#coaching

Call Your Mother.

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You guys, it's 10:30pm, I've been in Florida since Wednesday, it's Mother's Day and I'm tired. I spent the earlier part of my trip at a conference - which I will write more about in a different post - and the latter part visiting my Mom for her birthday (she turned 70!!!) and Mother's Day. This year is different. My Dad is not here. It's the first birthday celebration she's had without him since she was fifteen (let that sink in). The first Mother's Day without him since I was born twenty something...just kidding, forty four years ago. It's been an emotional and celebratory weekend filled with well wishes from friends and family. She's still trying to figure out her new normal, I have no idea how long that's going to take. We spent the afternoon at the pool where I had the opportunity to listen in to several different conversations between a few groups of women. The recurring theme of them all was whether or not they had heard from their children for Mother's Day. I myself got my phone call during breakfast since my boys are not with me, they're off the hook this year! As I sat and listened one woman was talking about how she had yet to hear from her kids, and another told me that her daughter had to call her son to remind him to call their mother, I looked at the clock and it was well into the afternoon. Wait, what? You haven't heard from your children yet? Are they incapable of picking up the phone and making a call? What's going on?

Here's the thing people - call your mother. It's that simple. She's not looking for anything extravagant, perhaps a card in the mail as an added surprise, but the very least you can do is make a phone call. TO YOUR MOTHER. You know, the woman who brought you into this world. The one who, regardless of what you think, loves you more than anyone else on the planet. That one. Her. Mom. And don't wait until the day is over - especially on Mother's Day. Call her first thing, this way she can have a smile on her face all day long instead of having hurt feelings until you do get around to it. Make her a priority.

I have a friend who calls his mother every day. Even if it's for ten seconds to say hi, how are you, he calls. Every. Single. Day. I've heard him tell his friends to call their mothers. His reasoning is this: why not? Why not call your mom every day to say hi. To check in, see how she's feeling, find out what's new and all that stuff. Sometimes the call will be longer than others. Sometimes she won't be available to take your call, so leave a message. I promise you every time it will be appreciated.

I call my mom every day - has it always been this way? Admittedly, no. Prior to my dad passing away, I would speak with my mom once maybe twice a week. We have a standing call on Saturday morning at eight o'clock. Now that my dad is gone, I make the effort to check in with her every day. To hear which friend reached out to her, to see what she had for dinner the night before. To find out when her next visit to the doctor is. Sometimes she tells me the same story she told me the day before, and that's okay.

My kids are still young. They want to talk to me (well, maybe), they have to talk to me because they live with me and I'll harass them until they do, but for those of you who don't, give your mom some consideration and love. Give her a call. Tell her you love her. Make her day. All the things you remind your kids to do for their mom, you should do for yours.

Being a mother is the most thankless job - our kids want and take from us every day and we comply without complaint (for the most part). We anticipate, we organize, we facilitate, we comfort, we nourish, we teach, we love without expectation of receiving anything in return. It won't kill you to form a new habit and call your mother.

So to all the mom's out there I hope your children did right by you and made that phone call. And that you got to do exactly what you wanted to do today - because you deserve all of it and more. Happy Mother's Day!!

xo

Go Big Or Go Home

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I have a few mantras that I live by - guiding principles if you will - for when I feel like the going is getting tough or if I need a dose of optimism. "Go big or go home" is one of them. I don't remember the first time I heard it, probably during my childhood if I had to guess, but it's been a phrase that comes in handy in a lot of situations. For me it means to rise up, focus and put in all I have to whatever I'm doing. It means there's nothing I can't accomplish. You see, I wasn't always like this - optimistic, driven and unafraid of what was ahead in my journey. I was thinking about it the other day, when did I become this person? HOW did I become this person? The answer didn't magically appear for me either, I had to do some digging until I could remember back far enough.

I can remember being in my 20's and having ideas about what I wanted to accomplish in my life. Things like travel the world, be a successful businessperson, and help others in need. I can also remember people telling me things that made me doubt those ideas. Things like "you don't really think you're gonna do that, do you?" or "that sounds impossible." Until I realized I was responsible for making the choice to rise up to live my own life, I was going to be limited by what others said or thought of my abilities.

