Author Archives: Cory Thomsen

About Cory Thomsen

Conscious Living Coach, Conscious Parent, Life Artist

8 Reasons the Mother of Dragons would make a great mompreneur

Have you been thinking of creating your own business but not sure you have what it takes? Tired of working for someone else’s vision? Want more flexibility and time for the things that matter to you?

Well, I found some inspiration watching Game of Thrones last night with my hubby. (Yep, I’m ALWAYS on the lookout for new ways to inspire and entertain you!) FYI, Daenerys Targaryen would make an excellent Mompreneur.

Here’s 8 reasons:

1. She’s found her tribe and loves them hard.

Dani appreciates the genius that is Tyrion Lannister.

A mompreneur knows the importance of surrounding herself with uplifting confidants who believe in her and what she’s doing. They bring out the very best in her and she pours that back into them and her business.

2. She believes in herself.

Got a Mad King for a dad, don’t care.

A mompreneur knows that there will be plenty of naysayers who don’t understand what she’s doing or why, sometimes even within her own family. Above all, she has faith in herself and the impact she wants to make in the world.

3. She takes responsibility.

Dragons, y’all.

For the better and worse, her business is her baby. She invests in its future. She has compassion for mistakes and sets boundaries for course correction. She celebrates growth.

4. She knows the importance of self-care.

Well coifed and cliff gazing.

A mompreneur makes time to take care of herself, for solitude and reflection. She sees the correlation between feeling good and doing her best work. And a killer outfit and ‘do never hurt.

8 reasons why Daenerys Targaryen would make an excellent Mompreneur Click To Tweet

5. She knows persistence and patience pay off.

There’s no whining in creating a queendom.

A mompreneur accepts the time it takes to meet her goals. She’s learned to get clear on what she desires and put aside her expectations on the “how.” She’s willing to take risks and keep trying. She pays attention to what works and lets go of what doesn’t.

6. She invests in her strengths.

Empathy and mad listening skills.

A mompreneur knows her client base. She’s found the sweet spot between her strengths and what she offers others. She knows who she serves and continuously expands herself to serve them better.

7. She’s not ashamed to ask for help.

Calling all Unsullied.

Part of knowing her strengths is knowing what isn’t. She recognizes others’ strengths and celebrates what distinctive contributions can be made by leaning on one another.

8. She’s aligned with her “why.”

And justice for all.

A mompreneur is fueled by her values and what matters most to her. She isn’t competing with herself. She’s heart-centered and grounded in her path of service.

Have something in common with the Mother of Dragons? Leave me a comment or let me know how this post inspires you. ♥

How Hesitation Gets in Our Way

You’ve narrowed down the selections. Carefully weighed the pros and cons. And, finally come to your decision.

But still feel really nervous to take the action that will make it real. (Anxious even.)

Why is this?!

What makes the comfort zone so effing comfortable?

The simple fact is that most of us never feel totally “ready” for the changes that shape us.

I ALWAYS wanted to be a mom. But seven years ago, we had all the gear, read all the books, and yet still never felt “ready” to bring our daughter home from the hospital. (Even as 2nd-time parents, still never quite felt “ready” to have two of them!)

Generations of “Be careful!” have created neuro-pathways in our brains that have us more comfortable with the looking than with the leaping.

You can take the girl out of the scouts, but not the scout out of the girl.

Preparedness is one thing, but c’mon. Sometimes, we want the change so badly but find ourselves in a spiral of what ifs. Whether it’s a new relationship, new role, or new work, transitions call a host of insecurities up to the surface because they activate the ego.

What if I’m no good at this?
What if there’s not enough of me to go around?
What if it’s painful?
What if I’m wrong?

What if I waste my time/money/energy?
What if it’s worse?

What if they think I’m too young/old/fat/skinny/short/tall/shy/confident/pregnant?

It’s not lack of desire that keeps us from big change, it’s hesitation.

When we hesitate, our brain sends out chemicals signaling danger. About 1% of the time they keep us safe in perilous situations. Those signals are simply designed to keep us ALIVE.

