Say YES to creating space: Patience + sense of humor required.

As I mentioned in my last post, Charleston winters are fairly mild. So recently when we had those few cold days when a hoodie or a fleece pullover just wasn't enough, it was a last minute scramble. We dug through the box in attic and found half of everything we need. One child had a hat. The other had a scarf. No one had gloves. Scratch that. We found a single, pink, leopard print mitten. 

I was on it. Off to Target I went, collecting the necessary items off the clearance rack. The next cold morning, everyone bundled up. I helped with zippers. Pulled hats over ears. I felt like such a good mommy making sure my kids were warm. Out the door they went.

A short while later, my husband called and said, "Cate doesn't have shoes." Socks only. Feet hidden by long flare jeans. It was fine for a while because it's preschool, and at least she was wearing socks. But she needed shoes. "Bring shoes" was not on my list of things to do. I adjusted my schedule and my expectations and delivered them.

Related: On another cold winter morning, I spent some extra time prepping a meal to go in the crock pot. Feeling accomplished and efficient—Dinner will be a breeze, I thought—I went about my day. Only to return home in the afternoon to discover I didn't plug it in. 


But also, a little bit funny. 

Clearly, I'm a work in progress. But in both of those scenarios, my ability to stay calm and move on to Plan B is progress. 

This week, I'm talking to YES DIET creator Shauna Mackenzie about making space in our lives so we can think clearly. So we can respond and not react. 

"This is a major shift," Shauna says. "Creating space is not a productivity hack. It's not an easy process." (tweet that)

But then, she says, you'll wake up one day and see that it is working. 

In this video we'll also talk about:

  • the challenges we face when we first try to create space in our lives and how to navigate the learning curve.
  • how manage our own inner resistance and pushback from others. 
  • what it means to have enough. And how getting there is an amazing place to be.
  • how to show up as your authentic self, especially in important relationships. 

I really love my always candid chats with Shauna. Join the conversation by leaving a comment below. You can also download the audio here. Or listen for free on iTunes. 

Shauna Mackenzie is the creator of the YES DIET, a 30-day lifestyle cleanse that teaches us how to say no more often, so you have more space to say YES to the good things. This video is part three in a series. If you missed parts one and two you can find them here:

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As simple as that

We didn’t get pounded with snow over the weekend like my friend Abby in Baltimore. Here in Charleston, snow is something we rarely see.

But as the weekend approached and the sky turned gray and rain fell, there was this feeling in the air that a snow storm was coming. 

Our typical routine on Saturday morning is to let the kids play for a few hours while Shawn and I sit on the sofa, drink coffee, and click around on our laptops. It’s a mix of work-related things and catching up on articles and emails we weren’t able to get to during the week. And since the kids know their way to the cereal (they're digging in the pantry all the time) and enjoy the downtime as much as we do, they usually keep themselves occupied. When they start bugging us every five minutes we know our time is up.

But this Saturday morning, Shawn realized that he'd left his workout clothes at the office (we had plans to go to the gym later) and needed to get them. Blake woke up first and went with Shawn, because riding in Daddy's car is so cool. Daddy plays the music really loud. 

So I was alone, on the sofa, on a Saturday, drinking coffee. These days, that’s on the level of an exotic vacation. Minutes later, I heard Cate doing her sleepy stomp down the stairs. Dillon was still in bed, and Cate doesn’t always know what to do with herself when her brothers aren’t around. So I invited her to come sit with me.

Then I got a message from a neighbor that it was “snowing” on our street. 

“Cate, guess what? It’s snowing! Do you want to go see?”

“Yes!” she exclaimed. 

We ran to the front door. I picked her up and we walked out on the porch and admired the flurries. Flurries so light and scattered that my camera would never detect them. Like little dust bunnies floating. Flurries that had no chance of sticking when they hit the ground. 

But it was exciting all the same. It was a fleeting moment of magic, of wonder. 

Until Cate said, “Brrr! It’s cold! Let’s go inside!” 

And so we did. Then we headed to the kitchen to make biscuits and bacon. By the time Shawn and Blake returned and Dillon stumbled out of bed, the house smelled so much more delicious than dry cereal.

I’m documenting this experience simply because of how it felt. How it felt to get up, open my front door, open my eyes, and see. 

I’m sure the mix of rare snow flurries and the brisk air contributed to the effect, and also, because I accepted the invitation. 

It was an invitation to reconnect to the feeling of being awake and alive and present inside my own life. 

It was a quiet, encouraging, inner thing that nudged me and said, Get up. Go look.

In a few fleeting moments, I remembered: Oh right, it’s as simple as that. {tweet that}

A practical way to deal with overwhelm

Most of the women I know are tired. Between family and work and all of the things... it begins to feel like too many things. 

In part two of my conversation with YES DIET creator Shauna Mackenzie, we talk candidly about the mental blocks we have around delegating and money, and the unnecessary stress we place on ourselves. Shauna says we have to give all of the exhausting things credit for being truly exhausting things. 

But here's the encouraging part: One small mental shift or one small tweak in how we do things can free up energy and emotional space and make room for the people and experiences that bring us joy. 

It starts with taking an honest look at how we're really spending our time. 

You can also listen to our conversation on iTunes. 

This post is part two in a series. Part one is here.  The YES DIET is a 30-day lifestyle cleanse that helps us create a balance of yes in our lives. Click here to learn more. 

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