Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Moving Day!

My e-bags are packed and I am read to move In Search of Me in Mommy to it's new home! 

At my new home, you can receive my FREE gift - 50 Ways for a Mom to Connect with her Authentic Self.  In this document I share with you some of the lessons I learned, thus far, in my search for me in mommy and hopefully will give you ideas about how you can connect with your ME, amidst the chaos of motherhood.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I am selfish

There.  I said it.  And, I'll say it again.  I. Am. Selfish.

If selfish means that I take the time for me.

                           Time spent to...
Know myself
Explore my interests
Understand my strengths and my weaknesses
Step outside my comfort zone
Have a life outside of my roles of mom and wife
Pursue my passions
Live more fully
Love myself, so I can love others more fully
Be me - a more authetic and whole me.

Then, YES, I am happily, joyfully, authentically SELFISH!
So be it!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Seeing Red...

Yesterday was a gray, chilly, dreary day in Cleveland, Ohio.  Despite the treat of rain showers, I decided to head out for a walk through the park.  Earlier in the morning I had read a section entitled "Tips For Interpreting The Signs From the Universe" in Get Out Of Your Own Way e-course by Dr. Lissa Rankin of Owning Pink that I am taking.

As I walked, I began to think about signs from the Universe and wondered about their existence.  In the past I believe that there have been signs, here and there, that have pointed me in a direction or steered me clear from a catastrophe.  But, typically, I haven't focused on, or asked for signs on a regular basis.  I hadn't really put much thought into whether there are, or are not, "signs" sent from the Universe.

It was during these thoughts when I, randomly, came upon the little red devil!

That little red devil was incredibly unnerving!  I was even a bit frightened!  Was it a sign?  And, if so, what did this sign mean?  Millions of thoughts ran through my head - most of them negative.

Was I in danger?
Was something awful about to happen?
What was I being warned about?

And, even though, I had an urge to turn and run back to the safety of my car, I continued on my walk.  I tried to "spin" it in my brain and forced happier thoughts - like maybe the sign is about the "devil in the details".  Or that since he was such a cute devil, that it certainly couldn't be an "evil" sign...Right????

Moments later, I rounded a corner and saw, smack dab in the middle of the walking path, was a bright red can of Coke.

And suddenly, I began to see RED everywhere! 

A red post on the side of the road. 

A white plastic bag, with red writing, caught in a tree, blowing in the wind.

A tree with a red trail marking nailed into it's trunk.

And, my favorite, a red-crested woodpecker hopping from tree to tree.

...Just to name a few.

So, obviously, the meaning of little red devil "sign" had something to do with the color red


So, when I got home, I googled "the meaning of the color red" and I found this:
~ Increased enthusiasm and interest
~ More energy
~ Action and confidence to go after your dreams
~ Protection from fears and anxieties

And recently, that is everything that I have been looking for!!!!!

I guess it really is a "sign"!    Right????

So, tell me, do you believe in "signs" from the Universe???

Monday, March 14, 2011


Have you ever had one of those times when your brain was telling you to say NO, but your heart and gut were screaming YES?!!?  Deciding, at the last minute, to say YES and attend a women's conference 6 HOURS from home was one of those of those times for me.

It was another experience that reminds me to...
"Say "yes" to life -- and see how life suddenly starts working for you rather than against you." ~Eckart Tolle

And it was a Whirlwind of Goodness!

On Thursday night I attending and help coordinate a wonderful Auction for the Foundation for our local school district where we raised over $40,000 for the kids in the district - WOoHooIes! - it always feels good to be a part of something so good! 

Then on Friday, after packing my bags and taking my youngest to afternoon preschool, I headed to Alpena, Michigan for an exciting R.E.N.E.W. (Rejuvenating, Energizing, Nurturing, and Enlightening Women) Expo for Women!

Saturday, all day, I was surrounded by wonderful women who shared insights, stories, and encouragement with each other during the all-day conference.  In the morning I was fortunate to hear Christine Wagner speak about Using Your Whole Brain for an Amazing Life.  Which was incredibly interesting and really made me think.

