Minimal Monday

A lot has been happening since the release of my new book

I read a few excerpts of my book at the International Conference on Shared Parenting. Afterwards, both at the conference and then upon returning home, I was interviewed for podcasts, including the new I’m Her Mother: An Exploration of Parental Alienation (available on Spotify).

My presentation from the conference was translated into Greek to be shared on I cannot say for sure if it is already up on their site or not, because it’s all Greek to me.

I found out my book will be featured in an upcoming issue of Contemporary Family Magazine.

In other creative news, I am beginning to take notes on my next book idea. It is too soon to share the details though.

I am reading Someday Is Today: 22 Simple, Actionable Ways to Propel Your Creative Life by Matthew Dicks, and I love it. I met Matthew once at a MOTH live storytelling event in Boston. He is a teacher, storyteller, writer and productivity expert. His level of creative productivity is ridiculous, but I can almost guarantee that reading his book will make any creative person want to strive to waste less precious time, myself included.

Happy Monday!

Minimal Monday

A belated Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms!

I have the great privilege of being the mother to three wonderful adult daughters. I share a little bit about those years in my first book, The Uncluttered Mother Motherhood has been my greatest joy and endeavor in life. No matter what else I may fail or succeed at, it will pale in comparison to the value I have put on raising and loving human beings.

Two of my daughters are (fabulous!) mothers themselves now, while they simultaneously juggle artistic and career endeavors. Having more little children to love and watch grow fills my heart to overflowing. They are each precious, unique individuals who have come here to fulfill their own destinies, to follow their curiosities, to hopefully become more and more of themselves.

Caregivers are crucial in this whole process of unfolding a human being, this metamorphosis. And treating children like complete human beings, validating their feelings and experiences, shaping their habits (because habits make up a life), guiding and loving them, is no small task. It’s huge.

So my wish is that rather than just giving lip service to mothers on Mother’s Day about how much we value that role, society supports mothers with action.

What would that look like?

It would look like less pressure on young woman to treat motherhood like some little side gig while they are fulfilling their other roles, especially in the workplace.

It would look like longer maternity leave, and better and more affordable childcare.

It would look like more extensive follow-up for the physical and mental well-being of the moms- not just the infants- postpartum.

And it would look like longer paternity leave and more support for dads who are trying to be involved fathers, or equal participants in the massive job of child-rearing.

It would look like treating early childhood like the crucial and sacred stage of life that it is instead of some stage to pass through to get the “important ones”.

It would look like protecting children from trauma.


Before I go, I want to give a special shout-out to alienated moms, the mothers who were unjustifiably cut out of their child’s life after divorce. Because of my own experience of being alienated from my loving mother when I was four years old, I have come to know many alienated parents, and have heard too many heart wrenching stories. For any of you reading this, I see you, I honor you, and my greatest hope for you is that your children make their way back home to you.

Minimal Monday

I have been thinking a bit about how good it is to develop a mostly internal locus of control, and also about what a challenge that is to human beings. From a very young age, as soon as we are affected by the responses of the adults in our lives, we are being trained to focus outward. We gain or lose approval, validation, and receive rewards or punishment, based on how others react to us.

If we are fortunate, our caregivers taught us to pay attention to our own sensibilities, curiosities, and feelings, while simultaneously guiding and socializing us to grow into decent, productive, adults. I think it so easy to focus too heavily on the latter job, as it has a much clearer set of “rules”.  Be polite, get good grades, join the team, do the things that get you accolades or acceptance or a better resume. And that is all good! But nothing trumps an inner drive, and personal satisfaction, and no one can tell us exactly what that looks like; it is different for everyone.  

One day, way back in high school, our teacher assigned us an essay to write in class. I forget what the topic was but he collected them well before the class ended. I actually opted to take a lower grade by keeping my paper a little longer to finish it. In that moment, an incomplete story felt all wrong to me. I really wanted to finish the essay, so I accepted the lowered grade. Foolish? Perhaps. But in that instance, my own satisfaction meant more to me than a grade, and I accepted the consequence.  

We want kids to do what is expected of them by their parents, school, society. In many ways, it will serve them well. But hopefully we want them to follow their internal compass even more. Often the two-external and internal focus-are at odds.

What does this look like? Maybe a teen decides that getting an A on an assignment is less important than getting a full night’s rest, or taking some time to work on his own project. So, he accepts the B- and is able to feel confident about his choice. He is figuring out that life is about much more than external accolades. And yet who do we praise? We praise the kid who came to school sick, stayed up late to go above and beyond, resisted his own interests, and got the A. Hard work is admirable. But so is self-care, independence, and creativity. We each choose our own values.

Life is a series of choices, and each one has some consequence, however small. We can’t tell another human being which outcome has the best payoff, the most desirable results for them in each circumstance. But we can remind them that they know, if they will take a moment, a lifetime, to turn inward and trust themselves.

Happy Monday!

Minimal Monday

I was listening to The Mel Robbin’s podcast episode #58 on making your home and your mind clutter-free and I thought I’d share my takeaways with you. Of course, if you get a chance to listen to the episode yourself, you might find it useful and inspiring, so here it is

Otherwise, read on for a few simple nuggets from Mel’s guest, Dana K. White, founder of the blog A Slob Comes Clean and author of How to Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind:

#1. Declutter before organizing. If your stuff does not fit well within its containers, closet, room, or home, there is too much of it. When you declutter first, there is less stuff for you to organize.

#2. Start with throwing away any trash, then move on to easy-to-donate items. When you start with the easy stuff, you will gain momentum, clarity, and proof of progress before you get to the more difficult items. This will make going through the more sentimental items easier, because you will already be experiencing the payoff of clearer space.

