Sometimes, it takes a natural disaster to make things clear.
When an out of control wildfire chars over 242,000 acres, destroys 972 structures, and forces 88,000 people out of their homes, many couples are forced to come together in ways that leave lasting imprints on their relationship.
My husband and I spent a week holed up with our four-year-old in a hotel room escaping the flames and smoke of the Thomas Fire while obsessively checking our phones for updates and praying that our house survived. Our relationship was tested, but we came out of it with an appreciation for how we were able to show up for each other when things got real.
We were not the only ones. Many of the couples I spoke with post-fire reported significant shifts in their relationships after the shared experience of a natural disaster.
When I walked out of my bathroom last Halloween, dressed as Marvel’s Black Widow, the first thing my son said was, “Wow mama, you look strong.” And I felt strong.
Dressing up like a female character that needed little saving, and instead claimed her power to protect herself and heal her own emotional wounds, made me have a highly coveted proud mom moment.
I never thought much more about superhero gender roles (a course that should be offered in universities?!) until I recently previewed the new Marvel Universe Live Age of Heroes show brought to life by family entertainment juggernaut Feld Entertainment.
What I discovered was a feminist sub-culture in the Marvel Universe, full of butt-kicking, norm-hacking, damsel-in-distress rejecting badass chicks showing the boys how it’s done.
This show included Marvel women (that even I was privy to) like Black Widow and Guardians of the Galaxy’s Gamora, but new (to me) female empowerment heroes like the witty Wasp, and sexy villains Black Cat and Nebula were also present. And, when mixed with a fleet of popular male characters, guess who was keeping their cool when the boys were lashing out with often-ineffective action? That’s right – the ladies.
While the existence of these characters is no surprise to Marvel devotees, they were unknown to me: a fresh Marvel enthusiast who now plans to dress up like a different female superhero every Halloween, and maybe every birthday as well, because why not.
But, more noteworthy than the feminine characters (who are writing a new definition of feminine) are the female fighters, dancers, motorcycle wizards, and more who are bringing them to life. These ladies are just as buff and skilled as their male counterparts, and are so savvy in conjuring the essence of heroes that many play some of the male characters. These women left me slack jawed and inspired to learn some motorcycle tricks… or maybe just take a kickboxing class.
Shannon Stanley (Atlanta, GA) – Aerialist
Kaitlin Murdock (Huntsville, AL) –Black Cat
Ashley Loyd (Lufkin, TX) – Wasp
Hilary Kadoya (Whittier, CA)- Rocket
Louise Forsley (Bernardston, MA) – Black Widow (Riding)
There’s even a performer, Louie Musselman, who is such a savant she can play every female role in the show, which translates into countless kicks, jumps, motorcycle flips, and more. I wouldn’t mind being her when I grow up.
I would assume that an action heavy show such as this would be brought to you by men, but no, a petite powerhouse, Juliette Feld, is the force behind the show, working with her sisters Nicole and Alana Feld to run the largest family entertainment business in the world, which includes other productions I used to equate with super charged testosterone: Supercross, Arena Cross, and Monster Jam.
Beyond Marvel’s team of women, there are other female superheroes stepping into public glory – ever heard of a little movie called Wonder Woman? It seems brands that commonly focus on the men have finally come around to the realization that women are just as capable, and often more complex and interesting, than the dudes, making them prime candidates to be the stars of these multi-million dollar franchises.
With the increasing unease I’ve felt with the American culture, I’ve been heartened by the fortified power and sense of purpose women like this (both fictional and real) are unapologetically splashing into the world. Members of this phenomenal gender are creating this change through words, images, acting, business decisions, and a multitude of other ways they’re allowing their intricate, ballsy (or “womby”?), and paradigm shifting roars be seen, felt, and heard.
The cover of the Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Women of Ski Patrol 2017 calendar makes me proud to be a woman. The image features 13 badass female ski patrollers radiating strength and confidence while hanging from all ends of a gondola: and the fact that all the proceeds from this calendar go towards funding avalanche safety education scholarships amps up my pride level.
In a field predominately filled with men it’s inspiring to see the women that step up to perform avalanche control, respond to injuries on the mountain, and help ensure the overall safety on the mountain, be featured.
The stunning images captured by acclaimed photographer Keoki Flagg do an excellent job of exuding the vibe veteran patroller Robin McElroy describes: “The Squaw Valley Ski Patrol Team draws adrenaline junkies, and I’m definitely in that category. There’s a sense of excitement to our work with starting in the dark and not knowing what the day will bring. There is also an inherent risk of avalanches for anyone who loves skiing powder and exploring our mountains, which is why I believe avalanche education is so valuable. We are proud to have turned a fun idea into a beautiful calendar that will directly benefit our community.”
