Piggies + Perspective

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Her little piggies - they aren't so little anymore. When she climbed up onto my lap - with the nail polish in her hand, time stood still.  As her body sunk into mine, I felt the stress of the morning wash away. 

These are the moments that matter. This is joy. 

This morning was far from typical. As I was pulling in to our local coffee shop, I skimmed the side of a parked car - knocking off its bumper and cracking the headlight. I was moving so slowly - littlest wasn't even affected (thankfully).  

I am still surprised by my own reaction. 

There was no inner critic. No voice beating me up - telling me what an idiot I am. Berating me for messing up - telling me all things I should have done. 

My mind was quiet. I felt calm and frustrated and embarrassed. 

And. The embarrassment as friends + acquaintances + students + strangers walked by - didn't swallow me whole. 

When the owner came out, I apologized and owned my mistake. 

I didn't feel anger or rage or defensiveness. I didn't feel the need to run.

I am human.

A few years ago, this moment would have sent me into a tailspin - destroying the rest of my day, maybe even week. On the outside - it would have looked as though I had it all together. On the inside - this accident would have been more than enough fuel for the inner critic to start a war.

Learning how to slide into the seat of the Compassionate Observer has forever changed my life. 

It's allowed me to see the whole story - not just the parts the inner critic wanted me to see. It's allowed me to own what's mine to own - and step back into the driver's seat to take the next best step.

You've had three nights of broken sleep. You were up all night with two sick kids. 

You're doing the best you can, mama. You're doing the best you can. 

Your daughter is in the emergency room right now. Of course you're feeling anxious.  {she's home now.}

You're doing the best you can, mama. You're doing the best you can. 

You're still processing the news that you're uncle passed away unexpectedly on Saturday night - news you learned of a few minutes before heading out for a talk. Of course you're feeling sad and emotionally drained.

You're doing the best you can, mama. You're doing the best you can. 

You've been reminded how short this life is - you've stared death in the face. Perspective: it's just a car. Cars can be fixed. Cars can be replaced. 

You're doing the best you can, mama. You're doing the best you can.

You know that ruminating and replaying the event over and over and over in your mind doesn't change that it happened. 

You're doing the best you can, mama. You're doing the best you can.

See that man. Give him the gift of empathy.

You're doing the best you can, mama. You're doing the best you can. 

Own what's yours and know that you can rise. Because, you can. And you will.


I fought the idea of self-compassion for a long time because it felt like self-pity and excuses - almost a way to escape accountability. 

It's had the opposite effect on my life.

Embracing self-compassion has allowed me to release the toxic talk in my mind - opening up space for intention, action - and accountability. 

If the toxic talk is taking up space in your mind - I see you. 

I'm with you. I know how loud it can get - especially when you're feeling vulnerable. That voice will always tell you - you could have done more. You could have tried harder.

I remember wondering if I'd EVER be free from it's criticism.

I know now. YES. It's possible. 

When we step back into the driver's seat of our life - and we shed the beliefs that are keeping us stuck - we set ourselves free to experience inner peace, happiness and deeper joy. 


There's something about death that reminds us how precious our life is - it offers us a chance to reflect and ask ourselves: Is this how I want to show up in my life? Is this how I want to spend my time here?

We're human. And chances are - you're doing the best you can with the resources you have.

And, I also know:

“If you want something you've never had, 
you must be willing to do something you've never done.”- Thomas Jefferson


This is a huge piece of the work I'm doing with my clients. If you are feeling stuck - are ready for more - and ready to feel free, head over here and set up a strategy call to see if we're a good fit for each other. 


Samantha Arsenault Livingstone is an Olympic Gold Medalist, transformational speaker, high performance coach, and mama of four girls. 

Samantha empowers athletes, forever athletes and never-been-athletes to cultivate the courage, resilience and perseverance needed to live their dreams. She helps her clients expand their high performance skill set and let go of beliefs that are keeping them stuck - opening up the door for freedom, balance and joy that transcends.

Samantha candidly shares her battles with her inner critic, depression, perfection, PTSD and parenting as a working mother because she believes in the transformative power of story – and the strength that comes from knowing we are not alone. She is on a mission to pay forward all that she’s learned to help others find joy and live free.
A mama of heart warrior and mama of twins, Samantha and her husband, Rob, live in the Berkshires with their four girls. You can learn more about Samantha at www.samanthalivingstone.com.

You can find her here, linking arms with the powerful community that is the  I AM CHALLENGE.