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Holiday lightsOkay, last week week we decided to change “self-care” to ”brighten-up” and I told you I would tell you why…

Brighten-up? What in tarnation are you talkin’ about?!



First, it’s important you get what self-care REALLY is so when you learn why I changed the name it all makes sense. (Don’t worry, sistah…I will never leave you in the dark).

We tend to view self-care as massages, weekend getaways, chunks of time away from kids, etc. These are all good, but self-care can happen at any given moment no matter what is swirling around us.

That’s why we should replace the word self-care with something else. (Later in this post you’ll learn my #1 quickest method to rejuvenate yourself…no matter where you are).

You know what? Self-care is simply HONORING YOURSELF. It’s listening to your body, mind, and spirit. When any of those parts feel down we take action to lift it up…or “brighten-up”. Just like the phrase “freshen up” implies, “brighten-up” can happen relatively quickly with minimal effort and produce remarkable results.

Brighten-up, schmighten-up…what’s the big deal?!

All women know what happens when we don’t freshen up… we LOOK run down, exhausted, and overworked. Let’s tell the truth here. When women don’t brighten-up…we FEEL run down, exhausted, and overworked.

Zoikes! Have you ever felt that way? Especially during the holiday season?

Hey, no surprise here. I could go on for days about WHY we do that. But what really matters is HOW to quickly and easily turn it all around. Here’s the HOW…

The #1 Quickest Method To Rejuvenate Yourself…No Matter Where You Are

***This works best if you are feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, upset, scared, or any negative kind of emotion…

Step 1: No matter where you are, be there. Be fully present to you. Even if you don’t think you can be, you can.
Step 2: Ask yourself “Oh, Honey, it seems you’re getting frustrated (or whatever emotion you are feeling)…what’s happening in your body because of that?
Step 3: Notice any physical sensations that pop up in your body. It may be a heavy feeling in your chest, a knot in your stomach, or something completely different.
Step 4: Be present to the feeling without trying to get rid of it. Just notice it. (you may find yourself “breathing into” the feeling…that’s good too)
Step 5: Stay with it. You’re doing great…even when you feel silly or uncomfortable.
Step 6: Stay with it some more… that’s right. Stay with it just like you would your upset son who fell off his bike and hurt his knee. Just be present to it.
Step 7: Remember: you only think an eternity has passed. It’s really only been 30 seconds.
Step 8: Once the feeling is gone you will find you are much more peaceful, focused, and calm.


That’s my absolute #1 best “brighten-up” strategy…

Next time, we will be talking about how this can bring more than just peace of mind. I’m talkin’ $$$!!!


Easter dressThrough my childhood, my mother sewed all the clothes for her three daughters.

Our early Spring ritual was to drive to Hancock’s fabric store near our house. I’d look over Mama’s shoulder as she turned each page in the pattern books — McCall’s, Butterick, Simplicity — to find the dress I wanted her to sew just for me.

Then we wandered through the store touching bolt after bolt of cloth — lavender, aqua, flowered — until we chose the perfect one and took it to the ‘scissors lady’ at the counter. Two yards, please, I would tell her in my most grown-up voice.

My favorite dress is the one she made by hand when I was three. It was the palest blue organza, with a huge cloud of a  petticoat and a big bow at the back. She sewed impossibly tiny white lace on the puffy sleeves and collar. Little French knots dotted the hem.

She would always finish sewing our dresses late in the night before Easter Sunday. When I woke up, my new outfit would be hanging on my closet door. Freshly ironed and ready to be slipped over my head.

One year, she wrote a note and pinned it to my new dress.

Janice Lee,

This new outfit is for the outer you. I hope that when you wear it, you remember it’s what’s inside that is most important. Let your light shine on Easter Day and every day.

Love, Mama

A few years ago I was digging through an old cedar chest and came across a zippered plastic bag. Inside was the Easter dress I wore when I was three. The lace had turned tea-colored, but every French knot and ruffle was intact.

