What My 6 Month Sabbatical Did

I contemplated whether to write this blog or not. Originally, I didn’t see a need to share my story becuase this isn’t the first time I have taken a sabbatical. However, with each sabbatical I always learn something new about myself and I believe that should always be shared.

When I wrote and released those first few blogs over six years ago, it brought me so much joy and happiness knowing I was helping other women. I opened it with the pure intention of using my personal life stories of struggle or pleasure to inspire women everywhere to want better for themselves. You do better when you know better, which ultimately makes you better. But you can’t change what you don’t even know, right? Stories on marriage, motherhood, healthy living, and wellness all encompassed in one place for the reader (YOU) to relate to and see that you can start living your best life regardless of the obstacles. Luwame came to life as a way to reach out to other women, especially mothers, and let them know that they are never alone because I didn’t have that when I was a new mother. I didn’t have an outlet, a place where I could find other women who understood the struggles I was going through, and it was lonely.

Let’s fast forward sixteen years! I, Luwam A. Tesfaye, am a mom of four! Even saying it today, almost two years after my youngest, Lucas, was born, shocks me. Four little people came from my womb into this world, and boy, oh boy, was I not ready for how the change in our family dynamic would impact me. I wrote a blog a while ago on how our lives changed and how different my picture of motherhood was from reality.

I don’t remember when blogging began to feel more like a chore then something purposeful for me and others. I don’t remember when exactly the imposter syndrome began or when I started to feel as though everything had to be perfect in order to hit publish, but all that caused me to stop in my tracks. It created the fear of failure, and once that was embedded in my mind, it became all I could see. Have you ever felt like you failed in something because the measurement of success you envisioned did not come to life? That’s how I feel: like I failed because Luwame did not reach the metric I placed. Now I feel like I’m hiding away in the excuse of my motherhood duties because motherhood is what I do best! It’s where metrics do not exist and are instead replaced with love- unconditional love. I know my children; I can feel their needs and instantly know how to help them. It’s second nature, and I find comfort in that. There is no need to prove myself in motherhood like there is with Luwame. So, I guess that’s when I stopped writing. Somehow in someway, the urge to prove myself became more important than the purpose.

In my sabbatical, I focused a great deal on why I am the way I am. What happened to me that could affect my way of thinking to this extent? Much of it stems from my upbringing and my need for perfection so I could be seen by my parents, grandmother, aunts, cousins, and even friends. This need for perfection caused expectations on how my loved ones should love me in return, and those expectations followed me into adulthood, affecting my marriage and the way I parented. Understanding all of this did not bring me peace, but it did lead me to the one place where peace was guaranteed: GOD. By knowing where my pain stemmed from and how it has affected me, I was able to see past it. It’s hard for me to explain, but the instant I realized that my way of thinking had nothing to do with me and everything to do with how I was conditioned to think, I was able to change how I saw myself and the expectations I created utterly. The best part was that I finally felt free; again, I can’t explain the freedom in words; it’s just a feeling I feel inside me, and I know that this freedom could have only come from GOD. This is where my peace lies. True everlasting peace is a gift from our creator, and without Him in my life, I would have never felt the urge to understand how I kept trying new things and felt like a failure at them all; instead, I would have forever continued to chase perfection.

I have to be completely honest with you. I am still determining what Luwame will look like going forward regarding blogging or podcasting. A part of me feels like that season has passed. I will continue, however, to always provide programs that help women create and start becoming the dream version of themselves because that is where I am called to be. God intended that purpose for me, and all the struggles and lessons have led me here.

Now, let’s talk about the fun stuff! Apart from all that I have listed above, the past six months have been unbelievably eye-opening and amazing. I traveled a great deal and got to experience different cultures. I spent quality time with my loved ones and never felt the need to post or talk about it. I started taking Pilates classes and learned how to connect more with my body.

