Taking a Risk With Connections!

‘With any Connection happens Possibility! A Hindsight is a marvellous matter – specially with regards to associations! On the other hand, ‘love is blind’ as being the old adage goes, particularly when one is starting your new romantic relationship. We want ‘things’ to exercise, although there could be symptoms from the beginning, we very often…

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Grandma’s Easy Banana Bread


You will love my Grandma’s tried and true (and EASY!) banana bread recipe that is a classic favorite!  Perfectly sweet, moist and full of delicious banana flavor! 
You will love my Grandma's tried and true banana bread recipe that is a classic favorite!  Perfectly sweet, moist and full of delicious banana flavor! 

What a beautiful SNOWY weekend we had up here in Northern Virginia!  I don’t know about you, but a lazy snowy Sunday always puts me in the mood to bake and since my bananas we perfectly ripened I thought it’d be the perfect time to make this banana bread.

This has been one of my favorite recipes since I can remember and I have to give my Grandma ALL the credit.  She literally makes the best banana bread (among her many talents) and it was always a staple in her home when I was growing up.  This recipe is literally SO easy to make and the bread comes out incredibly moist which is why I love it so much!  Now for the disclaimer.  This of course isn’t the healthiest recipe, but hey all things should be eaten in moderation anyway, right??  I’ve tried modifying this recipe several times to make it a bit healthier, but it just never comes out the same so I wanted you all to have the original recipe 🙂

You will love my Grandma's tried and true banana bread recipe that is a classic favorite!  Perfectly sweet, moist and full of delicious banana flavor! 

Plus isn’t good to just have a staple bread recipe in your arsenal that you can whip out when you want to impress friends and family??  Trust me this is definitely it.  Now there are plenty of healthier options on my blog, like this zucchini bread or even this pumpkin bread, so if you’re sitting there frustrated that this recipe contains butter and sugar, you are MORE than welcome to move on to my other recipes.  This classic favorite is just too good not to share with you all!

The great thing is this batter makes one large loaf or three mini loaves, depending on what you prefer.  I ended up doubling this recipe so we’d have one loaf for our home and made three mini ones to give to our neighbors since all of us seem to be stuck inside on this snow day.  It’s the perfect little indulgence that is much-appreciated on cozy weekends and feel free to make this recipe all your own by adding chopped walnuts, pecans or even chocolate chips!

You will love my Grandma's tried and true banana bread recipe that is a classic favorite!  Perfectly sweet, moist and full of delicious banana flavor! 

Let me know below if you end up making this banana bread recipe and please tell me what you think!  I’ve had this recipe on the blog for over 7 years (wow has it really been almost 8 years already?!), but I wanted to update it with better, more drool-worthy photos 😉  Enjoy everyone!

Grandma’s Easy Banana Bread
Serves: 12 servings

  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ½ cup sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt)
  • 1 cup mashed bananas (about 2 bananas)
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a stand mixer, or hand held, mix together softened butter and sugar until well combined. Then add in eggs and mix well. Next add in vanilla, sour cream (or Greek yogurt) and mashed bananas then, while the mixer is on, slowly add the flour, baking soda and salt and mix slowly until completely combined, scraping the sides and the bottom.
  3. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan (or pans). If using one 9×5 loaf pan, bake bread for about one hour. If using three mini loaf pans, bake bread for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  4. Let the bread sit for 10 minutes then remove from pan and let cool completely on a wire rack. Serve and enjoy!

Nutritional Information
Serving Size: 1 slice • Calories: 218 • Fat: 8.5 g • Saturated Fat: 5.1 g • Carbs: 32.7 g • Fiber: 1 g • Protein: 3.7 g • Sugar: 19.4 g • WW Freestyle Points: 9


You will love my Grandma's tried and true banana bread recipe that is a classic favorite!  Perfectly sweet, moist and full of delicious banana flavor! 

The post Grandma’s Easy Banana Bread appeared first on Eat Yourself Skinny.

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Stop Losing Yourself in Relationships


Do you feel like every time you get into a relationship you start to lose yourself? Does your identity get all tangled up with the person you’re seeing? Do you start to forget or neglect the things that make you, YOU?

Maybe you used to have a real passion for something but abandoned it because you felt like it would detract from your relationship? Or maybe you’re in a long-term, committed partnership and you can’t seem to remember the last time you did something for just YOU and only you.

Don’t get lost in your relationship.

Today I’m talking all about how to create and maintain healthy, vibrant, lasting love and spoiler alert: losing your identity or compromising who you are when you’re in a relationship isn’t healthy.