The same chemical reaction happens when we’re planning meaningful changes in our routines, relationships and life. But this other 99% of the time, we’re not jumping out of planes!

You're never gonna feel totally ready for the changes that’ll set your soul on fire. Click To Tweet

It’s rarely more preparation you need for creating more joy in your life. It’s more often a leap of faith to take the action that’s required to create it. (And another. And another…)

Where is hesitation getting in your way of creating more joy today? Leave a reply and let me know.

Only love,
Cory
Xoxo

P.S. Survival’s good enough for most people, but I have a feeling, you’d rather thrive. ♥

The only problem you’ll ever really have

lionness and cub

You’ve had ups and downs; we all have.

Unions, births, service.
Splits, deaths, ego-trips.

A good friend of mine, despite a very trying weekend, inspired me this morning. “It’s all part of life,” she said.

Wow, I thought. Isn’t this the privilege of a lifetime – truly being here…FOR ALL OF IT? Because even in the depths of despair and loss, we can choose what to focus on. What action or perspective we take. Feel it all and be grateful for getting a ticket for this WILD RIDE?

A few years ago, I realized that I could live my life full on if I wanted to – and I do want to – with enthusiasm. So later when I heard that the latin root entheos – literally translates to having God within, being within God, something inside me clicked. No separation. We are one.

So if you’re experiencing a low today, remember this:

There is no problem without a solution.

What’s yours? What is life teaching you now? What haven’t you tried?

And if you’re experiencing a high, remember this:

You could be someone’s reminder.

What are you most grateful for? How could you be of service?

Remember who you are. -Mufasa

You are resourceful and creative and whole. And forgetting – that’s really the only problem you’ll ever have.

Only love,
Cory
Xoxo

P.S. Doesn’t it feel good to know that you’re both the problem and the solution??? ♥

How to talk to kids about death


Death is a natural part of life. Whether it’s the passing of a grandparent or a pet, most children are exposed to it. How you feel and speak about death, will inevitably shape how your child does.

Their uncle died when our kids were 2 ½ and in uterine, so from a very young age, we’ve talked openly about it. Because I have less fear around it, and accept death as simply a part of life, I take nothing for granted and my kids are matter of fact about it too. Their father and I have different beliefs about what happens after we die, so we share them and remind them often that it’s up to them what they choose to believe.

You don’t have to wait until your child has experienced loss, to talk about it and help them explore what feels most resonant for them.

Here’s a few everyday opportunities to talk to your kids about death, to help them grow in their appreciation for life.

All living creatures die

When you see a dead bug on the sidewalk, stop to point it out to your child. Have them notice the body and how it has stopped moving. Ask them how they feel about it, and where the essence of the bug is now that the body has died.

Family pets

Prepare your child that one day the pet’s body will die. Ask your child how they can make the pet’s life more enjoyable while he’s part of yours? What ways does the family help the pet live a long, happy life? What happens to the love you feel for the pet once his body is done working?

Nature

Along with your child, personify and talk playfully to a tree as you would an old friend. Imagine how the tree might respond to your questions if it could speak with words. Ask your child what the tree creates and how we can say thank you to those that have died?

The body

When making a healthy choice for your body, use it as an opportunity to point it out to your child. Ask what we can do to help keep our body safe in the car, crossing the street, and with technology. Ask what can we put in our bodies to make them feel best? How do we move our body to make it strong? Help them connect the dots between taking good care of the body and enjoying life while still in it.

Spirit

I believe we still experience the energy of loved ones who have passed. When “lucky” things happen, I use them as an opportunity to say things like “I think that’s our angels looking out for us,” and “See how much Life loves you?”

The most compassionate, wise, and clear thoughts we have come from the wisdom of the Spirit. Reminding a child of this, creates the space for her to receive spiritual guidance anytime she is quiet and still.

Joy heals suffering

Being around children – who are closest to Source – helps the healing process. Ask your child what the loved one liked to do, and honor that by doing it together. What made them laugh? Where did they like to go?

