Two Badges Holding You Back

I’m noticing a trend in our society –I mean, myself. A trend that in my short life has done much to ensnare me in guilt, to overwhelm me in decisions, and drown mean discouragement. This trend is two-fold. Both sides work together to stop forward progress and peace. I want to address both sides–badges–in my next two posts. I call them badges because strangely, although I don’t like the outcome of living them, they seem so shiny and attractive at the time. I feel like they are my gold star of achievement.
The first is the badge of honor of being busy. I have had seasons of life where I truly am swamped with externally imposed deadlines. School is a great example of this–or work assignments if you are not your own boss.  Needless to say, life will always have these external, time sensitive pressures that we can’t wish away with the wave of our hand. That’s ok. Sometimes these pressures squeeze us into sitting down and doing the work. I could now park here and talk about time management, energy management techniques, stress relief, and how to harness or focus. I love talking about all these topics and as a personal coach that helps women find balance and calm. 

However, external non-controllable deadlines are not what I’m going to address. I’m talking about the glorification of busy and then the subsequent panic that creates the illusion of busy. 

Now, back to my story….Yes, whole seasons of my life have been busy out of my control. But, I wonder if I went back and applied what I know now–how much of it really WAS in my control after all. Let me explain. I have had time to breath. I have had moments with nothing pressing to do. I have even had free time (although as a mom, free time isn’t what it used to be!😊). I would hazard a guess that half of yiu almost judged me as not as busy as you (ie: she doesn’t know what it’s like….). Am I right? But think past the judgment. I would venture a guess that you have witnessed those ebb and flows in your own life too. 

Pay attention: what did you do in the easier times? If you are like me, you started feeling guilty. You started inventing relevant tasks for yourself and self-improvement drama. You felt like you should be doing more. Maybe you felt like you are being selfish or even *shudder* not doing or being enough. As those feeling-thoughts began to swirl, you began creating your own stress cyclone. You began to reduce yourself and your value down to the number of tasks and responsibilities you had or the number of “hats” you wear. Sound familiar? Yikes! It does to me too and reminds me of a dark place of feeling like I’m failing. 

Everyone take a deep breath at this point. We are going to shift perspective here. All of the internal pressures to DO more or BE more–who is doing that to us? We are. Fill in your name. Drink in that thought. When it comes to the badge of busy, internally I have done that to myself. I am not the victim here. I don’t say that as a slam that once again I messed up. I’m saying it to give hope. 

I have the power to release the guilt and panic of proving my worth to myself. From a calm and clear place, I have the ability to choose intentionally what I want to do—when to say yes, no or even not right now. At that point of taking ownership, I can breathe when I need to, work hard and push when I want to–but do either from a place of freedom. I have found that when I’m free to choose, I actually accomplish more but do it with joy and determination.  Cool, right?  

 Now, as far as society’s perception that busy equals success (and not busy equals lazy)–well, I can’t fix that. I CAN shift my own perception and give others the permission and tools to shift their perception too.

Let that inner voice be kind. Save your energy for the real battles that you don’t get to choose and the hard work for the commitments you DO choose. Learn to breathe and BE ENOUGH. Just the way you are. 

Stay tuned…the Badge of Perfectionism coming soon…..

👣journey on! 



Roots Run Deep 

So, at first glance, this post might seem to be about weather. In the spirit of sotto voce though, I hope the deeper message is sensed underneath. 

 I love travel. And by love, I mean–crave, obsess, need, thrive on it. I love flipping through pictures of where I’m going. I love packing all my essentials and the challenge of “going light”.  I love the smell of the jet fuel–maybe the smell of adventure 😉. I love the feel of a different climate, the sound of different languages or accents. I love seeing how different people do things–their pace of life. You get the idea. 

This year, we traveled to visit friends and family in the humid and hot (read: vacation feeling) states of Georgia and Florida. Nope this isn’t a post about my trip. We had an absolutely rad time hanging out, beaching, fishing, seeing the sights, and catching up with some of my favorite people. 

What was really odd though, is that I was excited going home to Colorado. Not because I didn’t enjoy vacation–in fact there is always that end of trip sadness–you know what I mean. But I was also sensing the flutter of excitement as we landed and the air was crisp and cool. Coffee started to sound amazing again. I had to wrap up tight in my hoodie. 

When we had departed for our trip, it had been summer. When we returned a short week later, the first stirrings of Autumn had arrived. I am a self proclaimed hot weather gal– I spend the end of summer already worried about being cold and the sick season. So, this bout of nostalgia was a bit of a surprise. I realized that I can love the surf and sand of tropical getaways. I can love the light eating and laid back pace of hot climates–but at the end of the day–I’m a Colorado girl. Those roots are running deep. 

I love the scarves and leather boots. I love the warm conversation around a cozy fire sipping my mocha. I love football season and crunchy leaves. I love the flannel wearing mornings looking at the mountains tinged with yellow Aspens. I love the frank, straightforward feeling of my Colorado culture. The culture that appreciates the quality of life, notices the beauty around them, and at the end of the day still senses the depth of their roots no matter how far they might wander. 

I know winter and ice are coming. I will read this post again and long for those warm sand beaches. I will crave Spring sunshine and long lazy days. But for now, I will bask in the simplicity of gratitude for my life and surroundings. 