During Lunch and directly following the meal, I heard the amazing Debbie Phillips share her insights about being a Woman on Fire and about finding your passion.  I was inspired...and RENEWed! 

Here is a video made by the amazing Jamie Eslinger of Women on Fire that created that gives a good sense of the event (and I even make a cameo in it).

The only bad part of the experience, what that I had to head home on Saturday and with the long drive home, I had to miss the wine tasting.   C'est-la-vie ~ I had a glass of when I got home and I toasted to
saying YES to life!

What are you going to say YES to, today?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Dear Fit Girl

Yesterday, I posted a letter to my Fat-Self, to my Fit-Self.  Today, my Fat-Self responds to the letter.

Dear Fit Girl Kim-
Please, back off! It is NOT helpful, in the least, when you tell me that you are disappointed and ashamed of me! Shaming me is not what I need and it is disrespectful. Please, be kinder to me.

Do you think I like to be me? No, I don’t! I did the best I could! Do you remember times when you were a quivering fearful anxious mess? Do you remember hiding and running away from the pain? I helped you get though tough times. Were my choices always the best? No, I know that they weren’t. I was just trying to survive with some semblance of togetherness. Yes, horrible habits were formed. I know that. But please – do not shame me now. Be patient with me. Habits are hard to break – especially when I only feel hatred from you.

It means the world to me that you have recognized how hard I tried to protect you. Thank you for acknowledging that. I feel appreciated and, yes, even loved! That is more helpful than you will ever know.

I am glad to see your strength and enthusiasm back. I feel your new “glow”. And, I welcome it. Trust me, I do! I want YOU to shine in the spotlight, as I do much better in a background supporting role. I never wanted to be on the stage. I was just a stand-in waiting for you. You are the star! I am thrilled that you are finding your way!

Carry on – I’m with you!

With love,
Fat Girl Kim

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Dear Fat Girl

I was reading a blog, The Promise 365, by Jamie Eslinger in which she posted a letters from her Fat-Self to her Skinny-Self based on an exercise from the book, A Course in Weight Loss by Marianne Williamson.
I was inspired!  So I bought the book and am reading it.  I have found some nuggets of goodness!  And, thus far, the biggest impact has been writing to my Fat-Self and Fit-Self (for me, "fit" was more comfortable than "skinny".)  I wrote these letters over a week ago, and I have been hesitant to share, as it feels quite personal and I feel incredibly vulnerable.  But it has been SO powerful for me that I decided to post them. 

Today is the first letter to my FAT-Self, from my FIT-Self.  And the next post will be a responce from my FAT-Self.

Dear Fat Girl Kim-

Dang, at times, you make me sad, disappointed and ashamed of myself. When I look at you I cringe with hatred!

Do you know how beautiful I am? You cover me up and won’t let others see my beauty. That pisses me off!

Please stop. Please stop getting in the way of me.

I see myself so clearly in my mind, but when I see you in the mirror or a picture, I am shocked! When did you take over? How did I let that happen? I know it is scary to let go of that layer of protection you have provided me. But you are stopping me from enjoying and participating in my best life.

Being alone WAS scary. It was frightening and felt incredibly overwhelming at times. I know you tried to protect me from those feelings. But, now you are not alone. And yes, you proved that you are worth it, no matter the size! YES, we are truly worthy of love and happiness! But, still, you continue to isolate me from others and from my best life. I’m tired of having my wall of fat up and blocking people out.

I want to let others in and I want to let my true self shine. I want to run and hike and dance and move freely. I want to stand in front of others feeling proud of myself. You get in my way.
What do you need from me so we can move forward? I think it is love. But I am not sure if I know how to love you...

I guess I’ll start with gratitude...

Thank you for trying to protect me from the pain of loneliness, failure and rejection. Yes, those are scary feelings – But, stuffing and numbing the pain with food, wine, and inactivity only increases the fear. And, I have learned that facing fears, head on, takes away their power. I know that your intentions were good and for that, thank you!