You guys have been amazing at asking me for what you need and want to learn here and in our Real Love Revolution Facebook Group, and this is an issue that a lot of you have been writing to me about. That’s why in this week’s episode, I’m covering how not to lose yourself when you’re in a relationship, why you might be prone to it and why you don’t want that kind of dynamic with your partner. So if you’re feeling a little lost right now, I want to invite you to read the below and then click HERE to see my video where I go a little deeper into this with you.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZdCoEwWMlk?controls=0]


In the very beginning of a relationship, you’re so happy and falling in love, everything feels so good, and you just want to spend all your time doing everything together. It’s normal to be all wrapped up in the other person when you’re first falling for them, but as your relationship deepens and grows, a natural balance of your life with your partner and your life outside of them should develop.

It’s true that when you’re partnered, your life changes, and hopefully, you’re constantly considering that other person, but there is a way to hold on to yourself, to your identity and to nurture your relationship.

Healthy love is about interdependence, not codependence, (if you need more resources on How to Heal Codependent Relationships, I created a podcast episode for you all about that here) and that means remembering that you are two separate people and being secure enough to have experiences apart from one another.

If someone is expecting you to give up your identity or own life and for you to fulfill all of their needs (or vice versa), that’s not healthy love (or even possible.) It’s also exhausting. What I’ve found within my therapeutic practice in the last 20 years, is that super high functioning women often give up a lot of themselves voluntarily in their relationships, because they don’t know that there’s another choice.

Why does this happen? Well, let’s talk about your history a little bit.

  • What kind of modeled behavior in love relationships did you see growing up?
  • Did your parents/caregivers have separate interests, hobbies or friend circles?
  • What was your experience of love in partnership? Did it mean sacrificing everything for the other?
  • Did you learn that being a good partner meant giving up individual interests?
  • Did one of your parents or caregivers revolve their entire life around their partner?
  • Was there infidelity or trust issues in your parents’ relationship or the partnerships your saw growing up?
  • What were the expectations for gender roles like in your household when you were a child? What did it look like to be “the perfect wife” or “the perfect husband”? Even if your parents/caregivers didn’t emulate it, was there an ideal set forth?

Each of us has different experiences and perspectives when it comes to what “love” is and what we think it should look like in practice. I call it our Downloaded Love Blueprint. If growing up you saw that being a good partner meant losing all your own interests and revolving your life around the other person, then it makes sense for you to consciously (and unconsciously) hold to the belief that this is what real love is.

But the real question is: are the things you’re doing in your relationship making you happy? Because if they aren’t and you’re sublimating your individual identity in service of your partner, you are potentially setting yourself up for either failure of the relationship or for you to become really resentful at a later date.

Let’s talk about some do’s and don’ts when it comes to your holding onto yourself and your identity when you’re in a relationship:


  • Spend time away from your spouse or partner. Socialize with others and find a balance of spending time together and apart. Whether for work or play, support your partner in the experiences he/she wants to have without you, and curate your own adventures apart from him/her.
  • Stay connected to your friends and family. It’s healthy to have relationships outside of your primary relationship. No matter how amazing your partner is, you’re a full human being complete with all the facets of you. That includes being a friend, a daughter, sister, a cousin or a granddaughter. There’s a stability that comes to your life when you stay connected to all of the parts of yourself through ALL of the people that matter the most to you.
  • Know your value and know your values. What’s really important to you? If you truly value yourself, that means putting your values first, whether you’re in a relationship or not. You need to be the writer, the producer and the director of what goes on in your life, and your values should guide you along the way. Make decisions based on how you feel so that you don’t have regrets or end up in the blame game.
  • Set healthy boundaries from the start. If you’re at the beginning of a relationship, this is your chance to express your wants, needs, and desires as well as your lifestyle preferences. Setting effective boundaries early on and being truthful and honest is so important to lasting success in love and trust me, it’s better to find out that you’re incompatible earlier than later. For more on boundaries and real love, watch this.


  • Don’t give up on your health, wellness, or passion pursuits even if your partner doesn’t share your particular interests. If your partner doesn’t like to work out or sleeps in on Saturday mornings where you like to get up early and hit the gym, it doesn’t mean you can’t still do you! In fact, catering to someone else’s preferences over your own all the time can only lead to resentment and martyr syndrome…and that’s not good for anybody.
  • Don’t take on interests of your partner’s if you’re not actually into it. Allow them to have a separate interest, and keep pursuing your own as well. Being in a healthy loving relationship doesn’t mean always being attached at the hip, and if you have some insecurities around that, go within and ask yourself why. Trust is the foundation of lasting love, and spending time apart can make coming together again all the sweeter. (Note: This is not to say that compromise is not important. It is the difference between attending a classical music concert because your partner loves it even if you don’t and trying to become a classical music expert because your partner is obsessed.)
  • When you disconnect from your partner, don’t stay connected with your devices the entire time. If you’re texting or messaging your partner the play-by-play of your girls’ weekend away, you’re not really being fully present in the moment. Take the actual space. Your relationship will be better for it.
  • Flip the script. Instead of always asking, “What do they want?” or “How can I be what they want me to be?” ask: “What do I want?” “How can I meet my own needs or get them met?” and “What would make me feel really good about this right now?” Again, it’s more about becoming the director of your own life than being an actor in someone else’s.

