Who are you, sister? Tell us a little about yourself. My name is Kelly Botham also known as Kelbo, Kelly Bo Belly, Bo Bells and my favorite name, Mama. I am 36 years-old, youngest of 5 kids and was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada with a few years in Germany when I was very small. (My Dad was in the Air Force.) Then I moved to Seattle for college and stayed until I met my British husband. Since then we have lived in Bahrain and England. Now we are 9 months into a posting in Beijing, China where we live with our darling 2 year-old daughter. I always wanted to see the world, and I definitely got my wish!
Experiencing the world in all its wonder has been humbling and eye-opening. Most of all, it teaches me to try to live in a state of gratitude and compassion because I have oh-so-much to be thankful for.
Let’s do some one word answers. Ready, set, go!
Morning Drink? English Breakfast tea- milky with one sugar
Indulgence? Spa time (massages and facials and pedis – oh my!)
Lusting after? Nap time (I heart sleep!)
Spirit Animal? Heron
Head Space? Curious
Heart Space? Grateful
Bloom of Choice? Rose
Turn-on? Confidence, a good sense of humor and good conversation
Go-to Gemstone? Blue John (from Derbyshire, England)
Celebrity Icon? Oprah Winfrey and Ellen Degeneres
Favorite compliment? “Your worst is most people’s best.”
Word/Theme of the Year? Light
What does practicing joy mean to you?
Being part of the Stratejoy tribe, and learning the wisdom of Brene Brown and Elizabeth Gilbert, has taught me the most valuable lesson: Joy is not tied to happiness, but gratitude. It has been my mission to practice gratitude as much as possible and that is always where I find joy waiting for me – in my daughter’s giggles, in the blooming trees, in a video call with my family, in the warmth of the sunshine, the cool of an afternoon breeze and even in the hush of the rain (especially in the rain).
Biggest life lesson you’ve learned lately?
Knowing about authenticity is not the same as practicing it. Practicing it is much harder, but worth it.
What’s your definition of success?
Finding the precious, guilt-free balance of caring for and being true to myself and the people I love most in my life. It’s a work in progress.
Name 3 things from your Life List that light you up.
Attending Stratejoy summer camp!
Taking my husband and daughter to the original Disneyland where I went as a child.
Being able to someday afford to treat my whole family to a dream vacation.
What do you do when life gets messy?
I am likely to have a good cry or a nap. Then I call my Mom or one of my sisters for a listening ear. I might also post in one of the Stratejoy FB groups for a bit of support and a pick-me-up since this tribe is so darn amazing and caring and ever-present. Oh, and music is always a must for a bit of personal therapy. I love how music can be so cathartic and transport you to any time, place, or feeling that you want to be reminded of.
“Let the Rain” by Sara Bareilles
“Old Pine” by Ben Howard
“Breath of Life” by Erasure
Carry On, Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton
A Year Without Fear by Tama Kieves
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
3 Instagram accounts:
What is the trait you most want to improve in yourself?
I want to better harness my sensitivity in a way that doesn’t make me so quick to go on the defensive and make snappy remarks. I want to continue to use it to help me empathize with others without worrying so much about what others think. I think being a sensitive person is a gift, and I want to genuinely feel it is okay to be that way. It’s all part of the growing process on my path to authenticity.
What has been your favorite journey?
The transition into motherhood has been all things – beautiful, difficult, lovely, exhausting, joyful, tender, heart-wrenching, inspiring, lonely, amazing, full of laughter and tears and just plain awesome. And I wouldn’t change any of it for the world. It makes me love my husband even more when I see him being such a wonderful, caring father. And our little munchkin is one of the coolest people I have ever met. She keeps us on our toes and keeps life giggly and full of light. It really is true what “they” say- parenting is the hardest but most rewarding job I will ever have.
Book That Made a Difference: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Currently Obsessed: Elevate App
Can’t Live Without: Time for adventures with my lovely little family