How a busy mom of five found a way to step out of the overwhelm and fill up her sacred juices again

I have such exciting news. For one thing, I feel like myself again. Which is No Small Thing, and I tell you the whole messy story below.

But for another thing, I JUST THIS MORNING opened registration for the EFBA CIRCLE!!!

Swoon. Oh my heart. Ohhhhh it’s good, guys. It is going to change EVERYthing for the women who are part of it. It’s a year-long supportive circle of women who are ready to write their next chapter as epic fucking badasses.

I’m over the moon about it, for so many reasons, (like the fact that some of my favorite women in the world have already agreed to be part of it, oh JOY!) but also because I believe that more than anything else right now, we need EACH OTHER.

We need community. We need safety. We need a place to rest. We need loving encouragement to do the things that matter most, and reminders to stay the course, and a structure that keeps us juiced up and joyful.

Because when we’re flying solo, it’s too easy to veer off course. It’s too easy to run ourselves ragged and spin our wheels in overwhelm and isolation. In fact, I have a little story for you about how I learned this the hard way this year. It’s kind of embarrassing, which is exactly why I want to share it with you. 

But right now, as I am writing this, I have SO MANY exclamation marks pouring through my fingers. I’m resisting using allllll of them, but only just barely!

You see, I just got back from a few days in Portland. While I was there, I could feel the sweet nourishment of that lovely damp city trickling right down into those dry, cracked places in my heart. I mean, yes, some of it was rain trickling down the neck of my coat, but mostly it was pure spiritual nectar and it filled me right back UP! 

I am full, I am replete, I am brimming again! 

Have you ever been so dry, so parched, so burnt out, spinning so fast and so blindly that you didn’t even realize how dry you were until you started to fill up again? And then you went, Oh wait, I feel like myself again– so who was that perforated waif that was walking around pretending to be the mother of my children? 

Yeah, no, me neither.

Definitely not. 

Ahem. 

The crazy thing is that the ingredients necessary to fill me right back up are pretty straightforward. I don’t need a trip to Paris or a beach resort; I need humbler things. 

I thrive on…

Great drenches of sleep. 

Deep still hours of solitude and silence. 

Re-reading beloved books.

Walking. 

Communing with trees. 

Heart-to-heart conversations with old friends.

Regular massages. 

THESE THINGS ARE PRETTY DOABLE, folks. NONE OF THEM ARE ROCKET TRAVEL AND YACHTS. 

Or at least– they were doable when I was a single mom living in Portland with just one daughter. 

I’ve had a harder time making them happen here on the prairie with lo my many progeny. Ok, let’s be honest, I’ve been basically TERRIBLE at making them happen. 

(Can we get a life coach up in here?!?! Stat!!!) 

My coach kept telling me I needed to take a break and go fill back up. My husband kept telling me the same thing. My journal kept whispering that same truth. 

But I fought it. I had fallen for that old, sneaky trap where you’re running so fast that you start to believe that you cannot pause, not for a moment, or else everything will stop spinning and the world will end. 

And in all fairness, this has been an extraordinary season in our lives. We moved to a new house, took our kids on an epic road+camping trip, my husband Nick went back to school, which meant that I had to start COOKING– phew! 

And somewhere in there I sort of forgot to remember to stop and breathe. Or maybe breathing was actually an impossibility there for a few minutes. 

So I deliberately took the month of October to replenish

(Shocker: it totally helped.) 

And then I capped it off with this delicious trip to my favorite town in the world to give a talk at the Superwoman Summit, and it was epic and amazing and you should all come with me next year because I’m definitely going again. 

It was so restorative to marinate in that beautiful energy of a group of smart, fierce women who gather to discuss how they’re going to change the world. And to make it even juicier, while I was there I saw my beloved friends, and my sibs, and ate countless exquisite meals, and met new revolutionaries, and wandered through the giant Anthropologie, and most of all I walked and walked and walked in the rain and was so happy to see the mighty trees that it might have rained on my face a few times.

To finish it all off, I did a silent day, where I didn’t speak to a single soul (except for the barista, briefly) for a full 24 hours. It was GLORIOUS.

I feel incredibly sheepish that I resisted this trip, because now I can feel how fully BACK I am. 

I am juiced up and excited and humming– with ideas!! and eagerness!!! and creativity!!! 

Oh dearhearts, this world feels beautiful again! And I am  determined to create more beauty right where I live, in my house in the suburbs in this dry windy land. (I’m pretty sure it involves matching snowflake sweaters– get ready, kids.)

So here is the moral of this story.

1) Even life coaches have to take their own medicine. 

2) If you are feeling pressed so thin right now, pulled so tight, but you just can’t stop, I get it. We all have those seasons in life, and all you can do is muddle through them. But THEN? After??? Make sure that you fill back up! Make a list of all the things that nourish you, keeping in mind that they’ll be different than the things that nourish anyone else, and go get them

Because I am here to tell you that no one in my family would have been served by me continuing to grind it out, growing ever more hollow-eyed.

Especially not my husband and kids. Instead, I am back and SO HAPPY to be with them. I am bright and energetic again instead of dragging and bleary-eyed. 

I am going to order us SO MANY PAIRS of matching Christmas pajamas! 

No one, not even me, can doubt that in this state of filled-up-ness, I am of much better service to the world. 

And so this week as I pondered this circle of women who will walk through this coming year together, I knew that I wanted a major theme of our year to be this idea of replenishing. To weave it in to our days and weeks so that we can bring our best selves to bear– to our work, to our beloveds, to the world.

I’ve known for months that I was going to run this EFBA Circle, but I couldn’t quite get clear on what it would look like. And then this week in Portland, clarity poured in along with epic amounts of water in my boots.

Now I can see it so clearly. It is strong and elegant and simple and beautiful. It will be a refuge, a place to grow your wings.

Each building block in the structure of this year feels sacred to me. A touchstone.

The focus on doing less, but more of what matters.

Keeping our true goals clear and visible, so we spend less time agonizing and more time doing and resting.

Taking tiny but steady steps toward the deep work that we know we’re truly here to do, and staying clear-eyed enough not to get lost in the weeds.

The rituals that we’ll use to bring beauty and celebration into our process, honoring the beauty of our own hearts.

All of it, weaving together a beautiful web that will hold us up this coming year, each one on our own journey but all of us connected. 

I am moved so deeply by the women who have already taken their place in this circle. (Last year’s clients got first dibs.) They are some of the kindest, funniest, smartest epic fucking badasses you could ever meet, and I’m honored to get to walk through the coming year in their company. I’ll be sharing more of my own journey with this group than I’ve ever shared before in a group like this, sharing my own process and progress as they share theirs, and I know I can trust my heart to them, just as I will cradle their hearts and stories. 

So here is my question for you, dearheart– are you meant to be one of us? Do you long to join a circle of fierce, tender, fiery kindred spirits with Big Feelings and Audacious Dreams? We begin November 7th, so between now and next Monday November 6th is your window to take your place with us in the circle. 

All details are here

Questions? Just hit reply, and I’ll answer you personally…..really….just as soon as I get back from the Harry Potter day we’re having in my little town, and after I plant those bulbs that are a gift to  my springtime heart. Because this life coach told me one time that those little seeds of beauty and joy are never wasted. And that I am a better mother, teacher, partner, writer, and human when I’m filled up. And I bet, dearheart, that you are too. 

much love,

Anna

P.S. Quick summary: we all get dry, but we can also fill back up. Doors are now open to the EFBA Circle– we begin in just over a week! Claim your spot here.