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!

boxing-gloves

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


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“I don’t have the time.”

For most of us women, this is one of our all-time favorite cop outs. Ask me why I don’t work out and my answer is, “I’m too busy, I simply don’t have time.” Challenge me on the importance of cooking healthy meals rather than running through a fast food restaurant after a long night at gymnastics with Paris and my answer is, “I would love to but I don’t have time.” Remind me that I have a gorgeous and loving husband who needs my attention and a sense of connection and my answer is, “I don’t have the time or energy.”

Sound familiar? The truth is women don’t have time to exercise, cook healthy meals or spend time with their partners. Between working forty hours or more outside the home, the commute to and from work, after school activities, homework, never-ending cleaning and laundry as well as the rare attempt to cram in the chapter of a book or a mindless television show to shut off the brain…finding additional time is sort of like glimpsing a double rainbow- it’s magical yet rare.

If you’re sort of sighing with relief… in knowing that you are not alone, I would like to ask you a deeper question- “Is this how you really want to live?” You know that you have to stay healthy and that means getting regular exercise and eating properly…if you are in a relationship, you’re in it probably because you love the person you are with. The result of making excuses is only going to create more deep seeded guilt and anxiety over not doing what you know you need to do! I know it’s crazy, right?  

I remember sitting in my kitchen and unbuttoning my Mrs. Me Jeans because my belly was hanging over them and it was uncomfortable. “It’s just a muffin top,” I thought- I have two kids! But then I didn’t just feel it but stood in front of a mirror and looked at it, yes my muffin top- Blueberry, peanut butter, chocolate or whatever it was…it was no longer just a muffin but a full blown entrée!  How was this possible (I wondered) – overall, I eat healthily…or was I?

That day, I did something different. I decided to stop making excuses. Instead of hiding behind the famous, “I don’t have the time,” I realized that I had to make the time. The fact is, a flat stomach wasn’t a priority to me, but good health was. It dawned on me that at 44 I was collecting an extra 5 pounds or so a year and that by the time I was 50, those Mrs. Me jeans would long be gone and on someone more fit to wear them.

It was time to own up and take stock of my life, the things that mattered most to me- my health, my family, and my sanity.  I literally removed the words, “I don’t have time” from my vocabulary. Instead I learned to say, “It’s not a priority.” At least this way I own it.

So I got serious about my health…reflecting back I now see that I was eating way too many carbs, skipping meals, living on lattes and getting exercise in every so often. Now, when I plan my weekly calendar, I make sure that fitness, meal planning, family fun and date night are all built in and color coded in my calendar. I’m treating the things I care about as the priorities they are. I feel more in control of my life because there’s no one to blame things on anymore. All I have to do is look in the mirror and take ownership.

It’s not easy being a woman in the 21st Century- in fact, it’s damn near impossible not to crawl up into fetal position and hide in a corner.  The best antidote is to fight back- with fun, adventure, laughter and a commitment to stay focused on the priorities that matter most in your life. To give the time and attention to those things- that at the end of the day, really do matter most. Then and only then will you feel less anxious, more inspired and empowered as a woman, wife, mother, daughter and friend. While only four words, “I don’t have the time”- they hold tremendous power. I challenge you to take that power back starting today by eliminating them from your vocabulary.

Written by Traci Bild Founder of the Get Your Girl Back Movement- (www.GYGB.com)


Crime-Scene-Tape

My palms were sweaty as I carefully looked over the evidence. A crime had been committed, heinous- and it was up to me to convey exactly what had happened. My heart beat faster and faster as I realized it was my turn to share what I felt had occurred that night. I looked at my kids who sat quietly beside me trembling in fear. “Okay, it was Mrs. Scarlett, with the lead pipe, in the library.” Paris looked at her evidence and discreetly showed me the lead pipe. Darn! That was not the weapon used. It was Noah’s turn…we were in a heated game of Clue.

When I was a girl, games were a favorite past time. I remember going to my cousin’s and playing them for hours on end…Life, Monopoly, and of course Clue- my favorite! We would throw on pajamas, spread the board games out on the floor, and play until the wee hours of the night. Our screams and laughter would ripple through the house as we assumed the lead or in the case of Monopoly- were sent to jail!

