Your Sister / Boss Advice


To: —

From: Courtney Skiles

Date: May 29, 2018

Hey Sis,

Thank you for taking some time to walk and talk today.  I feel like I have so much on my plate right now – especially as I open the doors to my [immigration law] practice.  Your advice (as sister and more experienced entrepreneur) to look inward and to set one intention every day resonated.

And apparently the universe wanted me to hear this, because I went to yoga and the instructor reinforced what you had shared.  She began with a story of her recent beach vacation with her family, including her two-and-a-half-year-old niece.  While her niece scrambled on the rocks, she found herself saying “be careful!” over and over.  But the girl’s parent corrected my yoga instructor, saying that the modern parenting advice is to instead say “focus!”  My yoga instructor commented on the subtle shift – operating from a place of fear to one of empowerment.  She encouraged us to make that shift in our practice, to focus.

I tell Myra this all the time (because I, too, subscribe to the advice of parenting blogs and want her to feel empowered and not pass on fear to her).  My instinctual addendum to this is that it’s also ok – important – to fall, because this is how we learn.

It’s amazing how many things we tell kids that we need to also tell ourselves.  Focus.  Be gentle.  It’s ok to fall.

Have you read Rupi Kaur’s new book?  On the back cover she wrote a poem that is exactly this:

this is the recipe of life

said my mother

as she held me in her arms as i wept

think of those flowers you plant 

in the garden each year

they will teach you

that people too

must wilt




in order to bloom

(It’s really the perfect spring poem.)

I’m realizing that as I begin my practice I expect myself to be perfect:  to have endless clients walking in the door and to know everything about immigration law and running a business.  (And of course to meanwhile also be a perfect partner/ parent/ friend/ self-actualized individual/ etc.)

Women have a desire, way more than men, to be totally prepared for something before we believe we can tackle it.  But when women hold themselves to this standard we operate from a place of fear of failure rather than focusing on the tasks at hand and committing to doing the best job we can. And believing that this will be enough to realize success.

What a pressure release to let go of my ridiculous, high standards – to not worry about being perfect at everything but to focus and know my worth and to do the best I can.  I believe my kids deserve this permission, so why not also give it to myself?

Plus, Michelle agrees.

Thanks again.  Love you.


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