Here’s your kick-in-the-bootie Monday Motivation!
After being on the hot mess express called RHOD for the past year and a half, the above quote really resonated with my soul. (Thanks for posting last week Jessica Youngblood!) One of the job requirements of this show is to do the exact opposite of this quote. You are hired to tear other women down, throw them under the bus and gossip about them with a capital G. This is the driving force of this train! For the girls girl and champion for women that I am– this was a real challenge because I prefer to ride on the Peace Train. Chooga Chooga Woot Woot!
[Disclaimer: I am so grateful for this opportunity with a huge network like Bravo because it forced me to get out of my comfort zone and every time we do that… we grow! I view the hard things, the struggles we go through (instead of shrinking back) as the real blessings in life. We weren’t named Real Housewives until after we finished filming so it wasn’t what I originally signed up for. I get it– people say it’s just entertainment,Also, I’m grateful for the exposure it gave my man. He will have performed about 100 gigs in 2016. His goal was 50 so he doubled that! YAY! ]
Ok, back to the topic! How often are you sitting at dinner on girls night out and someone starts bad mouthing one of your mutual friends.. who is not present to defend herself? Over the past few years, I realize women gossip and tear other women down as a way to bond. Many of them do it under the disguise of “we need to pray for Sally because.. did you hear?” BAM, they drop something that should have been kept in confidence! This has to be the cruelest, most insecure and ugly way to bond with someone. There are a zillion things for women to bond over other than trash talking others. Using prayer as a way to sugar coat what they’re really doing is just UGH-Ugly.
Hey– I am not without guilt here.
I have been in that situation more times than I care to remember and should have had the ladyballs to shut it down every single time. When I didn’t, I always felt like I needed to go home and take a spiritual shower! Remember, if someone is gossiping about someone to me – well, she is gossiping about me when I’m not around.
God has really working on my heart with this matter since my experience on RHOD. I noticed a woman (or two) who I thought were “friends” would always bad mouth certain mutual friends when they weren’t around, but made me feel as they were “concerned” with that person. Heck no! They were gossiping. Straight up gossip and slander. Then, when this gossiper betrayed me.. I couldn’t be all that surprised, right. Is that what a “frenemy” is? I guess I’ve been educated. God showed me that I would keep getting more of what I allowed. No, thank you! I prayed for new uplifting friends and my prayers were answered. I was also led to many scriptures on the subject and love this one:
How brave are you to shut down a conversation that is going in the wrong direction toward tearing someone down? Even if it makes everyone at the table uncomfortable for a moment. I think women are so eager to “bond” that it takes precedence over their integrity in these situations. It’s impossible for me to discuss this topic and not mention my BFF Heidi. She deserves major props because she is the one at the table who will risk making others feel uncomfortable over giving in to the gossip. I believe that iron sharpens iron and I want to be around women who help make me a better Tiff.
Remember, both gossip and complaining can be very contagious. Be aware and pay attention to how easy it is for you to start gossiping or complaining around certain people and limit your time with them in 2017. I promise it will change your year for the better!
If we all realized that what we put out there comes back to us 100 fold then we would keep our mouths shut when we are tempted to gossip. If you are being disloyal by telling someones secret or tearing someone down then you will get 100 times the negativity coming back to you. YIKES! No thank you!
P.S. Invest in yourself! I’m offering a holiday special on private sessions. Buy one private session and get one session. ($300 Value for $150) Let’s work together for 2 hours for the price of 1 hour.
Special offer ends Dec 15, 2017. EXTENDED UNTIL DEC 31st!
Sessions must be used by March 31, 2017.
Skype sessions available for out of towners.
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I look forward to helping you step boldly into 2017!
Grab a cup of coffee, tea or a kale smoothie (wink) and your iPad and have some girl time with me. This is the very 1st motivational vlog of the 2015 and this time I’m giving you a list of 5 things to stop doing instead of adding more things to your to-do list this year. As we all plan to go bigger and elevate every aspect of our life we have to get rid of and grow out of behaviors that hold us back from being our ultimate best!
The heartfelt comments women are leaving on this video have inspired me and deepened my passion for the purpose of SOS. Women around the world are being braver than ever right now and stepping into their destiny.
Are YOU joining us?
I hope so.