In draining out the noise that came with my need for perfection, I was able to do more of what made me happy, and it served me well. Somewhere in month 3 or 4, my mindset shifted (funny, I write that because I offer a course called SHIFT that does that exact same thing), and every moment became a blessing instead of a complaint. Don’t get me wrong, I still find things that I wish were different, and I will occasionally complain about them. Still, the difference is that I see my complaint as a simple complaint instead of something I have to dwell on and worry about and let it fester in me, causing all kinds of fear and anxiety to creep into my mind. I see everything for what it is- A temporary issue that will pass because it will indeed pass; the only thing that is forever is GOD, and that, my dear reader, is a FACT.

Sending you much love and blessings in whatever season of life you are in.


Luwam T.


A New Season of Motherhood: Part 2

Question for you: What does “going back to normal” mean for you and who defines what our normal even looks like?

Going back to normal for me means conforming to what people want me to be. It means allowing my people-pleasing days to continue. It means suppressing how I feel because it might offend someone I don’t even know or worse someone I care about. It means putting what others think about me over what I know about myself. Going back to normal sounds great on the outside, but it sure does kill who I want to be on the inside.

I have been asked a great deal lately how I managed to publish my first book while also having a baby, and then how I managed to lose the baby weight.

First, I must add a disclaimer here that all my baby weight is not gone, and second — you are only seeing what I allow you to see. For the sake of full transparency, I have to be 100 percent with you and let you know that in order to lose my baby weight (which is not all gone,) I have been working my butt off since my son Lucas was barely even 1 week old. Always staying with what the doctors approve, of course, I started with walks in my neighborhood and gradually moved up to a light jog here and a strength training workout there. What surprised me the most was the amount of strength I’d lost over the months. I felt weaker and was hard on myself. I forgot to give my self GRACE, and my frustration in the gym trickled to being frustrated with the new me. I wanted normal—and my normal was what I was pre-pregnancy. 

During this time, I wrote a blog post on my breaking point ( if you haven’t read it yet, please do!). While crying in my closet, I realized something very important: I was stretching myself in order to get validation from other people, which would in return validated how I felt about myself. Sounds silly when I type it but that was my truth! I cared so much about what other people thought that I forgot to give myself what I needed the most — GRACE! 

I thank the Lord daily now for that breaking point, and honestly since then, so many more revelations have been coming up for me. One being that we are all so busy trying to be normal and fit in that we settle for less than what God intended for our lives. Why are we allowing society and social media to determine how we live our lives? Why are we allowing the world to tell us what we can and cannot do? God will not bless who we pretend to be! He will only bless who we really are! The minute we let go of the expectations from other people that we allow to hold weight on our lives is the minute we will become free! That freedom will in return give us the one thing we are lacking — CREATVITY to dream!

You see, when we are running on what others expect of us, we become stressed and try to control things that honestly we have no business controlling. This leads to us comparing our lives with the lives of others we see on social media. We start to compete for attention instead of embracing and empowering other people.

However, the second we let go of the expectations, we tend to see things in a different light. With me for example, when I decided to give myself GRACE and to stop working out to lose the weight for others but instead for myself, God placed two extraordinary women I am beyond fortunate to call friends on my path, and together we began holding one another accountable. Eating habits changed, daily walks became jogs for fun, and my workout routine—even though it felt as though I was a beginner again—started to feel more like a lifestyle rather than a chore.

The biggest lesson here is that life is always better when you do things as a collective with the right people. God placed these two women in my life at a time when He saw how alone I was on my journey and that I needed help. Not professional help, but friendship! A friend who says, “It’s okay girl, you got this! We’re in this together!” But remember: God can only bless who you really are, not who you pretend to be! Had I not woken up and realized that my intentions were wrong, I wouldn’t have been opened to this blessing! 

Now that the stress of expectation is gone, I stopped thinking about what I once was! No, why would I want to go back to the past! I’m dreaming for an even better tomorrow! A stronger version of myself. A wiser version! A better version!