But this has to end. P.L.E.A.S.E!

Now, can we find other ways to deal with those painful feelings? Believe it or not, I want to feel them. Yep, that is terrifying, but I know that on the other side of the fear there is pure joy!

Please – join me! We can do this!

Fit Girl Kim

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Love Letter

Happy Valentine's Day!  The perfect day to write a love note!

Who are you going to write your love letter to this year?

Me? I wrote one to myself.

Wait! Before you roll your eyes and think about how hokey it is to write a love letter to yourself, hear me out!

I thought the same thing - but then I did it.  Yes, it felt hokey.  But it also felt incredibly empowering!  And it was a fabulous way to appreciate my past, recognize and embrace the present and envision the future.
Really, you should try it!
Here is what I wrote (ekk! I'm scared to share)

February 14, 2011

Dear Kim-

I’m not always sure if you know how wonderful you are. You are! Please remember that you are loved.

I know that right now you are struggling to find your place. Please let that be ok. Give yourself time and room to grow into your best self and you will become more comfortable. You don’t always have to have the answers. The answers will come, when it is time. Sit with the unknown and be ok. And, remember right now, your place is right as it should be. Yes there are times, like currently, when you feel “out of sorts” – just know that those moments are primed for growth. Allow the feelings in and you will get to the other side, happier and healthier.

In the mean time, continue to step outside of your comfort zone. Continue to try on new roles. Continue to learn and grow. You know you have something special going on. Over the past year, you have really taken the time on yourself! You are so open to learning and growing. It is astonishing how honest you can be with yourself and others. You are not afraid to share shameful and tough moments – and, please, begin to believe that it DOES make a difference in other peoples’ lives. You know you have gifts to share. Share them.

Now, about friendships: Yes, you have been hurt, disappointed, and blindsided by friends. But that does not mean that you should avoid new friendships. Let your guard down – if only a little – and let people in. Having friendships is so valuable. Being alone is no fun. Let go of that pain. Forgive.

As far as your body – don’t give up. Most importantly, continue to come from a place of love; for that will take you further than you know. You have habits that have been in place for over twenty years. Know that two steps forward will also include a step backwards. Mistakes will be made. It’s ok. Persist.

With regard to the Kim of the future: Keep that vision of yourself, years from now, on the beach feeling so complete, confident and uber comfortable in your own skin, fresh and available. Envisioning her will help you become! One day you will look in the mirror and recognize her – she’s in there. You already have glimpses of her. She is you! Believe.

With regard to the Kim of the past: Think about where you have been and how much you have grown.
  • You are so much more comfortable in your own skin than just a year ago.
  • You are embracing your authentic self and (mostly) have no apologies for be you.
  • You (along with Jeff) have created your wonderful family – filled with love, laughter, and confidence.
  • Your boys are happy, healthy, and add joy to the world. And you have a significant role in that!
  • You continually strive to improve and grow. And, you do!
  • You were once afraid of physically pushing yourself, and now, you have successfully completed a Triathlon and ran/walked 10 miles.
  • Fear used to stop you – now you can step into the fear and try new things.
Truly, it is staggering.

Please, Celebrate Yourself!
With love,


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Jury's Out on the Plethora of Joy-Inducing Activities

So I am back on board with my joy-inducing activities.  But the jury is still out if this experiment is working. 

During the first week of February, I would have said unequivocally that joy was added to my life.  By simply having the intention of adding joy to my life, made me happier and "lighter".  And the activities were an added bonus!

But throughout this past week, I am not so sure.  When the activities did not feel joyful, I felt discouraged and the lack of joy felt magnified.  Then, as I "fell off the joy-inducing activity wagon" and life happened, I wondered if this experiment was all just a waste of time.

I don't know how I will feel at the end of the month.  We'll just have to wait and see. 

Until then, here is my joy-inducing activity update:

Friday brought a clean house and a clean closet.  And I am not so sure that I felt joy - but it did feel good to have it done!

