Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Promises kept

This morning I woke up with promises on my mind. 

Today was the day I had promised to make changes to my routine in order to fit in some much needed exercise time for myself. 

The promise:  Exercise every morning to a dvd while the boys are busy getting themselves ready for school, then head out for an hour long walk once they have left on the bus.

I popped in the dvd and set up my yoga mat to get ready for the 25 minutes of heavy duty workout that the dvd case promises.

After 8 months of not working out at all, I have to say it was a tough 25 minutes...  The boys loved it though and took a ton of pictures of me on my stability ball, of which I deleted the minute they were out the door :) 

Then it came time to go out for my walk (as promised). 

All I can say is that it was cold enough to freeze the snot in your nose as your breathed...  'nough said?!?

My "promise" theme continued throughout my walk, when I kept hearing a message play over and over again in my mind.

"The only promises worth keeping are the ones you make to yourself."

Of course my mind debated this as a selfish practice.  However the more I debated the stronger the message got and I realized that the message is a reminder that if you can't keep a promise to yourself, then how can you keep a promise to someone else.

Usually it's the promises we make to ourselves that are the hardest of all to keep, it seems easier to find something else to do that is more appropriate or is more helpful to someone else.

I'm glad I kept my promise to myself today.  I'm glad I didn't postpone my plan for the sake of housework (which is what usually happens). 

Here's hoping that it's just a little bit easier to keep tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Good Enough

When was the last time you felt "not good enough"?

I'll go first....

2:00 this afternoon.

Thankfully, I've grown to recognize these moments for what they bullshit! 
It did leave me wondering though how many people aren't feeling like they are "good enough" these days.

How about the new mom that can't seem to get her baby to stop crying.  The dad that's been laid off from his job due to cutbacks.  The parents learning how to deal with teenage drama.  Or the woman who envies how beautifully the girl next to her can hold a yoga pose?

If we allow ourselves, we can be overcome by feelings of "not good enough" because everything around us suggests that we need to be doing more to be getting more.

The truth is that you are more than enough in every way right now.  I know this because each of us is exactly where we need to be right NOW.  If we weren't, we'd be somewhere else doing something else.

The need to recognize our unique characteristics and abilities is extremely important to developing a sense of well-being and balance in our lives, as well as overcoming these "ego" challenges that pop up once in a while. 

How do you do that?  How do you go about knowing who you are, what would really make you happy?

It can be really simple, or you can make it as difficult as you like.  Depends on how you like to do things.

I'm a simple kind of girl.  For me, it's just about being aware of my emotions when I'm dealing with each moment.   And to do that it takes some quiet time, lots of deep breathing and lots of talking to myself.

Just like today at 2:00 when I got a twinge of that "not good enough" stuff coming up.  I took a moment, took a deep breath and looked at my reality. 

The reality is I'm doing great just the way I am!  I don't NEED anything more to make me happy or to make me feel more productive or fulfilled....  WHEW!

Then I asked myself "do you really want to learn more to do more OR do you really want to have more time with the people in your life to affect change now with what you have?" 

That's an easy one....  I pick door #2.

The other thing is to recognize why you want to do more.  Are you doing it because it would please the status quo if you did?  Maybe get hubby off your back about the finances?  Maybe prove to your unapproving family member that you are worth something?  If you are going to take part in something just to please someone or something outside of yourself you need to rethink your strategy!

I've found that it's the simple things in life that make it all worth it.  When I steer myself in the direction of "complicated", that's when I find things get a little stressful and I get stuck more often.

"Complicated" doesn't always equal "good enough".

Thursday, February 17, 2011

It's a Wonderful Life!

"It's a Wonderful Life" is my most favourite movie.  I don't wait till Christmas to watch it, I stick it in the dvd player every chance I get.

Today felt like the moment in the movie when Jimmy Stewart "comes back to life" and all of his friends file into the house emptying their pockets of all the money they have to save him from bankruptcy...

He had no idea how loved he was.  He had no idea what the people in his life would do for him.  He had no idea how his actions created a ripple effect of love and appreciation in the community around him.

It's an accurate picture of my life, really.  And probably your life too.

I do things because I want to do them, because they make me happy.  I enjoy being in the company of my friends.  I enjoy sending them notes of appreciation and encouragement.  It's easy for me to welcome people into my home, invite them to share meditation and Reiki with me.  It's easy for me to smile and embrace people.  It's easy because it's who I am.

We are all like this...  We do all kinds of things in life, thinking they are too small to make a difference because they come naturally to us.  When in actuality that sharing of what you love and those small bits of yourself transform themselves into amazing things!

For instance, you have coffee with a friend and share with them how much you appreciate them and how much you believe in who they are.  Then "POOF" one day you get a message from that friend who tells you that she's been able to move forward with a dream she has had because of your support and belief in what she has to offer.