Stay tuned for the next part of this series where I’ll dive into how I managed to get Between Two Worlds published during maternity leave. Hint, hint: it deals with community! BIG TIME!


A New Season of Motherhood: Reflections

It seems like a lifetime ago when I last posted on the blog.

So much has changed since then. I wrote this blog and sent it to my subscribers in an email a few weeks ago. I felt it should also be shared as a series on the blog, because so many women are experiencing the same feelings I had and still have.

I recently had a baby – a son named Lucas, who is the cutest, sweetest little bundle of joy (except when he poops, I honestly do not remember my other kids having such nasty poop, but that’s a different story). LOL

Anyway, in addition to having a new baby, I also wrote a book, which believe me when I tell you is just like having a baby (without the physical pain of childbirth).

Between Two Worlds by Luwam Tesfaye book cover

One thing I am noticing at home more and more these days is how everyone is entering a new season of life. Bini and I, in this new season of our lives are still waking up in awe to the fact that we are now parents to 4 children. In this new season we are both dealing with our ever growing businesses, our family and most importantly trying to work on ourselves so that we can be better partners for each other as well.

Luwam and Bini sitting together

Our children’s new seasons are all quite different. My oldest child Bella is a freshman in high school and is dealing with the drama of being 14 – trust me, it’s a lot. My son, who was once my calm and collected kid, is now in 5th grade and somehow realized he has a voice and therefore it should be used. Too bad he is using it to argue and complain about his sisters instead of useful things!

And my princess Novena is now 5 and shares her time between pre-k and kindergarten. In this season she has become an activist for every child on the playground who needs someone to stand up for them. I know I know, sounds pretty crazy right? Trust me though, I couldn’t make this stuff up even if you paid me. All this to say that our house can sometimes feel like a zoo, and honestly I wouldn’t have it any other way, but boy oh boy, is it tiring.

When we had Lucas, I thought I handle everything that was coming my way. I honestly thought I could have Lucas, publish my book, be an amazing mom to my other kids, show up for Bini, show up for Rahwa (my little sister who is getting married in a few months), lose all the baby weight in time for her wedding (more on this later too), show up for my friends, family, clients and IG family, and still be mentally, physically, and emotional sane. YUP, I THOUGHT I COULD DO IT ALL AND I WAS SO VERY WRONG.

During these last few weeks, I learned the hard way just how impossible it was – to do it all. I remember my breaking point, and honestly even thinking about that day makes me cringe. I won’t share the entire story, but let’s just say that I found myself hiding in my closet crying while I could hear my children – ALL FOUR OF THEM – either crying or screaming for me and at each other. It was not a pretty sight to say the least.

Have you ever done that? Hid from your children and just prayed that somehow the noise would just stop, or that you could get a minute to just breathe? Just a simple inhale and exhale means everything to a mother that is on the verge of a break down.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my children, but is it wrong to also want to love myself as well? Is it wrong to want space to breath and simply just be? That’s when I knew I could not do it all without losing my mind, or worse – losing myself! I had been down this path before and knew the signs all too well, so I was lucky to get out of it before the post-partum depression (yup I said it – DEPRESSION) hit.

In the weeks that followed that ugly yet important self- realization day, I started to reflect on different aspects of my life. Doing this exercise has always helped me prioritize and scale back on what’s not important at the moment. As I kept reflecting, one scripture in particular kept showing up for me.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

I’ve loved this scripture since the first day I read it years ago, and every time I come across it, I honestly learn something new. This time around I got to STOP! Stop and see what is happening around me. Stop and breathe and trust that God has my back. Stop trying to be everything for everyone. Stop breaking myself to please others. Stop mentally abusing myself because I don’t look a certain way. And the most important one… STOP TRYING TO GO BACK TO WHAT I ONCE WAS AND MAKING THAT MY NORMAL.

Stay tuned for part two of this blog, where I will talk about these feelings in depth.