If you’ve been sliding into the land of distraction, numbness, excessive soothing at the expense of your values, there’s no point in beating yourself up.
Practice some self compassion and let today be the “reset” button. If the comfort has been gaining crazy momentum, make a different choice now. Today. Tonight.
I know you can do it.
I chose Pleasure as my guiding word for the year because I was craving something that felt the opposite of hustle. The opposite of focus and drive and the pressure of shoulding myself to achieve more, more, more. As someone who doesn’t shy away from hard work, big ambition and buckling down to “get shit done” — pleasure felt a very soft and scary word to declare. I was nervous to share with the world that I wanted to explore ways…
While happiness is dependent on external circumstances (and thus wildly out of our control in many ways), joy is a way of deliberately engaging with life.
Who’s got your back? How do you learn, question, absorb, and teach all the inspiration and advice that flows through life? How do we narrow down the crazy influx of information we’re exposed to everyday? When it comes to enriching our lives, understanding who makes up our community and how their unique role supports us is so important. Understanding your own Ladder of Support Makes sure you’ve got the right people on your team Helps you identify the specific people…
Sometimes it’s still hard for me to unhook from the mistaken beliefs of “perfection” that once raged loudly inside my mind. Perfect weight… “If I lose these 30 pounds I gained in college, then I’ll be attractive again and thus, dateable. And then I’ll be happy.” Perfect job… “If I get a promotion to manager, then I’ll be respected at work. And then I’ll be happy.” Perfect lifestyle… “If I start my own business and make as much money as I did in my day job, then…
This version of my dream has been 8 years in the making.
3 iterations of this website. Numerous failures and daily lessons learned. Tears and sweat and blood and gallons of wine. Vulnerable asks and scary times of scarcity. Learning and relearning to trust myself and my Tribe. 3 moves and 2 kids. Growing pains, internet judgment, imposter syndrome.
But you know what? I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Because I have also made lifelong soul sister friends. Changed lives. Stepped up into my role as CEO. Made a difference. Shared truths that are important to me. Listened hard. Connected incredible women. Shared the message that we are enough, that we are worthy of joy, that life on our own terms is important. Took my big wild and crazy dreams seriously.
Need some encouragement to start building your own version of a dream career/legacy/business/life?
Let this be it.
Have you ever looked at the woman next to you and thought, “Why is her life better than mine?” There’s a reason for that. And no, it’s not: “You aren’t working hard enough.” In fact, your time is coming. We are all experiencing a different stage of the same life cycle. We have been here before and we will be here again. Over the years I’ve worked with hundreds of women in transition, and over and over I watch them…
We’re kicking off our year of “Openhearted Connection” with the very first Tribe Interview! And it only seemed fitting that Molly pave the way…
When I make my theme word for the year, I want it to be a loving, yet firm reminder of what is important to me. It’s easy for me to get caught up in the next bright shiny thing or in pursing egocentric goals because that’s what I “should” be doing, so I need my word to be my guide.
My theme word helps me stay centered on what I have declared is needed in my life, day after day, week after week, month after month.
For 2015, I was led by the word Essential.
There are 36 hours left to reserve your spot at Stratejoy Summer Camp. 36 hours left to take the leap, have the conversation, push your edge, use those vacation days, carve out the time + say an enthusiastic (if slightly nervous) YES.
The Camp Bus leaves at midnight PST this Friday!
We’ve been hard at work at putting together a magical + deep, playful + transformational, restorative + energizing retreat for the 71 women (so far!) joining us in August. As we plot and plan, we’ve been recounting times in our own lives when we went out on a limb to say *yes* to ourselves — when we valued connection and reflection, courage and presence.
Our stories reminded us of the Camp experience we’re creating for you — one that is not only going to be a freakin’ blast, but also, one that you’ll look back on and say, “Oh yes, that’s when everything shifted for me.”
The pursuit of worthwhile goals is one of the few things you can to that markedly improves your life satisfaction. And the development of powerful habits helps support that worthy pursuit.
When you feel like you’re just going through the motions — fearful of making any change, bored by the path you feel stuck on, or scared that you’ll never actually accomplish anything — declaring goals that are in alignment with your authentic self can awaken your spirit.
No woman is an island. Including you, sweetness.
We all crave belonging. We all have a deep desire for intimacy with our partners and our close friends. We want to feel connected to a community of like-minded people. We yearn for healthy relationships with our families.