The day that all changed was the day I decided to throw caution to the wind and change the course of my life. The day I decided to pack my bags, get in my car and drive over a thousand miles to a new place because I knew it was where I was supposed to be. It was October 1997, I was living in Florida and six months earlier I had met the man I was going to marry. He lived in New York City (I'm originally from NY and always knew in my heart I would move back), was the exact opposite of every other man I had ever had a relationship with, and I knew in my bones from the day I met him that we belonged together. Against all of the naysayers, I did it. I got in that car and I drove to be with him, I left my entire life behind, except to me, my entire life lied ahead.

I realized then, at the age of 24, that I was the one calling the shots - ME. I was the one responsible for my happiness, my well being and my future. It was a valuable lesson and one that I use every day in my work and with my family. I wasn't going to fall into a life I didn't want because it suited others and made them happy. I was going to create the life I wanted with the people I chose.

My story to rise isn't about overcoming a major challenge or a sickness or a difficult parenting situation. My story to rise is a daily reminder that I have a choice. That's something I preach to my children every day. We always have a choice, no matter what the situation. My story to rise is one of strength in believing in myself that I could make it in a new place with a new person. That even though it wasn't always easy, that the bumps in the road would be more difficult than I ever anticipated, I would be able to navigate them and create a life that I WANTED to live.

Have there been days of doubt? You betcha.

Have there been times of trial and tribulation? Absolutely.

But there has never been one day where I thought I was making the wrong decision.

It's 20 years later, I married that guy, we have 2 beautiful boys and a life that hasn't always been easy to manage. I started a new business not that long ago. It's tested our limits in more ways than one, but it has strengthened our resolve to one another and to my belief in my choices.

I tell my kids four things every day:

  1. Be happy
  2. Be kind
  3. Make good choices
  4. I love you

I see them observing how we choose to live our lives to the fullest through example and experiences. I notice them watching us make decisions for our future. I listen to their concerns and answer their questions. Every time my answer is directed toward one of the four things I tell them every day.

Go big or go home - do your best and consider your situation and you will surely rise up to the occasion.

One Thing

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You guys, if you know me in real life you know I love shiny sparkly things that come in the form of accessories. I've rarely met a jewel I didn't love. And I love to collect trinkets especially when they have meaning behind them. I came across One Thing Lockets late last year and immediately fell in love. Their bracelets and necklaces are fun, whimsical and feminine. I gave some as Christmas gifts last year and got rave reviews! From the One Thing Website: The One Thing brand was inspired by a documentary. "There are places in our world where people live under one dollar per day. If you join these people in the pursuit for life and happiness, you will see that the fundamental things we all care about are quite similar, despite our superficial differences. Essentially, we are driven to thrive because of a few 'one things' that define us - like our children, our willingness to overcome, or our values. This is what makes us human!"

"But when things come easy and we’re not in survival mode, we tend to forget how connected we are through our human nature. And when we forget this, we can’t see that we all have value or that we’re each trying to bring something to the world. We only see superficial differences and opinions. One Thing believes that a connected, more accepting world starts by recognizing that we are all fundamentally similar."

So One Thing asks people all over the world: 

"What is one thing you bring to this world?"

It's a great question. Think about it - what IS the one thing you bring to this world? I've pondered this question a few different times. I keep coming back to optimism. Maybe it's because that's my nature. Maybe it's because as a mother I'm trying to raise my boys in a world where I know they can do and be whatever they set their minds to as long as they remain positive and hard working. Maybe it's because I can't particularly handle the negative - and I will always try to find the lining in the cloud. Or maybe it's a bit of all of it. We were trying to teach Elias how to ride a bike today, he kept saying "I can't" until I looked him in the eye and said "what are you talking about? You absolutely can. There is no I can't today. Let's go" so he got on his bike and we practiced. Did he learn how to ride, no, but he did try so that's something. Optimism. You can do it. 

One Thing is on a mission to empower and connect, and so am I - which is why I'm such a big fan of their work. AND they're passionate about giving back - proceeds from the sales of specific pieces benefit Post Partum Depression and Suicide Prevention. So since today is the last Friday of Love Month here at Why Am I Yelling? Why not spread some love and give someone you love a One Thing Locket for their next gift. And because they're so badass - they've given me a discount code to pass on to you - when you place your order, use the code whyamiyelling20 for 20% off!! Woo Hoo!! 

And then answer the question - because I want to know What is the one thing you bring to this world? 

