Retreat Into Self Worth – A Conversation with Barb Churchill

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Have you ever met someone and just instantly hit it off? Friendship at first sight? That’s what happened to me when I met my friend Barb.

I am eternally grateful to my podcast co-host CJ Blaquera  (brilliant weight loss coach by the way) for introducing us. The three of us met at a retreat hosted by one of my mentors, Christine Kane.

I mention that we met at a retreat because Barb is really passionate about why it’s important to take time to breathe, step away, and literally go away, to re-connect with your inner self. Sitting down and writing this I realized, I wouldn’t have met her in the first place if I hadn’t done just that!

Today, Barb is taking us on a mental retreat into self worth with a few marriage tips on the side. My favorite? Flexting! Which is a combination of flirting and texting. Love it!

I hope you find our conversation as inspiring as I did.

MM: Tell us about yourself in 5 sentences…

BARB: I am a wife and mother of 3 fabulous kids (I can say that, I’m their mom!) and have always known one of my purposes in life was to get married and raise a family.

I am a Productivity Coach for 4 Keller Williams Real Estate offices and run my own life coaching practice that focuses on helping women realize their worthiness.  I am a yoga enthusiast – so much so I became certified to teach – enjoy communing with nature, love to travel and anything to do with chocolate!

One of my favorite ways to spend time is in my screen porch, reading a good book with a lovely cup of tea.

MM: Why do you do what you do?

BARB: I grew up in a dysfunctional family where alcoholism wreaked havoc during my teenage years and the amount of shame was palpable.  It took me years to discover my self-worth and through my own recovery from addiction, to embrace the fact that I have value just as I am.

No matter how you slice it, it all comes down to “Am I enough?”  Helping my clients learn to love themselves and grasp their inherent worth is more than rewarding – it’s magical.

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MM: One of my favorite management principles is “Stop, Start, Keep” the idea is that there are things we should stop doing, start doing and keep doing that will make us successful. What should we “stop, start, and keep” to make our relationships stronger

BARB: Stop: Criticizing your spouse.  Whether or not you verbalize it, criticizing keeps you focused on what your spouse isn’t doing or saying, rather than valuing what he/she is contributing to the relationship.

It can really damage the intimacy and trust that is crucial to marriages. We stay tuned in to our favorite radio station, WIMY – Why I Married You. It’s the station of long-term love.

Start: Noticing.  We all seem to be so darn busy all the time so many things can get over looked.  Notice when you spouse does little things like putting the dishes in the dishwasher or taking out the trash.

Notice when he shaves on the weekend (that’s a big one at our house!) or how good she looks when you go out for the night.  Notice when he looks like he could use a hug or she needs some “couch time”.  

Noticing requires us to be truly present with our spouse, and that’s a great place to be.

Keep: Laughing.  Oh my gosh, we laugh all the time! Having a great sense of humor is what attracted us to each other.

My husband makes me laugh and I love that! And he laughs at all my jokes.  All this laughing helps us avoid taking things and ourselves too seriously. We love to have fun and those little inside jokes – the ones that keep you chuckling – are priceless.

MM: How do you stay connected to your hubby?

We talk on the phone at least once a day during the week and “flext” (that’s a combo of texting and flirting – I just made that up!) several times a day.   It’s a way to let each other know we’re thinking about us and make the effort to reach out.  We set aside time just for us – no kids. Even if it’s just ½ hour-we make sure to sit together and talk so we both feel connected.

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MM: Tell us about your latest project…

BARB: I think it’s so important to schedule time for ourselves -away from all our “shoulds” – to relax, reflect and refresh.  I’m currently creating a retreat for women in early June 2014, which will help them do just that.

MM:  Why are you hosting a retreat?

BARB: I’ve always thought it would be so fun to lead a small group of women on an overnight retreat – so much connection, learning and reflection – what’s not to love!  I’ve also noticed so many of my clients struggling with the same issues – What is enough? What does success really look like? How does it feel inside?  – that I thought it was the perfect time to create a retreat that would shine a light on the struggle we women face with these topics as well as give each woman an opportunity to create her own definition of success. But you can’t take a step back and decide what success is until you pause and breathe. That’s how the Exhale Retreat was born. I can’t wait to dive in!

MM: Why is it called “The Exhale Retreat”?

We are all so busy with work, family, kids, friends – life!  Think about it for a minute. When someone asks you how you’re doing, what’s your first response?  “I’ve been really busy!” and when we’re in our busyness, our breath is shallow and comes from the chest.  Not real calming. The Exhale Retreat is all about slowing down, pausing and exhaling into the experience.  We need to take time and lean in – just be. That’s where we find our answers.

MM: What can we do in our daily lives to grab a little sanity and peace?

You don’t have to wait until the retreat in June to start living a calmer existence.

There are many things you can do right now that don’t take much time at all. One of the easiest and most effective is to learn how to breathe – deep, long belly breath. 

I first learned how powerful the breath is when I started practicing yoga several years ago. I would enter the class all hurried and rushed and an hour later, I looked like a zen master.

It was all about the breath!

So, the next time you’re at your desk or stuck in traffic and you feel yourself starting to hyperventilate, just try taking a deep breath through your nose, expanding your belly out, holding it for a second and them exhaling through your mouth, while your belly contracts.

Do this a few times and notice how your shoulders melt down your back, your heart rate slows and your mind stops racing.  If you’d like more tips on how to avoid being overwhelmed and stay centered, I’ve got a free guide on my website, 

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A sought-after workshop leader and inspirational speaker, Barb Churchill has been mentoring working women for over twenty years. Having built and run several successful businesses herself, she has learned what it takes to create the kind of work/life balance that is meaningful and sustainable. Barb believes every woman should have permission to be themselves and writes regularly about embracing imperfection, tuning out the noisy world and trusting intuition. She also leads retreats that help women unplug from the frenzy of daily life and reconnect with their worthiness and inner wisdom.  She invites you to take a moment to breathe and meet her at

Breathing, retreating, flexting and love! So grateful to Barb for such an inspiring interview! If you are near the Twin Cities or have always wanted to go on a Retreat but weren’t sure how to find one – check out all the details for Barb’s Exhale Retreat here.

This week’s LOVE WORK – Notice 5 things your spouse does that you LOVE. Celebrate them with a thank you! And if you are feeling inspired, share them in the comments on the blog. Also, flext. 😉

If you enjoyed this post, please Like it! Pin It! Tweet it! or +1 it!  Our community of love and creativity grows thanks to inspired hearts likes yours. Now go love and be loved. XO






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