Author: GYST Team

Ask GYST: Advice for first time mom?

Ask GYST: Advice for first time mom?

A reader asks, “Hey GYST, any advice for a soon to be, first time mother?” Of course there is a more advice out than than may be helpful…but when it comes to getting your shit together on being a new are the top things that came to mind:
1) Put your own mask on first – they tell you that on the plane for a reason. A happy Mamma makes a happy family. Whatever that is – crossword puzzles or crossfit classes – make time for you and guard it like your life depends on it.

2) Get life insurance now. Like, as in yesterday.

3) Start putting 20% of your income into savings. As Suze Orman said, “Pay yourself first.”

4) Read Ron Lieber’s The Opposite of Spoiled.

5) Cut yourself some slack. A lot more than you might be comfortable with. Visualize deep, wide, luscious, green canyons full of patience and gratitude.

6) Don’t tell anyone the baby name(s) ahead of time. When you do, everyone has an opinion or says, “that’s the name of that kid who peed his pants at school in 3rd grade”. When you tell them after the baby is born, they will almost always say, “ohhhh, what a beautiful name.”

7) Write a will, living will, and power of attorney asap (the checklist makes it easy).

8) Spend your values, not your impulses. You can buy a ton of squishable-adorable onesies and plastic items that are supposed to make life easier. Fuck 98% of that stuff. Find solid advice and follow it.

9) Ask for help. Accept help. People will want to do stuff for you and it will make them happy to do so. Let them.

10) Enjoy every minute. Even when your boobs are leaking at the grocery store and your kid threatens to run away the first time (in-between the perfect moments) – it’s all of it, all the time, that makes a big, wonderful life.

And lastly, it would be un-wise not to encourage you to get your basic shit together. Scan the mac-daddy everything checklist, sign-up for GYST and do just one or two things a week.

Being a Mother was, and is, the hardest most awesome thing I’ve ever done. It is, in fact, what inspires me to get, and keep, my shit together.

Inspirational Videos to appreciate life

Inspirational Videos to appreciate life

Inspirational Videos to appreciate life.

There are some talks you find yourself always going back to – when things feel amazingly up or especially down, when the mood strikes, on that anniversary – here are our favorites (get tissues):

  1. Steve Jobs’ infamous 2005 Stanford Commencement Address just dripping with memorable quotes. “We all die…and that is how it should be.  Death is the very best single invention of life.” 

“You are already naked, there is no reason not to follow your heart.”

2. Frontline’s “Being Mortal” with Atul Gawande: one of the most respected doctors and authors on aging and dying teams up with the documentary powerhouse to create a thoughtful and inspiring peek into our future.

“Hope is not a plan.”

3. Denali. A photographer’s tribute to friendship. “There’s no easy way to say goodbye to a friend, especially when they’ve supported you through your darkest times.”

Denali from FELT SOUL MEDIA on Vimeo.


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GYST Features Stephanie’s Story


Writing out a will and living will had been on Stephanie’s to-do list for about 10 years. She had even gone so far as to contact a lawyer, but found herself so emotionally overwhelmed by the issues it raised that she couldn’t meet her lawyer’s timeframe.

Getting it together

When Stephanie’s brother had a baby, she started thinking that she needed to do something. The time was right, and when she started working with GYST, she realized how doable it was. Moving task by task, she soon had her very own living will in hand.

“I feel a greater sense of freedom.”

The impact

“I am no longer with that nagging voice that says ‘you need to do x, and aren’t doing it.”. She also feels that her life is more aligned with what she values in relationships. The worry that she’ll burden her family is gone.

Her advice?

“Don’t delay. Do this,” she says. “Sure, it may bring up fears and it may have you facing some deep issues. Yet, it is one of the best investments you can make in finding more joy and peace in your life, and it is a great gift you are giving to loved ones who don’t have to then worry when it comes to wondering what your wishes may have been.”

Tell us your story. Email us! We’d love to hear from you.

Next: Go to the GYST Checklist.

GYST features Michelle’s Success Story

GYST features Michelle’s Success Story

“For most things in life, it’s never too late. For estate planning, it’s never too soon.” Michelle, Seattle, WA

Over 15 years ago, Michelle’s boyfriend (now husband) lost his mother to cancer.
Her husband had a power of attorney for his mom, but still encountered problems and a moral dilemma without a will to instruct how to divide her estate—so Michelle knew how important an estate plan can be. Still, like many of us, she kept putting it off, one year at a time. Her biggest perceived barriers included: time, money, hiring an attorney, and the bewildering amount of information online.

Getting it together

When Michelle heard our founder’s and others’ stories on NPR, she decided to do something. She made out her entire estate plan with GYST. “The ability to use a simple tool to walk me through the steps was the biggest and most catalyzing moment,” she says, “I had gotten as far as doing power of attorney documents downloaded earlier but I couldn’t get my head around a will. The web version was super helpful.”

The impact

Now that Michelle has gotten it together, she feels like a giant load has been lifted off her shoulders. That’s what doing an estate plan does. Since then, her husband and other family members have also gone through the process.

Her advice

“The point of taking care of our things while we are alive is to ensure we are simplifying the lives, and bereavement process, for those we leave behind.”


Tell us your story. Email us! We’d love to hear from you.

Next: Go to the GYST Checklist.