Recently when my grandma passed, there were tears, but then later I told my daughter she could have a special treat in Great Grandma’s name. Her eyes growing wide, she said “Really?! Great Grandma loved Root Beer as much as I do?” My son, in all his joy, and a sparkle in his eye said “Well, she ain’t drinkin’ it anymore!”  Yep, they heal me a little bit more each day.

How do you feel about talking to your child about death? ♥

 

Life’s Purpose

orchidMy grandmother passed away recently, and the service was a celebration of her life. Here are some of my observations over the course of the liturgy.

Aligned with purpose, one creates marvelous things.

Most could hardly believe at how big the family has grown! 9 kids, 27 grandkids & spouses, 20+ great-grandkids, and 2 great-great-grandkids, and counting. Not to mention, all those adoptees Grandma instantly recognized as part of God’s family, and thus served them as her own. She may have considered it her life purpose to be friendly. You were never a stranger for long.

Laughter relieves pain.

We had a good many laughs at memories. She was thrifty, quirky and made her wishes known! Recently, her instructions – often repeated – were to make sure her body was placed on top of the right plot (above my Grandpa). The thought of spending eternity over the wrong dead guy was more than her old Catholic mind could bear.

You can’t take it with you.

A person can collect a lot of stuff in 92 years! After the services, some of the kids and grandkids went over to her house to select mementos. Each and every person remarked at how strange it felt, as if we were shopping for souvenirs. In her wisdom, Grandma wrote names on a few things, and each time someone would see this, helped ease their discomfort. She would’ve loved to see her treasures making us smile and giving us pleasure in our own homes.

There’s divine intelligence in surrender.

During a period of mourning, people give themselves more permission to feel their feelings. Tears flow more freely. Laughs sound fuller. Hugs are tighter. Kindness is everywhere.

The masks come down with an atypical freedom of expression all over the place; “I love you” being voiced more than on just any typical day. Many, visibly uncomfortable with viewing a body up close, choose to do it anyway. Love triumphs over fear.

The surrender of including it all, not making anyone wrong, and allowing each person’s truth is some of the greatest grace I’ve witnessed.

With loss comes greater awareness of what you have.

Even with knowing her time was coming, there were moments of overwhelming sadness at the loss of the great matriarch of our family. Rather than any specific actions or behaviors, I thought of the kindness of her being, her voice, the warmth of her embrace. At times, I was filled with gratitude for having known her and for the gift of being alive.

We all experience death; it’s part of life’s beauty.

Life is a gift. A desire to instill this message in our kids, shapes how we talk to them about death. It all boils down to this: you are worthy. What is life worth to you?

If you found out that your time was up 10 years from now, what would you do? 5 years? 1?

Why wait for the phone call, the diagnosis, or the crisis? Befriend a sense of fulfillment every single day, and you too have lived on purpose. And that is what I call a legacy. ♥

The Not-Forgiveness List

goldfish
You know those little regrets swimming around in your head? The minor oops-if-I-had-it-to-do-over-again things?

You know, the ones.

I had more than a few of these pop up during Spring Break:

  1. Had not one, but two marathon TV and movie days in our jammies…and thought how lazy.
  2. Our daughter chose to go to bed hungry…Should’ve known she’d refuse to eat that dinner.
  3. Threatened no dessert for a week…Not exactly a natural consequence for jumping on the couch.
  4. Chose the path of least resistance and cleaned it up myself…how will they ever learn?
  5. Overlooked the shove and panic of that BBC guy and his wife so I could have a laugh (and another, and another)…What does this say about me?
  6. Turned down the 18th offer/plead to play light sabers…I. Just. Can’t.
  7. Said okay to Fruit Loops and Toaster Strudels…Can I have “Poison Sugar Breakfast” for 2,000?
  8. Stayed up too late to finish Season 5…What happened to willpower?
  9. Streamed an audio book from Hoopla that time I didn’t feel like reading aloud…Am I contracting out hugs too?
  10. Demanded two options to just go: upstairs or outside…Not exactly inviting or playful.
  11. Said “Yes, I get it” when I actually had no clue what he meant…Guess I’m not honoring my honesty value today.
  12. Skipped the lemon water and green juice and headed straight for the caffeine…Why the rush?
  13. Took a break from my R.E.A.D.Y. routine the week it would’ve served me most…Duh.
  14. Silently cursed the driver for pulling out in front of us, then
  15. Silently cursed the library people for not opening until noon, and then
  16. Silently cursed myself for not blessing them instead….Wow, really using the power of my word in the direction of truth and love today.