Clearly this is powerful memory because tears are dripping down my cheeks as I write. For a moment I’m there again- in my jammies, reliving those moments and how special they were- Time with cousins, playing games, being a girl and having fun. Yet I have to confess something really embarrassing– I’ve let years of my life go by without playing a single board game. Worse yet, I have kids!

It’s not that we don’t play games in our home but the truth is that I oftentimes just sit and watch as my husband and the kids or Uncle Adam and the kids play games. I’m too busy in the background making dinner, cleaning up the kitchen or doing laundry- so I watch from the sidelines.

In truth, on any of these occasions I could have stopped and jumped in the game. Players always call to me, “Come on Traci, sit down with us and play!” Yet each time I have every damn excuse in the world. Yet the real excuse, the one I didn’t see until recently is that I don’t know how to sit down!  I’m in constant motion, like one of those poor Polar Bears in Alaska who drowns because all the ice has melted and they can’t find a solid piece to rest on while hunting.  Like the bears, I find myself drowning- but by choice.

So as part of my Power of Play Blog Series I made a decision to play. I didn’t explain to anyone what I was doing, I just dug down inside myself and asked my girl to help me- you know, the one who laughed so hard she would pee her pants, who lived to play with her Barbies and couldn’t wait to run out the back door when at my cousins and pick juicy Concorde grapes off the vine and devour them by the dozens (I buy them every season in honor of this memory)!

The good news is I’m no longer drowning. I gave myself a lifeline- through play! It’s changed my life. Last week I wrote my blog about playing dodge ball and if you didn’t read it, you have to now, it’s so fun! I’ve realized that no one can save me but me! Multi-tasking all day, every day and dropping into bed exhausted each night is not how I want to live my life. At the age of 44 my life is half over (quality) and I’m determined to squeeze every ounce of juice out of it that I can.

So here I am- each day I wake up and rather than grab my phone and check email (while anxiety starts to set in), I think, “What fun is on the agenda today?” Yes I still have two companies to run, a household to maintain and kids to care for (and an amazing husband to spend time with) but I’ve re-prioritized my life, put things in perspective and am giving myself permission to play!

I know it may sound crazy and seem impossible to even consider how you can do this in your life, but you can! Here are simple ideas to get you started- when you make breakfast consider making a pot of tea and having a tea party with your kids or OMG by yourself! Yes, you will feel so proper and British…and remember doing this as a girl! Before going to bed at night step outside, lay a blanket on the ground and just look up at the stars.  As you lay there you will drift into a place of wonder, perhaps see a shooting star to wish upon and begin to ask yourself those age old questions…”Is there anyone else out there?” And let yourself ask these questions! Were you so political when you were a girl?

Okay so you get the point. Play. Play. Play. Play! Take each ordinary day and start to make it extraordinary. With each passing day you will get more creative, find more possibility and joy in things you can do to enlighten your life and the lives of those around you. So, here is my wish for you this week. Get your favorite board games out and play them! If you have kids they will be so excited and if you have girlfriends they will be all over it because it’s been far too long for them as well (you will be a hero). In fact, why not have a slumber party? It’s time to stop thinking so much and just do it- have fun!

I love, love, love to hear from you so please post here on my blog (below the post) what your favorite game was when you were a girl or your experiences as you pull that game out again and relive those childhood moments. If you never did play games in your home then it’s time to try something new! Give yourself the gift of a new game. Keep the game out on your kitchen table or in the open where you see it daily- this will encourage you to play more often.  As you play, you will become childlike again and the thoughts of bills, work and that never ending to do list will subside as you experience true joy, connection and laughter with the people across the board.

