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Mom’s Mantras: Barb’s Best Advice to Living Your Very Best Life

Two Sundays ago people near and far spent the day celebrating the moms, mother figures, and moms-to-be in their lives. There were cards, and flowers, and presents and meals to honor these extraordinary ladies. Truthfully, I didn’t get my mom a present; and I didn’t get to celebrate with her (she lives in Baltimore and I’m here in Chicago). And even more truthfully, I didn’t even shout her out in a post on Instagram (she doesn’t have an account, and I was working so I figured no love lost.)

But to clarify, my mom is my eternal bestie, we talk and text everyday, normally multiple times a day about everything from sex, to work, to design ideas. Nothing is off limits with her, even when she is shouting “Brooooooke”, like she is pretending to be offended. It is no secret, without my mom… lovingly, Barb (I actually don’t even think she really likes that nickname, but it has stuck with all of my friends, so she goes with it) I definitely wouldn’t be here today, but like, I also wouldn’t be here today, in Chicago, living my best life. So I’ve decided that the best way that I can honor my mom this month is to share a little bit of her magic with you all in the way of her three life mantras! If you like positive or need some positive, this one is for you.

Say Yes To Life


The idea seems so simple, basically a given. But I am continuously surprised by how often it seems that we find ways to talk ourselves out of doing something because we don’t have that little crystal ball that tells us how the adventure will play out. My mom’s whole idea of say yes to life is just that – say yes!

The advice goes hand in hand with one of her other famous phrases – stay in the moment. If you stay in the present here and now, she and I both find, it is a lot easier to say yes to the things life throws your way. You will not be as worried about future think (how something will effect you or how it will end) because you are objectively thinking in the present. I personally think it takes time and work to adjust to this mindset, but once you get in the habit, I can assure you, you will breathe lighter and life will feel bigger and more exciting because every opportunity and adventure is on the table!

 If Not Now Then When


 To be honest, I think I was the one that actually came up with this phrase in reference to deciding to buy a bathing suit that had a barely there bottom, this phrase was my justification. But my mom is the one who has since run with the idea! I think her interpretation of the phrase is more in line with living your best life. When she says this to me it’s like a self check question, if not now than when, like, what are you waiting for?!

I am definitely one of those people who likes for everything to be perfect and in order before I start something, and my mom knows I do this mostly out of nerves or fear… stalling. Nothing is ever going to be totally perfect before you start, but you still have to start, you still have to go for it. So Barb says this to us when she wants to jolt us, to snap us out of our thoughts and bring us back to the present. And guess what, I can attest from personal experience this phrase will do just that.

Protect the Experience


 This mantra right here, is the missing piece to a good time. My memories and experiences would not be the same without it. Protect. The. Experience. What Barb means when she says this is above all else do what you must to enjoy the experience. She is not saying go max out your credit card out to travel the world first class…that’s a hard no. But if you are out to dinner, order what you want, get the bottle of wine and protect the experience! You went to dinner to enjoy yourself, you made the effort and planned it, so don’t gawk, or shy away now that you are there, go for it!

Learning first hand from my mom, the way I ultimately look at this mantra is that sometimes we get so wrapped up in what we feel like we can’t do, or making sure we’re ready for the next thing, we skimp on the current experience – instead of sucking every rich and fulfilling second we can from it. Yes, because adulting comes with responsibilities, sometimes we can’t do it all and we have to pick and choose. But when you pick something, that’s when you must then commit to making that experience 100%.


What are some of the sayings and advice that your mom or mother figures tell you? Spread a little bit of their magic and share in the comments below!

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