Category Archives: Conscious Parenting

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? ♥

 

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. ♥

Sugargate

Last week, we had early dismissal from school and plans to bake a cake for my mom’s birthday.

I must admit I had a vision of having an afternoon of connection together. Perhaps with a dusting of flour on all our noses, giggling, and basking in the glow of each other’s cheerful dispositions.

No idea why, but as the cake was cooling, I also attempted a somewhat healthy cookie as a surprise snack for the kids.

Sometimes expectations bite us in the ass.

What transpired shall now forever be etched into my memory as Sugargate 2017.

How dare I put Craisins in the cookies? What kind of mother bakes a cake in a rectangle pan?!

One kid was having a complete meltdown while the other was standing on top of the kitchen island scream-shouting into a wooden spoon. It was as if my children had been replaced with demons before my very eyes. Thank you very much, but I don’t actually like that.

Then it hit me – my inner most wisdom. It said: “I can make the best of this.” And in the midst of the chaos, I chose to remain calm.

We make our own magic by staying open. Click To Tweet

Open to the present moment – especially when it’s messy. Open to the possibility that this is exactly the experience we’re meant to have. Open to divine presence guiding us to see each moment as an opportunity for our good.

Instead of a miserable perspective of there’s only one of me and not enough to be with each of them at once, I chose the perspective, I’m more than enough. I told myself – this is precisely why these are my kids, so they can hold up a mirror for me to stretch and grow beyond what my small mind thinks is possible.

Be the change you wish to see.

It’s in these “bratty” moments, that we can model how to live with appreciation.

I pulled back my future-tripping of them growing up “spoiled,” and simply waited until everyone was calm.

Then asked, “What’s a more graceful thing we could say (1) when someone offers you food you don’t like?” and (2) when things don’t go exactly as you’ve planned them in your head?

Miraculously, and from the mouths of babes: “Thank you very much, but I don’t actually like that” and “I can make the best of this.” I was amazed! My faith in the humanity of my children once again fully restored. 🙂

Remembering this now, I’m reminded of the quote:

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant.” Robert Louis Stevenson

So maybe we didn’t end the afternoon giggling with flour on our noses, but it turned out even better than I’d imagined, and the dance party that followed was epic.

Don’t get me wrong, I sometimes flip my lid right alongside them, and I bet you do too. And this is precisely why I believe in celebrating when we don’t.

How have you stayed open? Leave me a comment below so I can celebrate with you! ♥

 

How to Raise a Truly Grateful Child

teddy bears

“You don’t ‘fix’ your child. You create the conditions for them to rise.” Dr. Shefali Tsabary

With an overdue cold front making its way to Houston yesterday, I made a quick trip up to Target to get my son some new pants. Inevitably due to his age, he had many demands while there, one of which for a candy bar at the self-check register. I felt grateful to have not only been clear on my intention to buy nothing more than the pants but expressing this boundary to him before we went inside. Stating as a matter of fact, I reminded him of our agreement, said that if he didn’t return the candy before leaving the store he could be arrested for stealing, and made my way for the door. Sure enough, he returned the candy and came running along.

Now, I could’ve been afraid of appearing cold-blooded to the onlookers. I could’ve given in to him justifying the last minute demand out of convenience or anxiety over the scene he was causing. I could’ve tried to pry it from his hands and replaced it myself, robbing him of the choice to do so on his own. I could’ve had an emotional reaction, shamed him, or used guilt to manipulate him. I could’ve had my own tantrum about how ungrateful he was about getting new pants, or the bucket of remaining Halloween candy we have at home, or the many privileges he has. I could’ve tried to negotiate or attempt to avert his attention with a fun game.

So many possibilities, and ALL would’ve taught him something. The difference is, I want to be conscious about what I am teaching – and I want it to be conscious to him too. In fact, I continued to feel grateful even as we left the store, and he felt that and asked to stop for a hug in the parking lot.

I think each and every mother I’ve known or worked with has at one time or another expressed a desire to raise a grateful child. I didn’t raise him to be such a brat. Why can’t she be grateful for all that I’ve given her?

When it comes to gratitude, saying please and thank you is important, but that’s not all there is. I think we’re all more interested in that happy-to-be-alive sort of vibe that all kids start off with when they’re little. How do we help our kids live from that place and raise their consciousness of how to build their lives around it?

Here are 4 ways I see to raising a truly grateful child in a more conscious way.

1. Work with spiritual law

Rules can be misinterpreted, changed, and broken, unlike spiritual law.

As much as she’d like to, a mother cannot shield or protect her child from life’s events. There will most certainly be some pain. Strained friendships and breakups. Accidents and loss. Conscious parents show their child how to work with spiritual law, rather than against it. Giving and receiving. Intention and desire. Creativity and action. Cause and effect.

