Fine Lines & Contradictions

Oh lord we walk the line. Everyday and everyway. As women, as mothers- it tears us in two. Speak your truth they say, but don’t disrespect your elders and don’t offend anyone. Take care of yourself they say- but they don’t offer a hand. Self-care, what is it? A face mask, a warm bath, or an appointment with your therapist? But is it for the ego or the soul?

Do you know yourself? Do you trust yourself? How can you be sure? Too much wondering and worrying. How do you have boundaries that are healthy and how do you enforce them? Everyone wants you to be the nice girl. Where do you find inspiration without comparison and how do you stop the feelings of unworthiness that always seem to creep in when searching for “inspiration”? How do you share your story without seeming indulgent? How do you know when you’ve shared too much or even if it’s possible? Some people with applaud you and thank you and others will tell you you’re searching for attention. You can never do it right. How do you let go of “right”? How do you operate outside of right and wrong? Even if you logically acknowledge that there truly is no right or wrong, we are beings attached to beliefs. We’re all attached to what we think is right and wrong.

Love your family they say. Open your heart they say. But stand up for yourself and don’t let anyone tell you you’re not worthy of love. Isn’t it usually our families that make us believe those lies in the first place? How do you open your heart to the people who harderned your heart in the first place?

I just want to write and hit publish but I feel like I need to provide answers. I need to show you I have things figured out.

Sometimes everything just seems like a contradiction. Like I’m always balancing on these fines lines of ambition and self absorption. Of love and losing myself. Of strength and cold heartedness. Of mindfulness and blindness.

How can I justify any of this? I can’t.

But one thing I know is- that’s not the point. The experience IS the point. The expansion and the new questions that bubble up ARE the point. The path is the point. Paying attention is the point.

There really is no finale.



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Running From Your Reflection

And I don’t mean literally… I mean when you see yourself in others.

As I’ve mentioned before- I’m not that great at friendships. Well, what I mean more specifically is that I feel challenged by relationships with women. I know there are layers to these challenges and it can’t just be summarized into one neat little package.

But what I do know is- it all has to do with me. First, I see the reflection of what I need and what I needed from my mother in my relationships with other women. Second, I see my own struggles and my own flaws in the people I get close to.

The unfulfilled needs definitely complicate things, but the struggles I’ve overcome and yet to overcome and flaws make it especially challenging. As I recognize the fact that it’s actually my own reflection making me uncomfortable, I’ve realized how unfair that is for the other person involved.

I’m essentially trying to save myself through other people. I always cross boundaries, take it one or many steps too far, give too much of myself and then get resentful when I feel it’s not appreciated or reciprocated.

The issue here is I’m not able to love and accept someone beyond their “problems” because I can’t love and accept myself despite my own perceived flaws.

For so many years I’ve been self help obsessed. I just think if I can be more mindful, more effective, more productive, more whatever- everything else will fall into place.

But the truth is I’ve been intellectualizing everything and forgetting how to actually love someone. You don’t love someone by working to. You love someone by just accepting them as they are and not constantly trying to change them.

Yes personal development is a wonderful thing but it’s not a prerequisite for being a good person. In fact, even if you’re kind of a jerk- you should still be loved and you should definitely still love yourself.

It’s just a matter of monitoring how you actually talk to yourself. Are the demands you have on yourself reasonable? Are you kind to yourself when you don’t meet them?

I recently was listening to a podcast and the guy said- if you think you have it all together, all you have to do is look at your relationships with other people to gauge how true that is. Are your relationships going well? If not- then you probably need to do some work on your relationship with yourself.

If you find it hard To be compassionate and patient with others, how can you possibly find it in yourself to be those things for yourself? I think you can really be in denial about it for a long time.

It takes a lot of self-awareness and constant checking in to be sure your not acting out of your own self limiting beliefs.

The best “method” I’ve found for working on self love has been improving my self talk and using “The Work” by Byron Katie.

Two books that I found specifically helpful have been:

“I Need Your Love, Is That True”, Byron Katie

-“Ultimate Confidence”, Marisa Peer

Tell me about a time you realized your own issues were causing problems for you in a relationship.

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Do You Practice Having Fun?

I wish I could put on Rosen goggles sometimes.

