Hi my lovely SheHivers.
It's me. It's my turn to write this week and I have to tell you, I've been drained and fatigued and paralyzed by too much. Writing? Shit. My creative flow just isn't there. That side of my brain feels like someone stuffed a sock in it. A sock filled with task after task after task after task.
Quite honestly, last week I was ready to run away.
Don't let all the Facebook love and fun fool you. I have been drowning in overwhelm. Let me point out the irony. I have all my value reminders written down in my planner because I am the kind of woman who aims to live with intention.
I am an expert at telling others how to do this. I am queen bee when it comes to reading all of the books and believing all the philosophies. Simplicity. Minimalism. Saying no to too much and yes to yourself. I subscribe. I believe. I preach. One of my favorite quotes is "stop the glorification of busy". Oh yes, that would be me on my holier than thou simplicity throne. Yet here I am, condemning it...but still so fucking busy.
I take antidepressants for severe PMS. Let me tell you a secret. Last week I was so riddled with anxiety, I doubled up my dose. That is a flaming red flag that I am living outside of my value set.
When what you do and how you behave is not aligned with your highest values (priorities for life) then that is when things begin feeling somewhat uncomfortable and painful. You feel unfulfilled, dissatisfied and maybe just downright miserable, and you probably don’t even realize why you’re feeling this way.
So maybe starting a business while also having a full time job and a family including a daughter in her senior year of high school wasn't the sanest idea in the world, but hey.... I'm a leap and the net will appear kind of gal. I thought I could sacrifice for a little while with the busy-ness that would surely be essential with making a dream come true. I didn't even conside regular life management, my kids' futures, their school lives and health concerns, the time it takes to figure out the frustrating trickery of health insurance, spending time with the people who are important to me (my husband, kids, parents, and friends), keeping finances in check, making chore lists, buying birthday gifts, taking my vitamins, eating healthy, exercising, paying parking tickets, returning library books on time, remembering to rub progesterone cream on my inner thigh on day 10 through 26 of my hormonal cycle. Jesus. Who has time for a job anyways!?
My life is full guys. For that I am grateful.
However, I'm having a tough time because I need and require down time. I keep wanting to accomplish more and I keep wanting to slow down. My value is that I want a simplified life with free space and alone time, yet I am driven to accomplish more and a lot and too much. I just want to achieve eudamonic well being. I just want to change the world. Something's gotta give.
If I sound like a martyr, please don't take it that way.... It's just that I think it's important to share that I'm struggling. When people tell me they don't know how I'm managing to do it all, it's important to know the truth. My values aren't aligning with my calendar. I keep adding things I want and need to do and I'm not subtracting. For those not aware, the peace is in the subtracting.
"Whether we live in our true or false self depends on our willingness to stay real. And so, over time, staying real becomes the work of keeping our actions in the world connected to the truth of our inner being, allowing our True Self to see the light of day." ~ Mark Nepo
So anyways, SOS.
I need an intervention. I keep looking for some kind of relief outside of myself. Cues from the universe. Magical answers from a mystic. Surely someone else sees things more clearly than me. No doubt, there is a cure for being spread too thin.
In April, we are offering a workshop called Soul Restoration, and I'm treating myself to simply be a participant. I recognize that I need it. I recognize that we all need it. Life runs us down and we need to restore. This is three exquisite days of intensive deep soul work, connecting with the truth of who you are through a series of beautiful and thoughtfully designed lessons. Ahhhh.....heavenly. I will be closing the doors of Andrea and shutting out any responsibilities or expectations. I will commit to let everything else go for these three days and prioritize the self care that I need.
The SheHive has become such a powerful collective of feminine power and wisdom. Right now, more than ever, I'm allowing the hive and the creative, insightful, talented, and wonderful women who have wholeheartedly joined us in our mission, to keep me in tune and on track with my true self. The wisdom of the group (as Ursula so eloquently describes it). We all need a team, a tribe to help us through. I thank you all for the love and light that you bring.
*A very special thank you to my business partner, Ursula, who takes on more than her share of the workload as the managing parter at the SheHive, a wonderful friend, and all around dynamo. We couldn't have made it this far without you. <3
Love and light,
Chief Inspiration Officer
When I turned 40...