Tiff Age 4
At lunch last week, my girlfriend and I were sharing holiday memories from when we were little girls. I mentioned how amazing my mom was at creating traditions not only at Christmas, but she also made a big deal out of Valentine’s Day and Easter. Mom’s work so hard and stress themselves out beyond belief to ensure their babies have a full of wonder holiday experience. Thanks mama! Oh… and can’t forget daddy. He toiled all night on Christmas eve to assemble things like swing sets, Barbie townhouses and electric pianos. Who else got that Barbie townhouse with the cool elevator? My mom bought us a new ornament every year and on Christmas eve we could open just one gift- new PJ’s. We would set out cookies and milk for Santa and mom always (and still does) had either pine or cranberry smelling candles burning. My heart is full right now remembering these childhood traditions. I had lots of challenges as a child, but Christmas was always blessed.
As I write this, the twinkle lights are glowing on the tree and I’m sipping hot cocoa with a splash of peppermint mocha creamer. I hung up all the beautiful Christmas cards we’ve received from friends and wrapped the last gift. I am officially in the holiday spirit and should be wearing an ugly sweater, but I just can’t bring myself to it. LOL. This time last year, I could barely fake being in the holiday spirit. I wasn’t quite a full on grinch, but almost. We had only been living in Dallas for a few weeks and adjusting to ice storms. Our cross-country move cost much more than we expected so the Christmas shopping budget was painfully tight. I didn’t even send out real Christmas cards. An e-card was the best I could do.
As I always say, life happens and we just have to show up and do the best we can with what we’ve got. The ebb and flow of life is inevitable and I’ve learned to surf it instead of fight it. We’ve all had crappy holidays, but even as an adult, it’s much more fun & fabulous to embrace the holiday with childlike wonder than to be a grinch. I was so at peace being back in my home state and that was the best gift ever. Finances may have been tight, but you cannot put a price tag on peace.
ARE YOU IN THE SPIRIT?
This time of year is difficult for many. Perhaps there is family drama or the loss of a family member creates sadness and a void in your heart. Like my holiday last year, maybe your finances are putting a damper on the festivities. I highly recommend doing fun simple things like creating a Christmas station on Pandora, burning holiday candles (I prefer the smell of vanilla over pine, cranberry or peppermint) and watch old Christmas movies. The original Miracle on 34th Street was on a few nights ago! Talk about getting in the spirit when you watch a good old black & white film. My mom, sister and I usually bake cookies together and I look forward to doing that with them next week.
Most importantly- if the holidays make you sad instead of spirited, I highly recommend helping someone else have a good holiday. Your sadness will lift and God will bless you richly. It doesn’t have to be a homeless shelter, although that is so needed, but maybe there’s a single mom at your child’s school who can barely pay the rent much less buy a Christmas tree. You could get her a cute small tree at places like Hobby Lobby or Target. All the holiday decorations are already on sale at both places! Last year, one of my besties gave us a beautiful little decorated tree and I can’t tell you how much life that brought to our new place for the holidays. When I couldn’t bring myself to decorate, a friend pulled through. My spirit was lifted.
Choose to be childlike.
Choose to count your blessings.
P.S. Don’t forget the SOS Stocking Stuffer Giveaway ends 12/24!
Do you have a “spirit spot” or what I also like to call a “place of peace”?
This morning as I was meditating, praying and writing in my journal, I became overwhelmed with gratitude for my “spirit spot”. I knew I had to share this with you on this beautiful Sunday. Seemed appropriate. When I started on my spiritual journey about 12-13 years ago, I found that early morning was the perfect time for me to pray, read and seek God. I am naturally an early bird so it was easy. As I began to see how this practice was transforming and strengthening me, I became addicted to my special morning time. On the mornings I was rushed and skipped it, I would be cranky, short tempered and anxiety-ridden the rest of the day. Now, I do not give up my morning ritual for anything or anyone! With all the people and responsibilities we have, it’s vital to start the day in peace (not frantic with anxiety) and equipped to handle it all.
My “spirit spot” ended up being the couch in the living room complete with a comfy blanket, coffee, candle, Bible, books, journal, highlighter and my furry daughter, Zoe. Now, I realize that this spot works for me because I don’t have kids. A “spirit spot” can be any place YOU can get quiet, connect and feed your spirit. This could be a specific room in the house, on the patio overlooking the pool, a park bench or even in the shower or on the yoga mat.
One of the first things I discuss with my lifestyle mentoring/coaching clients is how they start their day. A common theme I have found among women who need my help, are disconnected from their spirit and constantly exhausted is that they jump out of bed to screaming kids or they hit the snooze button a million times.