I’ve decided to call this a not-forgiveness list, because reconnecting to that small, still voice inside and listening to the truth, I know there’s nothing to forgive.

Thoughts don’t define who we are.

It's not lapses in thinking that define us, but our returning to love. Click To Tweet

Self-condemnation is selfish, and regret might be the laziest of all feelings because it never serves anyone.

“Relate only with what will never leave you, and what you can never leave” (A Course in Miracles).

The sooner we accept our doings as done, the quicker we create space to do better.

So, what will you put on your not-forgiveness list? Put a wrong thought behind you by leaving it in the comments below. ♥

To what extent is protection in a mom’s job description?

I read an email aloud about my daughter’s school putting on a talent show, and instantly she wanted to perform. Knew what song she wanted to sing and everything (You are My Sunshine), so I signed her up.

A week later, I hung up a call and glanced at my calendar. Seeing the event that evening, I instantly felt nervous. The whole thing was about to get real.

What if she bowed out at the last minute?

What if she forgot her lyrics?

What if people laughed?

What if she fell on stage?

Avoiding the jitters bubbling in my stomach, I hopped over to Facebook. But then, I closed my laptop and got quiet.

What was I really afraid of?

In the stillness, a voice inside me said “You’re afraid that this experience might bring her pain.”

Crap. Why did I tell her about the stupid Talent Show? I reiterate looking both ways and wearing a bike helmet and buckling seatbelts and regular dental care! Isn’t it in a mom’s job description to shield her child from pain???

The quiet voice inside said “No, that’s not your job. Guide her with how to cope with it instead.”

And it hit me. As much as I’d like to, I can’t protect my kids from their own pain. That’s their experience. Not mine.

“Pass the truth to the next generation. Give them early what we found late.” – Brooke Hampton

When it comes to emotional health, we parents are playing a long game. Because it’s experiences like talent shows, and skinned knees, and hearing someone say they don’t want to be friends anymore, that give us the chance to show them that pain isn’t to be feared. It’s information.

Pain is information to be used, not feared. Click To Tweet

 

No matter how painful an experience feels at the time, they will be ok. This is information that helps us build our coping skills like resilience, inner strength, and confidence.

My job isn’t to teach them to fear pain or to avoid it. It’s to teach them:

  1. how to access this ever-present, omnipotent, unconditional love
  2. how to ask for guidance in the stillness, and
  3. how to trust the guidance they receive.

Reframing my job in this way, I again felt at peace. And fully enjoyed a wonderful evening in awe of our brave girl.

I believe that it’s the healing of fear that allows any parent to truly be there for her child. No matter what happens out on that stage. ♥

The Most Common Error We Make

We need to talk. I love drama in movies, but all over I keep hearing instances of real life people unraveling because of human error. Last week, there was an article in The Wall Street Journal about how burnout is worsening at many companies, because “Everyone’s job is now an extreme job.”

No matter if the job is “Accountant” or “Teacher” or “HR Professional” or “Nurse” or “Mom,” we’re packing more into the day and taking fewer breaks. Holding ourselves to a higher standard each day is leading to emotional and physical exhaustion!

Women in particular, with or without pressure to perform at “work,” place even more on ourselves to perform as mothers.

In our small-minded thinking, we try to manifest perfection, but like abundance, it already exists. Our most common human error is in thinking we are separate from the divine. 

Our egoic minds are filled with thoughts of needing more than we already have, doing more than we already can, being more than we already are. It’s all nonsense.

Drama avoids reality. The reality of being with the true self, or Spirit.

No matter what form of perfection you’re holding yourself to for the future (or didn’t achieve in the past), know that it already exists inside the divine here and now. It’s not in the effort or the proving or the striving. It’s in the steep of release.

