we take a step every day, or even every week, how much better off are we?

For me, what is mine to do varies somewhat from day to day. And I will keep checking in on it. But the big theme for me, right now, is recognizing that I have two areas to focus.

I want to be known as a supporter and defender of human rights by everyone who knows me. I know a ton of people in the U.S. So I’m going to keep doing what I can, from a distance, to support those I know and those I don’t, following the guidance of those who know more than me so that I don’t unknowingly make any of us a target.

And because supporting the local community here is a major focus of my day to day work, I will continue to do that. I’m looking forward to attending Pride events here later this month. I will continue to offer scholarships and partial scholarships to support those seeking coaching and clarity. I will keep learning more about local cultures, customs, struggles, history, and ways that I can be a force for good in the world.

And perhaps most importantly, long-term? I won’t forget myself and my own self-care in the struggle. Because if I give everything I have, every day, without making time for my own needs, there will come a day when I will become a burden on those around me, rather than a boon and force for good in the world.

Keep reading. Keep learning. Keep growing. What is yours to do today?

Keep asking. And keep taking a step. The fight is an urgent one, and if we wait for an election or for someone else to do it, there won’t be anyone or anything left to fight for.