When I turned 40 I stopped tying my age to my worth. Being young wasn’t as important to me as being wise and well-traveled. A few years later, I stopped tying my self-worth my zip code. I gave up suburban living and a big mortgage in a pristine historic neighborhood for city living and a house we could afford to pay for with cash. Not long after that I stopped tying my self-worth to the number that showed up on the scale in favor of being healthy and comfortable in my own skin.
I’ve given up a lot of numbers - a lot of "shoulds" - over these past six years. The one number I haven’t been able to give up, however, is that damn number in my bank account. I felt SO accomplished when my salary finally reached six figures and my 401k was reaching a point that made retirement an actual, eventual possibility.
And then I gave it all up…
quit my job, quit my salary, quit my employer-matched 401k. I cashed it all in favor of a living a life I dared to dream.
To say I have had some shame over my dwindling bank account is a vast - HUGE - understatement. My bank balance is constantly looping in the back of my head… “You should have more. You should save more. You should stop spending. You should be more careful. You should go get another big girl job and earn boatloads of cash.”
You know the most ridiculous part of it all? I haven’t wanted for ANYTHING since giving up my salary.
Still, I panic about money all the time.
From the time I started working in 1985 at Bob’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream and Lemonade at Town East Mall in Mesquite, Texas, (where I had to wear red, ribbed, polyester bell bottoms and pin a lace doily to my head), until last summer, I’ve been on someone else’s payroll pretty consistently. I can’t get used to the fact that now, as a consultant, I never really know when and from where my next paycheck is going to appear.
I was referred to my first consulting client by a dear friend almost immediately after leaving my full-time job last June. We did a lot of work together over the summer and then they just disappeared. It broke my heart and scared the shit out of me all at the same time. A second client I had worked hard on retaining fell through at the same time. For most of September and October I didn’t work.
You know what I did instead? I opened the SheHive. And you know what happened as soon as the SheHive was open? That first client called me - finally ready to continue the work we had started together earlier in the year. And three more clients popped up too.
Since then, every time a larger project has come up, one of my other clients goes dark for some reason or another - freeing up time and space. Last Friday, a client that had literally disappeared and stopped returning my calls, called me to start up our work again just as I was headed out to deliver my final product to another client.
Last Friday I decided it was finally time to start listening to the wake up calls being lobbed my way.
The work continues to come my way exactly when I need it. The universe is not a place of scarcity - it is a place of abundance. I don’t have to worry and I don’t have to carry shame. My income probably may not be six figures this year, but it will be enough.
Today, when we are encouraged to #BeBoldForChange, I am making the BOLD change to let go of this last number that falsely defined my self-worth. I am, instead, defined by my belief that I will always have everything I need. It’s been true up until today and it will continue to be true. And if you woke up this morning and are reading this, it’s been true for you up until today and it can continue to be true for you too.
Happy International Women's Day!
May you #BeBoldForChange today and every day beyond. And may you decide to define yourself by things that really, truly matter to YOU.
With much love and gratitude,
Ursula Adams, MSPOD
I have been a little obsessed...
with the idea of German grocery stores ever since Edeka’s Supergeil commercial made it’s debut. (You're welcome for that link, by the way.) Not only are German supermarkets home to Ritter Sport Butter Biscuits, they apparently also have suave old dudes, frolicking about, singing and dancing to industrial music in their aisles.
Could it get any better?
I've since learned that Aldi is owned by a German company and I’ve wanted to go ever since because, well... frolicking dudes and German cookies. Also it’s supposed to be hella-cheap and full of organic and non-GMO food and that's important too, I guess.
There's an Aldi down the street from me and every time I drive by - which has been approximately eleventy-billion times in the past three years - I think to myself, “I should really go shop there sometime.”
Yeah, you read that right. I've been thinking about going for three years. Clearly grocery shopping isn't high on my priority list.
Anyhoooo... after overhearing my friend Brandi talk about a trip to Aldi a few weeks ago, I decided to finally give it a go. Except I have this whole weird social anxiety thing that’s been acting up recently as these things tend to do in times of high stress (and trust me, starting a new business is definitely a time of high stress).