#3. Put things away or in trash/recycle/donation bags as your are organizing; don’t create piles that you need to come back to deal with.

Of course they covered much more in the podcast episode, but that is my minimal recap! Everyone deserves a peaceful, well organized home because it means less stress, more clarity, space, energy, and even more time to spend on all that is meaningful to you.

Minimal Monday

Someone asked me if I was nervous about speaking at this year’s International Conference on Shared Parenting in Athens, Greece. My answer is no, I am not nervous about my presentation. I will be speaking on behalf of children who have been alienated from a beloved parent after a divorce and I am honored to do so. I am passionate about doing so.

It is everything else surrounding this speaking opportunity that I am less comfortable with. The packing a week’s worth of clothes into a small enough suitcase that can be considered a “carry-on”. Crossing time zones and getting off the plane only to use some other mode of transportation to get the hotel when my body wants to be in a deep sleep. Three days of mingling and of not wanting to miss any of the others’ presentations while simultaneously feeling the drain of so many people.

Yes, the anticipation of all the details surrounding the trip is far more nerve-racking to me than the actual presentation.

Give this introvert a microphone and a chance to speak up for kids, and I am all in. If I am going to travel, I prefer travel with a purpose. I’m truly grateful to be able to go. And my husband, who knows his way around Athens from his airline pilot days, will travel with me. We will enjoy some quiet dinners and city sights, and even explore an island or two. I’m looking forward to that as well. And when it’s over, I will be clicking my heels like Dorothy. For me, there’s no place like home.

Minimal Monday

We live in such a cerebral culture that I find myself wondering if at some point we collectively left our bodies to hang out mostly in our heads. I was reading about the people of Sardinia who grow their own food and live by the rhythms of the earth and their own circadian rhythms. They are generally very healthy and happy and many of them to live to be 100 and beyond.

Most of us are not going to move to an Italian island in the Mediterranean Sea, yet I think that many of us are practicing certain habits in order to come back to the present, to the body. Yoga, meditation, and even stopping to take few deep breaths can help silence the mind chatter that is our nemesis. Exercise, a healthy diet, getting still and allowing feelings to flow through us, goes a long way to embodying our best lives.

Trauma, societal pressure, well-worn habits, and the examples that were set before us can all contribute to us leaving our bodies, repressing (let me count thy ways!) and over-thinking (a real addiction!)

Of course using our mind is important and cherished, but it is so easy to forget that our best thoughts, ideas and solutions come to us – through us – when we are not stuck in our heads.

We are human beings, not machines, and our bodies hold our memories, messages, intuition. It takes a conscious effort, a daily choice on my part, to remember this and to try to live accordingly. I am so very far from mastering it, but I am recommitting to trying my best. I do believe that a continual coming back to the body, where the heart dwells, holds the key to clarity, wholeness, to nearly everything.

Happy Monday!

Minimal Monday

I’ve heard it said that life is half good and half bad, and of course this is an oversimplification. We are having wildly different experiences, different size pieces of the good-bad pie. The good/bad ratio can even change drastically within one person’s lifetime. I guess the point of the half good/half bad theory is to encourage us to savor the good and not be too surprised or discouraged by the bad. “This too shall pass”, whether it is something considered “good” or “bad”.

You may have already read Maggie Smith’s poem, “Good Bones” since it has apparently gotten quite famous. I just read it today and I encourage you to check it out. Her first line is “Life is short, though I keep this from my children.” She goes on to write about how the world is half beautiful and half terrible. The poem is rather melancholy and I wouldn’t necessarily read it for fun, but nonetheless, it is a piece of art that surely falls under the beautiful, good half of life.

Happy Monday!

*P.S. If you have kindle unlimited, you can get my new memoir, YOU-KNOW-WHO for free on Amazon!

Minimal Monday

It is such a perfect time for renewal, for clearing out the old and making room for something new to be born, created, or discovered. Can you feel it? I sure can. Perhaps we are all being challenged to come out of our usual patterns, and listen to what is calling us forward, lifting our energy, healing our hearts.

I think it is the right time for my book to be released too, and so it is. It will be available tomorrow on Amazon and (so I am told), shortly thereafter on Barnes & Noble. I will be riding the wave of this creation, and this season, to the best of my ability.

Happy Spring!

Minimal Monday

I have just finished reading The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level by Gay Hendricks. It is not the first time I’ve read this book, but it is the first time I can truly say it feels like Hendrick’s theory will stick.

His theory is this: We all inherited a limit in childhood for happiness, success, love, and abundance. This settling point became our belief about how much good we could have or feel in our life. According to Hendricks, this leaves most of us with an Upper Limit Problem. When we begin to exceed our own expectations, we will do something to sabotage that. The ways in which we sabotage are many, too many for the scope of this blog post.

Once we become conscious of this Upper Limit Problem, and change our beliefs about what we are really capable and worthy of, life becomes more fulfilling, abundant, and exciting. After reading his book three times, at three different stages of life, I can finally say I get it now. I’m a believer.

Happy Monday!

Minimal Monday

Whether we are talking about a project, a routine, or a whole life, there is something very satisfying about a reset. To stop and capture the status of our situation and regroup before reengaging, in my opinion, is a worthwhile pause. Sometimes this looks like brainstorming, journaling, or rewriting a task list. Other times, it may look like cancelling plans, clearing out a garage or office or pantry. A fresh list, outline, or shelf can go hand in hand with a fresh outlook. Spring is just around the corner. What will your reset be?