Feb 182014

battle  pin

“I’ve been absolutely terrified every second of my life- and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.”  Georgia O’Keeffe

I started writing Momastery six years ago as a spiritual practice to help me:

  1. Stay sober (sober = awake, grateful, present, brave, and kind).
  2. Connect with other people without removing my pajamas.

Last year my family fell apart. It was awful. One night I was in the fetal position in bed hiding from everyone in the world and I decided to Google myself. This I officially Do Not Recommend.

Seek and Ye Shall Find. I found a bunch of mean stuff that made me cry. I called my Sister hysterical. I sobbed, “SISTER, they are calling me a mess and an addict and they are saying that Craig only married me because I was pregnant and they are talking about how my marriage is falling apart and I’m overly -dramatic and ridiculous and medicated.”

And Sister was very quiet. And so obviously, I yelled “SISTER- WHY ARE YOU SO QUIET?” And she said, “Well, because…isn’t all of that stuff true?”

And so I hung up on her because there is a time and a place for logic and truth and that was not the time.

But as I fell asleep that night, I thought about what she said. And it hit me. It was all true. It IS all true. And you know what else is true? Even though I’m messy – I’m still showing up. Even though I’m messy- I’m still doing the two things I was put down here to do: Follow My Dream and Serve Others.

And so my message to you is never: be better. I kind of wish we’d stop obsessing about improving ourselves all the time. I’m simply suggesting that maybe you can show up for life as you are. Maybe you don’t need to wait till you have it “all together” to follow your dreams and serve other people. I’m worried that if you wait ‘till you or your people are less messy to start showing up –  you’ll never show up. Because life never, ever stops being messy. It’s messy the whole way through. And so I think we gotta show up in the middle of the mess. We gotta raise our hands and say “HELLO, EVERYBODY! I’M GLENNON! IM A LITTLE CONFUSED AND TIRED AND IMPATIENT AND MY PEOPLE DRIVE ME INSANE AND I HAVE ALL THESE VARIOUS DISEASES AND MY FAMILY’S A LITTLE BANGED UP- BUT I’M PRETTY SURE THAT’S JUST LIFE – SO I’M HERE TO HELP ANYWAY.”

Like that. And then maybe other messy folks will see us with our grubby little hands raised and think: “Huh. If she can show up like THAT…maybe I have permission to show up too. Just like THIS.”

That’s what I’m doing here. That’s number three. So now my list is this:

  1. Stay sober (sober = awake, grateful, present, brave, and kind).
  2. Connect with people without removing my pajamas.
  3. Offer messy folks permission to get started.

Listen. During the past two years, I’ve met a lot of people who ARE following their dreams and serving and a lot of people who are NOT – because they are waiting till things get better or different first.

Here is the thing that the two groups have in common:  NO ONE REALLY KNOWS WHAT SHE’S DOING. None of the people in either of the two groups. The people who are running the world and the people who are sitting life out are exactly the same. They are all messy, complicated, confused people who are unsure of what to do next. They all have messy relationships and insecurities and anger and blind spots. They are ALL AFRAID.

Here is the difference between the two groups: The Dream Followers and Servers believe that it’s okay to be messy and complicated and afraid and show up anyway. The second group believes that folks who show up have to be fabulous and perfect. So they’re waiting to get perfect. They are spending their lives IMPROVING instead of just showing up as they are. They are waiting till they’re “ready.” And the thing is that they will be waiting forever and ever, amen. Because all the good and all the beautiful in the world is created by people who show up before they’re ready.

I am going to prove this to you. This week I have asked a few of my favorite Dream Followers and Servers to share with you their Sacred Scared. Our sacred scared is our deepest fear- the one we hide because we think that if anyone knew about it they wouldn’t love us anymore. What we find when we share our sacred scared is that it’s the very thing we should be sharing more. Because our sacred scared is the key that unlocks our humanity. When we share it, people love us more because we’ve given them permission to love themselves more. Sharing our sacred scared is like handing a world full of messy, waiting people an invitation to show up as they are.

We are all afraid. And that’s okay. We can show up and take care of each other in the midst of all the fear. That’s the good stuff. And you know what the anidote to fear is? It’s NOT self improvement. It’s love. When we love messy people well we start to love our messy selves more. And all that love makes us BRAVE. And eventually, Love beats fear. Love Wins.

Come back tomorrow. I have some very special, very ordinary, very messy, very beautiful people for you to meet.

Show up all Messy and Beautiful Today, Friends. You’re invited.


Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
Join the Momastery on-line community on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest

Feb 172014

Brutiful is the third in the Beautiful Rowdy Prisoners series.

The small woman
Builds cages for everyone
While the sage,
Who has to duck her head
When the moon is low,
Keeps dropping keys all night long
For the

- Hafiz

This film was made in collaboration with my dear friend Travis Reed at The Work of the PeopleHis gallery is a treasure trove filled visual essays of folks like Richard Rohr, Brene Brown, Brian McLaren, Shauna Niequist and Barbara Brown Taylor.

Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
Join the Momastery on-line community on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest

Feb 132014

Sheer Will

REAL love is not pink and fluffy and rose-y and butterflies. Real love is not shiny and whole and smiling serenely. Real love is not holding hands while running through fields of sunflowers or gazing over chardonnay while wearing sexy dresses and opening boxes of diamonds. It’s just not. That stuff is something else. That stuff is something that can be packaged and sold, which is why we see a lot of it this time of year.

Real love is tough as nails. Real love is busted up and scuffed and a little jagged and exhausted.  Real love is a nightmare at 1 am and a fever at 3 am and everybody else up at 6 and work at 9. Real love is ten band aids when there’s not a scrape to be seen. Real love is losing your temper seven times and apologizing eight times. Real love is overwhelmed and exhausted and just DONE at the end of each day. Real love is ADHD and autism and hurt feelings and sucky report cards and cancer and daddy’s gone and listen, babies- this is life- this is brutiful life- and there is still much beauty to be found. Let’s find it together. Real love is knowing that tears of exhaustion are not signs that you’re on the wrong track- tears of exhaustion are confirmation that you are pouring out every bit of your heart and soul and body and mind and energy in service to your people. And that means, perhaps, that you are on the right track. That you are living out a mission worthy of you. Tears of exhaustion are often a badge of honor.

Last week, I posted this Facebook status update:

Single parent status update

And the single parents responded. They said: Thank you. We’re tired. This is so hard. Thank you for seeing us.

And then, a reader who saw the thread wrote this to me: G: Can we Monkees do something special for the single parents?

And then, Monkee See – Monkee Do received two incredibly generous donations from other Monkees. And so here’s what we did.

We emailed fifty single parents from that thread with this message:

Dear Mama Warrior,

I saw your comment to a Momastery update I wrote last week in honor of single mamas. Nothing would make me happier this Valentine’s Day than celebrating you. Please fill out this form to receive a $100 giftcard to treat yourself for who you are and all that you do.

All my love, awe and respect,

Their gift cards went out in the mail this week.

Here were some of the responses:

“I am a 41 year old widow and mother of two boys (11 and 4). My 44 year old best friend and husband Bill died 16 months ago suddenly of a pulmonary embolism while getting ready for bed. He was the most incredible person I have ever known. We are all better people living better lives because he Is a part of us. Thank you for thinking of me. Your kindness makes a difference.” 

I’m 26 and a single mother. My son will be turning 6 years old at the end of February. The parenthood journey sometimes seems lonely, but I do have a group of friends that cheer me on when I’m feeling completely overwhelmed. I am so blessed. I parent completely alone. My son’s father left me homeless and alone at 6 months pregnant. I spent 2 months of my pregnancy living out of a van and in and out of sympathetic friends’ homes. When I finally choked down my pride, I contacted my mother and came to live with her in for the duration of my pregnancy. I lived with my mother during my son’s infancy so that I could finish college. After college, I began working full time teaching Pre-K and moved out on my own. My son and I have been doing this thing called life together, on our own, ever since. I am now cleaning houses full time so that I can provide more income for our household. I often want to ‘throw in the towel’ and ‘tap out,’ but that sweet boy keeps me going. Thank you for your kindness and generosity. I am awestruck.” 

“I am a working momma with two little girls, 3 and 5, who anxiously await their daddy’s return every few months from special deployments. I don’t see myself as a ‘single parent’ because my wonderful husband does everything he can to be a part of their lives everyday even while he is away, but the reality is that 10+ months a year I am at it alone. I am fiercely proud of what my husband does for our country, so I do everything I can at home to make sure we are happy in his absence. “

“I am a 20-something mindset trapped inside a 50-year-old body. I question, ponder and wonder and that takes time. I love trees and rocks, camping, hiking and snapping photos all the while. I was a homeschool mom for 14 years before my husband of 25 years left us. Today, I’m not really sure who I am anymore, but I continue and search for that answer. “

Listen- if character is what we do when no one is watching, then single parents are character personified. They are the ultimate Love Ninjas. They are REAL LOVE. Since Valentine’s Day is when we celebrate LOVE, SINGLE PARENTS – LOVE DAY IS YOUR DAY.

Friends! Please celebrate Valentine’s Day with us this week by seeing and honoring warrior parents all around us. Share this post with your single parent friends, or go to Facebook and tag a single parent under this status update. Remind her that love comes in many forms – the fiercest of which is a single parent. Remind her that you SEE Her. Remind her that SHE IS REAL LOVE and that her tears of exhaustion are proof that she is living out a mission worthy of her.


G and The Whole Monkee Family

Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
Join the Momastery on-line community on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest