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Elizabeth Barbour, M. Ed.
The Revitalized Business Woman
Missouri City (Houston), Texas

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5 Ways to Practice Self-Love this Month



My 7-year old daughter has been asking me about Cupid lately. She doesn't understand exactly what he is. A cherub? A saint? An angel? And why does he shoot arrows at people?

Cupid, according to classical mythology, is a god and is the son of the goddess Venus and helps us to celebrate desire, affection and erotic love. Since Riley is only in first grade, I'm going to focus my explanations about him on the love and affection part for now.

Which is a great segue for what I want to talk to you about this month! Being a great partner, friend, parent, and business person starts by giving love and affection to yourself. You’ve heard the saying you can’t give from an empty well… well, it’s true!

Many of my coaching clients hire me to help them grow their businesses, but usually one of the first things we end up working on is shoring up their self-love (or self-care) strategies. Because sadly, those things often get put by the wayside when we get busy with entrepreneurship, family life, community service, and all the other ways we walk in the world.

Here are five ways that you can practice self-love in the month of February...

1. Write Morning Pages. Julia Cameron made this exercise popular in her creativity book "The Artist's Way" and one of my clients recently reminded me about it. The concept is simple. Upon waking each morning, take a few minutes and write three longhand stream of consciousness pages in your journal before you begin your day. It’s a great way to clear the cobwebs and start the day fresh!

2. Meditate. You've heard it before but I'll say it again. Meditation is good for the mind, body and spirit. When you can sit quietly and let your thoughts drift on by, it is a wonderful way to release the tension and stress from your experience. If you've never meditated, start with five or ten minutes. There are even some cool meditation apps to help get you started. If you can meditate in outdoors in nature, that’s even better. Or find a church, temple or other sacred space to sit quietly. (For my Houston readers, my favorite place to meditate is the Rothko Chapel)

3. Build an Altar. An altar can be a sacred space for you to pray, meditate and give thanks. Here’s a quick article from Mind Body Green on how to build a simple home altar. Since my mom died almost a year and a half ago, I am very aware that I have a lot of ancestors on the other side. I recently created an ancestral altar where I can sit and visit for a few minutes every day with them and pray for their wisdom and guidance. This simple practice feels very loving and life affirming to me.

4. MELT. I recently learned about the MELT Method, and it feels fantastic when you do it. MELT is a wellness method that helps to hydrate the fascia in your body. After just two weeks of doing it, I am feeling stronger, more balanced, less inflamed and my brain feels clearer!

5. Schedule those Health Check Ups. Some people do this every January, but if you've gotten to February and still haven't made your doctor’s appointments, now is the time. Pull out your calendar and start calling your family doctor, your OB/GYN, your dentist, your eye doctor and anybody else that you regularly need a check up with. If you do wellness appointments to support your overall health like chiropractic, acupuncture and massage, this is a great time to get back on track!

Bonus tip: surround yourself with loved ones this month! Call a girlfriend that you haven't seen in a while and schedule lunch. Visit a relative that you adore but may not often get to see. Plan a date night with your sweetie. Schedule a special parent-child fun day. It is the month of love, after all, so you might as well enjoy it!

What’s your favorite self-love/self-care strategy? Let me know!

Happy LOVE Month!



Bye-Bye 2017...Hello 2018!

I love the week between Christmas and New Year's? Do you? It's one of my favorite weeks of the year as things slow down…we experience the pause between the frenzy of the holidays…and we prepare to release the old year and embrace a brand new one!

It’s a wonderful time to review your year – celebrate the highlights, learn from the lowlights and then say “bye-bye” and leave it all in the dust as the clock strikes midnight and you get to start all over again. 2017 turned out to be a challenging year for many, much like 2016. It’s time to press the reset button.

The New Year brings with it a blank slate, a sense of "anything's possible" and lots of hope and anticipation about the future. It feels fresh and new and squeaky clean!

Here are a few questions that I invite you to consider as we embark on the New Year. You may want to pull out your journal and write down your observations, or print this out and discuss with your partner, children or best friend.


2017 in Review

What did you accomplish this year?

What challenged you this year?

What did you learn about yourself?

What are you ready to let go of?

What do you wish to bring forward into the New Year?


Looking Ahead to 2018

What is your theme for the New Year?

What specific goals do you have?

How would you like to FEEL in 2018?

What new experiences would you like to have?

What do you want to be celebrating on Dec 31, 2018?


Happy New Year! May 2018 bring abundant blessings to you and yours!


P.S. If you are a professional woman in the Houston area and are looking for support in inviting abundant blessings into your life and revitalizing your business and your life, I invite you to join me for my annual Vision Board Retreat on Friday, January 12th!




Holiday Gift Guide 2017: Smart Gifts for Busy Professional Women

Season’s Greetings!

I’m all about keeping gift giving simple during the holidays so when you can find gifts that are beautiful AND personalized, too, it’s a win-win for all!

In 2015, I suggested experiential gifts, books and more.

In 2016, I suggested sensory gifts and more books.

But after living through Hurricane Harvey this year, many Houstonians have realized that we don’t need a lot of the stuff that we have.  During the evacuation, most of us protected family heirlooms, art, and jewelry. The rest of our “stuff” didn’t matter.

So this year, I’m recommending artistic gifts … and of course a few more books!

My favorite artistic gifts to give this year:

  1. Art you can wear! My dear friend Mista Whitson lives in the gorgeous mountains of Asheville, NC and she is a gifted watercolor artist. I hired her to paint Eric’s family farm as a wedding present to him and then she surprised us with a wedding present of a watercolor of the two of us from our wedding day. They are two of the most treasured pieces of original art we own! Now Mista is designing tiny watercolor pieces of art that you can wear as jewelry! Necklaces and earrings that are simply delightful and always make me so happy to wear them. She will create custom orders for you and ship anywhere in the country. The price is right and she’s delightful to work with. Tell her I sent you!
  2. Stunning jewelry that feels good. My first “real” job at 16 years old was working at Cappiello Brothers Jewelers in my hometown of Ridgefield, Connecticut. I learned about fine jewelry during those years and still remember taking more than a year to save up $400 so I could buy myself my first piece of “real” jewelry – an amethyst and diamond ring. (I still have that ring and plan to give it to Riley some day!) Other than books, jewelry is probably what I buy myself the most often. I saw one of Heather Chappelear’s stunning Coptic Crosses in a photo a few months ago and knew I had to own it. What I didn’t know is that the beads are made of white turquoise which is a very healing stone and every time I wear that necklace, I feel balanced and beautiful. Amazed that a piece of jewelry can make you feel that way? Buy one of Heather’s creations and see for yourself!
  3. Whimsical art. I’m not usually one to buy street art, but when I passed Katie Leese’s booth in New Orleans, I couldn’t take my eyes off of her adorable birds. Bright, colorful and with positive messages, these make great little gifts and the price is right!
  4. Heirloom art. If you want to give a meaningful gift to a loved one, look no further than commissioning Catherine Gauche to create a masterpiece of your child. I adore Catherine’s process because she invites the child to her studio to paint the background… Riley had a blast! Then, Catherine goes back and paints a portrait of your child over the canvas that your little one created using a photograph that you furnish as a guide. When I received this piece of art yesterday, it literally took my breath away. I can’t share it here because I’m giving it to Eric as a Christmas present, but it’s definitely one of the best investments I’ve made in giving a meaningful gift from a brilliant artist.

And of course More Books – When in doubt, buy books! While I love to give books that I’ve personally read, it’s important to keep in mind who is receiving the gift and what their hobbies and interests are. A few of my favorites from this year:

  1. Patti Digh’s The Geography of Loss. For anyone who’s experienced loss, this is a stunningly gorgeous book helping us to create maps to navigate the journeys of our lives.
  2. Sheryl Sandberg’s Option B. I got to hear her speak in Houston earlier this year and I was so inspired by how she faced the sudden death of her husband with such grit and grace. This book is about how to live life to the fullest, even when it doesn’t turn out how you think it’s going to.
  3. Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art and Turning Pro are excellent gifts for anyone in your life who is creative but gets blocked from time to time (um, that’s all of us, right?!) They are small books with a BIG impact. If you buy these for a friend, be sure to buy some for yourself, too.

Hope you got a few good ideas here. If you have more creative gifts to share with me, I’d love for you to hit reply and tell me about them!

Here’s to smooth and easy holiday gift shopping for all of us!


P.S. And by the way, if you’re a woman entrepreneur in Houston, you may want to give yourself the gift of a Vision Board Retreat  with me on Friday, January 12th. A great gift for yourself and your business (or a friend and her business!) to help set you up for success in 2018!