A native of Anchorage, Alaska, McElroy learned to ski at a young age and grew up ski racing with Alyeska Ski Club and Spyder in Girdwood, Alaska. After joining the ski and snowboarding club at University of Colorado, Boulder, McElroy taught skiing and competed on the Freesking World Tour Circuit before joining the ski patrol at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows in 2006.
Did I mention the term “badass”?
To check out these powerful photos buy your calendar here.
Have you ever gone on a vacation and felt a need for a vacation when you returned home? Or, gone on vacation and arrived home feeling like you missed out on memory making during the trip? Cabo San Lucas, Mexico offers a lovely alchemy of relaxing and adventurous opportunities sure to send you home feeling rested, yet electric with memories of stimulating experiences.
Cabo’s desert climate, warm waters, luxurious yet playful accommodations and activities in water, sand or spa, create ideal conditions for vacation magic to grow. If you’re looking for a destination that will “magically” strip your inhibitions, and give you a tender loving massage (or mud bath) in between your bursts of adventure, get on the next plane to this land of milk and honey (and tequila.)
The following activities will help you and your Cabo getaway develop undeniable chemistry.
Burst your “safe zone” bubble right out of the gate by hopping in a UTV and exploring the desert that flows onto white sand beaches. You’ll feel much more deserving of that margarita by the pool after coating yourself in a few layers of thrill, and dirt.
It’s launching! Ya whoo! My newest course on Daily OM “How to Handle Life Like a Badass” launched today and it’s currently mega-super-duper affordable. Youll find its spiel below. Let me know if you have any questions.
Sending you love!
Do you dwell in the darkness, even when your life is full of light? Do you live in dread of mistakes, or perceived misfortunes? Do challenges eclipse your ability to see the forest for the trees?
Would you like to feel excited by the growth opportunities in your challenges? Would you like a metaphorical flashlight to guide you through the darkness, out into a brighter reality? Would you like to open your spirit to a knowing that the life you are meant to lead is colorful, dynamic, and blissful?
This course will help you step into that brighter world. It will adjust the shade of your challenges from murky blacks and browns to vibrant blues, greens, purples, pinks, reds, yellows, and gold. Together we will unravel the tight belief that challenges are wrong, bad, or debilitating. The exciting bumps in life are not to be feared but examined, explored, and honored. A road with rolling hills, sweeping curves, unexpected dips, and steep inclines is much more thrilling than a straight flat road leading to more of the same.
In the space of this course you will learn to awaken your inherent ability to take a skilled mind, body, and spirit to this bumpy road of life. You will not only learn to see challenges as benefits but will tap into your inner knowledge of how to pull the insights, epiphanies, and enlightenment from life’s struggles. On the other side of this learning you will find yourself freed from anticipatory fear and anxiety, waking each day with an excited curiosity for what is to come, and a knowing that you can roll through it all- expanding your beautiful soul in every moment.
Each lesson will be complimented by a Guided Meditation recording, serving to integrate the core elements of the lesson with your subconscious mind.
Solidifying Your Self Worth
Detangling from Anticipatory Fear and Anxiety
Honoring Unpredictability and Giving It Sacred Worth
Changing the Color of Challenges
Having a Dialogue with Challenges
Writing Out the Challenges
How Body Awareness Can Lead to Acceptance
Relearning Your Ability to Have Unconditional Fun
Now is the time to step into your renewed life, where all good is coming to you.
“We focus on 6 key developmental skills that run deeply within play. They are improving cognitive skills, honing communication skills, increasing creativity, processing and expressing emotions, developing physical skills, and enhancing social skills.”
Breastfeeding can really suck- but it doesn’t have to (well, at least not in the emotional sense.) Much of the anxiety that comes with breastfeeding is birthed from the mother’s uncertainty regarding how much milk her baby is consuming. Sure, we can keep a tally of soiled diapers, but if a baby still seems like she’s hollering for more, many new mamas panic and switch to formula- even if their body is pumping out plenty of milk.
What to do?
Enter Momsense, a new product designed to record and report how much baby is actually consuming by using a tiny sensor placed behind baby’s ear that captures the sounds of baby’s swallowing to determine how much milk is being gulped down- the information is then sent to a program in mom’s smartphone (on Airplane mode) that allows her to keep track of how much baby receives during each meal. Cool!