Why? The journey becomes easier when you have found your people.
Welcome to the 6 Day Joy Challenge! Are you ready to refresh your sense of self? To remind yourself that joyful living is totally within your reach? In celebration of launching the new and improved Joy Equation Course, I’m challenging *YOU* to start prioritizing joy in your life. For the next 6 days, I’ll be rolling out a new step of The Joy Equation with 2 challenges: one writing prompt for your journal and one photography prompt to post online! And if you want me to…
If you stripped down to the very base of yourself – if we took away your job, your bank account, your schooling, your relationship status – who would you be?
Do you have any clue?
Answering this question can be incredibly hard. I get it, love.
You wear so many masks during your day and try so hard to please other people, that your own desires, preferences and unique strengths get overlooked. And pretty soon, you forget what those desires, preferences and unique strengths even are!
STEP ONE: DEVELOP FIERCE SELF-LOVE
Joyful living starts with loving yourself. And there’s no way around it, babe.
If you want to make big changes or reinvent your world, you’ve got to cultivate a strong sense of self-worth, develop inner resilience, and practice kindness towards yourself without an agenda of improvement.
That’s why this first step of The Joy Equation is a call to action to start at the beginning — the very act of falling in love with YOU.
Back in 2010, I went on a 7 day silent meditation retreat. I didn’t know anyone else going, nor anyone who had ever done it besides my Dad — but I just knew that I needed to be there. My soul was craving silence and reflection and a challenge outside of my comfort zone.
Stratejoy was still a fledgling little baby business back then and I didn’t have the money to to pay the full registration price for the retreat.
After reading the event page for the millionth time, I finally got the guts to apply for the Work Scholarship they were offering. You were still part of the retreat in every way, but you were supplementing the fee by working a few hours a day.
And I got it! I was assigned the incredibly important role of Soup Maker. I chopped and stirred and meditated over the soup pot every morning; ladled out soup every afternoon while making no eye contact; and scrubbed the pots and bowls and spoons every evening.
I’m still grateful that not only did I get to go on retreat, but I got the opportunity to share love and nurturing by helping to take care of my fellow meditators.
In that spirit — I’m excited to announce that we’re offering Work Scholarships for Summer Camp!
We’ve got 6 different opportunities to earn a work scholarship this year! I know our community is full of incredibly talented women and I’m hoping this opportunity allows a few more of you to come to Camp.
Okay, okay… The title might be a bit of an over sell. But if you missed either of the Community Calls we’ve had over the last week, I wanted to make sure you could easily access them.
Voila! They are here!
The other big piece of news is that — TODAY is the very last day to save $150 on your Summer Camp Ticket!
Every day this past week, I’ve been sitting down to write welcome postcards to Campers who are going to be joining me in August. It’s sacred and special because I’m welcoming women to the inaugural year of one of my lifelong dreams — a Summer Camp for Grown Ups.
(Or as I’ve been calling it on Twitter — Camp for Grown Ass Ladies!)
As I write each name and address out, I spend a moment throwing out a wish that she’ll receive everything she’s craving from our 5 days together. I spend a moment hoping that we’ll all get to see her authentic self emerge over campfires and canoe races and intimate cabin conversations. And I spend a long moment wondering why this particular woman from Ohio or Alberta or Michigan is coming to Camp.
When I think back to some of the most transformative times in my life, they all involved two things — A Break from My Real Life + My People. From my 10 month backpacking trip around the world to my 4 month road trip honeymoon, from the World Domination Summit to my weekends with my Elevate Ladies — those pieces are ALWAYS there. And now? I’m creating this kind of experience for YOU with Stratejoy Summer Camp. (And me too! Who am I kidding?!)
I want to be joyful above all else, but also in union, of service, divine and wild.
I want my work to feel like play.
I want to create with fire in my belly, because I see a need in the world that I can ease. I want to be proud of my process, proud of my product, proud of my power.
I want my clients and my community to know that I love them in all their messiness because I do. I want being on retreat (or camp) with me to feel inspiring, raw, supportive and magical. I want to remember that I don’t take on others’ heaviness or fears or despair — I simply listen and love and offer my gifts.