I hope that some of these tips inspire you and help you shift your perspective around who you are and who you can be in a relationship. You can continue to “do you” even as you’re part of an “us”.

As promised in the video, here’s the self-love meditation that I’m gifting you to help you remember that even when you love someone else, loving and caring for yourself should always be your top priority.

All you need to do is click the download button on the meditation page, put in your email address and you get immediate access to this beautiful guided meditation.

If you liked this episode, please share it on your social media outlets and with others who could benefit.

As always, take care of you.


Terri Cole is a licensed psychotherapist, transformation coach, and an expert at turning fear into freedom. Sign up for Terri’s weekly Newsletter, check out her blog and follow her on Twitter.


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The First Law of Spirit Is Acceptance


The human experience is full of great stuff like creativity, miracles, connection with others, laughter and dark chocolate. And because we evolve through contrast, our experience also includes challenging situations and things we may not put in the “great stuff” category. I call them expectation hangovers.

But the good news about the not so great stuff is that we have what it takes to let go of anything and everything that happens. The suffering from our expectation hangovers does not have to be permanent.

Bring to mind the most challenging thing you’ve endured. It probably brings up an uncomfortable feeling (or feelings). The memory of it may be something you cannot seem to escape and continues to impact the quality of your life.

Now imagine how liberated you will be when you totally let it go. Imagine no longer experiencing suffering over something that happened in your life. I know this is possible because I have both personally experienced and witnessed thousands of people let go of difficult (even traumatic) situations they have been carrying around for years and arrive at a place of total peace.

So what’s the first step?

It is ACCEPTANCE.  Acceptance requires being free of judgment. The reason we are unable to get over things is because we are still judging what happened.

Think of a situation from your past that you are having trouble getting over. Do you think it shouldn’t have happened? Do you think it was terrible? Do you believe things should have been different? Do you think you were wronged? Do you think you were wrong? Do you believe it caused more undesirable circumstances in your life? Do you see yourself as damaged by it? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then what perpetuates your suffering and prevents you from letting go is judgment.

The first law of Spirit is acceptance. Until you accept what happened with zero judgment of it being bad or wrong in any way, you continue to keep it alive inside you. What happened, happened. It’s in the past. Your judgments about it continue to keep it present and impact your future.

Now you may be thinking, “What happened was awful – I cannot imagine accepting it!” Acceptance does not mean you condone or agree; but rather that you are removing the judgment that keeps it active inside of you. When you stop judging something, it is possible to feel your feelings about it with compassion, so you are actually releasing them rather than recycling them (I walk you through how to do this step-by-step in Expectation Hangover).

Acceptance moves you out of victim consciousness and empowers you with the freedom of forgiveness. @christinhassler (Tweet this!)

As you accept ALL situations in your life free and clear of judgment, you stop asking “Why did this happen” and start asking questions that move you out of an expectation hangover:

  • What am I learning from this?
  • How did this experience serve me?
  • How can I use the information from my past as information and inspiration?

Let go of your opinions and victim stories – they are not serving you. Empower yourself by unloading judgments you’ve been carrying around like a heavy backpack so that you are free to fully embrace all the great stuff that is available to you in the here and now.



P.S. I have a new podcast where I coach people LIVE on the air. Head over to Over it and On With It and listen in for inspiration and action steps.

Christine Hassler has broken down the complex and overwhelming experience of recovering from disappointment into a step-by-step treatment plan in her new book Expectation Hangover. This book reveals the formula for how to process disappointment on the emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual levels to immediately ease suffering. Instead of wallowing in regret, self-recrimination, or anger, we can see these experiences as catalysts for profound transformation and doorways that open to possibility. You can find more info on her website, and follow her on Twitter and FB.

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Image courtesy of Vladimir Fedotov.

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How Clearing Clutter Can Help You Lose Weight, If That’s Something You’d Like to Do.

I’ve thought a lot about happiness and good habits. In my books The Happiness ProjectHappier at Home, and Better Than Before, I explore what actions we might take to make ourselves happier—and how we can shape our habits to help us actually do those actions.

One habit that many people would like to follow? They’d like to eat more healthfully. People have many reasons to want to do this—to manage their blood sugar, to avoid food sensitivities, to cultivate their cooking skills, and for many people, to lose weight. (You may argue that people should eat healthfully for good health, and not frame this issue about “weight.” That’s true for many people. I’m not saying a person should do this—however, I talk to a lot of people about the habits they want to form and why, and many people do indeed report that they want to lose weight.)

