(from my Walking Zombie blog on WorkingMother.com)

Yesterday my family went zip lining at Calloway Gardens in the Georgia Mountains. We strapped on our gear, headed into the trees and zealously moved from one obstacle to the other. Two hours in we were still going strong until I realized we were close to the end of the main zip line course and about to enter the Lake course. Out of nowhere I started to sweat really bad- my hands were slipping from the lines, my t-shirt sticking to my chest and my heart beating faster and faster. Having done this very same course last year, I knew what was coming…the tree. As hard as I tried I couldn’t shake this horrible fear.

The lake course has three exhilarating zip lines. That- I wanted to do! But to get to the second one you must climb an eighty foot tree via a wooden rope ladder. Last year it took everything in my being to get up that ladder. This year, I knew what was coming. I had done it before but this was the first time our whole family was zip lining this course together and Noah’s first time at all! Dave was leading from the front and I was following up from the back. This had worked all day until we got closer and closer to the tree.

Ending the main course we walked over to the Lake. Shaking, I climbed up the first ladder, telling myself, “I can do this, I can do this!” but the reality is I had already talked myself out of it- I was terrified. How was I going to watch my two children climb an eighty foot ladder, step onto a platform high into the tree tops (and the size of my kitchen mat), and not pass out? Standing at the top of a smaller platform, I stared at the tree…taking it in, I told myself, “You’ve done this before, it’s no big deal, just climb the ladder, step onto the platform and zip over the lake!”

Then I looked down to see an employee and suddenly, I had my out! “Can I pay you to please follow my kids? I won’t let them go without someone behind them and honestly I don’t want to do it!” He offered to go, no charge and I was out- free from the torture of climbing the ladder up the tree. Someone would head up the front and back, ensuring my kids were safe but it wouldn’t be me. I was so relieved I wanted to cry. He went up and I went down…my family continued on.

I sat on a bench and watched from afar. As I saw my eight and ten year old children climb the tree I realized I had failed them. I let fear, false evidence appearing real, steal my confidence and in turn my joy. My fear would keep me from the feeling of accomplishment and adrenaline my family would feel- instead, I would be defeated. The truth is, I had done this before, had fun, and challenged myself in a huge way. The only thing different this year is I let fear get the best of me.

tree photo

How many times have you let fear get the best of you? Perhaps you had the opportunity to take a promotion and out of fear, declined and missed the opportunity of a lifetime. Maybe you were offered a job oversees but declined due to your fear of the unknown or you wanted to launch a new business but changed your mind for fear of failure. Fear is very real and as I learned yesterday, it can steal your girl in a nanosecond. That girl who stops at nothing to get what she wants, who is bold, confident and full of hope. Looking back on my experience I realize that yesterday, fear won. The next time we battle, I will win. What about you?


(as seen on my blog earlier this week on WorkingMother.com)

I lost my phone while in Phoenix this week. The next morning I called my husband David and asked him to use the Find My Phone app to track it down. While I was hoping it was still in the hotel, sadly it was about ten miles away at a Chinese medicine store on South Central Ave. Not sure what to do I decided to just let it go. Clearly, someone from the hotel found it on the table where I left it and took it. I really wasn’t in the mood for a confrontation.

I went to meet my BFF Shamim Wu, who works in my industry and while listening to her talk I thought, “I wonder if she would go with me to track down my phone?” Wearing a gorgeous white Chanel suit, I thought it better to skip the idea all together when out of the blue I said, “Shamim, my phone is about ten minutes from the hotel, will you go with me to get it?” Head of sales for a billion dollar organization, I wasn’t sure this was such a good idea…but the truth is Shamim is a kick ass woman who knows no fear. While her boss might not like the idea of me dragging her into my investigation, I knew she was my girl!

Not surprisingly Shamim agreed to go. We jumped in the back of a black SUV and headed off in search of my stolen phone. As we pulled into the parking lot of the medicine shop I started to get really nervous. Was someone really going to admit they had my phone? What if we get into a fight or worse yet, shot?

We walked into the store… black heels, white suits (yes we actually both had on white) and nerves of steel. Shamim said hello in Chinese and proceeded to tell the owner that my phone was stolen and tracked to her location. Playing tough we requested she let her employees know that they could give up the phone now to us or deal with the police later- who we would promptly be calling (that was of course a bluff).

The store owner returned from the back of the store and explained that none of her employees had the phone. Graciously she let us look around. My heart was beating so fast I thought I would pass out. About to give up we decided to call Dave and ask him to ping the phone for us. With just 2% battery life left, we were running out of time!

Resourceful, Dave jumped on google maps to zero in on the location and tracked the phone to a doorway- “It’s on the Northeast side, by an entrance” he said. Sweating, Shamim and I walked around; furiously looking for the phone…it was nowhere. We looked in trashcans and behind cabinets- even our driver got involved. Dave was in Florida looking at a computer screen and trying to tell us where it was but we simply couldn’t find it! I felt like we were playing a game of cold, warm and hot. “It’s by an entrance, I see it!” Dave kept saying. Where was the phone?