I realized two things when I washed and ironed that tiny, exquisitely crafted dress.

1)  It took my mother over an hour to press it.

2)  She was, and still is, an amazing woman.










You might be thinking, What the heck is Manic Compression?

Symptoms include>>cramming too much into a day, skipping meals, trouble sleeping, body aches & pains.

Sometimes it gets kinda cray-cray, right?


Never fear. Help is here! My friend, Cathy Fisher, is an expert at helping folks GET and KEEP easy eating, exercise and lifestyle habits.

Quick. Easy. Fun. We want that. Right? 

Cathy is the owner of New World Wellness Center in Charleston, South Carolina. She’ll spill her secrets in a private interview with me this week.

Grab your *fr*e audio here on Wednesday, April 9.

** 3 Essential Lifestyle Habits for Optimal Wellness **

 P.S. Take the survey now. Post a question for Cathy in the Comments. We’ll answer YOUR hot-button issues here.

Fearless Living Breakthrough

Fearless Life Breakthrough

If you could wave a magic wand to look and feel as awesome as you know deep down you’d REALLY like to be, would you do it?

Most people “lie” to themselves when they think about how happy they are. They say, “Well, things are okay. I shouldn’t ask for too much.”

What they don’t realize is how much they are tolerating. How little they are settling for. They keep lowering their expectations, without even realizing they are putting a lid on their happiness.


If you’d like to finally get allllll the way to your most attracting, energetic, confident self – once and for all


If you’d like to get my personal support to make it happen, then check this out…

For a limited time I’m offering a New Year’s Resolution special “Fearless Life Breakthrough” Coaching Session (a $297 value) for ZERO COST.

During this powerful, one-on-one coaching session, we’ll work together to…

=> Create a crystal clear vision for the ideal life you’ll be living as your new super-attracting, energized and confident self.

=> Uncover hidden challenges that may be sabotaging your efforts and keeping you stuck.

=> Leave this session renewed, inspired, and ready to finally soar into the life you were meant to live.

To claim your 2014 New Year’s special “Fearless Life Breakthrough” coaching session today, simply answer these questions:

  1. How long have you been struggling to feel energetic and confident?
  2. On a scale of zero to 10, how important is it for you to blast through the fears and doubts that have been holding you back?
  3. What have you tried to do to feel more energetic and confident in the past?
  4. What happened with those approaches?
  5. What do you see as your biggest challenge(s) with your energy, confidence and ability to attract what you want?
  6. Your name
  7. Best phone number
  8. Email address

Be sure to include your name and contact info so someone from my team can get back to you within the next 24 hours to schedule your one-on-one “Fearless Living Breakthrough” session.

(Please allow up to 60 minutes for this coaching session).

Send an email now to claim your session today:


Subject: Fearless Living Breakthrough session

Warmest regards,

Lee Irwin

P.S.  I expect the demand for these sessions to be big. The sooner you send us your answers, the more likely you are to get a session.

Send email now:

P.P.S.  Do you know anyone who could use this free Fearless Living Breakthrough session? Please forward this to them right now.

  • Texting while driving even though you know it’s dangerous.

    Froggy Mind - jumping to past and future

    Froggy Mind – jumping to past and future

  • It’s hard to remember things.
  • Distracted, even around people you love.

 Sound familiar?

 I know. You’re busy. Crazy busy. Doing 3 things while your mind is mucking around in your endless to-do list.

I’d be loading laundry, cleaning the cat box and making a mental grocery list as I was ruminating about the looming deadline on a project.

One day I passed a store window and wondered who that woman was, rushing by with her chin jutting out. I realized with a jolt it was my own reflection.

I was running through my life instead of actually living it.

 The tension of doing one thing while worrying about the need to do another left me feeling tired and wired. And yes, more than a wee bit cranky.

