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Emily is a mother of two who seeks for intentional and simple living. She talks about a thought exercise to help her find her legacy and live it now. She talks about getting rid of the mental, emotional, and physical clutter in her life.

She talks about the morning routine she has recently implemented (since getting to sleep through the night!) and how that has opened her mind to be able to focus. She asks herself “Am I present? Am I joyful? Am I calm?” and uses that mantra as a check for herself throughout her day. She journals in her 5 Minute Journal to focus herself on gratitude and a low-tech start to the day. Emily also uses her “Hello Emily Morning Routine” to help set her tone for the entire day.

Emily’s struggles with Unexplained Infertility started to define her motherhood journey by helping her to realize that she was not in control of everything no matter how hard she worked. She learned that what she can control was how she reacts to difficulties and that simplifying her life was an absolute essential part to keep her mentally and emotionally healthy.

She talks about the ongoing process of finding peace with struggles and accepting that “God is God and I am not.” Emily explains about how we don’t like to act different than our identity, which sometimes requires us to adjust the concept of our own identity to what God has in store for us. Reminding ourselves of the identity we have (or want to have) can help us to remain present, joyful, and calm.

Emily embraces minimalist in the definition that involved removing the things that distract from your purpose. She analyzes her physical items, calendar items, and mental self-talk to try to weed out what isn’t serving her goals. She teaches the importance of detaching from our own thoughts and observing them from a kind bystander perspective.

Emily explains her experience with beginning to meditate, just focused on breathing. She uses breathing as a reset and transition between activities and emotions and anchoring practice in her day.

Success, to Emily, is knowing what she wants to accomplish in her day that are truly important (not to-dos) that allows her to be present and involved with her children. She is trying to take a step back and not worry about documenting every moment, but experience it instead. She also considers success modeling the behaviors she wants her children to value. When she focuses on what her “why” is, it brings everything else greater clarity.

Emily imagines talking with her son about him asking “What did you do with your time when you weren’t taking care of us?” She uses that question to help create her legacy that she wants to leave to her children, not of tangible things, but the results of her daily actions. She wants to leave more than the memory of scrolling through social media and doesn’t want the excuse of being too tired to stop her from achieving her goals and dreams. Emily teaches that her legacy also reflects back to her identity and values.

Emily has mastered being “Mamadexterous” which is the the ability to do a lot of things with your non-dominate hand while holding a baby on your hip. She is working on approaching new phases and skills of her children with wonder and excitement rather than dread.


5 Minute Journal

Morning Routine – Emily McDermott

Essentialism by Greg McKeown

4 Ways to Combat Mental Clutter – Emily McDermott

Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life by Byron Katie

Aware by Daniel Siegel

Living My Legacy – Emily McDermott

Connect with Emily


Instagram: @simplebyemmy

Pinterest: Simple By Emmy

From the Episode

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