If this is you- do you feel a rumbling of anxiety in your gut for the rest of the day?
Then, I highly recommend getting up a bit earlier than your family. Even just 15 minutes earlier will transform how the rest of your day goes. I PROMISE! Is there a spot in your home where you feel calm? A spot where the minute you sit down you exhale and feel the stress drain off. This could be the perfect place of peace for you. If not, create one. Place things around you and in your view that create a sense of joy, peace and comfort in you. My spot in the living room has things that stimulate my senses in a positive way….
Remember, it’s just as important what we feed our physical body as what we’re feeding our spirit. When you feed your body junk- ice cream, cookies, fried foods, preservatives- you become overweight, sluggish and become a breeding ground for diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure and more. You become what you eat.
What you feed your spirit- YOU BECOME. Do you feed your spirit junk like too many violent/sexually immoral shows & movies, trash mags, too much voyeuristic time on social media and surrounding yourself with gossipers/backstabbers/criticizers? Trust me– I am not perfect at this and indulge in some ridiculous, mind-sucking reality shows from time to time — but, I am cautious of how much time I spend on things like that. It’s important to be so in tune with your spirit, that you notice when these things are altering your character, behavior and your manner of speaking becomes negative.
Again, this is why it is crucial you begin the day filled up on positivity and peace. As the day goes on, we are bombarded with negative images, tragic news and perhaps a gossipy friend. If you begin the day depleted, whoa- no wonder so many women battle anxiety. I did for a long time! Sistas, it’s no way to live.
Please share your TWO CENTS on this subject and make a comment!
Share, tweet, like this post if you found it inspiring.
Love, Tiff xo
Do you feel stuck? I did for a long time!
Do you sense that the path you’re on is taking you in the wrong direction? Whew, I was way off track!
Do you secretly desire a new career path, but the fear of the uncertainty paralyzes you? Fear was my middle name for years!
Do you numb yourself and the fear with over spending, food, alcohol or too much television? I did all of the above!
I’m honored to have been asked to share my life experience and a few deeper parts of my journey to creating SOS – on the hit iTunes radio show, RELAUNCH! with Joel Boggess and Dr. Pei Kang. Joel is a life coach and the author of the #1 Amazon bestselling book – Finding your Voice. Pei is a business executive and a gifted endodontist (root canal specialist) and yoga instructor.
I know Joel and Pei would love it if you subscribed and shared their iTunes show with your friends who need this type of inspiration!
As much I love working on camera, radio sure was fun and can be done without makeup! Holla! This is a special episode to me as I have only shared some of these experiences here on the blog with you…so I would really appreciate if you made a comment and let me know your thoughts on the subject. I know God is opening the door and giving me the courage to share more of my story publicly.
Please don’t go another day living with your dreams dormant inside you!
Release the fear & relaunch, sista. If you need my personalized, private mentoring to guide you in this area- please contact me for details and pricing. Serious inquiries only. If you are not ready to do the work it takes to create lasting results – a coach or mentor will not help you!
[My sis Natalie, Dad, Mom & I on vacay in West Tx on the Frio River]
But, it wasn’t always that way. I have mentioned on the blog that my relationship with my dad hasn’t always been healthy. My sister has also had her own journey with finding common ground and forgiveness in her relationship with him. Our dad became a father at the young age of 22. I can’t imagine having two daughters by the time I was 26! His generation did what they were taught and did the best they could. My dad was a great provider and a stern disciplinarian, but he was emotionally unavailable. Honestly, the poor guy was outnumbered and had to deal with three females in the house so if I put myself in his shoes – he really got the short end of the stick. I would have probably stayed out in the garage most of the time too! HaHa!
This past week proves that people CAN change, evolve, grow and accept one another. We just took our first family vacay since I was in high school and stayed in a small cabin without wifi, cell reception or TV. Talk about connecting on a real and deep level. I highly recommend it! Add in my hubby and a total of 5 dogs and see how well you all get along. I am happy to report it was one of the best and most blessed times we’ve ever spent. What made our vacation even more special was that it fell over Father’s Day.
My sis and I are both strong-willed, opinionated women (which we got from our parents) so when we are all together it can cause some head-butting. This vacay was the first time we each let go of ego and resonated in a pure place of love and open hearts. WooHoo! We had several deep & meaningful conversations on topics ranging from marriage, war, Jesus and finances. My sis and I are both cerebral as well as spiritual so we aren’t much for ‘small talk’ and thrive on thought provoking discussions. Can you believe in the midst of those controversial topics – there was NO head-butting? We respected one another’s opinions with total acceptance. What a beautiful thing! Better late than never, right?
