Essays, Free Life Coaching Guides, Happiness, Learning, Personal Development

The Great Maternity Leave Essays: How to Become Deeply Inspired and Motivated

Why you should read this: I share with you an extremely important practice that the most productive, fulfilled and “switched on” people use. I use the analogy of a childrens’ toy you all know and love. This essay will inspire you to curate your social media, filter incoming information and engage in the pursuit of inspiring, motivational growth.

Reading time: 4 minutes.

Sometimes when I create images and typography to use as my featured image, it’s frustrating, because it’s IMPOSSIBLE to convey a lifetime of learning into one picture and a title, so my deepest hope is that somehow, some part of this essay today resonates with you.


Become Your Own Gatekeeper

There are thousands of social media platforms + people + organizations scrabbling for our attention.

If you think about it, you scroll through your Facebook news feed.  You whip down through all of the status updates, photos, sponsored links at a fast speed.  Imagine if we had commercials going at the same speed as we have scrolling on facebook going?  It would be madness. I would probably not be able to handle TV, period.  But when we scroll through social media it’s coming at us hard and fast. BOOM BOOM BOOM.  LISTEN TO ME! LISTEN TO ME! LISTEN TO ME! (coming at you from all corners.)

I’ll write sometime my thoughts about this fascinating “speed” of incoming information, but what I want to focus on is the volume and sources of information.

I am constantly talking about how precious and valuable your time is on maternity leave, because the structure of your free time has shifted and morphed.

Your time is now worth thousands of dollars an hour.  Advertisers know it.

When you casually sit down, pull out your phone and go on to social media, you hae just given air time to all of those posts, people, things competing for your attention.

Rather than being a passive recipient of information, we should become active curators.

Two months ago I sat down and thought about the messages, information, photos and people who line up with the goals I currently have, and the vision I have for my life.

Then, I spent about 2 hours unfollowing on facebook, instagram and twitter.  Then, I spent an hour specifically curating my feeds so that the only inflow on social media were things that support, inspire or motivate me to achieve my goals and mission.  Unrelated feeds, “distractors” went out of the window.  Any source of information that was unhelpful (or in some cases, even harmful, was gone.  ESPECIALLY those zillions of accounts out there that use fear & warnings to get you to click on their articles.  Parenting magazines, social media accounts know that fear is easy bait for a parent and they can hook you.)

Find Blogs, Podcasts, Pinterest Posts, Quotes, Tweets, Instagrams that inspire you.

Your job is to become a curator of inspiration.

Where many people go wrong, is they do it one or twice, make a pinterest board, save some quotes, and occasionally remember to find things that inspire them.

What the “greats” do is listen, view or read something EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.

They also do it first thing in the morning, to set their energy levels for the day.


So Why Do you Have a Childrens’ Toy on Your Featured Image?

Because it’s a constant effort and a constant hunt for inspiration. There are so, so many great voices and accounts out there. And the true reward is in the hunt. Each podcast that you find, website that you enjoy following, influencer that you like will boost you up a little bit more.

But you have to find the right fit for you.

When famed author & motivational speaker // influencer Wayne Dyer passed away, his family & estate made his entire library of works available online for a vastly reduced price. Last year, I downloaded his entire collection of books onto my kindle to read, while I was feeding my baby at night (this is a daily practice for me.)

I had heard about him constantly as I was finishing my professional ontological coach training.  He made wonderful points, but his writing style and language just didn’t land with me.   I was trying to fit a triangle toy into a square hole, just like the image on this post.

So I kept searching. I looked at what other people read on Amazon, read reviews and spent some money “investing in myself.”  I hold the view that for the price of a latte, I may find a book that change my life and the way I think.

A few months later I came across the works of Brian Tracy.  I had first been exposed to him while working at Lululemon as an Educator (one of  but at that time I just wasn’t ready for his philosophies and advice.
Curious, I downloaded his book on Self-Confidence.



The book had a profound impact on me.  Every page, every section I thought “Yes!  Yes!  I agree!  I do this!” – it was incredibly validating and educational.  It nailed home practices that I thought were unimportant and it motivated me even more to make them daily habits.

In my enthusiasm, I raved about Brian Tracy and his book to a few people I knew.  I was very suprised that they weren’t as enthusiastic about Brian Tracy as they were about Wayne Dyer.

I realized I had just fit a square, into my square hole, but they were holding triangles.

We all have different shaped toys & different shaped holes to fit them into.  Keep searching.  Keep reading.  Keep trying out different philosophies and thinkers and inspiring people out.  For every 5 shapes that don’t fit, one is going to fit perfectly and profoundly influence you.

Think about someone or something that shifted the way you see your world.  Shifted the way you act, the way you think.  Remember how powerful that moment was? When it was almost like you could hear an audible “click” as your universe shifted + made sense in a new way?

Imagine having that happen every month while on maternity leave.

Your brain is currently in a gorgeous state of growth & activity.  New neural connections and pathways are being formed every single day.

It is like a sponge, learning and absorbing new information as you learn about this little human being, as you learn about your new role.

Right now, all sorts of new slots are appearing on your little toy box – so go out there and start collecting shapes, and start trying to fit them in the holes.  Soon you will have a beautiful toy, with colourful shapes fitting into each slot.

You know the look on your childs’ face when they finally fit a shape into a hole?  That look of knowledge and accomplishment and excitement?  


That is exactly, EXACTLY what you will experience.


Knowledge & inspiration are amazing “toys” to play with.  They will never wear out.  They will never become boring.  They become a permanent part of you.  You can share those toys – but nobody can ever take them away from you. 


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