So, just in case you've never been told.  YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE!

Don't deny yourself the knowledge of all the good that you do in this world.  Whether you hold the door open for the next person or you spend the day cleaning the bathroom or doing the laundry.

Your impact is immeasurable because you are here and you are being what you need to be in the moment.

It's a wonderful life when you embrace the life you are living, whatever the situation.

Go on....embrace it!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Ah to be a kid again...

Don't you wish you could throw yourself on the floor and have a temper tantrum without anyone judging you or putting one of those jackets on that make you hug yourself?

I was thinking of this, this morning when my youngest son decided he was too tired to go to school and proceeded to tell me (quite loudly) how he felt about this whole education thing and how unfair it is to send children to school when they are clearly too tired to go....

As I watched him move from one outburst to the other, I thought about how fabulous it would feel to be able to just go ahead and let it rip like that.  With no regard for what someone may be thinking of you and in the presence of someone who loves you so much they will still love you when you are finished spewing your last word.

The immense relief that would come from letting out all the emotion that has been building up for years and years flow out in whatever way shape or form it chooses to flow in that moment.

Then just go and take a nap to recuperate....


How divinely delicious that would be......

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Expectations and all that Jazz....

Expectation: belief about (or mental picture of) the future •anticipation: anticipating with confidence of fulfillment •the feeling that something is about to happen

Expectations...  They are tricky little suckers...

I've come to regard expectations as just a smidge evil.  They turn good people into buckets of stress!


Because we can't control someone else's behaviour and actions.  So expecting something from someone outside of ourselves is almost always a lose/lose situation...

Have you noticed what happens when the things you have been expecting, don't come through?

It throws you off balance and turns you into a miserable sour puss for the rest of the day....  Maybe you'll use that as an excuse to make everyone else around you pay for your misfortune, or maybe you'll sulk?

Expectations can ruin your plans for the loving life you wish to live.

I know the argument will arise that the Universal Law of Attraction says that we need to be in a state of expectation when it comes to our dreams.  I gotta tell you; I experience a higher rate of positive manifestation when I don't put my full energy into the expectation part! 

The key to this law is to feel the appreciation and the love of the expectation, not just in the expectation itself.

The kind of expectation I am addressing is the kind that takes a loving man, woman or child and turns them into a blood thirsty lunatic when they aren't getting their own way....  Sound familiar?!?!

I've heard the argument "respect and love should be expected from our children, family, friends and spouses" or "without expectations there isn't anything for anyone to work towards".

What about when your expectations totally take over your life.  You expect this from one person, this from another and something else from someone else.  Your life is full of expectations of others.

Are you living a life where you are expecting everything from everyone outside of you?  Do you find yourself in a state of consistent disappointment and unhappiness?  Are you unwilling to carry out the exact expectations you are putting on someone else? 

If you answered yes to these questions.  Let me ask you:  How is this working for you?

I'm guessing that it isn't....

The good news is that this is really easy to change.

The next time you have the opportunity to expect something from someone (and there is ALWAYS another opportunity).  Take a moment and re-evaluate the situation.  Ask yourself if there is a benefit to this expectation or will it leave you feeling unloved, unworthy and unappreciated if the other person doesn't follow through? 

Relax your expectations a little.  Relax them until you feel happiness and relaxation instead of stress and frustration.  Until your relationships blossom and feel good to you.  Until you receive something you didn't expect.

What you may find is that the less pressure you put on the people in your life, the more room there is for harmony in your relationships, and the less room there is for stress and frustration!

Besides, the only person we can really expect anything from; is ourselves.  And even that's a challenge some days....

Friday, February 11, 2011

Acceptance of Truth

I've been keeping this post to myself.  I didn't want to share it for many reasons.

Fear being at the root of them all.

I have to write it though.

For the sake of moving forward.

For the sake of being honest.  With myself.

It's not enough for me anymore to write things in my journal.  I find it more therapeutic to blog it out, then it's not private anymore, it's out there.  It makes it more real, it makes me accountable. 

I've been thinking alot about my life.  Where it's headed, what I could be doing differently, what needs attention these days to make the journey smoother.

And the one thing that I keep coming back to, the one thing that I pretend isn't a big deal, and yet it feels like a huge boulder sitting in my path is the issue of my family.

They are in almost every dream I dream.  I dream of hugging my sister, seeing my brothers smile and fighting to get a kiss from my nephew.  I dream of long talks with my mom and short shopping trips that turn into hours of browsing the store.

I miss my mom.  I miss her presence in my life and yet she is still here on this earth and I have denied myself time and closeness with her.  I find myself thinking about all of the things we have done together over the years.  All the times I accompanied her to wedding receptions.  How much fun we had.