Here's their website for more info: https://onethingdesigns.com/ and follow them on Instagram to see their amazing stories! https://www.instagram.com/onethinglockets/

xo 

Pay It Forward Friday - The Power Of Forgiveness

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Happy Love Week you guys! I hope you all had a fun, sweet filled, candy covered Valentine's Day!! I started my day with a brand new head cold that's still lingering, but managed to salvage it by having brunch with Will, getting the boys some new books (thanks WORD Brooklyn), balloons and heart shaped sprinkle donuts. It was a good day. And now it's Friday - already - again!! I swear, I will never get over the speed in which time flies. I've been thinking about my pay it forward this week, I was tossing around a few ideas in my head but after doing the #WhyAmIYelling? LIVE! yesterday with my guest, Emily Hooks, I cannot get the topic of forgiveness out of my mind. We had a powerful conversation about the art of forgiveness that I think just about everyone in the world could learn something from. It's a funny thing, forgiveness. It's empowering and emotional. But one thing's for sure, it's necessary - every day. Emily and I talked about learning how to utilize forgiveness in our daily lives. By incorporating it into your daily gratitude or affirmation practice (you do that right?), it can really help you release any kind of negative energy around a person or situation. The key is that you have to learn how to forgive yourself first, then you can forgive the rest of it.

You might be reading this right now thinking to yourself "Krista, you're nuts, I don't have enough stuff to forgive to acknowledge it every day" and my response to that is, yes, you probably do and if not, then good, take a day off. But if you really think about it, even the smallest thing that hurt you today requires forgiveness. For example, my good friend was in her car after picking up her son from school today. While sitting at a stop sign, a group of teenage boys were crossing the street in front of her car and one of the boys decided to do a WWF wrestling move and slam himself onto the hood - FOR FUN - um, what? Leaving a human teenage size body dent on the hood of her (very nice) car. It scared the shit out of her and her son.She called the police and filed a report and is beyond mad at the whole thing. I would be the same way!! But, in order to let it go and not allow it to consume her, she needs to forgive the situation and send some love into the universe for those boys. Easier said than done sometimes, but after my discussion with Emily, necessary to be completely at peace within yourself.

I could go on and on with examples of reasons to add a forgiveness practice into your daily life, but I think you get the idea. By now, you probably know I'm a big advocate for doing mindset work every day. Positivity is something I try to project to the world consistently - yes, of course I have crappy days, that's life, but for the most part, I try to find the silver lining. Forgiveness is an essential part of that, and after my enlightening chat today I am making it a point to use it in my daily routine.

So this week, instead of paying it forward with good deeds, (you should still do that), pay it forward to yourself and forgive. Forgive yourself for anything your harboring and forgive the people or situations that show up from time to time in the back of your mind from years ago, from days ago, from this morning. Forgive your kids for not listening and making you feel like the bad guy for yelling at them. Forgive the nail tech who cut your cuticle and made it bleed. Forgive the guy who cut you off on the highway. That stuff sinks in, even if it seems surface and like it should roll off our backs, a lot of the time those small incidents snowball into larger problems. Forgive them all.

If you want to check out my interview with Emily Hooks, founder of The Forgiveness Academy, click here: https://youtu.be/UbEypwnjU2U

Happy Friday!

xo

 

Why I'm Bringing My Son To The Women's March.

T-minus 4 days and counting until one of the largest rally’s in the country takes place and I for one could not be more proud to participate. I‘ll be in New York City sharing the experience with many friends and most importantly, my eleven year old son.

 

I know for a lot of us the last few months have been hard. Hard to digest, hard to explain and hard to navigate.

 

Especially with kids.

 

Especially with boys.

 

I’ve chosen to include my son for a lot of reasons but mostly because I want to expose him to knowing what it feels like to use your voice to stand for your rights. Yes, I know there are naysayers out there rolling their eyes saying this is all futile and ridiculous. But I disagree. I coach people every day on how to use their voices through effective communication, it works.

 

In an effort to find the optimism in this message, I’ve decided to not call the march a protest. As I was explaining it to my big guy the other day, I told him we’re not going there to call anyone names and be mean ― that would be counter productive and wrong. We are going there to support the causes we so strongly believe in. So instead of protesting against the establishment, we’re going to support the people who believe deeply in their rights ― rights that quite frankly, as a young man, he won’t have to fight for. That’s the beauty of democracy ― using your voice for good.