Journey on👣

What the Introvert/Extrovert Discussion Did For Me 

If you have been on social media lately, I’m sure you have noticed the trend. Introverts–the care and feeding. Introvert memes. Research studies on introvert or extrovert nervous systems. As a student of human psyche and motivation, this is super fascinating to me. I realize however that not all hold this level of interest. Hence, the knee-jerk extrovert comments and rebuttal. Turnabout is fair play, I guess 😊. So, for the purpose of this post I’m going to assume we are all pretty decently informed on what each respective type is and their differences. 


Full disclosure: I am an introvert. I think that is another reason I have loved the discussion around it, and I’ll tell you why…

It gave me permission to be me. I am not shy, but there are times I won’t speak up. I am not antisocial, but there are times where I avoid people. I always felt there was something inherently flawed with my tendency to be alone and find a tree to read in. My uncanny ability to watch people and observe behavior. The knack for taking small talk to deep philosophical discussion in T-minus 20 seconds. I felt like (and heard) that if I would just be more bubbly or be more chatty, life would be better.  

 Hmmm…the problem is not that I can’t be those things. The problem is that I feel less than authentic when I ALWAYS have to perform at that level. 

Instead of compensating for perceived weakness I began searching out and manifesting the strength of my introversion. Instead of the stereotype of a moody withdrawn adolescent, I began figuring out a way to own the focus and quiet strength I knew I possessed. All that is great. 

This discussion though had an unexpected benefit. I began to appreciate and value the extroverts –even while I gave the introverts silent high fives to stay strong. Introverts are the fuel and extroverts are the flame. We need both–and there is great power to harnessing each at their strength. 

So, I have loved this discussion. I will continue clicking on each linked article about the topic ad nauseum. Here’s to all the intense philosophers, the deep introspective writers, the dreamers and quiet wallflowers. Keep doing you. But here’s to all the life-of-the-party-ers, the social connectors and the bubbly go-getters. I love that each are equal but different. I love that we each are symbiotic. I seriously love this discussion! ❤️

—journey on! 👣

What I’m Learning From Headstands 

  This past year I turned the big 3-0. I know, right? But it gave me some time for reflection and what I found rocked my perspective. I like the 30 year old version of myself better than the 20. I find that a great trajectory to continue. One of the intentions I set out for myself was that I wanted to “conquer” headstands. (Side: do we really conquer yoga–is that really the point?…another topic, another day) 

For you yogis out there, I probably do not need to explain this internal hunger for a pose. For everyone else, why? It’s not like headstand or the ability to do or not do reflected anything about me. It’s what it symbolized. It was something I couldn’t do. It was something I cried about the first time I had to kick up into it for teacher training (yep, true story😁). I didn’t want to kick up. That felt out of control-scary. I’m not a jump off a cliff personality as much as I want to be.  I wanted to lift up with strength and grace. I would sit on the mat at the wall and try and try. It felt overwhelming and like I was going to hurt myself. I worked on upper body strength, I worked on hip and leg flexibility. Still, lifting up to headstands— not happening.  I acknowledged the desire and let the results go. 

Well, fast forward a year. I had sorta kinda given up or put it in the back pocket–until the day came this summer when I sat on my mat and realized, I wasn’t scared anymore. I felt ready from the inside out. I knew I could do it.  

 I’d love to say I lifted right up that day in an Instagram worthy post. For me, it still took some work, some lovely instruction and patience from friends, and lots of laughter at myself outside in my grass at the fence. This work came not from desperation and frustration and fear, but from excitement, confidence and gratitude. Big difference. But, bottomline–it happened and continues to happen. It’s a part of my practice. It’s exhilarating in spite  because of the work. It’s something that brings a smile to my face and courage to my everyday and perspective to my fears.  

 Headstand isn’t magical, but what is? Listening and honoring my limits, doing the work, releasing from outcome. Realizing that you can’t have the thrill without the struggle. Feeling gratitude from both the boundaries and from pushing them. And ultimately trusting myself when it was time to lift up. 

Journey on👣

Why Sotto Voce? 

Yep, I’ve finally joined the blogging crew. Like many quiet types, I think thoughts but rarely share them. I think it’s time to start sharing. But why the weird title? Some of you music nerds   buffs out there may recognize the terms. Sotto voce (sow-toe vo-chay) means “inner voices” or “lower voice”. I love both connotations and it explains my usage of the term.

Professionally, as a life coach who believes in people living true to who they are and their potential, part of my process is to stop silencing the inner chatter and start listening to what it’s saying. As a yoga teacher who reminds students daily to listen to their minds and bodies—inner voice has layers of meaning.

As an introvert with a lively philosophical bent, the idea of lowering the voice for emphasis is very appealing. Personally, I’m not a flashy person. I’m not a loud person–and I don’t like to be the center of attention. I do however have an opinion about various topics. I love learning from lots of perspectives–it’s partially this that fuels my love of travel. I’m passionate about hearing people’s stories–the what as well as the why.

Finally, as a musician–and one who plays the viola (one of the inner voices of the music world)…well, the term just thrills me 🙂

I love that as a person of many layers and interests, this term touches on them all. I love not fitting in the box–and I love that many people I run across don’t fit in their boxes either. It is my hope that this blog is a bit like a coffee shop friend hang out. We might talk music, life, health, travel, family, goals or clothes—but maybe, just maybe we will have laughed or learned. Maybe just maybe, we can leave inspired to embrace our life and shape our future. Dramatic? Yep, maybe! But after all, that is yet another meaning of sotto voce. ❤️