In the past year I’ve managed to earn a Master’s degree, quit a job of 16 years, launch two businesses and travel to two foreign countries, but not knowing what awaits me on the other side of Aldi’s electronic doors (groceries?) is legit, straight up giving me anxiety.
So I called Brandi.
“I’m having far more anxiety over shopping at a new store than one should, but here we are. So… which Aldi do you go to? Is it cool? Are they nice? Do I have to bring my own bags? Will they laugh at me once I step inside? And what about the frolicking dudes? Like, are they real?”
Brandi was super-cool and talked me off the ledge by answering all my questions without judgement. I decided I had enough information to finally face this silly fear and, as we talked, I steered the car towards Aldi. Just as I was pulling up to the corner to turn into the parking lot Brandi added, “Oh, and you’ll need a quarter for the shopping cart.”
My gentle snowflakes, I have never been so relieved to be sans one shiny quarter in my life. I drove my ass right past Aldi and straight to my local Kroger.
Dodged that bullet.
Except I couldn’t get the “Aldi thing” out of my head.
More so, I couldn’t get the “anxiety thing” out of my head. For years I lived with anxiety and limited my life because of an overwhelming fear of the unknown. That was the old me, however. For the better part of the last decade I have reveled in a new life - one free of social anxiety and depression. I've been going a little backwards lately and it breaks my heart.
I don't want to be that former version of myself again.
So, I’ve been gathering quarters in my coat pocket for a week now, preparing to face this (admittedly, laughable) fear. Sunday night another friend, Susan, who knows about my "Aldi anxiety" sent me a “What you should know about shopping at Aldi” video.
I thank the universe for my Hive who supports me in facing even the most laughable of fears. Monday morning I decided I had wasted enough time and energy on something that, in the scheme of things, really didn't matter all that much.
I went to Aldi.
And I had to ask someone to show me how to unleash the carts with my shiny quarter. And the cashier smirked at me when I tried to bag my groceries at the conveyor belt (there’s a shelf at the front of the store you go to after you check out). And I didn’t buy enough bags the first time through to carry all my groceries, so I had to go back through the line a second time. And a very aggressive (or near-sighted - or both) woman damn near took me out trying to get to the frozen organic mango chunks.
I’m pretty sure EVERYONE knew it was my first time at Aldi. *gasp*
But just like every fear that has ever been placed in my path, I survived it. In fact, I’m kind of like an old-school Aldi pro now.
The "Aldi anxiety" was really just a displaced fear of some other stuff going on in life right now - stuff like quitting a job and leaving behind everything that has ever been familiar. Every day I’m stepping into strange new places and having to rely on the direction of complete strangers to survive. It’s unsettling to say the least.
But, just like Aldi, I’ll survive this unknown territory too. II’ll do it because I have a pocketful of tools (quarters and otherwise) to lean on - tools that many wonderful women helped me to develop. I’ll do it because I have a Brandi and a Susan that will show me love without judgement. And I’ll do it because I believe that I don't have to define myself by who I used to be. I went back there for a time, but I didn't stay too long.
Change works like that, after all - back and forth, zigs and zags. It's not a linear process as much as we would like it to be.
So, what's the "silliest" fear you ever faced down?
With much love and gratitude,
Ursula Adams, MSPOD
This article originally appeared in the MetroTimes
Posted By Chloe Michaels on Thu, Feb 16, 2017 at 4:14 pm
If Valentine's Day left you full of questions about sex and the female body, one event that may appeal to you is the Pussy Party at the SheHive in Ferndale.
It’s a women-only event offering a safe environment for a sex-positive discussion about female sexuality and the female body. Guests can expect a wide-ranging discussion led by sex therapist Christina Bolden, owner of Xposure, a sex education consultancy, a chance to meet like-minded women, followed by “a sex positive art project.” (We can only imagine what masterworks that will produce!)
This unusual event is all in a day’s work for SheHive, a business described by founder Ursula Adams as a “Women’s March in one place,” where Adams and partners Andrea Corp and Amanda Itliong strive to help women strengthen one another.