Family can be the most challenging and testing of all our relationships and mine has had it’s share of blaming, misunderstanding and some verbal abuse. I used to be first in line to blame all my issues on my parents especially my ‘daddy issues’. You give your parents so much freedom within the forgiveness when you release them from that burden. When I took responsibility for my issues and began appreciating my parents for ALL the things they did right – everything shifted in our relationship.
Is there a family member or relationship you need to set free from the blame game? Do you struggle with forgiveness?
Webster’s definition of forgiveness: to stop feeling anger toward (someone who has done something wrong) ; to stop blaming (someone) ; to cease to feel resentment against (an offender).
Forgiveness is really a gift you give yourself.
Turn off your mind.
Eat nacho cheese Doritos.
Listen to the trees rustle.
Dissect & discuss your favorite books.
No makeup. No fixing the hair.
Watch the rabbits & squirrels play.
I did all these things on vacation with my sister and feel renewed.
Seek out moments like this all Summer Sistas!
[Image courtesy of Vogue]
I trust you are having a fantastic weekend. You know what I’m going to ask… did you take some time to refuel and pamper yourself? I sure did by restricting my time on social media and had a movie & nap marathon with my hubby. Last week was so interesting and full of great work situations as well as several coffee & lunch dates with friends. This brings us to the topic for today-understanding the power of those 3 little words, how are you? I have discussed this topic before, but feel the nudge to raise the awareness again.
Because I surround myself with confident, loving and Spiritually- conscious women, it is rare these days when I encounter the opposite. So, when I do encounter an ego-driven, competitive and insecure type- I almost have an allergic reaction. Aahhhh-chooo! Seeking out new experiences and meeting new people is a way of life for me so I appreciate the learning lessons from each and every person. Whether it’s a positive or negative experience which makes my Spiritual allergies go haywire. We can’t live in a bubble surrounded by perfect people, but we can go boldly into the world prepared- mentally & Spiritually.
You know those beautiful moments you sit down to lunch with that equally encouraging girlfriend and she’s as anxious to ask about you, as you are about her? Both of you leave feeling valued, loved, seen, heard and cherished. You leave the lunch with more pep in your step and feel that there was an even exchange of love & appreciation. It’s all about honoring and respecting one another. Where has the honor in our relationships gone? Of course, during a hardship- when one of you may need to dominate the conversation & just plain vent- it is understood. Sometimes a friend just needs your ear & shoulder and you know she will be there for you when that’s what you need. That is also part of the honor I’m speaking of. You honor her troubled heart with your care and attention.
During an encounter last week, I chatted with a gal for about an hour. In that timeframe, she made sure to tell me all about herself including the exact amount of her salary without once asking me how I was doing. A few years ago, this would have totally pissed me off, but I left that encounter actually feeling sorry for her. You know my mission is for women to live a higher life, a more Spiritually connected and empowered life. I want that for this woman too! As I drove away, instead of wishing I could get back that hour of my life, I said a little prayer for her and reminded myself the importance of expressing interest in others.
This sparked a convo between a few other friends who brought up times when they had gone through an entire lunch with someone who talked about themselves the whole time without ever asking how they were. We all have experienced this and it makes us withdraw from nurturing those friendships. An enriching conversation between two empowered women is like a beautiful dance or a fun tennis match. One woman speaks then asks the other a question about themselves, their family, their career, hobbies, their life in general. This goes back and forth in a beautiful flow. How simple is that? When we have a convo with an insecure, fear-filled egoist it leaves us feeling like our ears were assaulted and the blood & energy was sucked right out of our bodies. I prefer the dance, how about you?
Being present and interested in someone is one of the greatest gifts and expressions of love you can give them. We all crave and thrive from genuine connection. If you are one who nervously talks about yourself too much, I encourage you to read the powerful book, How To Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie. The basic principle of the book is to be interested in other people and their interests. Ultimately, it brings you more joy and raises your level of influence within your circle and community. An important thing we can do is to continue modeling this behavior to the ‘over talkers’ in our lives. Hopefully, they will feel heard and cherished then want to reciprocate this behavior to you. But, make sure you continue keeping healthy boundaries with these types of people as well. “Honor all people, love the brotherhood (sisterhood), fear God.” ~ 1 Peter 2:17. Let’s all listen a bit better, make eye contact and put those stupid phones away!