Remembering the sandy-bodied, messy-haired, laughing kids (and mommas!) of Roatan, the Honduran island I used to live on in the Caribbean, gives me an itch to hightail it back there, or a similar beach community in Nicaragua, with my partner and toddler in tow. The livin’ was easy and parents reeked of relaxation versus fatigue and stress.
While I love parenting in the small town of Ojai, California, I can’t help but fantasize what it would be like to return to the slow pace, easy smiles, and lush surroundings of island life.
As I contemplate the decision to move my young family out of the United States, I’ve been recalling these key differences between parenting in the U.S. and Central America (some make me want to go, some make me want to stay) …
#MomConfession I dreaded the mountain of ribboned tissue paper and bags at my baby shower. I was grateful, but. So. Much. Stuff. I was already having trouble fitting the essentials into my tiny living space and didn’t know how the stuffed animals galore would be integrated.
I get it- stuff is what you get and give during a baby shower. But, what if there was another option? A great gift that would create lasting value for the baby, and wouldn’t give the mother an additional thing to find a home for? Enter Stockpile, a gift card you can purchase and load with stock from a company of your choice.
I was able to interview the mind behind Stockpile, Avi Lele, and he didn’t disappoint.
Bailey: What was your background before becoming the CEO of Stockpile?
Avi: I started out as an engineering major at MIT, got a law degree at Harvard, and practiced law for 16 years before founding Stockpile. My specialty was patent litigation, and our cases involved complicated, cutting-edge technology. But technology can be intimidating to many people, so every time we went to court, we had to find a way to make the technology accessible – easy to understand and even entertaining – so lay judges and juries had the information they needed to decide the case.
Food prep has always been the metaphorical poison oak rubbing on my leg when I go camping- my main criteria being “what will be the least fussy food to make?” After spending half a day using my mad-Tetris skills packing my car with half my house, I have no desire to be a short order cook of crappy food when I get to the camp site.
But, what if campfire food could be both easy and delicious? (I would go camping more.)
I spoke with Shane Hammett, avid camper and chef de cuisine at the Lone Eagle Grille in the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, to get the (beefed-up) skinny on how to make campout eating a (easy) fine dining experience- albeit fine dining a la fold out chairs, dust and bug spray.
Here’s how to jazz up your campfire cuisine without having to skip the hike because you need to clean up after lunch and start prepping dinner.
1. Build the Right Kind of Fire.
Trying to cook on a campfire without the right kind of fire is like trying to scale a mountain trail in heels- you can do it, but it will take a long time- and it will suck.
“Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent.” Gabriel Dee’s Daily Om course, Change Your Life With the Power of Death opens with this powerful quote from Steve Jobs then goes on to lighten all your fears by supporting you in releasing the ultimate fear- the fear of death.
Death is a topic rooted deep in my mind that I never let out to play- my breathing becomes shallow, my thoughts darken and my hope falters when I ruminate on the idea of death, or allow myself to re-feel the emotions attached to a loved one passing away. This course flipped my script of death- shining light on how it can be used to enhance life, versus elicit fear and avoidance.
As Gabriel writes in the course, “If you are a spiritual seeker, I highly advise you to follow these teachers on the road to death. Because the road to death eventually leads to enlightenment. The path of darkness leads to light.” How lovely does that sound? To gain the ability to see the light in the darkness of death, to even pull a potent form of love, hope and joy from the acceptance of it?
This course doesn’t paint a picture that “someday you will be gone and that’s it- deal with it”- it offers the possibility that by accepting and honoring the knowing that one day your body will die you step into your immortality. You step beyond the physical aspects of death to explore what it means on a spiritual level, and what it can mean for your current life- how it can inform your thoughts and actions for the better.
In addition, this course offers valuable lessons for parents hoping to raise a unique individual, while facing the barrier of unconsciously conditioning the child to become a copy of themselves. (Guilty!) The course doesn’t admonish this behavior, but supports us in examining this phenomenon and creating space to make different decisions in how we raise our children. It also provides a powerful lesson in how to begin raising the unique child within us all who was affected by our parent’s desires to mold us into a version of themselves.
This course will serve to liberate you from the restrictions you currently have between your current self, and your best self by helping you find peace with the idea of death. As Gabriel writes in the course, “It kills fear because it faces you with the source of all fears, the fear of death. It kills procrastination because it takes away the illusion of time. And finally, it kills your mind because it helps you find who you really are beyond your ideas.”
If you choose to explore this course, you’ll dive deep into the following teachings over the course of eight lessons and
How to develop lasting motivation effortlessly without willpower.
How to prioritize between important and meaningless activities.