It’s such a shame as we get older how we see so much less winded in he world. The magic is never gone, we just forget how to notice it.

I’ve been doing some digging lately- and the idea of joy keeps coming back to me. Followed by the ideas of fun, laughter, dance, play and creativity. All of these things bring joy into your life- but we deem them to be much less important than so many other tasks in our day to day.

The major issue is, the most meaningful part of our lives are the connections we have with the other people in our lives. And while we’re all so busy focusing on the “important stuff” we’re forgetting to take into consideration that the most memorable, heart touching moments we share with those we love can only come when we make the space for the fun, laughter, dance, play and creativity. You are literally starving yourself and the ones you love of these incredible moments for connection by ignoring these things.

But the thing is… if we’re not used to being care free in the way children are- we might freeze up even if we do get the opportunity to play or to dance. Today I was thinking about how much I used to dance and how now when I try I feel stuff and awkward.

And I think we feel stiff and awkward when it comes to all of these things because they require practice. The word practice keeps coming up for me lately. Yoga practice, mediation practice etc. It’s not like you do them because you’re already good at them- you have a practice evause you are doing literally that, practicing. The same way you would with a musical instrument or a sport. You have to PRACTICE play, practice laughter, practice dance- by putting them into PRACTICE!!

Lol now I know I’m putting a lot of stress on that word. But the only way to practice something is to make the space and time for it.

Have you ever tried to fake laugh and it ends up making you laugh for real?? Try it. It’s a really good way to get yourself going.

If you have nothing to do for a moment, stop looking around for a task to complete. Put on some music and start doing a stupid dance. Again, it might make you feel really dumb at first, but as you start moving you’re going to loosen up and start feeling the groove.

Creativity is also not something that only some of us are gifted with- it’s something we have to cultivate in the exact same way. Those of who rn corporate creativity into our days are the ones who amplify it within ourselves.

I’ve been watching RuPaul’s Drag Race lately and I’ve been in awe of the creativity those Queens put into their entire performance. I thought back to yesterday when I pulled together a random Halloween costume out of a bin of things and suddenly became a Chuck Cavewoman with a pink wig and with glamorous shimmering pink eyelids, and I was amazed at how much fun it was.

Now what if we didn’t wait for Halloween for the excuse to let our creative juices flow? What if we practiced dance, laughter, play, fun and creativity daily? Even if it were just for five minutes?

I don’t know about you- but I’m feeling lighter just thinking about it.

Wouldn’t it be nice to get a little bit of our kid goggles back?

Comment below with the last time you felt carefree and had fun like the good old days 😁

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Things You “Should” Do Everyday: The Deceivingly Simple Trick For Lightening Up on Yourself

For a long time now, I’ve been obsessed with personal improvement. I’ve been a personal trainer, a nutritionist and a self-help book junkie. What I’ve noticed over the years of striving to become a healthier, happier person, is how often professionals will recommend that you do [insert habit here] everyday. You should drink 2.5 L of water everyday, you should take xyz vitamin/supplement everyday, you should meditate everyday, you should exercise everyday, you should eat 9 servings of vegetables everyday, you should write in a gratitude journal everyday, you should walk 10,000 steps everyday, you should floss everyday, overwhelmed yet?

Last year, I read a book about success. It was essentially about living by a set of principles that can help guide your life rather than trying to make decisions in each individual situation based on emotion or whatever else might be influencing you at that time in your life. The one part of that book that had the biggest impact on me was the simple statement that you can spend your day in one of two ways: one is doing things that move you towards a goal, and the other is doing things that don’t move you towards a goal.

At first glance that might seem like a shit ton of pressure. Wow, I can either do the right or the wrong thing with my day. Great. I better be super focused and productive 100% of the time then right? No.

Thats not what I took away from it anyway. The way I see it is as a simple guidepost for whether on not something you’re focusing your time on is actually worth the time your spending on it. I also see all the little things that you give your attention to as drops in a bucket that can add up significantly over time.

For example, if you want to get into better shape, a ten minute walk is better than no walk at all. Every bit always counts.

One other statement that has impacted me greatly over the last year was a quote I heard, and I think it was by Oprah… It said “you can have everything, just not all at once.”

So how does all of this loop back around and determine what you should do everyday?