Saturday it was Flowers on the Kitchen table that made me smile.  And, gives me hope that, perhaps, spring will arrive soon?!!?
And today is a wonderful mani and pedi.  While enjoyed it, it would have been more fun if I would have planned ahead and invited a friend or two.  
I am looking forward to tomorrow and the beginning of a new week and more fun, joy-inducing activities!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Finding 3 Days Lacking Joy-Inducing Activities.

Confession time...
Forgive me father, for I have sinned...
I have been remiss in my monthly commitment to myself. 

It all started on Tuesday, when my joy-inducing activity of Making a Craft, was, well...less than joy-inducing.

And then life unusually busy Wednesday, with a doctor's appointment that was disappointing, and then I woke up with a head cold on Thursday that left me foggy and unmotivated, and today, I am still feeling the blahs and, of course, beating up on myself for my 3 days of no joy-inducing activities.

I tried really hard to put a spin on it and find the positive - but every spin I thought of was simply a lie. 

The truth is that I stopped.  And, the BLAHS moved in and the JOY moved out. 

As an all-or-nothing type of person, typically I would simply throw the towel in and quit my Month of Joy.  I would of accepted defeat and been done.  But I am fighting that urge.

So I am starting again.

Left on my list of Joy-Inducing activities are:
Go to a Movie, Paint, Play, Fresh Flowers, Get a Mani and a Pedi, Write a Letter to a Friend, Laugh Out Loud, Write a Poem, Make Goop with the Boys, Clean out a Closet, Add More Color to My World, Write a Love Note, Make S'Mores, Make a Snowman, Do Something Crazy, Have a Date Night, Write a Story, Sing.  And, I have a Dance do-over in order.

Today, I will Clean out a Closet.  Hell, I'll clean the whole house.

So I'm off to find Joy in a vacuum.  Wish me luck.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Day 7 - Finding Joy is Like a Walk in the Park.

Today is Day 7

And it was a walk in the park and dabbling in Photography that added nuggets of Joy to my day. 

Here in Cleveland, Ohio we covered with S.N.O.W - but it is not that pretty just fallen snow, it is the mucky, yucky brown with the occassional yellow spotted snow.  Furthermore, today was a very gray day and I am not exactly sure why I choose to take on "walk through the park" on such a gloomy day - but I am glad I did!  And, I am especially glad that at the last minute, I decided to grab my camera.

Once I got into the park, the mucky, yucky stuff that is all around town, was no where to be seen.  Instead I saw...

I was pleasantly surprised by the beauty and the color.  The orange, yellows, and browns were a vibrant contrast to the snow.  I didn't expect to get many good shots, but I end up with quite a few that I really like.  Yeah!

A simple walk in the park + my camera = JOY!

Day 6 - Finding Super Bowl Joy.

Super Bowl Sunday was Day 6 And, instead of following my list - I found joy elsewhere.
I don't think anyone who knows me would define me as a sports fan.  It's not that I am not familiar with sports and team games.  And, have, at various times in my life, followed teams regularly.  When I was in high school and college on fall Sundays the Cleveland Browns was my team to watch.  A few years later, when the Browns were hijacked, leaving Cleveland football-less, I was living in Wisconsin, so I adopted the Packers as my team.  I have also been know to enjoy attending Indians games - or even better, minor-league baseball games.  But in the more recent years, I have not been much of a sports fan.  Other things seemed to be a priority.

But this year I decided that I wanted to watch the Super Bowl - I figured if for nothing else, the commercials would be fun. 

So I made some yummy turkey chili.  Started a fire in the fireplace.  Got my big floor pillows out and was set to watch the game. 

The fun began as soon as the game started.  My boys (ages almost 5 and 6) started asking questions about the game.  I had so much fun explaining the 4 downs, end zones, touchdowns, and punting.  And, they took it all in with exuberant curiosity...wondering about why they are called the "Packers" and what a "Steeler" is?  Some of their questions and comments were so innocently sweet and adorable funny that my husband and I often glanced at each other, in amusement, and smiled.  It was a blast to hear them talk about teams "huddling up" and to see them excitedly cheering on the "Green Bays". 