 In his book Less: Accomplishing More by Doing Less, Marc Lesser says:

No matter how mundane the activity, treat everything as important and take pleasure in it.

At bottom, whatever we are doing right now is what we are engaged in and it deserves our full attention and appreciation.”

Quieting our mind greases our mental gears. It actually improves our focus and concentration.

Instead of “body in one place, mind in another” I can notice. I’m. Here. Now.

When I’m washing the dishes, I can feel the warm water. Feel my breath at the tip of my nose. See the colors moving on the bubbles.

No matter what is going on, I can let go of froggy-mind that jumps to any place but the now moment. 

When I quiet my mind, I find I actually have more energy. I’m more alert to the song inside my heart.

And my family will tell you – I’m  a whole lot easier to be around.

Where's the mouse?

Where’s the mouse?

Earlier this month, I decided to convert. To Apple.

Ahhh, Macbook Air. Sleek. Light. It doesn’t heat up in my lap. Oh, and even better — it was free, inherited from my mother-in-law.

I hauled the Mac and my old PC over to my favorite computer geek. He spent two days copying all the files plus piles of emails and photos.

I was so excited when he called and said my new Airbook was ready for pick-up. Yes — my new identity. I was finally a savvy, shiny Apple person.

Now I could travel with my tiny laptop. I’d whip it out of my purse and utterly amaze my seat-mate on the plane.

Not so fast, pardner.

 I tried to embrace the new operating system. Really, I did. I wanted to like the Mac layout that crunched my calendar, emails and task list onto one tiny screen. Tried to keep breathing when my 200 favorite bookmarks got lost in translation.

Sometimes I enjoy change. But this one turned out to be too big a stretch.

About 2 weeks into my conversion experiment, I found myself cheating on Mac.   After all, P.C. understood me.  He had his quirks, but he was familiar. And with the Fall weather, I enjoyed the fact that he was, well, hotter.

Mac and I have broken up. I guess he was a little too slick to ever be the right one for me.

Oh, well. At least my cat likes sleeping on him.

This message from a coaching client came to my inbox today, 

She gave me the go-ahead to share it with you.

Lee, may I sit in the confessional for a minute? No, nothing really horrible, just embarrassing.


I’m trying to tie up loose ends before I leave on a long trip. I’ve been going through paperwork.  Straightening, cleaning, organizing, tossing, filing, giving away.

Completing paperwork is not my best habit.

I found three envelopes from American Express. Two looked like bills, and the other one looked like a letter. I was mortified – but not totally surprised.  A part of me wanted to look the other way, to stuff it, ignore it. I couldn’t even remember using that credit card in months. It’s my emergency card.

I was so mad at myself for not opening the envelopes. I didn’t even want to open them up. Didn’t want to face my lack of organization. I decided to get it over with quickly – like ripping off a band-aid.

I got the checkbook, wrote out everything but the amount, got the stamps, then opened the first envelope gingerly. Just enough to see the amount so I could get it over with quickly. The amount was zero.


So, I opened the next envelope. It was negative  $147.10. I guess I had overpaid at some point. Then, with my stomach not feeling quite as bad, I opened the third envelope. Inside I found a check to me for $147.10.

I ripped up the check I’d written, then ripped up the ‘bills’.

Okay, dear ones – there are so many goodies in this story. For starters…

  •         Getting organized has hidden rewards.
  •         Who I am is not determined by the areas I think need improvement.
  •          Stop assuming the worst about myself. If I don’t do that to other people, why do it to myself?

Think for a moment about something you’re blaming yourself for.

Is there any good reason to keep yourself on the hook?

What might happen if you applied a homeopathic drop of forgiveness (aka LOVE) to it?

Let your light shine

Over time, fear, exhaustion and shame can dim the brightest of lights. That is why we must, at all times, do what we can to keep that flame inside burning bright, choose the path of light and love, and allow our brilliance to be seen.

Fortunately, there are plenty of tools that you can use to rekindle your spark every day, and here are just a few to help you out.