How hard is it for me to ask for and receive help? How often do I stop to brainstorm possible solutions with my child before taking corrective action? What (conscious and unconscious) agreements have I made with my child? How many times have I nagged my child to do something and rather than following through on an agreement, I’ve repeated yourself?

2. Offer clear boundaries

With her budding independence, my daughter started wandering away when we’re in public places. One day after school, she decided to test me when it was time to head home from the playground. I warned her once more that her little brother and I were leaving, and said it was her choice whether to walk safely home with me or on her own. In protest, she sat down in a huff. So I left.

Manners may make a child feel polite or obedient, but boundaries make a child feel secure.

Eventually, she came running to catch up, her cheeks streaked with tears. “I’m so dumb. I should’ve believed you when you said you were leaving.” Her words tugged at my heart, and for a split second I wondered if I’d been too harsh, but then again I felt gratitude. Out of gratitude came my response, “No, you’re a really smart girl because you learn from your mistakes.” Feeling connected to the inner wisdom of Spirit, I celebrated having taken advantage of this invaluable moment on a route she walks to and from school each day. We were deeply connected for the rest of the evening. She seemed unusually helpful around the house, upbeat, and self-assured.

3. Share a practice

I wish I could say that I’ve mastered staying consciously connected to a state of gratitude at all times. While I’m learning and practicing though, I’m committed to at the least starting and ending my days with it. On the days when I meditate before going upstairs to greet them, I feel strong and powerful and grateful. And I see this gratitude rubbing off on my kids. The feeling supports me through the morning routine and I’m more patient and compassionate towards them.

Begin and end each day with gratitude.

At bedtime, we share a moment of grateful reflection. Guiding them through a bedtime meditation, listening to their prayers, and hearing their “3 things” that they’re grateful for has become my favorite part of the day.

4. Live it

Children learn by watching us. As parents, we are their primary models for how to be in the world. While teaching our children good manners is the polite thing to do, it falls short of the possibility of living in gratitude.

To be clear, there’s a distinction between acting as if everything in the world makes us happy and the authenticity to accept the as-is in the name of growth. Sometimes we’ll have growing pains, but can choose to focus on, even celebrate, our potential.

Gratitude is the energy that infuses our actions with loving kindness.

True gratitude to me means walking the earth conscious to life having purpose and meaning, and that knowing is a state of being. A stubborn joy that lies beneath whatever mood may be passing through. Joy that comes from within, perhaps tested, but never taken away. ♥

What ways do you show your child how to be grateful? Please share in the comments below so we can learn from each other.

Disappointment and dealing with attack thoughts

open bookSo perhaps there was a “big” story that happened since my last post. But first, got a “little” story for ya.

As I had a quiet house this morning, everyone off doing their thing for the day, I decided to offer myself an intense meditation session, and I noticed feelings of excitement to get to it. It was gonna be great!

Within 10 seconds, all I could hear was the sound of my dog, lying on the couch next to me, licking his butt. Over and over.

Ugh. I was supposed to have this transcendent moment and this damn dog has ruined my plan!

All is intended as a chance for me to grow.

Allowing the feelings of disappointment to pass through me, quickly and productively, I noticed my attack thoughts and asked for healing.

Whether it’s a meditation or a presidential election, devastating medical news or a remission to celebrate, straight A’s or a failed test – everything is an opportunity for healing and re-connection to who we really are. When you look at things this way, there are no “big things” or “little things” – there’s only the meaning that we choose to give them.

So on a spiritual level, everything is meant for our growth. In fact, intended for our evolution.

We’re not here to learn, we’re here to remember.

Yep, just like Mufasa says in The Lion King, remember who you are.

No, we won’t always understand outcomes and we certainly won’t have all the answers. But, we can be here for each other. We can listen. We can open and expand to new perspectives, challenge old ways of thinking, go deeper, into a more authentic connection to our higher Self and to others.

Reconnect to the universal truth we were ALL born with inside, before it became unlearned.

We can only see that which we know.

When there’s separation, blame, and attack in our minds and hearts, we naturally see more of that reflecting back to us. When there’s harmony, compassion, and peace in our minds and hearts, we naturally see more of that reflecting back to us.

It’s from a centered place within that we can take empowered action out into the world. When we’re aligned with love – the only thing that’s real – then we can allow another the right to their own experience (children and neighbors alike). Leave our interactions with others truer than we found them.

Surrender is not throwing up our hands in victimized defeat; it’s relaxing into our heart with deep knowing that we’re all doing our best with the level of consciousness that we have. Harmony in all our relationships, first requires harmony within.

Transcending the false power of the ego is how we raise our own consciousness AND that of the world around us. This is how we come home.

Can you relate to this idea of having attack thoughts after a disappointment? How do you deal with them? Leave a comment and let me know.