Another habit that people would like to adopt? They’d like to maintain outer order more consistently. As I write about in Outer Order, Inner Calm, for most people, to a surprising degree, outer order contributes to a feeling of inner calm, inner energy, a sense of possibility.

And, I’ve noticed, these two habits often go together. Not necessarily for rational reasons, but in practice, I’ve observed (in other people and in myself), when we get our stuff under control, we feel in more control of ourselves, our actions, and our bodies.

As odd as it sounds, cleaning out your coat closet can make it easier to avoid the vending machine at work. Good habits build on each other. Outer order builds a feeling of inner self-command.

How can you harness this connection between outer order, eating healthfully, and losing weight? Consider…

Close the kitchen.

One common eating challenge for many people is nightly snacking. Dinner is over, but around 9:00 p.m. we wander through the kitchen, eating a handful of this or that. Or at 11:00 p.m., we find ourselves spooning ice cream out of the container, or peanut butter out of the jar (my husband’s favorite treat).

To help end this, close the kitchen. Put everything away properly, with no open bags on the counter or half-covered dishes in the fridge; close the drawers and cabinets; wipe the counters; turn off the lights. If your kitchen has a door, close the door.

By creating an orderly, closed kitchen, you help signal yourself, “Eating time is over for the day.” It feels odd to go back in there, and it discourages you from just “looking around.” Bonus: brush your teeth.

Create outer order to harness the power of the Strategy of Inconvenience.

If a bag of potato chips is sitting open on the counter, it’s a lot easier to reach in and grab just a few—and then keep going. If the bag of chips has a clip to keep the bag tightly closed and is sitting behind a cabinet door on a high shelf, it’s much easier to resist. Research shows that to a hilarious degree, we’re very influenced by the slightest bit of inconvenience or convenience. Along the same lines…

Use outer order to put things out of view.

When we see something, we think about it. When we don’t see it, it’s easier to forget that it’s even there. So if you’ve baked cookies for your kids to take to school, box them up and put the box out of sight right away. If you leave the box out on the counter, you’re more likely to keep reaching in. If you’re worried that your child will forget to take the cookies if they aren’t right by the door, put the box in a plastic bag and knot the bag shut, so you can’t see them, and you’d have to rip open the plastic bag to get to the box. Then put the bag with the cookies by the door.

Do not expect that you’ll be inspired to eat more healthfully by keeping clothes that no longer fit.

Very often, when people go through their closets, they find clothes that no longer fit. These items haven’t been worn in years, but people hang on to them, to signal to themselves, “One day I’ll be back to that size, and then I’ll wear these things again.”

Giving these clothes away seems like an admission that this change will never happen.

In my observation, the presence of these clothes doesn’t help people eat better. If you want to eat better, work on that! My book Better Than Before is crammed with ideas to help you change your eating habits. But the guilt and anxiety—not to mention the crowded closet—created by these unwearable items doesn’t help. Their presence acts as a discouraging drain, not a helpful spur.

When I’m helping a friend to go through a closet, and we run into this issue, here’s what I say—and it really works.

I say, “Imagine the day when those clothes fit again. Do you think you’ll feel like wearing these jeans that have sitting on the shelf for years, unworn? Or do you think you’ll want to buy some new jeans?

This is a hopeful prospect. And it’s true! This thought often allows people to give away those clothes.

Clear clutter to help make you feel lighter.

It’s interesting: over and over, when people get rid of things they don’t need, don’t use, or don’t love, and create outer order, they say, “I feel as if I’ve lost ten pounds.” That’s the simile that comes up over and over again. Outer order creates a feeling of lightness, of greater ease and freedom—people literally feel like a weight has lifted off their bodies. So if you’re feeling weighed down or burdened, clearing clutter can be a way to create a feeling of lift and energy in your mind—one that will actually energize your body. And that feeling of energy, in turn, will make it easier to stick to good habits. (That’s the Strategy of Foundation.)

How about you? Have you experienced a connection between outer order and healthy eating?

Gretchen Rubin is the author of the #1 New York Times Bestseller The Happiness Project—an account of the year she spent test-driving the wisdom of the ages, current scientific studies, and lessons from popular culture about how to be happier—and the recently released Happier at Home and Better Than Before. On her popular blog, The Happiness Project, she reports on her daily adventures in the pursuit of happiness. For more doses of happiness and other happenings, follow Gretchen on Facebook and Twitter.


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The Cost of Fixing Things

Fall in Seoul

In September, I disappeared in Seoul and caused everyone who cares about me to think I was having some kind of breakdown. I deactivated my Twitter account, and refused to engage with anyone other than my closest friends. I got to the point where I felt I had to drop everything, and then I came back and chose things that could return, one by one. Some things still haven’t made it back. Maybe they never will.