Written by Traci Bild Founder of the Get Your Girl Back Movement- Putting the Power of Play Back in the Gam ( www.GYGB.com)


 

It’s not often that you try to nail your 8 year old son in the face with a hard rubber ball. But last week, that’s exactly what I did. When I missed, my son Noah taunted me with a little booty dance. “You little stinker” I yelled, “I’m gonna get you”. I quickly grabbed another ball and while staring directly at Noah, fired it at Paris—my 10 year old daughter—slamming her square in the chest. “You’re going down mom”, she shrieked in mock fury. The next ball flew out of my hands and right into my husbands…crap I’m in trouble! He then begins to fire off balls so hard and fast I thought he might put a hole through our garage door. We were all red-faced, sweaty and slightly hysterical. It was awesome.

 dodge ball

Sounds kind of sketchy, I know, but don’t worry, I wasn’t beating my kids.  I was just playing with them . . . a good old fashioned game of dodge ball. You see, I’m tired of sitting it out. Day after I day I watch my kids play — baseball and gymnastics, swinging and jumping on the trampoline – and I sit and watch.  We cart our kids around from one activity to another, they play while we “busily” attend to our to do list, or scroll through Facebook, or just zone out. But I’m sick of it. Call me selfish but I want to have fun too.  And rather than continue to think about it, last week I decided to do something . . . starting with this incredibly fun game of dodge ball.  And guess what, since our first game, we’ve been out there every day playing.

 

I bet when you were a kid, there were things you loved to do, that brought you incredible joy. In most cases, you didn’t even think about what you were doing, you just did it: hula hooping, tea parties, dancing, putting on your mother’s make up and more. Do you remember that feeling of joy that playing brought you? When I was a girl, I loved to jump into my bedroom closet and play spaceship with my brother Todd. “Captain, ready for takeoff!”  Another favorite?  I pretended to be the drummer for the rock band Kiss! My brother, his friends and I, would put on concerts and I swear…I could hear the screams of the crowd, feel the beat of the drums and the adoration of my fans as I rocked out to “I… wanna rock and roll all night!”

 

I love these memories because playing was fun!  So I have an idea for you.  Join me and bring the power of play back into your life. Just because you’re all grown up doesn’t mean you can’t have fun.  Not so sure? Let me inspire you.  Since our first game of dodge ball, I’ve actively been playing every day.  I have to admit, at first it felt a little odd but within a few days, I felt different; freer, lighter, giddier, and my kids were commenting on how much fun they were having too.  What started as an experiment has morphed into a true reconnection with my girl; the one whose life was ruled by giggles, imagination, and adventure . . . As opposed to anxiety, stress and rigid schedules. 

 

The more I play the more I remember who my girl was, what she enjoyed and more importantly, how she felt.  While I love my life and being a “grown up”, I miss the freedom of my youth (When the words guilt, fear, and worry weren’t even in my vocabulary). As I’m learning to play again, and get my girl back, I’m also weaving that feeling of joy into everything else I do. It’s as if a light switch has been turned on and a breath of fresh air has infused my life.

 

So here is your mission: start playing. Do something you used to do as a kid — jump rope or hula hoop instead of going to that dreaded fitness class.  Or if your kids are playing, get in the game and play with them.  If you’re not sure exactly what to do, start by playing a game of dodge ball!

 

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 give play a try (starting with Dodge Ball this week).  While it was difficult to figure out what to do at first, it’s now easy- because I’m having so much fun and you will too!

 

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 your fun ideas and how it’s impacting your life.

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






Our topic at Get Your Girl Back today is GROW

Incorporate Play Into Your Day!

pillow fight

You can’t grow by remaining what you are. You have to be open to ideas that will help you create a new way of living. So today’s focus is on fun! Life is so serious and there is always some place to go, something to do, and you will constantly struggle to put yourself on that very important “to do” list. So guess what? I’m going to help make sure you do it!

When you were a girl, I bet you knew how to have fun- from slumber parties to cruising with your friends listening to your favorite tunes, having fun wasn’t something you had to think about doing; it was something you just did! Fun was a way of living.

How much fun have you had these last few years? Could it be time to lighten up, relax your schedule, and incorporate more play into your day? Whether you live alone or are in the throes of raising a family, my challenge to you today is to grow in your ability to have fun.

In our home, fun revolves around the infamous tickle monster (Dave), Friday night dance parties (me), hitting Bush Gardens for some rollercoaster riding fun (the kids and Dave-not me!), jet skiing and tubing, jumping on the trampoline, playing Vet by bathing, blow drying, trimming and brushing our beloved stuffed animals….these are the things that happen in our home on a regular basis and it takes a conscious effort to create fun and keep it alive in our family.