I’m curious, where does the delusion of human perfection tend to get in your way? Leave me a comment below. ♥

Mom Hacks

busy beesWe are busy people, aren’t we?! Things to do, places to go, people to love.

Some may call these “life-hacks,” but when I come across ways to make living easier and more ENJOYABLE, I call it genius! Where the heart’s intention becomes practical, you might say.

Below are 21 of my favorite mom hacks that allow for more quality time with my loves.

If you have some life hacks of your own, please pay them forward in the comments so another mama (i.e. me) can benefit from your genius zone. Even if it was inspired by someone other than you, it’s genius of you to put it into practice. 🙂

1. Anticipate the sour. Ugh. It’s Wednesday morning and suddenly you realize the milk’s gone sour. (And if you drink almond, you’ve probably noticed you can’t really rely on your nose!) So as soon as you open the milk or juice, add 7-10 days from today’s date and write it with a sharpie on the lid so the expiration date can be seen at a glance.

2. Set your intentions. Each week, set aside time to envision the week you want to have, how you want to feel, and plug any planned actions into your calendar.

3. Designate an arts & crafts area. We used to have coloring books, beads, and supplies strewn all over the house. With one designated area now in our kitchen, the kids know where everything is when they feel inspired, have a choice to help with dinner prep or make something, and know exactly where it all goes when they’re done.

4. Avoid the “What’s for dinner?” scramble. Plan out your meals in advance and write them up on a chalk or dry erase board for the entire week. Our menu board has (mostly) become a matter of fact. What we’re having is what we’re having, so with my boundaries clearly in place, my kids don’t sense an opportunity to negotiate (a.k.a. whine, beg, plead) for something else, so we (mostly) avoid the back and forth. (I say “mostly” because on the rare occasion we’ve made an impromptu decision to go off-grid, it’s caused a shit show. All the more evidence of why we have the board.)

5. Make fewer trips to the store. Keep a notepad and pen in a designated drawer or in sight, and add to it as soon as you run out of something. You’ll save time, gas, and energy. More for dance parties!

6. Get R.E.A.D.Y. Being a mom is both a gift and a challenge. Other than getting dressed in a way that brings me confidence, beginning each day with Reflection, Exercise, Affirmation, Devotion, and Yoga, allow me to feel supported all day long.

handbag7. Give your handbag a staging area. Shoulder/neck pain? Can’t find those keys? Maybe it’s time to rethink your purse strategy. I keep a drawer for all the things I typically grab for an outing, and empty my bag completely when I get home.  Just knowing whether it’s an outing sans-kids, saves me from lugging around unnecessary items.

8. Sneaky greens. Add kale or spinach to fruit smoothies for an instant veggie boost. We love a combo of banana, frozen blueberries and/or strawberries, kale and/or spinach, almond milk, and protein powder.

9. Spend less time nagging. Instead of the constant prodding  to get ready for school or for bed, write down the routine tasks (or even better allow the child to write them), and tape it up in plain sight. We have a “Good Morning” list and “Goodnight” list in each child’s room, and we’ve seen a big improvement in taking ownership of their routines.

10. Sleep better. Create your own bedtime routine. A warm bath and a cool bedroom allows your body to gradually cool down as you slip into dreamland. Make your bedroom a device-free zone, allowing at least 1 hour to detox from screens (even more for young brains). The darker your bedroom, the better too.

11. Give toys a home. We just did a big spring cleaning at our house, and if something didn’t have a designated place to “sleep” when not being used, it found one or moved on. Some found a home in our attic and rotated with some others that were like brand new again!

12. Say goodbye to folding. Rolling t-shirts, pants, and leggings, allows us to see at a glance everything in a drawer. But the real reason, I spend less time refolding bunched up, wrinkled wads of clothing after little hands have rooted around trying to find the piece that speaks to them that day.

13. Priorities. We all sometimes fall into the “too busy” trap. But, I never regret stepping away from my writing to have an impromptu dance party with my kids, going for a walk instead of doing the laundry, and making my bed each morning because it looks pretty when I walk by. Choosing love over self-imposed pressure is always time well spent.