What took me to that point was three team turnarounds in three years. The final one, with a fractured shoulder whilst buying and renovating a house (also a turnaround). But that is the big story – what took me to that point was a thousand choices, made at various decision points, that consistently put my own well-being last. What took me to that point was some deep seated need to act as-if I was some highly-optimized, resilient robot rather than a physically hurt human being with her own needs and life.

It was hard to untangle this, because the ways in which I am good at the turnaround are directly related to the ways in which I am bad at being a human in the world. I focus on the important – I let things that are not important go (but life is made up of unimportant things and it’s hard if none of them are “done”). I stop dysfunction like some kind of human shock absorber – I am afraid to let people into my own dysfunction, to the point of being willing to shut them out entirely. I have high standards – the standards I would hold other people to are nothing compared to the standards I have for myself. I see it as my job to live in the space of ambiguity and create clarity for other people – I don’t prioritize resolving ambiguity for myself. I am very driven by values – sometimes the values I hold conflict with what I need as a human.

“Show me your heart like transparent Glass Catfish” ~Seoul Aquarium

In this space, when people expressed concern it was met first with bewilderment, then resentment. Bewilderment, because this was – as I understood it – what I had been asked to do. It was always going to be terrible for me, the real surprise was how badly my shoulder was injured and that renovating a house was extremely terrible too. Resentment, when that concern came as feedback, to which I wanted to respond, “I did what you needed, I’m sorry it didn’t look pretty, too.”

In a distributed environment, no-one needs to know how you really are.

Around the time I disappeared in Seoul. I was winding up on the third turnaround team, handing it back to the proper person. I was deeply burnt out, and my then-boss hadn’t decided what team I would go to, resulting in me drifting around without a clear place to go, unsure of what I could take on – my life in general feeling on hold around medical appointments and waiting.

At home, I found a therapist, finally unpacked and started living out of closets rather than boxes, did the work of building a life in the city I had spent the best part of a year calling home but didn’t feel like home yet, prioritized medical appointments above everything else (with some help from my mom). At work I covered a month of parental leave for one of my peers, and the engineer leading a huge project (the new editor) asked me to come help him. I joked to my peer leading that part of the organization that he had brought me to her like a cat with a dead animal offering. I “joked”. It felt true.

“I’ve found out that life and soul are the most essential elements in art.” ~Arario Museum in Space, Seoul

We rolled out the new editor. I moved to another team, reporting to the CEO again – I was grateful to him for resolving the drifting, but felt like I was doing what everyone else wanted me to do – although how could it be any other way, when I didn’t know what I wanted myself? I kept going to therapy, got to the place where I could confront some of my less appealing characteristics, spent time with friends, finally shared pictures of the house. Had moments where I could contemplate feeling okay again, even if that was definitively, absolutely, not right now. Always contingent on things outside of my control.

Today I feel okay, even happy. Things are not perfect, but I have a sense of direction and purpose, some kind of stability – some internal, some external. Various things came together, and it started to feel like enough to go on. I started to feel like enough.

Only the most perceptive people notice when you disappear

Raccoon ~Seoul

This was not supposed to be a story about burnout, this was supposed to be the things I learned working through it and being able to see the other side. But it feels dishonest to write about how to make teams more functional without some level of insight into what that process has done to me. It feels futile to talk about working through burnout, without some insight into the context that burnout was within. Only the most perceptive people notice when you disappear, especially if the Achievements keep accumulating because it’s easy to assume busy instead. Not everyone can be present when you’re a shadow, simpler and less confronting to say “let me know if you need anything” and disappear instead.

When I think about burnout, I always come back to the Maslach Burnout Inventory (there is a book, but it’s more succinctly summarized in this article). It is a helpful framework for thinking about burnout, in particular the five causes of burnout that are not overwork. They are: lack of control, insufficient reward, lack of community, absence of fairness, and conflict in values.

Lack of Control

Lack of control was a huge factor for me. Both on a personal level (the healthcare system and builders), as a human at work (what is my job now?) and in a work context (these things are not working well, but out of my remit to fix). This is really what triggered my disappearance in Seoul, when I realized going with the flow was leaving me completely miserable, and even (in a certain context) triggering an existential panic where I wasn’t sure if I existed at all. It was a topic that came up again and again in therapy.

Owl, Tokyo

Letting go of everything allowed me to focus on things within my control. The relationships I was confident were good, the appointments and calls I could make to move things forward, the remit I had at work. I refused to engage with the ambiguous or bad, and demonstrated to myself that most things continued without them. As I let them back in, I was very deliberate in giving them an appropriate place in the hierarchy of importance, and any supporting structure needed to be manageable.