Well, I think it means that if you zoom out and look at the bigger picture, you can see that life will always naturally ebb and flow. You can accept that you can’t always expect to be able to uphold the exact same routines everyday; especially at a time in your life when your day is at the mercy of a baby or a small child. Ultimately, you can take a bit of pressure off of yourself because a time will come where you’ll have more time to focus on other things.

I believe, that as long as you are asking yourself if the things you ARE spending time on do move you somehow closer to a goal, then you can be assured that you are doing an amazing job, everyday.

If that means you spent your day cleaning up poop and not changing out of your pyjamas because you could barely keep your head above the chaos of motherhood? Good. You did something that contributed to your goal of creating a happy family life, because you spent your day doing exactly what your child needed that day.

Some days might not feel “productive” in the conventional sense of the word, but goals are not always career oriented, or fitness oriented, or about how clean your house is or how put together you appear. A lot of goals in your life are actually about how mentally well you are, how present you can be for the people you love or how accepting you can be of the challenges of day to day life.

I recently learned the difference between our deepest desires and our strongest desires. Our strongest desires are the things that pull us in our day to day, like growing an Instagram following, or keeping our house clean. Where as, our deepest desires are the much larger and more meaningful things we want across our life time like having meaningful work, being there for your family or spending more time on your hobbies that fill your cup.

Often times our strongest desires don’t match up very well with our deepest desires, so its great to check yourself once in a while.

Yes its great to eat healthy everyday, to be organized, to look great, to exercise. But the truth about balance is… that doesn’t mean you have to do them all, everyday. In my books, it means things balance out across the months and the years. Its not always about the days, so take a load off, mama and stop shoulding on yourself.

Share one thing you feel like you “should” be doing everyday in the comments to try and give it a bit less power over you!

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Why I Want to be a Mom SO Badly

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I think a lot of little girls dream of growing up to me moms. I know not all of them do for sure, and that’s awesome too because everyone needs to do exactly what feels right for them.

I remember when I was little I didn’t care that much about barbies, I had my dolls. I had a full drawer dedicated to doll clothes and I loved my babies. I had a cat and he was also my baby. You better believe he was always dressed up in those doll clothes too.

And my favourite game? House.

Wow. You must be thinking, so stereotypical. So cliché. Haha. Me too!

Despite all of those super nurturing tendencies I had, I was also very much a rough and tumble tomboy type girl. I loved playing in the woods, getting dirty in the creek, catching frogs and bugs etc. I also owned a full train set and my own hot wheels too.

I would say that my parents were pretty good at letting me explore all ranges of “gendered” play. I got to make my own choices.

From a young age, it was very clear to me that I wanted to be a mom. I even remember telling my mom when I was a kid, when I’m a mom… blah blah blah.

When I got older, into my teenage years, I always pictured myself with kids. Its kind of weird actually, I always pictured myself as a single mom. Maybe that’s because I wasn’t sure of whom I would end up with, so I just didn’t include anyone in my fantasy future. I was actually not as set on the idea of marriage as I was on the certainty of being a mom.

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So maybe this is all very normal. Maybe there are a lot of girls who have mommy fantasies. But as my life has progressed, my yearning for motherhood deepened into something I didn’t really expect.

After my husband and I were married, we kept going back and forth between the number of years it would be until we would have kids. Baby fever would get really strong and then retreat for a bit. That was all good, cause it wasn’t quite the right time and I knew I wasn’t ready yet at 23.

When my sister-in-law started having babies, things started to get real. Especially when my second nephew, Mateo, was born last October. I understood what motherhood really looked like and what it meant to commit yourself fully to a new little human. I knew I was up for it.

However, I felt like I couldn’t become a mother until I healed my own wounds– many of which stem from the relationship I have with my own mother. It’s unfortunate because my mom also had a poor relationship with her own mother. The cycle is one that’s not easy to break, because when you don’t have a good model for a mother-daughter relationship, how do you navigate creating one with your own daughter?

You know how people feel they have to discover themselves and love themselves first before they can get into a relationship? That’s kind of how I felt about having a baby. There’s some self-work that I need to do first and I thought that was a really responsible belief to have.