How to live an authentic and meaningful life instead of just surviving.
How to eradicate all of your fears and find courage.
How to find your true purpose and start creating it.
How to stop procrastination and develop a sense of urgency
How to really achieve your dreams and live up to your potential?
How to make sure that you really live, love and matter.
If you want the motivation to step into your full power to change your world, take this course.
One of my Daily Om courses was reviewed! Yee haw! Here it is 🙂
Childbirth and an entry into motherhood, especially for the first time for an expecting woman, can be a nerve wracking experience both from a mental and physical standpoint. While bringing a new child into the world is truly a unique and exciting experience for both parents that brings a great amount of joy, and happiness into their lives, the experience can be draining. Having the access to the knowledge that has been proven to work with childbirths throughout hundreds of years can be invaluable to a mother and couple going through a pregnancy. Instead of searching for answers to every potential issue that may arise during the pregnancy, and being forced to be more reactive than proactive during the process, there is a great solution to mothers, of all types, that will help provide them with the opportunity to experience only the joys of childbirth and few of the downsides.
DailyOM’s Utilizing Ancient Birthing Wisdom course, designed by Bailey Gaddis, is truly a must have and its price is something that hardly anyone else can match in terms of the value you get for the money you pay. Bailey Gaddis, the course’s founder is a mother, educator on the subject of HypnoBirthing, she is certified as a birth Doula as well as a certified Hypnotherapist. Gaddis is also the founder of the Ojai Valley Birth collective. As a mother who experienced various challenges on her way to motherhood, Gaddis devoted her life and career to helping empower other women in the hope she can help inspire them to rise above the fear of childbirth and live feeling empowered, courageous and blissful.
Mother nature has planted a special kiss on Nicaragua, blessing it with balmy oceans, lush vegetation, affordable food, drink and accommodations, and smiling people ready to enhance your vacation with kindness and a reminder to relax and move slow.
My family has fallen so deeply in love with Nicaragua we’ve decided to purchase a property on the Pacific coast, ensuring we have the opportunity to infuse our lives with the uplifting vibes of this vibrant country on the regular.
If you and your family plan to explore this hidden jewel of Central America, fertile with adventure and chances for enlightenment, follow these suggestions to help ensure your trip is a success.
1. Hire a Chef.
Parents spend a hearty amount of time preparing meals and cleaning up after meals- then rinsing and repeating. If you’ll be renting a house, make it a true vacation by hiring a chef to prepare your breakfasts, lunches or dinners (or all of them!) Chef services in Nicaragua are inexpensive, and you can request they do all the shopping for you! In addition, you’ll be supporting the local economy and gaining a chance to get to know someone who is likely a native of the country.
Confession: I’m afraid my eggs will poop out on me before I’m done having kids. But the thing is, I’m not ready to have more children just yet — I want to buy a house, write a few books, travel with only one small human, sleep … so what’s a girl to do?
Freeze my eggs?
Egg freezing is the hot (or cold?) fertility trend of procuring eggs from a woman’s uterus, freezing them, and re-implanting them when she’s ready to introduce the egg to a sperm. This practice became a viable option in 2012 when breakthroughs in freezing and thawing techniques helped prevent eggs from being ruined by ice crystals forming in the eggs.
I’ve been privileged to gain an insider’s view to this wild baby-making world by my mother, who was an IVF nurse for over 15 years and now owns an egg donor agency that is partnering with an egg freezing bank. My mama’s been my fertility Yoda as I navigate this world, helping me dig beneath the surface pros and cons I find on the Internet, giving me the scoop on what the experts find to be the real benefits and risks of sticking lady eggs in a freezer.
Loss of control is a primary fear many women feel when considering the possibility of a cesarean birth. “I’ll have to give up my power to the surgeon. I’ll have no say over how the birth unfolds. I’ll feel like a piece of meat on an operating table.” But it doesn’t have to be that way.
You can reclaim your right to empowerment throughout your baby’s birth by creating a cesarean birth plan — even if you’re planning for a vaginal birth.
Creating this plan doesn’t set the intention that you’ll have a cesarean birth, it sets the intention that you’ll be prepared, regardless of any unforeseen circumstances that may pop up in your birth journey.
Below are preferences you can use to create a simple one-page cesarean birth plan (that you’ll create in addition to your vaginal birth plan), which you will present to your care provider around the beginning of your third trimester. I recommend discussing each preference with your care provider to determine if they, or the facility you would be having the surgery in, would put up resistance to any of the preferences. If so, discuss why there would be resistance, and what can be done about it.