I learned more is within my control than I thought, and that I need to accept and manage the impact of things outside of my control. The result of this is that I feel more centred and less blown about by uncertainty or ineptitude. I change what I can change, influence what I can influence, and when neither is an option, I aim to contain it and move on.

Insufficient Reward

One way to look at the situation I was in – drifting – was that the reward for doing a good job was the ambiguity, because the only decision that had been made was that I wouldn’t go back to my previous team. I understood (and agreed) to this, but it definitely left me living in a space of uncertainty that got harder and harder to manage over time. I felt less confident – did my boss really value me? Would other people think I had been demoted? Would what I ended up being given be something I even wanted?

In response to this, I searched for validation elsewhere. Focused on shipping things: internal blog posts, progress reports, external articles. Hoarded complements. And with people I trust, admitted that I felt terrible and straight up asked for the validation I needed. These things helped in the moment, although fundamentally they needed to come with a change in mindset too – one of looking for information that supports a positive hypothesis, rather than a negative one.

Lack of Community

It is a truth universally acknowledged that leadership positions are lonely. In many ways, I got myself into this situation by so badly wanting my peers to be a team and being prepared to do things in service of that. At the lowest point, though, I did feel disconnected from them in terms of tempo – they were busy and focused and I was drifting around. They had direction and I was lost.

This was a time to lean on the community I had worked hard to build. When I left our group to move to the new team, one of the most meaningful things was the support and enthusiasm of my peers in seeing it as a positive move – even as I wasn’t sure – and as I left the channels, one of them veto-ing my departure from our backchannel and peer support call.

“If all relationships were to reach equilibrium then this building would dissolve” ~Arario Museum in Space, Seoul

other people assumed I felt the most confident at a point where I felt the least confident

It was also a time to build community. On my new team, and with other groups of people who it’s in our remit to help. Peers in other parts of the business, all engineering team leads, everyone involved in our hiring processes. This work is just beginning, but I am genuinely excited for it.

Last week I was at a leadership offsite where we had an intense development week. A coaching exercise with a colleague I don’t normally have much interaction with surfaced that other people assumed I felt the most confident at a point where I felt the least confident. This is one of the dissonances that can arise when people don’t see each other, and I think in the absence of other cues, can make it easy to assume someone is busy and not reach out. I’m not totally sure what to do with this, but I can at least model the behavior I want, and make more effort to check in.

Absence of Fairness

There was one situation in particular that really got to me – a lot of my time was wasted, I was denied any kind of input, and a situation was forced onto the team that I felt negated much of the effort I had made. It felt like a situation where “assuming best intent” and trying to be helpful – usually a good thing and a strength – in the wrong situation feel like an attack vector.

I’m not confident in what I’m taking from this, yet. On a concrete level, the importance of documenting and being direct. I think it’s easy to assume that “other people notice” but if they don’t this can lead to a cycle of frustration. Usually little things are just that – little things. However sometimes they are a product of something much bigger and much more problematic. If no-one flags the little things, the patterns take much longer to surface.

On a meta level, it’s reminded me to ask, “how much is this is my problem?” and accept that sometimes the best we can do is manage the impact of failure, because we do not have the power to prevent it.

Conflict in Values

“Inframince” ~Arario Museum in Space, Seoul

This came up, and particularly when people’s stated values differ from their lived values – creating a compound effect. This is a concept that has come up a lot in coaching for me – for every turnaround project – the question “what values is this hitting for you?”

so much of good management seems to be about being a decent human being

I am personally very values driven; so much of good management seems to be about being a decent human being. Of course, being decent is rarely the easiest path in the immediate frame, and often a lot of work. This is the kind of dissonance that will escalate a disagreement to existential crisis for me.

Again, it is a strength, values scale much better than people or process and creating values on teams is part of how I have been effective, and able to hand things off. However, the downside is clear and intense. I think this is true for a lot of effective people who burn out – we are good because we care, but the downside is that care is for a reason – often values – and we struggle when those values are violated. It can seem like the path for success is to be more self-serving and care less, but that just creates the situations that we claim we don’t want. If we want things to be different, we have to make them different as we can, but in a way that isn’t self-destructive, or requires changing the core of who we are.

This is not a concrete takeaway, so concretely, I seek to support people rather than systems, make sure my work aligns with and communicates clear values, and ask questions and seek clarity on things that are open to interpretation or are potentially problematic.

Work Overload

“Live without dead time” ~Museum of Art, Seoul

Of course, in all of this, working a lot was a factor. I worked long hours and regularly over weekends (even if “just” travelling so as to avoid missing a weekday). In many ways overload was a multiplying factor, though; I used working to avoid things I didn’t want to deal with (like the building site or the medical system), and the fact that I had worked so hard compounded the existential problems of reward, fairness and values.

