Life Archives » ANNE JONES

June 11, 2020
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We did it while I was getting my hair done.

In the winter of 2017, I was so busy that I had to make a double date with my hair stylist and my husband just so that I could see him for long enough to plan our upcoming trip to Japan.
I was so busy that, when cool opportunities came up (like providing massage therapy for actual rockstars), I had to decline because there were literally no empty hours in my weeks. Any of my friends will attest to this.
This may be normal for superwomen like Beyonce and Michelle Obama, but it shouldn’t be normal for you and I.
As it always does, the universe intervened and forced me to pause. We didn’t know it yet, but I was pregnant at that hair appointment. That inevitable event forced me to slow down, and I’m glad it did.
Another event recently forced us to pause and slow down. Now we get to choose what we add back into our lives, into our schedules.

NO sign

I’m a recovering ‘over-doer.’ So I get it. I know it can be hard to say “No” to ‘opportunity,’ say “No,” when you could say “Yes.”

Not leaving space in our lives can lead to burnout and resentment. If there is no space, there is no room for any new, wonderful opportunities that may come along.

Here are my Top Tips for Saying “No” with Confidence:

  1. Get clear on what you do want.

white woman journallingWhen we begin working together, many of my clients don’t know what they want.

I have been guilty of this, too. It was through working with my coaches (Andrea Ferguson and Bri Morrison to name two) that I learned to adopt this practice. You can figure out what you want by grabbing your journal and using these prompts:

For the short term, ask,

“How do I want to feel today?”

“How do I want to make others feel today?”

“Who do I want to be today?”

For the long-term, ask “What do I want?”

For example, if you want to be fit and strong; How does the fit, strong version of you feel when she sees herself in the mirror? Maybe she feels confident, strong, and worthy. Feel that way now. What actions does the fit, strong version of you take? Maybe she drinks water, eats whole foods, and exercises daily. Take those actions now. What clothes does she wear? Get it?

2. “Choose discomfort over resentment.” – Dr. Brene Brown

Sometimes it’s easier to say yes because it avoids a tougher conversation (“I can’t do this job anymore.” “I don’t have time to volunteer.” “I don’t like to look after your children.” “I have to put myself first in this scenario.” “Teaching that class will put me on a trajectory towards burnout.”).

Practice choosing the discomfort and maybe having the tough conversation, instead of saying “Yes” and resenting the other party (often someone we love) for an undetermined amount of time. When we say “Yes” to something we know (or find out) we should have said “No” to, we end up resenting that person, that situation, or ourselves. When we do this repeatedly, it engrains a subliminal message that we are not as valuable as other people and events.

3. Insert space before you reply. When you are asked to commit to something, it’s OK to say, “I’ll let you know tomorrow,” or “Let me get back to you on Saturday.” This space gives you time to think about what you want before you automatically agree. And then…

4. If it’s not a “Hell yes!” it’s a “No.” This is a great guiding principle and practice to begin listening to your intuition. This applies to big things (buying cars and houses, choosing spouses, starting businesses), medium things (agreeing to watch other people’s children, investing in programs, choosing your child’s daycare), and little things (attending a class, eating a second piece of chocolate cake, taking it to go).

This doesn’t mean you just begin saying “Yes” to things that serve only you. When you begin to listen to your gut, your intuition, you start to know what you do and don’t want to do. Will adding another commitment to your schedule create (real, not perceived) opportunity and valuable networking or will it burn time that could be spent working on the parts of your career that light you up? Will volunteering to pack lunches fill you up or take you away from time you really want to be spending with your family?

Consider the question in front of you. Is it a “Hell yes!” If not, move on, and then…

5. Let FOMO go.

FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is just that; a fear. The f-word is not a good place from which to make decisions. We want to make commitments and decisions from a place of abundance and joy, not fear.


April 20, 2020
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Mama, a Global Pandemic Doesn’t Change This: You are doing enough.

I say Mama, but I mean Woman. Please read whether or not you are a mother, and make it ’til the end. I have had this conversation toooo many times recently – it’s time to clear this up.

Something dangerous, other than a virus, seems to have spread: a misconception: Since I am at home, I am obligated to accomplish more, do more, and be more productive.

What is this? Who said this? Why is this a thing?

Last week I had two conversations with working mothers who are currently homeschooling multiple children and working from home. They both said that they felt that they are not doing enough for their kids, that they should be more there for their kids at this scary time. Insert googly eye emoji onto my face.

If you are at home, with your family, as many of us are 100% of the time right now, you are there. You couldn’t be there more. You are so. there.

Anne and Sophie on steps
Anne and Sophie enjoying slower pandemic life.

As mothers, and as women, we are always on. And now we are on literally 100% of the time. There are no activities, no childcare, and many of us are still working. (Please also see Glennon Doyle’s IGTV re: “TV Time.”)

When your kids go down for a nap/your work-from-home day is done, you do not always have to fold laundry/paint a room/workout/get more work done/write your first novel.

It is OK to catch up on Love is Blind, do yoga (or workout if that would make you feel good), read a book, and/or take a freakin’ nap! That is OK. And when you hear the voice that says that it’s not OK, I would just invite you to lovingly ask whose voice that is and from where it came.

One of my favourite moments recently: an online friend’s two young boys were dancing on her kitchen counter, eating cookie dough off the beaters, having the time of their lives, and the 4-year-old asked, “Mom, are you still trying to take care of us?” I mean, you just have to laugh and give yourself a break because the current circumstances are whack and we are all doing our best.

