WTF is Surrender?

Some days I feel like crying but it’s not all bad. I feel sad, I feel overwhelmed. I have an ever apparent lump in my throat- but it’s not about my life.

It’s about the world and the complexity of it all. I feel overheleming gratitude, at the same time as the sadness. I feel powerlessness but also an incredible force within me at the same time.

I think this conflict comes from feeling myself both as an individual and as a part of something much bigger than myself at the same time. When I feel like trying to change things as the small, earthly fleck of a human being that I am, I feel so hopeless.

But when I tap into the undercurrent inside me, when I get quiet and I feel connected, then I feel like things are infinitely possible.

I can see why there is so much anxiety, because in my world, trying to force and DO makes me feel less powerful. The more I realize that surrendering to instinct and paying attention to the signs and guidance right in front of my face, the more hope and peace I feel.

This doesn’t mean I believe in doing nothing. It means the doing comes from a less feverish place. It comes from a deep well of knowledge with a very carefully laid out plan that I just can’t see in its entirety yet.

There was a time when I thought giving up my individual plans to just go with life as it comes to me made me feel very anxious. How could I have the assurance that I could become everything that I want for myself in this life time if I don’t exert force?

How can I achieve if I don’t grind?

I think the desperate energy that goes along with all of that ALWAYS puts a big halt on progress and leaves you spinning your wheels in the mud. From my experience, every single time I’ve let go of the desperate attachment to how things should be, and the exact path I felt I should take towards something I wanted, things started to show up on their own and everything started to fall into place and align as if it were magic.

Who knows why we always forget that surrender isn’t giving up, who knows why we always go back to tensing up all of our muscles as the default.

All I know is that there is a shift in the air. And as nervous as I am to start opening up about this side of me- and all the “woo-woo” (which by the way, science is really starting to support)- I know it’s for the good and I’m compelled to do it.

“Surrender isn’t about being passive, it’s about being open”

-Danielle LaPorte


All My Moving Parts

Milli Fox, self-help blogger focused on self-love and healing from trauma. Based in Toronto, Ontario. I’ll admit it, I think in black and white most of the time. Usually I’m classifying whether something is good or bad, right or wrong. You know, that super harsh kind of thinking that mostly leads to being hyper critical of oneself? This girl!

I recently began a new therapy journey. I’ve committed to go twice a week, ongoing, to help me deal with a lot of the trauma I dealt with as a child that’s lead me to some unhealthy thought and behaviour patterns (black and white thinking included). My therapist started using IFS (Internal Family Systems) with me to try to help me see all of the different coping mechanisms and their triggers that have formed over the years.

Up until now, I’ve been very ashamed of some of the parts of myself. I’ve judged myself pretty harshly for ways that I react to situations, even seeing it happen in the moment and not being able to stop myself. I know a lot of these behaviour patterns formed as protective mechanism in response to trauma and abuse that I experienced, but it doesn’t stop me from hating on myself for them.

I read recently that although these behaviours may have stopped serving us long ago- we actually shouldn’t hate on them, we should recognize the role they played in trying to protect us and show them some gratitude before we send them off for good. I think I like this idea, and the IFS therapy is showing me how that’s possible.

What we did was have me go through all the different “characters” that make up my entire self. My therapist coached me through it but then I continued the exercise on my own.

Then we dove deeper into one of my parts that I called the Bossy Teacher/Drill Sergeant and we broke down WHY this part of me comes out, what it’s aim is and what it’s biggest fear is if it doesn’t show up. (It’s the part of me that seems to show up most often and the part of me that I like and understand the least). Today I finally realized that this part of me shows up because I’m afraid if I don’t go into this mode, i won’t be able to handle life and everything with crumble around me, I’ll lose control and I’ll become my mother. Woah.

Basically my worst fear.

Logically, I know it’s so silly. I know I won’t become my mom if I’m nurturing instead of cold and tough-lovey. Logically, I know if I show weakness my entire world won’t come crashing down around me. But in my emotional, animal brain, I’m super duper afraid of this and it feels VERY necessary. It’s my go-to, knee-jerk reaction to other people’s needs.

Maybe I feel I can barely handle my own needs, so if someone else needs me I better toughen up and get shit done.

ANYWAY! Looking through all the different parts of myself like this, as if they are players in a cast, helps me feel a little bit less judgemental towards them. It helps me to see that just because they are a part of me, doesn’t mean they ARE me or define me. It also helps me to see how complex I am as a human being. Each of my parts has it’s helpful aspects and it’s hindrances and none can simply be labeled good or bad.

When I started therapy, just over a month ago, I didn’t have a clue how I would start to tackle these deeply engrained thought patterns- but I’m really starting to feel hopeful. That I won’t always have to carry these burdens and that my load can be lighter and I can let go of so much of this.