Remembering,
Cory
Xo

P.S. I resisted an urge to get up and shake the dog. Instead, I vowed to give him a bath and held compassion for the bug that must have been chewing his ass.

Push My Buttons, Please

child buttons

Last weekend, I went to NYC for Dr. Shefali’s Evolve Summit. 350 parents, educators, and coaches under one roof for a shared vision: raising our consciousness for the good of ourselves, our children, and the world. The first night, all I did was cry – emotionally moved by so many amazing people and conversations. I was detoxing, making space for the personal growth that would follow over the next 2 days. I could physically feel myself shedding a lifetime of unconscious limitation, a weight lifting from my shoulders. I saw so many great takeaways, but here’s the one that feels most meaningful now:

Agreement in a relationship is convenient, but not required.

Couples do not have to be on the same page with their children OR WITH EACH OTHER.  On a spiritual level, our children have chosen us individually for their evolution. Just as I chose (and keep choosing each day) my husband as my partner to walk this life with for my evolution.

So fast forward to a couple nights ago, my husband and I got into a debate about violent criminal/sex offenders and whether they can/should be rehabilitated. I know, hot politics for a Friday night.

Some of his comments pushed my buttons.

As I sat on the couch next to him, I recognized the questions that were bubbling up in my mind. Am I good enough? Do I need to prove my worth? Reason #1,238 that I’m grateful for my husband. He was unknowingly holding up a mirror for me to ask those questions again. He’s the perfect spiritual match for me because he shows me where I’m still healing.

The buttons in us may never go away, but only we can change what they do.

explosion-600477_1280The old me, unaware of these inner questions of worthiness, would’ve reacted emotionally. I would’ve probably argued for an hour or two, frustrated at how my words were failing me in some way, desperate to prove why how I feel is how he should feel too. The evening would’ve resulted in tear stains, clogged sinuses, and exhaustion from trying to bend his view point to mine.

And sadly, those questions would still be underneath the surface, unanswered.

Instead, I shared my feelings. I shared the button his comments had pushed in me and the awareness I have of how it formed. I shared that my internal questions were not about him and his opinion or beliefs. I took full responsibility for my perspective and my energy. I remained neutral and calm.

When someone pushes your buttons, thank them.

I was and am really grateful for that conversation. It illuminated a place my ego tempted me to go either out of defense or attack. It gave me the opportunity to see how I love myself more than ever before in my adult life, regardless of what anyone else may think or say. It was a chance for me to receive my own love and reassurance that my mere existence makes me worthy. I’m evolving.

growth buttonTo be clear, I’ve always felt inclusive of others and respectful of their perspective and opinions. But in the early days of parenting with this man, I became enmeshed in the idea that we had to be united in our core beliefs and viewpoints for the sake of our children. I see this now as the illusion of the ego and completely counter-productive to modeling respect and partnership for our kids. “You need to be like me for us to create the environment I want for my children.” That’s not partnership or conscious parenting – it’s righteous control.

That’s painful to admit. But also freeing.

Surrender is acceptance of what you cannot change, power is acting on what you can.

Trying to control an outcome or change someone else is exhausting. Refocusing that energy to the only person we can change (ourselves) is empowering. Transforming our buttons from pain and suffering to acceptance and healing.

I can choose my perspective. I can create clarity around my boundaries. I can give voice to my wants and feelings and opinions. I can experience unconditional love from the inside out.

No matter what pain or loss happened in the past, or that the future may hold, wholeness in one’s spirit can never be taken away. This is the ultimate comfort, and what I most want to model for our kids. ♥

Over-and-through-the-whelm

thunderstorm-567678_1280
Being in a state of overwhelm is one of my least favorite places to be. It’s like a dark cloud overshadowing our true being – the state from which we’re truly meant to live.

I find myself there now as I’m writing this, and it’s as if there’s this big cloud hovering over me. My head feels barely above water, treading for dear life, getting more and more wiped out from the frenzied trying.

My perception of reality is, for the moment, completely warped. What do I know to be true?

1. Being overwhelmed robs me of the present.

I can see this happening, and it is starting to feel like an out of body experience. My mind is pulling me so far forward into the future beyond where I can be effective – now. This is keeping me from enjoying the great mothering and work I’m meant to do – right now. I know this.

2. Feelings want to be felt.

Our four year old will be in Kindergarten next summer, and I love having 2 days/week with just me and him. I feel this pull in me to be in more than one place at a time. I feel inadequate to do all that I need to do around this house, with the kids, and still have the focus I want on my coaching practice. I feel great about the work I’m doing but I want to be doing more of it.

I’ve been ignoring these feelings for a few days, and honestly it just feels good to stop and write about it. To get it out of my head and onto this page. It’s like I’ve been ignoring a child, and going unnoticed, it’s been getting louder and louder. Ok, I’m listening!