Here’s a few quick SOS tips to keep you looking + feeling fabulous….
Keep your summer tan glowing into Fall with my fave new drugstore bronzer by Physicians Formula. Many bronzers look orangey or have too much sparkle which settles into wrinkles and can make your skin look older, ruddy and dirty. YIKES! This bronzer is a combo of a powder and cream which actually melts into the skin giving you a beautiful airbrushed glow! Bronze Booster Glow-Boosting Airbrushing Bronzing Veil Deluxe Edition
As you begin pulling out your brown boots for Fall, remember to throw on a leopard belt for extra fabulous-ness. I got this calf hair skinny belt at Target, YEP… Target! I paired it with cognac colored clogs.
The brilliant thing about a leopard belt is it goes with EVERY shade of brown. No more second guessing what belt to match!
I want to say thank you for receiving- with love- the recent blog about forgiving yourself. Many of you have sent me private messages sharing your journey with me. This is the beauty of the connection we have in SOS. It is a virtual circle of strong hands linked together in non-judgement and support. May we all continue to grow and make the best choices for ourselves and our futures.
This past weekend I had the privilege of being part of one of the most spectacular weekends EVER! The Gerard Butler GALS and the Rising Phoenix Charitable Foundation’s Annual Fundraising Gala in Las Vegas. This event raises money for the Angels of East Africa (the orphanage we visited in Sudan a few years ago) and The Shade Tree which shelters women, children and their pets. Last year, my husband and his band performed at the event and I was invited to join as a guest speaker this year. Our connection came via our friend Sam Childers aka The Machinegun Preacher whom actor Gerard Butler portrayed in the movie. I knew this was going to be a great weekend, but– WHOA BABY, it blew my headscarf right off my head and far exceeded my expectations.
I instantly felt part of the amazing sisterhood these women have created and was greeted with so many warm hugs. They call themselves “boobie squishers”. I joined right in on the boobie squishing and fell in love with these women. On Friday, I led an SOS workshop on Compassion/Connection/Confidence + Courage and soon found out that this encouraging group and the connection it has provided rescued many of the women from various circumstances in their lives. We laughed, we cried and I am grateful for their transparency and open hearts. A few weeks ago, I wrote about “connection” here on the blog and witnessed it’s affects right in front of my eyes over the course of the 72 hour love fest. SO BEAUTIFUL! These women are genuine instruments of love and compassion.
On Saturday, we all visited The Shade Tree where several of the GALS did volunteer work and fed lunch. Sam’s wife, Lynn, spoke to the women and shared her personal testimony and my husband and bandmate Irwin Thomas sang for the women and their children. We also got a tour of the entire facility by the beautiful soul, Marlene Richter– Executive Director of TST. To end our visit, we got to hold and show love to a few of the pets over in Noah’s House, the animal shelter. TST is filled with so much love, hope and opportunity for healing. I encourage you to take a deeper look and visit their site. They are always in need of everything from donations, clothing, toiletries, diapers, toys, bedding and pet food. Please go to this link for a detailed list of urgent needs: http://www.theshadetree.org/UrgentNeeds.html
A visual that left a deep impression on my heart was seeing just a small bag or two underneath the bunkbeds. This is all these women own. Talk about putting things into crystal clear perspective! TST accommodates women and their children for emergency care when they need a safe place for a night or two as well as providing transitional shelter programs for up to 2 years. The women receive assistance with finding employment and helping them move forward in becoming self-sufficient.
Noah’s Animal House is a pet sanctuary for shelter residents which allow women to escape abusive situations without leaving behind their pet. In homes where there is violence, pets are often threatened or injured by the violent partner. It is not uncommon for an abuser to continue to control the relationship using the family pet. Noah’s is the first full service facility of its kind located on the grounds of the women’s shelter in the western region of the United States.
Do you have your own pillow to lay your head on tonight in a comfy bed with clean sheets? If so, consider yourself richly blessed sista! There are so many women out there without a bed to call their own. They are forced to flee their home because of abuse with only the shirt on their back. Can you imagine fitting everything you own under a 4×6 bunkbed? My heart is so full of love, gratitude and compassion. For the week ahead, let our focus be to appreciate everything in our lives, give gratitude (even for clean sheets) and open our hearts more than ever to those in need. WE ARE ALL SO BLESSED.