The first thing I changed here was working to make the time I did take off better. Moving to a place where I could have a separate office (I work from home), and organizing my living space and containing the mess such that I could have a place to relax without seeing a physical todo list in the form of things not yet done or tidy. The better my physical space has been, the better I have felt. The first time I had a weekend where I didn’t have any domestic stuff I needed to do was a milestone.

Within that, I made more effort to stop work by 7pm, and then be deliberate in spending my time on what would make me feel better. E.g. making an active choice between the gym and bringing some sense of order. When I needed to work a weekend, I made a point to balance that with other things I needed – like working in a coffee shop for some human contact, and breaking up delivery points with things for me. And also making sure I didn’t make the exact same mistake the following week and have to work a subsequent weekend.

The second thing was a resolution to take statutory holidays. These are not super meaningful to me – as an atheist, I don’t celebrate religious holidays, and in a distributed environment there are always other people working. However coming to see them as like weekends – arbitrary days that we have agreed as a society not to work – has been helpful. Yes, I could take a three day weekend any time when flights to Paris are cheaper, but I can take that three day weekend and the arbitrary one too (and using the arbitrary one to play video games is completely reasonable).

Similarly, I started taking time off for medical stuff. This wasn’t always possible (it’s unfortunate if one is in hospital on a day that is supposed to be release day, for example), but overwhelmingly has been. If I have to go to the UK to see the doctor, I take the entire period, rather than trying to work around flights and transit and appointments, to do what is going to be best for me. This was a bit of a culture shock for me, at the Conglomerate when people were sick they “worked from home”, but in an environment where people already work from home people actually take sick days. Including me.

Finally, I think it’s always worth taking time where there is opportunity. I took an extended break between ending my last job and starting this one (I fulfilled a life goal and went to Tuvalu). I made two weeks of space between the first team and the second, even though I had some work to do, I was free of responsibility and had two amazing long weekends (one in London, and one in Paris). Winding up on the second team made space for the disappearance in Seoul – where I had many positive experiences (including meeting a raccoon!) even though I didn’t feel particularly positive in myself.

The Other Side

The TL;DR of this is perhaps that I have spent a lot of time lately confronting the shadow side of my strengths – the personal cost of the professional “success”, and how that manifests as burnout. It’s hard to understate how confronting this has been, how difficult, and it’s still far from done.

I know, though, it’s something I am far from alone in. Burnout is the epidemic of millenials, and the epidemic of tech, particularly in those of us who genuinely and deeply take on the work of inclusion, of trying to make the functional environments we have never, or rarely, experienced ourselves. A while ago I wrote that the third shift of inclusion work is to heal ourselves and more than ever I believe this is true. Broken leaders cannot create functional environments – especially if we have power, we owe it to the people we work with to do the work on ourselves that makes us safe and reasonable people for others to show up to.

“Forgive Yourself” ~Sign in Tulum, Mexico

Thanks to my colleagues who engaged so openly in our leadership training, which helped me break out the other side of this, my boss who looked out for me at the worst point, and the amazing community in our engineering managers slack, who started the conversation that made me realize I was ready to write this, and inspired me to do so.

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Maybe You Have Resided Before Living?

Maybe you have seasoned deja vu? You understand, that feeling you get if you type in a building you have not visited before however somehow possess the sensation you have? Or even the feeling you get after you meet someone in my ballet shoes and experience an immediate interconnection, like you’ve got recognized them your…

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Raspberry Almond Baked Oatmeal

Start your morning off with this delicious Raspberry Almond Baked Oatmeal that is filling, wholesome and naturally sweetened for a perfect healthy breakfast!

Start your morning off with this delicious Raspberry Almond Baked Oatmeal that is filling, wholesome and naturally sweetened for a perfect healthy breakfast!

There is nothing better than starting your morning off with delicious baked oatmeal loaded with your favorite berries and crunchy almonds!  Not only does this recipe make your whole kitchen smell absolutely amazing, but this my friends is comfort food at its finest!

I love baked oatmeal for breakfast because it’s such a great source of fiber and definitely keeps me full well into lunch time which is important while I’m pregnant haha.  I’m constantly hungry guys!  This recipe is also perfect during these cold months too because everything about this dish screams warm, cozy and comforting.

Start your morning off with this delicious Raspberry Almond Baked Oatmeal that is filling, wholesome and naturally sweetened for a perfect healthy breakfast!

Another reason I love baked oatmeal for breakfast is because it’s the perfect make-ahead dish that even tastes better the next day!  It’s also a great recipe to add to your meal prep rotation because you can easily re-heat leftovers and I usually like to add a splash of milk just to keep the oatmeal from drying out.  Feel free to top your oatmeal with even more berries, chopped almonds and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup!