The problem has been that I have been denying that I miss them.  I've been afraid to admit it to myself.  I've been afraid to acknowledge the hole that has been left in my world by my family.  I wanted to be strong...  Not weak... 

I've been wrong.  It's not weak to admit your true feelings and speak your truth.  Strength is not in the fighting against and denial of your emotions.  Strength is in recognizing that something is standing in the way of you moving forward and doing something about it.
I've wasted too much time telling myself stories to convince myself that I don't miss them, that I'm better off without them in my life.
They may not be in a place of acceptance for this truth.  And it really doesn't matter, it only matters that I am in a place of accepting my truth.  Accepting it and embracing it and forgiving myself for denying it. 

That's where I am and that's where I've been for months now.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Garden of Gratitude

Years ago when I was into watching "Grey's Anatomy" and "Desperate Housewives", I remember getting this really great feeling inside of my stomach when I realized it was Sunday and my favourite shows would be on.

I didn't know where this feeling was coming from, I just know it made me feel alive, excited.  It was a feeling of joyful anticipation.

It wasn't just the television shows (I'm not quite THAT shallow!).  It was the time I would be spending with my husband that made me feel so great.  We both loved our Sunday night shows and so Sundays became the night we would get the kids to bed on time, then snuggle on the couch with 2 cups of tea and a blanket and enjoy our shows together.

I loved that Sunday night feeling.  It meant that I was capable of feeling deep gratitude for what I had in my life.

Now, I get that feeling a lot more often. 

I get it when I drop the kids skates off to be sharpened and when I get a good deal at the grocery store.  I got it when I bought my new winter jacket last week and enroute to a coffee date with a friend.  I get it when I am snuggled in bed for the last 1/2 hour of rest before my day really begins.  And I felt it just now when I looked out the window at the snow that is covering my backyard.

It's like all those Sunday night feelings were seeds that were planted once a week and now I am experiencing a garden of gratitude everywhere I turn.

There is certainly alot to be grateful for.  I am healthy.  I am in a loving marriage.  My kids are healthy and smart.  I have a beautiful, warm home and I am surrounded by loving friends and family (to name just a few!)

Some days it can slip our minds to be grateful, we live in a society of abundance and so we tend to overlook the little things. 

I believe that if you spend even the smallest amount of time each day feeling grateful, that feeling will grow into natural gratitude that will sneak in (or pour in) to your life in the moments where you least expect it..... 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Long Road of Parenting

This weekend we spent an hour or so shoveling my father in law's driveway.  The boys all came along to give us a hand.

Well, one of them gave us a hand.  He was hoping to get it done as quick as possible because he wanted to hit the sledding hill.

The other two decided it was a great opportunity to have a snowball fight and wrestle in the snow.  At one point my 10 year old was buried chest deep in snow, courtesy of his older brother.

I love watching my boys play.  Sometimes I feel the oldest gets too rough with the youngest but it all seems to work out in the end.  My youngest has quite the little mouth on him and doesn't let his big brother get the best of him too often.  I was thinking the other day that they don't really get along, then I realized they get along perfectly for who they are, this is how they love each other.  Without this interaction they wouldn't have anything to do with each other.

I often wonder what their relationship will be like when they get older.  They are all so very different from each other and I've always hoped they would be supportive of each other later in life.

I know I have no control over this.  It's taken me a long time to realize (and admit to myself) that nothing I do or say can change how my children see each other and view their individual lives.

When they were younger I tried to make everything fair and square.  Trying hard to show them all that they were loved equally, and at the same time loved as the individual that they are.  I didn't want them to think that I loved one more than the others.  Didn't want to give one more attention than the others.

The reality is that they all require different levels of attention, among other things.  My oldest was never one to have us sit on the floor and play with him, my middle boy is very social and almost always needs a friend over, my youngest needs my attention almost constantly.

Trying to keep things "even" was the most stressful thing I could have done to myself.  I constantly questioned why I reacted one way to one child and another way to the other, why one punishment was sufficient for one and something more drastic was called for, for the other.

As a young Mom, my focus was on perfection.  Raising children who would successfully contribute to society, as well as make good and loving husbands and fathers.

Today, as a Mom who is more aware of herself and the lessons that life has for us.  I spend a lot of time with my boys just "being".  Talking about real stuff, doing things that make them feel loved and appreciated and listening to their stories, ideas and dreams.  We also spend a lot of time debating (okay arguing) and trying to convince each other that we need to let go a little and let everyone grow.

This is most likely a natural progression and not a really big deal.  It feels like it's taken me forever to get here though.  To appreciate being a mother and to appreciate all that I have learned from this role.  And to appreciate all that my children have taught me along the way.