So much so that I’ve been feeling giddy after my sessions!

I’m really looking forward to the future in a way that I never have before. ❤️


I Do it For Attention

Milli Fox, self-help blogger focused on self-love and recovering from trauma. Based in Toronto, Ontario.

Let’s face it, the currency of our day and age is attention. Everyone and everything is doing their absolute best to steal even just a tiny bit of your attention, including me.

That old expression “Oh she’s just doing it for attention” is an interesting one to me. I’m not exactly sure when wanting attention became a bad thing, but if you look at children they have absolutely no shame over wanting lots and lots of attention. We are wired for connection, and we were born to vie for attention because the only way to connect is to first gain another human’s attention. In fact, they say loneliness is a bigger threat to your health than smoking or heart disease.

So, here we are feeling less and less connected and all of us are looking for more and more attention. Why?

Why is it that the people who seem to have the most attention feel the least connected and the most lonely?

I think a lot of it comes back to some seriously outdated views about how much attention we should give our children. It’s some Doctor Spock shit. I know attachment parenting is becoming more popular and I think that’s a great thing. However, I think there is still a lot of misunderstanding about attachment, how it develops and what it takes to create secure attachments. My favourite resource for info about this topic is from Gabor Mate and Dr. Gordon Neufeld.

I almost guarantee you that the super famous people who are lonely and depressed didn’t develop secure attachments to any caregivers as children. In fact, I once heard a quote by Marilyn Monroe (who allegedly commit suicide) that went like this:

“I need everyone to love me. I must belong to the whole world because I have never belonged to anyone or anything in my whole life. And I fear that I never ever will.”

I believe the sometimes we believe that if we get attention, we will feel connected but deep connection comes from secure attachments not just attention on its own.

When we feel attached and grounded to loving caregivers, we feel like we have a solid foundation in the world and we feel safe. Then we grow up and we know how to get into secure and healthy relationships. But when we don’t have a model for how that is supposed to look, many of us end up feeling isolated and lonely. I also think its a big reason that so many marriages today fail.

I also think a lot of people who feel lonely and isolated believe that not many people know the “real them”.

So, in comes social media and we all feel that maybe we can have just a piece of the coveted feeling of admiration. We put forward our best selves and we want to feel seen and heard and validated. We all want to feel seen, heard and validated- so we reach for attention.

My question is, why are we shaming people for *trying* (albeit maybe not in the healthiest ways) to meet this essential human need of connection?

I think it’s directly related to the fact that we still don’t view mental health/well-being as a top priority. There is still so much stigma about being “weak” if you share these vulnerable feelings. I am completely guilty of that.

Not so long ago, emotional people made me feel truly uncomfortable. Here’s an example, when I was pregnant with Rosen, George Micheals died around Christmas. My father-in-law and my husband got emotional about it because they had so many fond memories about him and his music. It made me angry. I couldn’t understand why the death of someone they didn’t even know could upset them so much. I chalked it up to them having had too much to drink. Their emotions made me uncomfortable because I didn’t have the coping mechanisms handle my own (working on that, but that’s another story) and there for felt it was weak to show them.

That might not be specifically related to attention and attachment but it just goes to show that from an emotional standpoint, we have a long way to go.

A few weeks ago I was watching The American Meme on Netflix and Kendall Jenner mentioned that people often accuse them of doing what they do solely for attention, and her response really got me. She said “ I just don’t see what’s wrong with that”.

I agree. I don’t see why there is so much shame surrounding wanting attention. Obviously the intentions may not all be the same, but it’s usually coming from the same need- to feel seen, heard, validated, and even loved.

So instead of shaming random people on the internet for wanting attention, why don’t we just focus on giving more attention to those we love and developing those deeper connections that we’re all hoping for in the first place?


Can We Have it All?

Mama Milli Fox self help blogger Toronto

As women, is it really truly possible to “have it all”???

This is a question that I struggle with often. But it’s not because I don’t believe we can. I truly (madly) deeply believe we can have everything we want in a lifetime.

I just don’t think it’s possible to have it all at the same time. I have to remind myself of this constantly.

Growing up I always envisioned myself having a serious career. I wanted 6 figures and I wanted a title.

I knew I could have it too. I had a serious scholarship, great grades, intense work ethic and drive. But life had different plans for me, and my priorities fell into place pretty quickly.

When I was 19 I met my husband. I was taking a bit of time away from school and was working full time as a waitress. I’m glad I did this because I graduated university with no debt.

Anyway- we got married when I was 23 and Junior and I had started to grow his business @gfoxco. But I always considered it his business, not mine. However, it was the main money maker (and still is) so it deserved more attention at the time.