14. Reduce preservatives. My kids love spaghetti, so we have it almost every week. Here’s a fresh sauce that doesn’t take much longer than opening a jar of the prepared stuff. Slow simmer for 2+ hours or use a crock pot: tablespoon olive oil, 1/2 diced onion, 16 oz. can of tomato sauce, 1 tsp. each of Italian seasoning, Garlic salt, Parsley, and Oregano, 1 squirt of refrigerated basil (about a tablespoon). P.S. On taco night, forgo the seasoning packet for a sprinkle of cumin, chili powder, onion salt and garlic powder on your favorite ground meat or tofu.

15. Frozen grapes. Portable popsicles for summer time and instant wine chiller. Happy kids = happy mom.

16. Keep chemicals out of reach by using a hanging shoe organizer for cleaning supplies. This one would’ve come in handy when my little ones were learning to crawl!

17. Invest in a rice cooker. We use ours nearly every night. In fact, I don’t know why we went so many years without one of these, other than we didn’t know they existed.

18. Hire a coach. We often can’t see the forest for the trees. In fact, I don’t know how I went so many years without one of these, other than I didn’t know they existed. 🙂

19. Warm more servings at once. Any mom of 2+ knows that perceived equity is a big deal. Microwave 2 bowls at the same time by sitting one on top of a glass so that it sits higher than the other.

20. Hot water with lemon. A cup of this before anything else in the morning flushes out your organs and purifies toxins from your system.

21. Speak in a language they understand. According to The 5 Love Languages of Children, each child has their own love language. While our children are still young, and respond to them all, my daughter’s emerging love language is quality time together. On the other hand, I sense that my son feels most loved by hugs and physical closeness. Others include words of affirmation, receiving gifts, and acts of service.

22. Make screentime intentional. We use closed captions for our emerging readers, and so we never have to skip back to catch missed dialogue on the shows we enjoy.  (As a side note, I wasn’t always conscious of how quickly developing brains get overstimulated by screens. The ipad was a thorn in my side, so about 4 months ago we did away with it completely, and it’s been so worth the initial withdrawal.)

23. Meditate. One practice, so many benefits. Mostly, it helps me be more patient and sane.

Now over to you.  What practical tips do you have to share for living and mom-ing intentionally? Please leave a comment and share your genius. 🙂

Stop nagging for good

No one likes to be a nag. But yet, many of us do it even though it doesn’t seem to help.  It’s so frustrating when you know they know what to do, but just aren’t doing it, right?!

I noticed my nagging during our morning or evening routines. It seemed to be getting more challenging for my daughter to get tasks done without getting distracted with a toy (or immersed in singing to her bathroom mirror).

Children are little people. I may not always feel confident in my parenting, but my coach training always comes in handy. I took out my coaching model and my eyes were drawn to “People are naturally creative, resourceful, and whole.” Bingo.

People are not in need of fixing, but often how we relate to them is.

I’d been trying to control her, and that’s where I was off. I wasn’t listening for what she wasn’t saying – she needed a structure for staying focused and for me to trust that she would rise to the occasion. So, I decided to change how I was showing up.

I said something like, “I really don’t like bugging you to do stuff, so I’m going to stop. But we need to work together for find another way to keep us on track. What will help you?”

Together, we came up with a plan to make signs for her room. She loved this, actually growing with excitement to list out all the steps that she did in the morning and before bed as we wrote them out and decorated the paper signs. (No doubt some of that excitement for getting Mom off her back!)

Emotional energy distracts all relationships from moving in the direction of growth. Click To Tweet

Without negative energy from me, she no longer resists it by dragging her feet. Now, most days when she wakes up, she checks her list and remembers to brush her teeth, get completely dressed, and turn off her lights and sound machine before coming downstairs for breakfast.

What we focus on grows. Choose wisely.

Spending less time focused on tasks and more time enjoying each other – isn’t that the whole point to any relationship? I now see how shifting my focus away from what my daughter isn’t doing, allows me to actually see her. Our mornings are fun again, and our evenings more peaceful.

What’s not being said in your relationship? How will you try showing up differently to change up the pattern? Share your comments below. ♥