We decided to walk outside and look at the exterior of the building when we heard a, “Ding, ding, ding!” Everyone started screaming, including the store owner, employee, driver, Shamim and me. We could hear it but where was it? I couldn’t believe we might actually find my phone after all! Looking in cars and gutters we realized…it was in the bushes. Digging through dirty diapers, empty bottles and leaves, we found it…my phone was actually there. I could not believe it- what started out as a crazy idea resulted in a successful recovery of my phone. Sure I could have gotten another but I had three days left on my trip, kids I needed to stay in touch with and a business to run. I wanted this phone.

The elation we felt was indescribable. Even more powerful was the feeling of adrenaline, adventure, fear, spontaneity, and ultimate victory! Pulling away, we were laughing so hard that we could barely catch our breath! The highlight of our week, Shamim and I felt like Starsky and Hutch- in that moment we were not working women, wives or mothers, we were best friends on a crazy adventure of a lifetime.

While it might not have been the smartest thing to do, it was by far a memory I’ll never forget. Sometimes, as grownups, we can play it too safe, hold back due to potential consequences or fear of the unknown. Othertimes, we can act like kids, take risks, go for it and be downright bold- that’s exactly what we did and to the day I die, I’ll never forget this victorious moment.

 

Actual moment of badassness.

                 Actual moment of badassness.

 

FB: Get Your Girl Back movement ∙ Instagram: Get Your Girl Back Movement ∙ Twitter: @TraciBild


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I’ll be on Daytime today talking about Summertime Stress for Moms: the kids are getting out of school and moms are freaking out!  We’ll go over ways to keep your sanity and have just as much fun as the kids this summer.

Here’s where you can find when Daytime airs in YOUR city:  http://www.wfla.com/story/21922750/daytime-where-we-air

 

 

 

 

 




It’s take your kid to work day so I asked Paris to write a blog for all of you. I cried when I read it- good advice. 

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Hello my name is Paris Bild I’m Traci Bild’s daughter. My mom has been working on this book Get Your Girl Back for 10 years now or since I was a baby & I’m almost 11. I hope that all you folks follow what you want to do even if it’s an outrageous dream. Don’t forget to be who you are & not who other people want you to be. Maybe you could try something different or just relax for one day. Stop thinking about work & be a girl again wear fun pj’s have fun parties; maybe you should get some pointers from a kid somewhere else. Don’t forget to be yourself & have some more girl time not work time.

By: Paris Bild


What if you could trade the feelings of anxiety, stress and frustration for calm, happiness and peace of mind? The solution is to pre-plan your week. How many times have you heard the phrase “Success is preparation meeting opportunity?” This is not just true for Olympic athletes and executives in the C suite; it’s true for everyday working moms as well.

Come see what I’m writing about today on Working Mother.

My Capture Tool

My Capture Tool

 



Sitting on the swing, feeling the wind blow through my hair as I flew into the sky and felt the tossing and turning of butterflies in my tummy was pure bliss- for the first time in years, I was actually swinging. Beside me my eight year old son Noah was laughing and saying “Mommy look! We are swinging at the exact same height!” Perfectly in synch, although for just a moment, we sailed through the air and for a moment…I felt like a young girl again.  Giggling I kicked my legs in an effort to go higher and higher…I couldn’t believe how good it felt to let go and immerse myself in the pure joy of childlike fun.

Young Woman Swinging

How many times have I gone to the park with Paris and Noah, only to sit and watch them play? For years I have gone only to sit and watch or dabble on my cell phone checking in on email, social media and texts. Isn’t that what moms do? We drive, sit, watch and wait…while our children live their lives, play with friends and have incredible life experiences. Yet over the last year something changed. I started to ask myself, “Why do they get to have all the fun?” I found myself jealous as I watched my daughter challenge herself to do a back tuck at gymnastics or Noah center up and position his feet in the perfect position to hit the ball and quickly run to first base. I would think to myself, “Why am I just sitting here?”

The young girl inside of me was literally starting to surface in everything I did. “Can I come out and play?” I felt her voice, her presence and her desire to bring fun, adventure and joy back into my life. So I said yes- literally! I made a conscious decision that I was no longer going to sit around and watch. I was going to get in the game and play. Like my children, I too wanted to have fun. I love being a mom, running a business and being a wife but what I miss is the freedom of plain old fashioned fun!

Since that time I’ve made it a point to play a little bit every day. I no longer care what people around me think because in my heart I know- they want to play too; so I’m taking the lead and doing what I’ve longed to do all these years. When I take Noah to baseball I get out on the field with him before the game and play catch, I run the bases and hit the ball. Before bed I grab a deck of cards, look at my kids with a competitive eye and say, “Who wants to play?” and when stepping on stage to speak to an audience at a conference, all grown up and in my fancy suit I think to myself, “Remember when this was your dream?” No more zoning out as I speak for the 10,000th  time- I’m there, full of passion and joy as I savor in the fact that I once dreamed of this job…and today it’s my freakin’ reality!