3. I always have choices.

“Not enough of me to go around” is just a temporary perspective. One I know I can either wallow in, or change.  I can choose another more empowered state of being.

I want to feel enthusiasm, truth, and beloved joy.

There will always be a thousand tasks, but I can choose what’s most important right now. I can put a few projects on pause. I can get to sleep earlier, too.

4. One next, right thing at a time.

What’s the next, right thing to do? Go for a walk and mother myself….

Reflecting on this week, I notice how I held the space for others with compassion and patience, but have not been giving much to myself. I forgive the expectations I placed on myself this week. I forgive myself for disappointing my child and myself. I forgive myself for drowning myself in tasks and guilt. I forgive myself for having attack thoughts and speaking harshly to myself. I forgive myself for focusing on a perceived lack of progress and forgetting to honor where I am, and more essentially who I am, now. I’m grateful I’ve come back around to this issue on the spiral staircase again so I can build stronger muscles around it this time.

So. What’s the next, right thing to do? Organize my office

A little better.

What’s the next, right thing to do? Take the kids up to the library and alternate between inhaling the scent of books and their hair while they take turns reading in my lap

A little better.

horizon-768759_1280What’s the next, right thing to do? Revisit my list of projects, see what I can trim

A little better.

What’s the next, right thing to do? Look truthfully at my schedule, put more soul in it. 

The clouds are lifting.

What’s the next, right thing to do? Go for a solo bike ride at dusk

A lot better.

What’s the next, right thing to do? Plan what to pack for NYC

Enthusiasm and beloved joy there, just under the surface now.

5. We shrink before we expand.

Through any big changes or spiritual growth, our false self/negative ego freaks out. The inner critics got really loud, but this experience was not wasted on me. I can now integrate all this loving and learning and let it take up more space in my heart. ♥

The Spiritual Purpose of PMS

tent
Pretty consistently each month, I have what I refer to as my nothing day. Nothing is funny. Nothing seems easy. Nothing feels true.

This dreaded plateau of numb used to feel like a weight added to my shoulders for no apparent reason other than hormones. But then I read The Red Tent, a book that completely changed my perspective. Not only on being a mother, but on being a woman, sisterhood, and creation itself.

I now see my nothing day as a signal reminding me to tune in with my body, and its request to slow down and be. It’s a chance for reflection and checking in with where I’m feeling led on my spiritual path. Anything that bugs or upsets me is brought to the surface, offering a chance to ask for what I need and be open to receiving it.

A few days ago, I was in the thick of it. I sent an email to my coach.

J has been having a series of really hard days. Lots of strong emotions, and I am doing my best to stay present for him. But today is rough. I’m feeling less and less grounded. The nothing is rolling in.

The tantrums and screaming have turned my nerves raw. My ears are bleeding.

Nothing I say is good enough. Nothing I do is good enough.

A crossed the street on her bike today without stopping to look for cars. I was in the middle of it with J, and she must have felt ignored. It doesn’t matter that we’ve stressed the rules nearly every other time we get to a street crossing. I missed it this time, and she got my attention. Not the kind she was looking for.

I can’t split myself in two. I feel completely inadequate, useless, and alone.

That night I gave us all a little space, let him skip bath, and cuddled a little longer. I told them both how precious and good they are, even though I wasn’t in that state of being about these things for myself.

Talking over a late dinner with my husband, I let him remind me in his own way that I am: both precious, and good.

I left dishes in the sink and took a hot shower. I lit a candle and got in bed. Sitting in the silence, I heard the wisest part of me whisper Go to sleep. All will be clearer in the morning.

The next morning I had what I needed. Perspective.

holding the sunWhen I answered my body’s call to rest, I felt renewed. When I gave my spirit permission to be vulnerable with all I was feeling, I was reminded of all that I already know.

I am enough. I forget this sometimes, and forgive myself for that.

I am full of purpose. I am breathing. I am awake. I am.

I am held. I’m always supported even when I’m not aware of it.

Shrinking’s more tempting when we stay up in our heads. I’ve long been over having a small life lived from up inside there, but sometimes in the nothing, I forget. Hard to have perspective in that place.

Perspective is why I’ll always have a coach. Someone who’s sole purpose for asking me questions is to get me out of the groove I’ve created around a topic and keep me moving towards the highest expression of who I’m meant to be. The states of being I want to live from feel more accessible when I’m centered and anchored from the heart.

Of course the men in our lives are important too, but women offer a different source of energy. We can nurture each other, even and especially when we forget to nurture ourselves. As women, we need others who support and care about our expansion, and point us toward the spiritual red tent.

A place of nurturing we can tap into inside ourselves, our source of creation. Where we can go to renew. Where we connect to our own abundance. That’s the red tent. There. Where we make something precious and good out of nothing.

Now, aren’t you something. ♥

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Your turn: What part of being a woman helps you along your spiritual journey? Please share in the comments below.