Later, after the boys had gone to bed, I laid by the fire and savored the warmth, while my husband read a magazine.  It felt so cozy and incredibly peaceful. 

As I headed to bed, I noticed the smell of the fire on my PJ's.  It brought back many memories of bonfires, campfires, and winter days snuggled up at home.  For us, the day was not extraordinary.  It was not filled with awards or huge accomplishments.  It was not about football or who would win the game.  It was a simply an moment filled with family and love.  

A perfectly, JOYFUL, ordinary moment!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Day 5 - Making the "Not Fun" more FUN!

Yesterday was Day 5.
It was a day that I was dreading!  I had agreed to "Tackle the Tower" - climb 38 floors, 646 steps - to the top of the Tower at Erieview in Downtown Cleveland with my sister and husband. 

I really wanted to bail. 

But I couldn't.  So instead, I tried to make it FUN!
  • I took the pressure off. My goal was to simply finish and did not feel compelled to beat my previous times.
  • I took my MP3 player and listened to some great tunes while I climbed.
  • Knowing that challenges like this are often more mental than physical, I decided to focus on staying calm.
  • I recognized that the anxiousness that I was feeling at the start was just part of the experience and instead of wishing it away, I made room for it.
  • At each water stop, I made a point of smiling and saying "Thank You" to the volunteers.
  • When other folks were ready to pass me, I smiled and let them go by.
When I finished I felt great! I didn't beat a previous time - not by a long shot. But I didn't care.

I did it! And, I even enjoyed it!

AND, more importantly, I experienced something that I have NEVER experienced before in all of my various races...I never once compared my body to the other racers. I never felt like a fraud or that I didn't belong. And, I never felt bad about myself or my body for not being and looking healthier and "better".  And to that I have to say - WOW!

That is HUGE for me! 
Yep...Day 5 was a SUCCESS!

Day 4 - Finding Joy in Sledding

Day 4 was filled with joy-inducing sledding!

It was perfect - the temperature was a balmy 32 degree, the hill was covered with perfectly packed snow and the boys were THRILLED! 

I am typically a side-liner.  You know the type..."no, no - go ahead.  I'll just watch you sled!"  But not this time!  Nope, I took on the hill.  And I have to say, the first time down, as my heart flew out of my body, the sled and hill had full control, and the fear, fast and furiously, crept in I wondered, "Why in the Hell did I think this would be joy-inducing?" 

But as I got the end of the hill - My face broke into a huge smile and I felt a big ol' "WooHooie!" erupt from my insides.  
Back up the hill for another Joy-inducing (and the occasional tear-inducing) plunge!
Their smiles could not be contained!

Yep, JOY!
                              And the boys felt it too!!!!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Day 3 - Searching for Joy in Dance.

Yesterday was DAY 3

And yesterday, a few books that I had ordered from Amazon had arrived, and I decided to start reading Life Is A Verb, by Patti Digh.  Throughout the book, Ms. Digh provides activities for the reader.  Ironically, the first activity was about exploring joy through dance.  So, I figured it was clearly a sign from the universe - Dancing would be my joy-inducing activity.

First, it is important to know that I am not a dancer.  I have never really liked going out to clubs, not even in college, when all my friends were "doing it".  Dancing has just never been my thing - in fact we didn't even have any dancing at our wedding.  So dancing definitely takes me out of my element.  With this being said, there have been times when I have turned on some tunes and be-bopped around my house and even, dare I say, "got my groove on!"  So, while dancing is not my thing, it is not a completely far-fetched activity.

So I tuned on my tunes, from my new playlist.  Grabbed my four year old son and we began to dance.  He had a blast wiggling, jumping, spinning, and shaking.  His giggles (and wiggles) should have been contagious.  But they weren't.  I was completely in my head - and was self-conscious about EVERYTHING!