Dave and I also have fun by going on regular date nights- every week it’s either on Wednesday or Sunday, and it’s been that way for ten years. Our fun includes going on long bike rides, hitting the theater, boating, visiting a pub, dancing and more.

I also like to have fun alone- this morning I got up early and went on a bike ride, listened to my favorite music, sang, dreamed, and tended to my soul- it was fun.  l also love and make time to garden, hit my favorite bookstore, read and spend time with girlfriends- all fun.

Since our focus is to grow, in your ability to play more and have fun- I can’t help but wonder. When was the last time you’ve had fun?

This week, think about how you can make each day more fun- Here a few ideas to get you started:

  • When driving, put your cell phone away and blast the music- if you have kids in the car, they will love it!
  • Ride bikes to school with the kids or to work rather than driving.
  • Go on a spontaneous date night (no dinner and a movie- be creative!).
  • Take a bubble bath.
  • When making dinner, light a candle and put on music that inspires you to feel playful.
  • Take your pet to the dog park and play with him.

Small changes to your routine or day can make such a big difference in your life experience in how you feel and in turn respond to those around you.  While life is busy and problems are real, there is no reason you can’t have fun along the way.  Starting today, contemplate your routines and as you go about them, consider how you can add a spark of fun, play or adventure and experience life for what it’s meant to be: Wonderful, delicious, and intoxicatingly fun!

If you have not yet joined us for our FREE Get Your Girl Back Life Series, jump in! Our classes are every Friday from 12-12:30 with Q & A from 12:30-12:45. You can register at www.GYGB.com and join a movement of women seeking a new way of living- free of stress, anxiety and pressure and full of joy, laughter, and abundance! Please share what you are doing to incorporate fun into your day on our Facebook page at the Get Your Girl Back movement or here in the comments section of our blog. I love to hear from you!

If you’d like to get the daily blog post by email, sign up at http://bit.ly/1j2ol3s. 

 

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


Today’s Get Your Girl Back Focus is THINK!

A New Response to the Age Old Question, “How Are You?”

As you work to be more mindful in the way you live your life, and literally enter a new way of living, it’s important to THINK before you act and in some cases, before you speak! The reason thinking is so important right now is that you are retraining your brain!

I want to give you one task or trigger for this week so you can see the big impact a small step can make. When someone asks you how you are, respond positively. Here is what most of us typically hear when asking someone the following question: “Hi! How are you?” Typically responses-

  • Busy!
  • Exhausted!
  • Tired!

FINE

When people hear this, they naturally will reflect the same type of response such as “Oh, me too…” and then the entire conversation turns into who is busier, more exhausted, and has it worst. People don’t do this intentionally but it happens, every single day. I believe that what women are actually saying when responding in this capacity is, “HELP ME!” They are looking for a lifeline, support, encouragement, and hope that things might just get easier.

So- give the world a lifeline. I would like the words, “How are you?” to be the Get Your Girl Back trigger  to force immediate change in your mental state. If you’re serious about getting your girl back, you will make every effort possible to respond with the way you want to feel such as:

  • I’m awesome, thanks for asking!
  • I’m great!
  • Blessed!
  • Wonderful!

Whatever word or words suit your style- pick and use them daily. The results will be astounding- you will begin to feel different, people will respond to you in a way you’re not used to, and that is empowering. You will be like a magnet that others want to be around. Happiness is contagious! 

I realize you may not exactly feel the way you are responding yet- but you have to fake it until you make it and retrain your brain to put focus on what it is you want versus what you don’t want. It’s not going to happen overnight but it is going to happen and fast.

One task, one trigger– can you do it? I know you can! Be the change you wish to see in the world. If you have not yet joined us for our FREE Get Your Girl Back Life Series, jump in! Our classes are every Friday from 12-12:30 with Q & A from 12:30-12:45. You can register at www.GYGB.com and join a movement of women seeking a new way of living- free of stress, anxiety and pressure and full of joy, laughter, and abundance! Please share what happens with this trigger question this week on our Facebook page at the Get Your Girl Back movement or her in the comments section of our blog. I love to hear from you!

If you’d like to get the daily blog post by email, sign up at http://bit.ly/1j2ol3s. 

 

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