 

My husband told him as much a few weeks ago when he was questioning the election outcome. We explained to him that women don’t have it as easy as men do ― our healthcare, paychecks and general equality hang in the balance. We have to do everything in our power to make sure that stops. It’s important that he knows the impact of these decisions.

 

He was genuinely upset that in 2017 this is a topic of discussion. Just like he doesn’t understand racial divide because he’s lucky to live in a place where diversity exists peacefully (for the most part), he doesn’t understand why his female friends should be treated any differently than his male friends.

 

“That’s so dumb, Mom”...yes son, it is.

 

Would I rather be spending a quiet Saturday with my family not having to think about these things? You bet your ass I would, but unfortunately that’s not where we need to be. Our voices are too important to sit this one out. Our voices need to be heard for all the voices yet to speak. Our voices are speaking for our friends, mothers, sisters, nieces. Our voices are speaking for ourselves, for our integrity, for humanity.

 

We’re taking part in the Women’s March on Saturday in NYC in SUPPORT of women’s rights ― we will have our signs ready and our chants prepared. We will walk peacefully along side women and men of all ages. We will make new friends along the way. We will wear pink in honor of women everywhere. We’re ready, and we can’t wait!

Family Recipes

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During this time of year we like to use the word "tradition" a lot - passing down activities that older generations took part in or creating new ones with our own families. Using specific things like grandmas fine china or hanging an heirloom ornament on the tree (if you have one) gives us the warm and fuzzies. I was asked to share my opinion on holiday traditions for baby's first Christmas recently and during the conversation I found myself talking about the importance of creating something that is comfortable for your individual family - however that looks. Gone are the days when everyone lived in the same state let alone neighborhood, so getting together is harder and it can make the holidays a little tricky. My family always had the same tradition during the holidays, Christmas Eve was at my parent's house with family and friends and Christmas Day was at our friend's house. We did that for many years and then the kids started getting married and having kids of their own and the holiday's started to look different. After I moved back to New York, we made the decision to continue to go to Florida for the holidays. Once we had a family of our own we decided to continue that tradition with our children with a twist. Now we split it! We still go to Florida to see our friends and family, and we also have our own family Christmas at home. This way we get to create new family traditions and continue with the old ones, (and we don't have to drag gifts with us).

I got to thinking about how holidays look now that we're parents ourselves. My parents, mom especially, wanted the holidays to be full of love, food and gift giving. We used to decorate the tree as a family when we were kids and my mom made it a point to make sure my brother and I had the same amount of boxes under the tree as to not disappoint anyone and she still does it with her grandchildren! (crazy much?) I like to do a lot of similar things that I was brought up with. We decorate our tree and home, bake cookies to give to friends and donate to charities. I feel like now a days the holidays are much faster moving. Maybe it's because there's a finite amount of time to spend with our loved ones because we don't live near one another that we're trying to cram it all in? I dunno, it just feels like it happens way too quickly. Don't blink, you might miss it!

As time passes, some traditions may fall by the wayside. I was chatting with a friend the other day who is not particularly fond of putting up a Christmas tree. It's not a big deal to her and she figures her daughter is still small enough that she won't know any better. She does however, have an artificial tree that was given to her by a neighbor that her nanny found last week and took it upon herself to put up and decorate while my friend was at work. She said when she came home she was taken off guard and pleasantly surprised by the gesture. It's not that she doesn't like having a tree she realized, she doesn't like assembling it! So we talked about creating a tradition by where her daughter gets to put up the tree with her nanny and that can be their special time. I likened it to creating a recipe - put in all of the ingredients that make you feel good and remove the ones that don't. Every family recipe will look different - unique to them, and it can evolve. Some recipes over time increase the ingredients, some switch out for new ones. There's no wrong way to do it.

My family recipe is still in the works. We're constantly tweaking it. Some years we try a new thing, and other years we stick to the familiar plan. That's the great thing about recipes, you can change them.  I can't help but wonder how our recipe will evolve as our children grow. Sometimes the thought of losing the familiarity of a tradition is a little sad, other times a change can be exciting. I'm choosing to embrace all of our traditions and creating new ones with my family.

What does your family recipe look like?