The event runs from 1 to 5 p.m. Feb. 19, at the SheHive, 1840 Hilton Rd., Ferndale; $60 ; for more info, see theshehive.com.
Divorce is a very significant piece of my story.
Hands down, this was the most difficult period in my life. Shining my light seemed impossible. It was days, weeks, months, of darkness. I cried every day for a whole lot of days. I spent the rest of the time that I wasn't crying using every little bit of my energy hiding my pain and trying NOT to cry so my daughters would be protected from so much distress. Divorce is sad guys. Supersized pain and grief. Six years later, I am happily remarried to an amazing man who means the world to me and I have revamped my life in so many ways, but I can still feel the death of that dream at times.
Like when I just recently changed the phone number on my CVS card. It was the last remaining evidence of the land line that I owned. The family home number. We were a family. We lost everything. All these years later, and still a small stab in my heart.
Oh and don't get me started about the smell of laundry detergent.
It can take me right back in time to a place of beginnings and love and hope and dreams. When I was 23 years old and newly married. Living with my husband in our first home. A nice solid 3 bedroom brick ranch in a modest but nice neighborhood. Tree lined streets. We were lucky and in love. I would walk around the neighborhood in love with life, the trees, and my place in the world, and I would catch the scent of laundry being done, proof of home, safety, and security wafting from my neighbors' homes. Now, 23 years later, a simple smell of laundry detergent on a walk in a neighborhood with my dog brings a steep sense of melancholy. Each whiff reminding me of a time I believed in happily ever after.
It feels like hope and death and then and now, all mixed up into a big jumble of a burning heart.
There is leftover pain that may always remain.....the remnants of a marriage and family life that was once whole and happy and ideal and then just gone. That is divorce. I bring this up because it doesn't matter what stage of divorce you are in. One needs support when considering divorce, a very serious and life altering decision; in the early stages of pain and anger, during the most difficult stages of grief and loss, and post divorce when there are new issues to consider, like figuring out how to be a stepparent, and dealing with the ex wife of your new partner. There's also the memories and lingering pain.
Divorce with Dignity is beginning at the SheHive at the end of this month, February 25th. It's the implementation of my vision to provide support and inspiration to other women who are experiencing or have experienced such a monumental loss. I hope to help women find the beauty within the pain of divorce. Divorce is letting go and holding on... for dear life. It is endings and beginnings. All at one time. Magnified and electrified. It does not require a celebration, nor does it require a pity party. It requires strength and perseverance.
Keep in mind, I'm not a therapist, but yes I consider myself an expert.
I've done divorce and I've done it well. In fact, I'm frequently asked what my secret is. I can tell you this. I am straight up amazing at loving and lighting myself up. This is a practice. Like yoga. Finding your superpowers of optimism, hope, and gratitude is essential. There are tips and tools to learn. The most important piece of a support group, however, is the power of supporting one another's individual experience in a collective group of "me too" and "I understand" and "I'm sorry", and "I'm here."
Sure. There will probably be some anger and disparaging remarks about exes. After all, it's important to express and vent and share and let go.
Divorce With Dignity at the SheHive is the place to release all the toxic yuck out of your emotional exhaust system.
This is healthy. This is necessary. Better here in our support group than out in the social media world or in front of your kids, or suffocating your friends with it. Just remember, we will always come back to the mission, which is to overcome the negative, keep your dignity intact, your heart open, and your soul shining. We can all get there together. That is where the magic lives. That is our focus.
"Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional." ~Unknown
SheHive Chief Inspiration Officer
Divorce with Dignity Support Group | Register
Divorce can be one of the most difficult and painful experiences in a woman's life. Oftentimes, it is the death of a dream, provoking much fear, anxiety, and isolation. Learn how to honor yourself and find empowerment in the safe space of a support group designed to provide guidance as you navigate through the challenges of divorce. Join Andrea Corp, Co-Founder of the SheHive, Life Coach, and certified Women's Circle Facilitator as she leads conversation and creative expression to help you get in touch with the superpowers of optimism, hope, and gratitude to find magic in the midst of heartache.