Welcome to the May 2023 edition of The Monthly Missive – a monthly letter where I give a brief personal update, share links to what I’m reading and enjoying, and answer a little Q&A.
May 2023 was a lot, between travel for photography jobs, DIY projects on the house, wrapping things up with coaching clients and onboarding others, and something pretty unsexy but necessary: giving the back-end of my business and its strategy an overhaul that will extend well into the summer.
The first 5 months of the year have been somewhat challenging for me and my business. Most motivation for such an overhaul as been fueled by discretionary consumer spending due to this economy. Specifically, the way which it’s shed light on any and all inefficiencies for the long-haul that my own business had and has.
It hasn’t been the cutest couple of quarters, but I’m feeling immensely grateful for the opportunity to learn, grow my business in a sustainable way and to continue doing the work that I love with such amazing people. I’m even more settled into the belief that the businesses that thrive long term are those willing to grow, learn, and pivot. Over, and over, and over again.
I don’t get vulnerable to complain or raise concern, but to say:
Let’s take it a day at a time and focus on what we can control, okay?
This past winter, I didn’t get the usual almost-spring urge to start plants, ready the garden, and start planning for when things were ready to bloom and fruit. May has been the first month that I’ve felt that desire, and it’s been a beautiful thing to witness all of the volunteer plants from last years’ garden.
From tomatoes, dill, parsley, and cilantro to more predictable herbs like thyme and rosemary – there’s something even more thrilling about harvesting from a garden tended by nature itself.
It’s a reminder that sometimes when we totally release expectations, things will unfold in their own way (often more beautifully than we could have accomplished through grasping).
Let’s get into it:
- I started off the month by reading A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sara J. Mass. Despite the beginning very much giving off Beauty and The Beast vibes, I got past that and quickly became sucked into the whole series. So far, I’ve also read A Court of Mist and Fury and A Court of Wings and Ruin (I bought the latter instead of waiting for it at the library, which speaks volumes).
- Our book club is had a virtual meeting, so I did dive into our May read, Nine Perfect Strangers, right at the end of the month. So far so good – and I can confidently say that Melissa McCarthy was extremely well-cast in the tv adaptation on Hulu.
- All of my non-fiction May 2023 reads were cookbooks, but only one in particular stood out:
- Six Seasons by Joshua McFadden. Y’all. How has this book existed since 2017 unbeknownst to me? It’s beautiful, thoughtful, and infused with storytelling – which checks a lot of boxes for me in the cookbook category. It’s no mystery how it won a James Beard Award for best book. I also found out while reading that this book is the true inception of the “butter-board” that went viral on social media last year.
- My dinner playlist, Dine.
- My playlist, Grocery List, which is an ingredient and food prep playlist. Turn it up in the kitchen, dance like no one is watching (please don’t cut yourself), or just have some great music to keep you on task.
- Despite traveling quite a bit, I stayed consistent with a morning meditation practice prior to journaling and gentle movement. My go-to playlist to incorporate with breath work is this one.
- This song has been on repeat for me, lately – it’s also fitting if you’re listening on a Friday.
- The new season of Working Moms on Netflix. If you haven’t watched it, it’s hilarious. My mom would say that it’s “too vulgar” (hi mom), but if you’re not deterred by women cussing like sailors, being chaotic, and speaking their minds, give it a watch.
- Sean and I always like to have a show we can watch together in the evenings if we’re in the mood – lately that was The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel which had 4 seasons of some of the best TV I’ve ever seen. The final season was disapppointing, and it’s hard to see such an amazing show wrapped up in what felt rushed and sloppy, but as a whole it’s still a fantastic series (particularly in the style and cinematography categories.
- We started watching the new Bridgeton series on Netflix this week. I’m already a fan of the way that it honestly documents the sometimes lonely aspects and unspoken labor of the female experience.
- Lots of granola. I took a whole batch of Apricot Cherry Grain Free Granola down to my mom for Mother’s Day 🏻.
- Chai. I’ve been blessed to become privy to the family recipe of my friend Pooja, it features fresh mint, ginger, and extra spice.
- Morning breakfast bowls with either whipped cottage cheese or greek yogurt, topped with date syrup, fruit, and granola.
- Pizza! I stayed with family while traveling and they asked me to show them how to make homemade pizza. If you’re looking for a simple no knead pizza dough:
- 500g all purpose flour
- 350g filtered water
- ¼ tsp active yeast
- 3 tsp sea salt
- Mix it together well, and in about 18-20 hours you’ll have enough pizza dough for 4 pizzas, with no kneading required. Voila. Spread it out, top it, and bake for around 8 minutes at 500.
- Line-drying clothing in our back yard surrounded by forest and having linens that smell like sunshine.
- Something that’s kept me grounded, focused, and taking consistent action lately has been (after the good stuff like meditation, journaling, and movement) attending to my top 3 tasks in the morning before I do any “reactive” work, like responding to texts, emails, or DMs.
- Farmers Market season being in full swing. Due to the current skyrocketed rate of inflation, I’ve found so far this season that markets and local farms are actually cheaper than grocery stores in many cases – no doubt due to the fact that the majority of farmers aren’t about corporate price gouging. Thanks, farmers.
- I had the to catch up with my friend, Laura, who’s a seasoned transformational guide, retreat facilitator, and ceremonialist (we’ve traveled together in several different countries over the years, including when I photographed this retreat for her in Costa Rica). She shared with me that she’s hosting a retreat in Nicaragua on July 20-24 that’s centered around rekindling and connecting with our own creative life force energy through breathwork, connection with nature, and sound therapy. There are also elements of learning embodied communication and conflict resolution – she’s a practicing attorney, so to me, this is a beautiful way to use her years of expertise and overlapping paths. I can’t make it, but if it speaks to you this is my official endorsement 💞 check out this web page for more info.
1. Can you talk about how you know you were called to coaching? How did you know?
My journey to coaching came through a combination of tapping into my own intuition after a period of severe burnout, innate ability and capacity for caring for and motivating others, and life experience and formal education in education and health management. Coaching others to meet their truest selves, in many ways, is something that I’ve done most of my adult life through leadership, teaching roles, caregiving, and mentoring. Adding more structure and formally being able to work with people as their coach is one of the greatest honors of my life.
2. What do people get out of life coaching?
This somewhat depends on the answer to “what do they want to get out of life coaching”. Meaning that regardless of the coaching focus, there must be reciprocal engagement, work, and presence to “get” anything from the experience. With me, clients experience:
- Clarity, in goals, core values, life purpose, and actionable steps to create ones ideal life
- Identification of self-sabotage, self-limiting beliefs, and limiting sub conscious narratives
- Clear strategies, tools, and resources for reprogramming those narratives, overcoming obstacles, setting healthy boundaries, and achieving goals.
- Accountability and support, with a nonjudgemental, empathetic, and accepting approach.
2. Sweet or Savory breakfast?
Sweet or savory depends on my mood and the seasons, much like my choice in music, books, and food. I’m a pisces, and an intuitive eater. My go-to sweet breakfast is always a smoothie or smoothie bowl, and lately it’s been this Cherry Mandarin Smoothie Bowl. My go-to savory breakfast tends to be something involving potatoes, eggs (or a tofu scramble), and hot sauce. Lately it’s been a nourishing bowl of air fried potatoes, heaps of sautéed garlicky kale, a mini french omelet, feta cheese, sprouts, and Cholula hot sauce.
Have a question you want answered in next months edition of the Monthly Missive? Drop it in the comments below!