(Today’s post is part of an awesome blog tour headed up by my friend Andrea Owen of Your Kick-Ass Life. Starting February 1st, she’s hosting The Kick-Ass Courage Project: 7 Day Challenge. She’s challenging women to do two Very Important Things — start cultivating self kindness and self compassion (aka stop being such a bitch to yourself) and start practicing “being enough”. The Challenge is totally free and Andrea’s hope is that she can shift two very important aspects of your…
Let’s make this short and sweet — My secret to getting everything I want?
Silence. Reflection. Solitude. Visioning.
It’s why Walden went to the woods, it’s why Cheryl Strayed hiked the Pacific Coast Trail, it’s why 26 year old me backpacked around the world for 10 months.
It’s Holiday Council Time! Cue mega excitement in my world. (Want to head straight to the registration page? Click HERE!) I’ve been leading this 21 day December journey for 5 years now, learning more each season about what makes a powerful experience for YOU. I always strive for a balance between inspirational and useful — I want you to feel hopeful and cozy and motivated, but I also want you to take ownership of the process and make it work…
I was just feeding my daughter Juliet in the semidarkness of her nursery, noticing her little knuckle dimples as she clutched my finger and her sweet rosebud mouth. I was breathing in her baby scent and watching her dark eyelashes close as she drifted to sleep, while I sat, rocking and thinking.
Rocking and thinking about how she’s going to have big beautiful dreams for her life. About how she’ll meet plenty of resistance because life is fucking messy sometimes. About how she’ll need guidance from me, but also a chance to fly on her own.
So many journeys ahead for this tiny girl of mine.
I’m sorry to break it to you, love, but there are no magical answers.
You’re stuck because you keep waiting for the path to be illuminated from above. You’re stuck because you’re looking for the way forward to be labeled steps one through ten, for the breakthrough to be found in the very next book you read, for the certainty to be bestowed upon you by an expert.
I run a successful coaching practice from home. I have a two year old (Max) and a four month old (Juliet.) I have a nanny working 20-30 hours a week. I have a supportive awesome husband. And I am totally wearing slippers and yoga pants right now. Want to know how it all comes together? Watch the video. (and click to tweet!) I created this video for Kate at Your Courageous Life for a book she is compiling about running a business…
I’ve been on “maternity leave” from this blog, my newsletter and most emails since Juliet was born in late May. I’ve been dreaming, brainstorming, reading some amazing books, coaching my Elevate women, booking retreat spaces and integrating some new systems for my business backend, but as far as forward facing activities that you could see — I was invisible.
And being invisible was harder than I thought it was going to be.
Even with all the work I’ve done around changing my definition of success to internal measures, and not external validation, it was still hard.
I put up my maternity email auto-responder yesterday. While Tiny’s still hanging out in my belly — I’m ready for some breathing space from the day-to-day operations of Stratejoy.
Life’s been a whirlwind over here. Not in a necessarily in a bad way, but in a way that would previously have toppled me over in anxiety and insomnia.
(I’m definitely not sleeping well, but that’s got more to do with getting up to pee every 2 hours than stress! And yes, some pieces of life are causing me slight anxiety — choosing paint colors, trying to convince Ken to polish the cement exactly like my hair salon floors, agreeing on a boy’s name — but none of it’s major shit.)
I believe honoring your life and your strengths means honoring your day-to-day actions and the personal choices you make with your time, energy and creative power. You can do all the visioning, desiring, action planning and big-hairy-goal-setting you want, but without the daily choice, habit or ritual to support those endeavors you are no closer to your vision.
The day-to-day can be decidedly unsexy. I get this.
But for those of us who geek out on self-awareness, systems, experimentation and personal transformation — The process of sustainable change (of using our day-to-day in honor of a larger goal) is fascinating!
There’s no getting around it.
Our day-to-day is our life.
I’m not being blunt to scare you or spread shame, but to shake you up a bit. When you think back to what you did today or yesterday or this weekend, are those days representative of the desires you hold for your life? Are they snapshots of the kind of woman you want to be? Are they examples of the kind of life you want to live?
Honey, what I want you to hear is this —
Honor your time as if your life depended on it.
As I was sitting down to put some fun dates on the calendar for February (date night! massage!) I realized I never shared my theme for this year on the blog. Eek! I spend so much time working through this process and helping others through it with the Holiday Council, I think I just needed a little break from it in January.