Helpful Tips and Tricks:

  • To prep this recipe ahead of time, simply mix all of your ingredients together and place in a prepared 8×8 (or 9×9) baking dish, cover and refrigerate overnight.  Then just pop it in the oven and let it bake for 30 to 40 minutes while you get ready for work!
  • This recipe uses no eggs which makes it a great vegan option, simply use maple syrup instead of honey.  This can also be easily made gluten-free by substituting with gluten-free oats.
  • Feel free to make this a seasonal dish by swapping the berries and almonds with fresh chopped apples, pecans and some cinnamon or you can add a mashed banana which will make this oatmeal even more moist!
  • This recipe will keep in your fridge for 3 to 4 days, just reheat in the microwave with a splash of milk for about 50 to 60 seconds.

Start your morning off with this delicious Raspberry Almond Baked Oatmeal that is filling, wholesome and naturally sweetened for a perfect healthy breakfast!

Hope you all enjoy this recipe as much my family does!  It really is super simple to throw together and everyone will feel like they’re enjoying dessert for breakfast, which is NEVER a bad thing!  Am I right??

Raspberry Almond Baked Oatmeal
Serves: 6 Servings

  • 1½ cups rolled oats
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ cup dry-roasted almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups of unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • ¼ cup honey (or maple syrup)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries + more for topping

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine oats, ginger, salt, and chopped almonds.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, honey (or maple syrup), oil and vanilla then add to oat mixture, stirring until just combined. Fold in fresh raspberries or berries of choice.
  4. Spread oat mixture into a prepared 8×8 (or 9×9) baking dish and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until oats have set.
  5. Remove oatmeal from oven and let stand for 10 minutes. Top with additional fruit and drizzle with a little honey or maple syrup if desired. Enjoy!

Nutritional Information
Serving Size: ⅙th of recipe • Calories: 211 • Fat: 8.7 g • Saturated Fat: 1.1 g • Carbs: 31.9 g • Fiber: 4.7 g • Protein: 4.4 g • Sugar: 12.6 g • WW Freestyle Points: 7


Start your morning off with this delicious Raspberry Almond Baked Oatmeal that is filling, wholesome and naturally sweetened for a perfect healthy breakfast!


The post Raspberry Almond Baked Oatmeal appeared first on Eat Yourself Skinny.

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Two Big Business Lessons From B-School Founder Marie Forleo

I was talking to Marie Forleo about some of the unexpected lessons she has learned while taking her business from a side hustle she ran while working at a bar and as a choreographer, to the ever-blossoming empire it is today. Her biggest lessons have been some of mine too. Listen in:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQUPKq1M6e4]

Simplicity versus complexity. This is one I’m still learning! I have been the Queen of Complicated and taking on too much in the past instead of keeping it super simple. For example, offering a free 8 week course as a lead generating offer… *Face palm* Yes, I really did that and provided customer support on it too! My launches were complex, with a lot of options for people. My products and services included aaaall the things I know people need. Now I know it’s okay to guide people through one simple step at a time.

Like Marie shares in our conversation, every time her and her team have chosen the simpler option and minimized, it’s worked. Everything has worked out for the best and it’s been worthwhile in the long run.

2019 is a year of simplicity for me actually, and asking myself, “Is there a way this could be shared/offered/implemented in a more simple way?” I invite you to take that question into your own business.

I love talking to successful people like Marie about their biggest lessons, and many of those lessons are hard-won by making some pretty big mistakes. What I’ve learned from the lessons and mistakes of others help me stay on top of my game and create huge opportunities.

That’s why I was thrilled to hear that Marie is hosting a FREE live masterclass on February 21st and 23rd on this exact topic.

Save a seat for The 5 Mistakes Even Smart Entrepreneurs Make And How To Avoid Them here.

Marie will be diving into:

  • How to 45X your marketing efforts with one tool that may surprise you
  • The ways your website is stopping potential customers from buying your products and services
  • What you should focus on instead of more traffic to your website
  • And more. It’s Marie so expect surprises and learning in a way that’s fun, with takeaways that are simple to take action on!

Marie has been in business for 20 years, has interviewed the most influential leaders in business, and she has worked with over 40,000 entrepreneurs through B-School so if there’s anyone who has a front row seat to the big mistakes you should avoid, it’s her.

And if you’re liking Marie’s teaching style and learning a lot from her free training, she just opened the doors to B-School, the online marketing and business program for modern entrepreneurs that is now in its 10th year!

I’m a B-School grad and I coach a small group of entrepreneurs through the program each year. If you want to work with me to create your dream 2019, my B-School Mastermind and live event experience is the way to do it. Click here for all the details about my best bonus ever for B-School

If you have any questions at all, email me directly at natalie@shetakesontheworld.com and I’ll personally respond.

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