     About my dancing...
     About my body...
     About my crabby mood that wasn't lifting...
     About an anticipated message I hadn't received yet...
     About the presentation I was scheduled to do that night...
     And ESPECIALLY about the Joy that was NOT happening...

And so, my joy-inducing activity ended up inducing the exact opposite.

I became melancholy and sad and began to wonder, if perhaps, I do not know how to let joy into my life.  It felt incredibly defeating. 

Fortunately, this happened in the morning, and in the afternoon I had lots of stuff to do.  So I went about my day and slowly the melancholy lifted.  Then, after successfully completing my presentation last night, I realized that I had been nervous (all day) and felt incredibly vulnerable about sharing my story.  That, compounded by my anxiousness regarding the above mentioned message, foiled my joy.  I was not open to receiving joy - other emotions were in the way.

I recognize that joy can not occur simply because I do a joy inducing activity.  And, I know that my heart has to be open to it. And, I understand that sometimes my heart is closed and, rightly, focused on other matters.

I can NOT force joy.

Which may lead someone to wonder whether or not my joy-inducing activity experiment is worth doing.  I, in fact, wondered the same thing.  But tonight, when my son unexpectedly turned on the twinkle lights while I was sitting at my desk, and I immediately felt a twinge of JOY (and saw a glimmer of happy in his eyes) I had my answer.

So, I am thinking that a Dance-Do-Over is in order!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Day 2 - Finding Joy in a Playlist

Yesterday, I found a little bit of joy in a playlist...

My playlist includes:

I Gotta Feeling by The Black Eyed Peas
Rhythm Of Love by Plain White T's
King of Anything by Sara Bareilles
Raise Your Glass by P!nk
Party In The USA by Miley Cyrus
Hey, Soul Sister by Train
TiK ToK by Ke$ha
Suddenly I See by KT Tunstall
Dynamite by Taio Cruz
The Climb by Miley Cyrus
Firework by Katy Perry
We R Who We R by Ke$ha
Glitter In The Air by P!nk

It was fun to pick out some new music and kept some oldies that I have used before!

What songs would be on your playlist?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Day 1 - Finding Joy in Twinkle Lights

Today, I added Twinkle Lights to my office,
(idea shamelessly lifted from

and you know what...
They make me smile.

Yeah! A nugget of  joy added to my world!

And a BONUS...
A snow day with my boys added even more joy...

I officially deem Day 1 a success!

Monday, January 31, 2011

28 Joy-Inducing Activities!

Tomorrow is the February 1st!  And I am ready for 28 days of Joy!  I have made my list of 28 joy-inducing activities - even a chart to keep track of my progress.  I think that this will be fun!
What would you do to add a little more joy in your life?

Saturday, January 29, 2011

In Search of JOY in Ordinary Moments

I have decided that during the month of February I am going to focus on adding more joy to my life. Basically, I am going to have a list of simple things that I can do (one each day) to add nuggets of joy to my life. 

I have done some research on joy and found this quote that I love and reminded me about the ordinary moments that are filled with joy...
I think the beauty of twinkle lights is a perfect metaphor for joy.
Joy is not a constant.  It comes to us in moments – often ordinary moments.  Sometimes we miss out on the bursts of joy because we’re too busy chasing down the extraordinary moments.  Other times we’re so afraid of the dark that we don’t dare let ourselves enjoy the light.
A joyful life is not a floodlight of joy.  That would eventually become unbearable.
I believe a joyful life is made up of joyful moments gracefully strung together by trust, gratitude, and inspiration.
~ Brene Brown 
I am looking build a list of 28 things to do (one for each day) to add joy to my life.  Some that I already have on my list are:
  • Hang twinkle lights
  • Get fresh flowers for my kitchen table
  • Get outside and walk through the park (even though February is stinking brrrr here)
  • Go sledding with the kids
Also, I plan to begin a gratitude journal and write 3-5 items I am grateful for each night, and I am giving up alcohol (since it is a depressant, thus not joy-inducing) for the month.

So I am curious...
what are some ordinary moments/things that bring you joy?

Perhaps you can help me add to my list.


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