1.     Express your gratitude daily.

Tell the people around you that you appreciate them. Give thanks for the food you eat and the roof that you sleep under. Smile. Gratitude magnifies your feelings of goodwill, helping you stay focused on the good stuff.

 2.    Exercise often.

Sweating and moving for just 20 minutes a day has been clinically shown to improve your mood & boost your health. Try a yoga class, ride your bike around town, or go for a swim, and you’ll easily chase away the grumps.

3.     Meditate every morning.

Spending time in silence reconnects you with your source of self-awareness, self-assuredness & happiness. It’s also been shown to greatly reduce stress & improve communication.

What can YOU do to shine a little brighter TODAY?

Like most of you, I was riveted all week by the dramatic story unfolding in Boston. I went to bed Friday night believing the people of that city remained gripped by a violent suspect who was still on the run. What a relief to wake up Saturday morning and hear on the radio that he had been apprehended. The people of Boston endured the impact of misguided hate — they kept calm and carried on.Boston harbor

What follows is part of Scott Simon’s NPR commentary from April 20:

This week’s assault and tragedies in Boston could have caused scrambling, fright and panic. Instead, they revealed character. People ran unflinchingly into smoke, fire and blood. They worked through weariness, opened their arms and gave of their hearts.


Friday night, I got an email from my friend Gordon. He works in a restaurant and opened the doors so people from the race could stumble in for shelter and comfort. Friends who run a family bakery nearby came in crying.

“It will be some time before my anger subsides,” Gordon said. The restaurant, which is usually bright and loud with laughter, has been quiet and somber. “Boston’s characteristic cocky humor is taking a backseat,” he said, but adds, “I was struck by the calm, serious resolve not to be intimidated. Boston is a tough, smart, proud town. We know what’s important … Bostonians refuse to lose our trust for one another.”

And when police arrested the 19-year-old suspect Friday night, Boston ended a week that opened with a vicious crime of violence with an act of justice.

The other day over lunch, my friend recounted a story. She was presiding over an afternoon meeting in the conference room. Already tired and cranky from a full morning preparing, she was greeted by an array of half-empty coffee cups and paper trash scattered across the conference table. Even her coworker’s laptop was still on the table, while he went to lunch, his last power point slide still visible on the projection screen. This was the third time in one month.

Although cleanup would only take a few moments, she was already running late. They all used the conference room when their offices couldn’t accommodate enough clients. She thought his lack of consideration was inexcusable.

She kept her emotions in check until after her meeting. She sought out her coworker. By then her anger was out of proportion to the offense. The minor incident turned into a major shouting match.

Most people would agree that she had every right to be mad. Yet after her “blow up” she felt worse. The small inconvenience wasn’t worth jeopardizing her relationship with her coworker.


Prodded by an article I had read that morning, I couldn’t help drawing a parallel. A new policy by the Forest Service calls for letting more fires burn. Controlled burning of grasslands and forests has been used for thousands of years. The “burn” stimulates plant germination, replenishes the ground with valuable nutrients and thins out trees. It is necessary, for the health of the forest and grassland ecology. Nature has done it for centuries, with lightning strikes.

Anger is like a fire. It can be very destructive, or, handled correctly, it can renew. Smothering anger is only a temporary fix. It will pop up again, often with greater intensity. Don’t repress your anger. Control the burn!

BEFORE you confront someone, use one of these techniques to let off steam and reduce stress.

  • Exercise. Anger is a great way to energize your workout. Exercise releases stress and increases endorphins.
  • Write. Whether you keep it or delete it, put your feelings down in words.
  • Hit something. Inanimate and soft! A pillow or a punching bag.
  • Cry. Doesn’t everybody feel better after a good cry?
  • Dance. Turn up the music and dance.

Play for Life: A Feel-Good Guide to Boost Your Brain Power, Spark Your Creativity and Inspire More Fun

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