I started working with a psychotherapist, addressing some of these really enmeshed beliefs I had about myself and about my mom. I started digging deep and doing some serious forgiveness work, and its been going really well. My husband has played a vital role in my healing, by showing my unwavering support and unconditional love in my healing journey. He’s helped be crack open and be able to access my true feelings.

The truth is I’m very lucky to be alive in this world where its easy to access these sorts of resources and to be able to go online and read blogs about The Mother Wound. Without these types of resources I can see how it would be incredibly difficult to figure out how to heal yourself. Especially since the stigma surrounding mental health has somewhat lifted since my own mother was my age.IMG_6684

I really felt like I had a lot of work to do and it was going to take me a long time to get to a healthy enough state of mind to have a baby and not feel it was a selfish choice. However, having children is in itself one of the most and the least selfish thing you can do at the same time.

Bringing another human into this wild world so you can love it and create a family is pretty much a choice you make solely for your own happiness, then again, you are committing to giving that child everything you possibly can of yourself for as long as they need it.IMG_6684

I felt pretty conflicted about this and about when the right time would be. My psychotherapist made a comment that I had really never considered before. I’m not even sure if I truly believed what she said at the time. She said Milli, I think a lot of healing will happen for you in the experience of being a mother yourself. BOOM.

Is that possible? Is that allowed? I’m gonna rely on a tiny little infant to help fix these deep seated issues I’ve been carrying with me since childhood?

It took me a while, but just last week I began to see how.

I was browsing this amazing Facebook group I’m a part of called Tribe de Mama and one of the ladies posted this absolutely beautiful and moving video of her, in a sports bra and boy shorts, 3 weeks post partum dancing with her little baby. Its actually making me tear up right now thinking about it. The happiness and peace on her face, the way she swayed and moved with such freedom. It was so incredibly powerful. In that moment, I saw it- that’s the power to heal, right there.

That connection, that building of a new bond and a new healthy relationship, one of complete and unconditional love, that is that kind of thing that can break you open and get to those super deep spots if you let it.

That’s the depth of emotion I think I’ve not only been so afraid to feel, but have been craving and yearning for.

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I am so unbelievably lucky to have been able to consider the emotional repercussions of my past on my becoming a mother. I am so lucky to have broken down so many of my walls so far, that I am learning to be vulnerable and that I am fully committed to always working on myself and always continuing on my healing journey.

I feel so blessed to have the moments in my life that I can be moved to tears by something so beautiful and that’s why I want to be a mom so badly. I know that me watching other women and their babies will invoke only a fraction of the emotion and love I’m going to feel when I hold my own baby in my arms for the first time.

I know I am going to be the one to break the cycle of painful parent-child relationships in my family, and for that, I want to be a mom so badly.

I know that I am going to feel fear, and worry and pain and grief like I’ve never felt before when it comes to the well-being of our baby. I want it, and I need to feel it all. That’s why I want to be a mom so badly.

My husband and I are so in sync in our beliefs and dreams for how we will parent our child and the immense love we will feel having created a family. Everything will become more meaningful, it won’t just be about us anymore and that’s why I want to be a mom so badly.

I am very well aware it wont be easy. I know it will be the biggest challenge of my life, and that’s okay. I’ve been through some painfully challenging periods in life, I’m talking heart wrenching, traumatizing periods that have made me who I am today. I wouldn’t trade any of those experiences now, because they’ve opened my eyes to what I really want out of this lifetime, and what really deserves my focus and that’s why I want to be a mom so badly.

I am utterly committed to the highs and lows to come. I will give it absolutely everything I have in me, because the feeling of parental love and support is something you might take for granted, but if its ever taken away or you feel like its not very strong, then you’ll understand.

If love is your foundation and there is always a deep love you can feel like a cushion beneath you for when you fall, then you can stay grounded in life much easier. You can feel worthy, and happy and hopeful. I’m lucky to have a husband who gives this to me, and a healing relationship with my mother.

I want to be that foundation for our babies, I want to help you build that foundation, mentally and physically, and that’s why I want to be a mom so badly.

If you feel very strongly about becoming a mom and you feel that you have some healing of your own to do before that time comes, then I warmly welcome you to join my Private Facebook Community, you can search for it on Facebook at Radiant & Ready with Milli Fox or CLICK HERE to head there now.

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