I flopped around from personal training to nutrition to fertility nutrition and then to doula work. I was full force on the doula/fertility nutrition path prior to having Rosen.

I quickly realized I was not ok with putting Rosen in daycare and didn’t want to work trading my time for money in those positions or have to leave the home for work. I wanted to cherish these precious years with my baby.

I started Junior Foxes when Rosen was 5 months old and it’s been “relatively successful” I.e. not as successful as I want it to be but pretty good when measured to most people’s standards.

I get incredibly frustrated sometimes when I’m not working or producing or making money. I’ve battled with this vs. my self worth for years.

But I constantly remind myself that this is a SEASON in my life. I’m never going to look back and regret the time I chose to spend with Rosen.

I remind myself to have patience and go slow. It doesn’t change how agitated I am sometimes when I just want to get on the computer and work but I can’t. But it helps.

It helps to remember that next month, Junior will be less busy and I can set more time aside to work.

It helps to remember that my baby will go to school one day sooner than later and this season will come to a close.

It helps to remember that I’ll always cherish these days even I don’t feel like I’m contributing value to the world right now. It’s all so insignificant in the big picture, and I logically know I’m making the right choices.

Sometimes we just get so caught up and need to give ourselves a loving pat on the head and say chill the fuck out. You’re doing a great job. Enjoy your life ❤️

And balance in the day to day is ultimately a scam. Balance is cultivated over a lifetime.

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On Being “Too Much”

Milli Fox Toronto based self-help and motivational blogger. Oh she’s just too much.

How often do you worry about being “too *insert adjective here*?

I have been living under the illusion that I am unapologetically myself. I have this nice idea that because i’m outspoken and I’m not afraid of confrontation or conflict that somehow that automatically means that I am also true to myself. Don’t ask me how I put that one together….

Anyway, Instagram has definitely shined a light into some of my darkest corners. So as much as I love to hate so many aspects about it, ultimately I am grateful for the questions it has brought up for me.

Why am I posting this?

Really, so many questions go through my head before I decide upon what to post. Today I had this idea that I should start a post series called #whatimreallythinking and share the TRUE thoughts that go through my head while I’m thinking about whether or not to post something. But I’ll come back to that idea.

What I’m really getting at here is how often I second guess myself before I share something. Even on this blog. I actually have a super deep fear of being viewed as “too much”.

I’ve actually had this fear for a long time. I’m afraid that people will think I’m too bitchy, too bossy, too forceful, too goofy, too un-ladylike,

I’m also very concerned that people are going to think that if I share the deep, painful parts of me that people will automatically think it’s because I’m looking for attention.

And you know what’s so interesting and sort of funny? The other day, I was watching The American Meme on Netflix and Kendal Jenner of all people responded to that criticism with: “I just really don’t see what the problem with attention is”.

I sat with that for awhile. I’m still thinking about it.

Why are we so concerned about people wanting attention? I guess it all comes down to the why (as in most things). Why do you want the attention to begin with?

In my case, I know a lot of it has to do with wanting to feel seen, heard and validated. (By the way, we all want to feel seen, heard and validated). I personally didn’t get much of that from the people in my life who are “supposed” to give it to you- so I guess now I am seeking it. Admitting that in itself seems like something I’m supposed to be ashamed of.

But why? Why am I supposed to feel bad about the fact that I suffered in many ways as a child and now I’m trying to figure all that shit out, air my pain out to dry and to take control of my own story?

Why should I feel afraid that my shit is going to make someone else uncomfortable?

Why should I swallow my painful memories in attempts to keep it kosher?

I keep seeing this quote around the internet that says something along the lines of: If you’re too much for someone, they just aren’t your people.

I think that’s it. I think we just need to stop worrying about making those people uncomfortable and start shining for the people who DO need to hear our shit. For that ONE person who needs to hear what we’re saying, in the specific way that we’re saying it, on that specific day that we feel like saying it.

I am so afraid of people thinking I’m looking for sympathy, it makes me feel so uncomfortable sometimes when people offer me words of encouragement or tell me I’m doing a great job. I feel like they are just being nice or even that they don’t really know allllll of me, so their compliments or encouragement is somehow not applicable.

So, as I sit here trying to embrace allllll of me- I am gonna take a step into this uncharted territory of revealing my “too muchness”. Some of which isn’t even about ME, but more-so about things that happened TO ME that I’ve been too afraid to share for fear of making my family uncomfortable.

I realize I’ve been trying to protect people that never really even tried to do much to protect me.

I think I’m ready to throw all that people-pleasing shit out the window.

Time to air out all too much of my dirty laundry. Cause shame can’t live in the light sista!

Share one way that you’ve always been concerned you are “too much” of in the comments below.