But themes and ways of being and the expressions of those intentions are vital to how I live day by day, and since I’ve committed to sharing the very real “strategies for joy” I use in my own world, I knew I couldn’t just skip over my theme this year. Better late than never, eh?
(drum roll please)
In 2014, I’m living consciously with the word —
As I get ready for this year’s Holiday Council (we start tomorrow!) I’ve been a spending a good chunk of time reviewing my work from last year’s Council.
Did I really embody my theme of “Nourish”? A few things became clear as I reflected back… I rocked spending play-filled weekends with my family, changing the majority of our food consumption to real food, and I blew my income goal away. Hurrah! That said, I didn’t even come close to establishing a daily yoga practice
One of my favorite parts of The Holiday Council is sharing the interviews I’ve been doing with inspiring women from around the web. This year I thought long and hard about who I wanted to talk to — I wanted women who seemed to manifest true magic in their lives, who had killer years, who were really embracing joyful devotion to their dreams.
So I made some big asks. And I got some big beautiful yeses.
Good news! In honor of the upcoming Holiday Council Program, I’ve teamed up with the Tiny Devotions team to give away a gorgeous mala bead necklace.
Why? There’s plenty of reasons, sweetness.
I love my Tribe and want to remind you of that fact with free goodies over the next two weeks.
I’m interviewing Diana Charabin, founder of Tiny Devotions, for the Holiday Council this year!
This particular Mala is the perfect accompanying talisman to doing our sassy soul work.
One of the toughest things you can do these days is “be yourself” in a world that wants you to be so many different things, all at the same time.
So what do you do?
I’m not sure the world is ready for this… But here’s a vulnerable, deep and slightly scattered dive into my Money Love Story. Why? My wise friend Kate Northrup launched her book Money: A Love Story today and she challenged a bunch of us to share our stories in order to help eradicate some of the shame and discomfort women have around our money history. I’m not going to promise this is pretty, tidy or neat — I swing from telling…
I was at a networking event in Seattle back in 2009, nervously peddling my “lifestyle design” workshop and my “conquering your quarterlife crisis” blog. Pretty damn broke, working for my boyfriend’s email marketing business part-time, and going through some bumpy times in my relationship —
I was feeling a bit like an impostor.
Have you ever had one of those times where you make a mistake and immediately regret it, but aren’t sure how to fix it? And then the mistake (whether word or action) keeps circling in your mind and you end up even more embarrassed/humiliated/guilty? Of course you’ve had one of those times. You’re human. And obviously, so am I. Short story. I was having a lively discussion over dinner in my backyard with several friends and new acquaintances. As the night…
Inspirational Quote junkies, unite. This post is for you! I’m a fairly decisive person – – I love this, hate this, want to do that, don’t ever want to do that — so I thought judging the Pinterest Quote Contest would be easy. And then you people made such beautiful works of art! The photography, graphic design, and crafting have been lovely. I got a kick out of hearing how it reminded you what fun it was to…
The First Stratejoy Pinterest Contest is kicking off Today!
The back story- Someone, somewhere created this quote photo from my I am Enough blog post. I have no idea who it was or what inspired them, but I’d like to extend a very heartfelt thank you to this angel.
I’ve seen it posted on Facebook on pages with hundreds of thousands of likers. I’ve had old high school friends getting in touch saying, “Molz? Is this you?” It’s all over Pinterest and I freaking love Pinterest. I’ve had dozens of women email me their own I am Enough Manifestos. Our Tribe has grown because of this image.
So much love from this one little quote.
Now, it’s your turn.
A Strategy for Joy Video! Hurrah! I’m celebrating my darling friend Michelle’s book* launch by giving you on the skinny on Enthusiasm. Dig in and take on the challenge in the comments below! As adults, we tend to shy on the side of underwhelm. It’s not cool to be excited about the Steve Martin concert or new neighbors or the fact that your grocery store is finally carrying sesame butter. It’s not hip to dance around in celebration of your…
How do you keep faith in yourself and your dreams? What do you do when shit hits the fan? When your well laid plans explode in your face? When you don’t hit the mark, make your goal, meet your deadline or manifest your desire? What do you do when you feel like you are failing? For me, keeping the faith means switching the consideration in those low moments from “Am I failing?” to “Am I choosing myself?” The guiding question…
On Limitless Possibility Your life has no boundaries, darling. The sooner you understand that truth, the sooner you’ll be able to bask in the freedom of limitless possibility. Yes, there will be personal priorities you’ll want to consider as you craft your life, but the doors are flung open to happiness. There are numerous paths to flourishing and you may choose any of them. Your ability to appreciate what is and dream about what is possible sets the tone for your intentional life. (click…
When “self-care” turns into nights spent curled on the couch with cupcakes watching entire seasons of old shows, you may be walking a fine line. When the delicious solo glass of wine on the porch turns into the bottle and late night ex-texting, you’ve thrown your care under the bus. When rewarding yourself with a shopping trip becomes the only way to lift your spirits, your pampering is becoming dangerous.