Hear this:

If you are at home, not working, but staying healthy, you are doing enough.

If you are working from home, staying healthy, you are doing enough.

If you are homeschooling (and that is a broad term right now) one or more children, you are doing enough.

If you are homeschooling AND working from home AND staying healthy, girl, you are doing more than enough.

If you are lying in your underwear on your couch eating chips, but staying healthy, you. are. enough.

Cut yourself a break, ma, you are enough.

xo


March 23, 2020

Adding things like “hand sanitizer,” “toilet paper,” or anything with the word “Lysol” in it to your grocery list is currently an embarassing, pointless act.

Here is a recipe for a homemade hand sanitizer that our daycare provider shared with us.

You WILL need a bottle of 99% isopropyl alcohol and a bottle of glycerine or glycerol (you can use whichever is least expensive). Both of these items are becoming difficult to find, but easier than finding hand sani.

If you live here in B.C., know that London Drugs  is still receiving these items three times a week: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. If you get there at open, you may be able to snag them. I found the vegetable glycerine at a very small Pharmasave, so don’t forget about your local, small, independently-owned drugstores who are still getting stock.

Recipe:

  • 99% isopropyl alcohol
  • glycerine or glycerol
  1. In a one-cup measuring cup, add 80 ml or just over ¾ cup of the alcohol.
  2. Top it up to the one cup mark with the glycerol or glycerine and mix. (I used a whisk.)
  3. Pour the mix into clean, reusable, travel liquid containers.

When you are ready to use it, rub the mix on your hands for 15 seconds and let it air dry. Obviously, do not drink this mixture, even if BCL closes.


December 12, 2018
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I had a morning.

Lady sitting on bed in dark room

I won’t say it was “one of those mornings,” because that implies that it was a morning that I feel others will recognize. You would say, “Oh I know it well.” You would picture my bad hair, my daughter dragging paper towel all over the dirty kitchen, and my dog puking as I try to rush out the door.

But it wasn’t like that.

It was all good, from when I woke up at 5 am, until I put the babies down to nap at 10:15. It was time for me to workout, something to which I had actually been looking forward all morning.

I went down into the gym, baby monitor and water bottle in hand. I put on O.P.P. (anyone who follows me knows that is one of my most common workout songs). I tied my shoes. I opened my tabata timer. And then I just sat on the floor.

I sat on the floor under the weight of my busy mind, under the weight of my distractions, under the defeat of all the things I didn’t accomplish this morning, or any morning, and, in my mind, never ever will.

I sat and thought, ‘I do this for a living. I get people off the couch and off the floor.’

I coached myself: “You will feel better after you workout.”
“My heart is not in it.”
“OK. Be kind to yourself. Do yoga instead. That will get you off the floor.”
“It won’t. Not today. I can’t.”
“OK. Be kind to yourself. Have a bath. Or take a nap.”
“I can’t. That won’t fix this.”

I just read Rachel Hollis‘ Girl, Wash Your Face (which I highly recommend, by the way). She talks about how writing is her passion and her lifelong dream. As a successful author, she obviously makes money by writing, but encourages her readers to pursue their passions regardless of outcome or reward.

Writing is my passion, too. But I don’t do it enough.

It did get me off the floor this morning. Writing didn’t make me workout or do yoga or take a bath. But it did get me upstairs and onto my laptop to write this.

Let me be clear: there is sadness and then there is sadness. I am not depressed (Although if I were, I would still write about it). I am just like many women I know; paralyzed by what ifs and mistaking opportunities for obstacles.

One of the best things about writing in the first person is that someone else will hear your voice as their own. At least one other person.

So in sharing this, I hope you identify at least one thing (not a person or a substance) that will get you off the floor next you find yourself there. xo


August 10, 2018
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I have decided that I am doing nothing today.

Well, actually I am doing something. I am stay-at-home-momming this month and working outside the house very little.
 
Yesterday and today I have my friend’s four-month-old daughter, Mila, to test out the childcare swap we will be doing in September. So it really is stay-at-home-ing because we didn’t leave the house yesterday. I planned to attempt it today, but I have changed my mind.
 
I couldn’t sleep last night, so I am exhausted. (Not Sophie’s fault, she sleeps better than we do!)
 
I had a personal training client at 5:30 am, and I usually workout after training her, but I went back to bed to try to go back to sleep. No joy.
 
Since I am unable to sleep, I figured I would just have to power through the day. This morning I struggled to gather the energy to make breakfast, bathe Sophie, and clean the kitchen.
 
But then I realized it doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing.
 
Just because I can’t sleep doesn’t mean I have to ‘do’ and be productive.
 
If I have the energy to snuggle at least one baby or read my book, that is what I will do. I will hide the four of us (me, two babies, and Kenzie dog), in our air-conditioned bedroom, play with the babies when they are awake, and read and write while they sleep, and that will be enough.
 
Honouring the energy that you have can be challenging due to ingrained ideas about how your day has to go and what you ‘need’ to do. Hopefully there will be days that you sleep well, eat well, and have boundless energy in your bank. Spend that energy frivolously on those days. But we can’t spend frivolously every day, or we will run out of energy in the bank.
 
So on low-energy days, spend your energy and your time with awareness and self-kindness, and don’t give any f*cks about how anyone else is spending their day.