I don’t know how to explain the transformation I’ve experienced other than saying, “I feel alive!” I’ve always been a passionate person, full of life but the truth is, like other women- I’ve been a walking zombie! Alive, fully functioning but sort of dead inside- Tired, stressed, anxious and part of a vicious cycle called “Being a grown up”- I was going through the motions.  While I love my kids and wouldn’t trade a moment of my mom experience for the world, I would trade in my laundry and housework for a housekeeper (which I have!), meal planning and cooking for a chef (on my list), and carpooling to school and sporting events for a chauffeured limo driver! While that sounds nice the fact is it’s not realistic- so what I’ve done instead is found a way to make ordinary days extraordinary by putting the power of play into everything I do. The result is I’m laughing more, relaxed, less serious and more in tune to life and the many joys in it.

If you’re reading this blog then odds are you are a mother and wife who also manages a full time, chaotic work schedule. You do everything for everyone but you. I would like to be your voice of reason and my goal is to inspire you to step back, relax, take the pressure off and start to add play into your day. At first it will seem a little odd- if not crazy; but I promise, you will feel more alive than ever before! So the next time your kids are playing, get in the game! Sing at the top of your lungs when hearing your favorite song, skip to get the mall, put the windows down, let the wind blow through your hair and find pictures in the clouds. Life is rich and full of wonder- sadly the woman, bogged down by life is missing it all. Open your eyes, take a deep breath and make the decision to get your girl back once and for all.

 If you’d like to join in on the fun and get my blog post by email, sign up at http://bit.ly/1j2ol3s.  You can also share your own stories and ideas here on my blog or on my Facebook Fan page at Get Your Girl Back movement. I can’t wait to hear from you.

Written by Traci Bild, Author and Founder of the Get Your Girl Back movement


Never in my life have I been in a physical fight- until yesterday. I can’t even begin to explain the adrenaline that was rushing through my body as I held my fist up high threw a punch with my right hand, brought my left in for a solid hook and them bam! Punched again with my right fist for what felt like a lethal blow. I was angry, excited, energized and in a fight or flight state all at the same time. I’d actually never felt anything like this in my life…I was kickboxing and it was crazy fun!

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If you’ve been following this Power of Play blog series, you know that I’m serious about play. Just because you’re all grown up doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. Each week and more often, every day, I’m making time for play. What I’m finding is that the more playing I do, the easier it comes and the more ideas I have. When I first began this series, I had to look for things to do that were fun and put in real effort. Now it’s become a way of life.

Just yesterday I played tag three times, hula hooped (and learned how to throw it so that it comes right back to me, how cool is that) and played catch- all in one day. In my quest to play I’ve found that it doesn’t take any extra time- what it takes is the desire to want to play and have real fun.  Here’s how simple it is- Yesterday we went to get ice cream and while Noah and I waited for Paris to finish hers I looked at him and said, “Want to play tag?” You should have seen the look in his eyes! He said, “Yes!” and took off running. We were both laughing so hard that I forgot that I was a grown woman hanging out at an ice cream store playing tag (how embarrassing- as I was playing full out)!

When we got home, the kids jumped out of the car and Paris grabbed her hula hoop. “Have one for me?” I said- She excitedly threw me a hoop and although I was horrible (it’s been 20 years!), we laughed a lot. Keep in mind that we didn’t spend an hour hula hopping…it was more like ten minutes, but for that ten minutes, I was a girl…Traci Shafer…the one from the past who loved to play Barbie’s, board games and follow the leader.

Before I began this process to get my girl back, I would have never thought to play. I was the mom who “watched” her kids play. Getting in the game has transformed my life in so many ways. Most importantly I’m having fun, laughing and experiencing joy in the most simple of things. I am feeling less grown up and more childlike…I can’t tell you how good this feels because in truth- it’s been far too long. With a national company and a third book in the midst of the publishing process my life can be pretty crazy. Playing has changed my perspective entirely- things that once freaked me out don’t bother me. I’m less serious, more spontaneous and fully engaged in living in the moment. My entire perspective is different and it’s empowering.

That leads me to my fight yesterday. Because I’m tired of “going to the gym,” I’ve been experimenting with all different kinds of exercises that fall into the category of fun and I’m having a blast! This week I did Pilates on Monday, Kickboxing on Tuesday and today I went for a walk on the beach with my mom. I feel as if I have awakened from a long sleep- the sun is brighter, the water bluer, and the breeze softer on my skin.

I dare you- to join me in the quest for play, adventure and fun! Life is so serious all the time- there is always going to be something to do; someplace to go and something to clean…give yourself a break. Your partner will find you more fun, your kids will be in a state of shock and utter happiness and you- you will feel alive.

Each week, as part of my Power of Play blog series, I will share what I’m doing . . . to fuel ideas for you!  I encourage you to get in the game and read my recent blogs for ideas.  If you’d like to join in on the fun and get my blog post by email, sign up at http://bit.ly/1j2ol3s.  You can also share your own stories and ideas here on my blog or on my Facebook Fan page at Get Your Girl Back movement. I can’t wait to hear from you. .

Written by Traci Bild, Founder of the Get Your Girl Back movement & expert on Women’s Issues