When caring for yourself turns into distracting or numbing or avoiding, it’s time to pause. It’s time to check in with yourself — what are you really craving in those moments?
As I was gazing at the almost full moon tonight, I realized I needed a counterpoint to the New Moon of reflection.
I need a Full Moon Ritual. Something that is not soft nor lovely nor calming.
I need a practice that will connect me with my wild child, my wolf mama, the sexy goddess that resides in each of us.
If the New Moon is the perfect time to turn inward, the Full Moon is a time to rock and roll, to push boundaries, to dive headfirst into the embers, the surf, the divine.
While watching Brené Brown on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday this weekend, I was reminded of the remarkable link between joy and gratitude.
In her book The Gifts of Imperfection she writes, “Without exception, every person I interviewed who described living a joyful life or who described themselves as joyful, actively practiced gratitude and attributed their joyfulness to their gratitude practice. And both joy and gratitude were described as spiritual practices that were bound to a belief in human interconnectedness and a power greater than us.”
I used to find myself dreamily thinking about being “done” with some project or period in my life and then — finally, finally — having space and time for all the other things I wanted to be doing.
Sometimes it wasn’t dreamy thinking, it was urgent.
Dear Courageous One,
I know you have a secret dream, something bigger and bolder, something more precious, than you are attempting in your life right now.
Maybe it means making a huge change — a move, a relationship, a journey, an exodus from your social circle. Maybe it means allowing your creative soul — the writer, painter, chef, photographer, teacher — to blossom, to share her take on the world with those desperate for a slice of beauty. Maybe it means sticking up for yourself, forgiving yourself, loving yourself with such purity that the ideas scares you off before you even begin.
What are you afraid of my love?
Are you scared that you will fail?
As I wrap up my own personal planning for 2013 (using the calls and worksheets from The Holiday Council of course!) I feel a mix of excitement and exhaustion.
Excitement because I’m in a new home complete with an orange tree, a deep bathtub, and my own office/guest room. I’m in a new city that the Big Man and I chose simply because we wanted the lifestyle that it represented to us — one of community, slower paced living, gorgeous weather, access to the hills and the ocean, appreciation of local food/wine/businesses, and family-focused. I have a new piece of my business that needs my dedication as I dive into the work of a live retreat and a years worth of coaching for Elevate Mastermind.
Here is my wish for you this holiday season, my dear one.
Stop trying to make things look good and concentrate instead on letting things feel good.
There is no need to wrap the perfect present, cook the perfect turkey, send the most adorable Holiday card. There is no need to beat yourself up when something didn’t go as planned, when your family embarrasses you, when you don’t respond to your work emails, when you don’t get through everything on your list to clean/fix/beautify.
As you can probably already tell, we’ve got new digs around here.
HURRAH! POP THE CHAMPAGNE!
FLY THE STREAMERS!
Perhaps the biggest change besides the expanse of luscious, luscious white space is the shift in my actual focus for Stratejoy.
We’ve always talked about creating your joyful world, living authentically and going after your big scary dreams — but the place of exploration for those conversations has been the Quarterlife Crisis. I will continue being the best resource out there for 20 and 30 somethings in a QLC, but now we’re opening up the Tribe and the offerings to all women in transition.
I have been doing this on the coaching side for awhile now, but wanted to make it clear to YOU and to the world.
Short answer. Nope! But I do have 1.5 more months, people. Long answer. Regardless of how many “things got checked off,” I feel really, really good about 2012. And thank goodness! 2011 was somewhat shitty and hard for me : a big move that I didn’t necessarily want, leaving my supportive friends and family, and a crazy eruption of emotions and depression during my first few months of being pregnant (without knowing that I was).