It's certainly been a long road, and there is still much more to go.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The secret is out!!!!

The March 2011 issue of Martha Stewart's "Whole Living" hit my mailbox today. 

I ordered it back in October and totally forgot about it....  I guess it takes them a while to process these things!


On page 102 they have taken the liberty to set up a hormone scale/menstruation guide for their readers.


Why don't they package these hormone scales with the tampons and "sanitary napkins"???

I am going to post this sucker on the bulletin board in my kitchen...  Not only to remind me of the hormonal craziness I am living in 90% of the time but to "gently remind" my husband and children to stay away from me at key points of the month!

As a woman you know how uncontrollable you can feel at any given time of the month.  This little scale literally shows that there are (at best) 8 days of the month where you are feeling like you can take on the world, accomplish your goals and and have a good day!

8 days... 

Well, isn't that generous!

And lets face it.  Since Mother Nature's little monthly gift started visiting us all those years ago we can pretty much guess that we only have 8 good days.  But here it is.  Confirmed!  The secret is out....

All I can say is THANK GOD every woman's menstrual cycle isn't syncronized or we'd have blown this planet up a long time ago...


If every woman could syncronize her period.  We could bring peace and prosperity to the world in 8 days!


Sunday, February 6, 2011

The joys of parenting....

For every one story or conversation that I have with my 16 year old that is heartwarming and fuzzy, there are a gazillion others that are not....

So, today I thought I'd share one with you...

Me:  standing at stove, stirring rice for supper.....

Mr. 16 & knows everything:  ah, don't even bother asking me if my homework is done, because it is.

Me:  I wasn't going to ask you about your homework.

Mr 16:  and yes, I am probably getting my report card soon so don't even think about not trusting me to tell you when I do get it

Me:  what are you talking about?

Mr 16:  well you've always not trusted me about my report card

Me:  I only not trusted you that one time you lied about not getting your report card because you threw it in the garbage

Mr 16:  well anyway, you don't trust me and you really should trust me and stop holding these things over my head.

Me:  OMG!  you are TOTALLY trying to pick a fight with me and all I want to do is stir my F*&@!$# rice!

Mr 16:  Just shut up and listen to me, God I am so tired of you chirping at me!

Me:  I haven't said anything to you let alone CHIRP.  You totally started talking about your homework and your report card as if you were defending yourself and all I was doing was stirring the rice!

** this is where I start laughing and walk away while he continues to yell at me about what a nag I am **

So, sometimes I feel like I am insane living with this child.  Then I remember what it was like when he was younger. 

Then I realize, that we have ALWAYS behaved this way with eachother.

Like the time when he was 4 years old we were on our way to the cottage.  I was sitting in the backseat with him and we got into a little argument.  I remember my husband turning around in his seat and asking me if he needed to pull the car over and settle the argument for us!  HA!

I don't know what it is, he doesn't do this with his Dad, he specifically waits until he has me cornered and then he starts up.  It's almost like he has all kinds of pent up frustration and this is the only way he feels able to express it. 

All I do know is that every major argument we've had in this house has been the result of him opening a can of worms that really doesn't need to be open.  Then he complains that we're too hard on him.  Hubby and I are almost always left looking at eachother stunned because we don't even know what happened....

Oh the joys of parenting teenagers...

The saga continues......  stay tuned.....

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

To fear...or not to fear....

In my last blog I talked about being offered an amazing opportunity to take part in a retreat as a presenter.

It wasn't until I declined the offer and had a short discussion with my friends over dinner that I realized that I was feeling scared and intimidated by the thought of presenting in front of all of those fabulous people.  And I was covering it up with all kinds of other excuses.

I want you to know what I did with this situation, so that you know it can be done and hopefully it will help you when you are stuck in fear.

First, I emailed a good friend of mine and admitted to her that I was feeling scared.  She acknowledged what I was saying and added how exciting it would be if I could change my decision and move past my fears.  She also shared how great it was that I was noticing my fears and admitting to them.  (When you admit to your fears, they somehow magically diffuse to a point where you can see a little more clearly and gain forward movement).

I then made the decision to admit my fears to the coordinator of the retreat.  I wanted to be completely honest with her about why I had originally decided to decline her very gracious offer and asked if it was possible if there was still a space available for me to participate as a presenter. 

She replied with an amazing "You're in!!!"

And now....

Now I am planning my "workshop" for that weekend, I am fine tuning my bio and getting ready to send it over to her tonight.

The feeling of overcoming these fears is amazing.  I have been living with them my entire life!

The fears of not being good enough, or of being judged are common amongst women. 

It is however, imperative that we overcome these fears. 

If for no other reason than to prove to yourself that you can!