The magic & bigness in the simple things

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food, for love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

I am becoming a lover of simple things. This is new within the last 5+ years, and more so since becoming a mother. I used to be pretty driven, always focusing on the future, dreaming bigger and higher and wanting to be and do more. I still have those desires but they aren’t at the forefront as much. Simplicity is.

I’ve experienced again and again it’s the little things that give me true joy. They aren’t usually about money, recognition,  status or numbers of any kind. If I can stop long enough to breathe and settle into the moment there is so much wonder and delight…a richness that is hard to describe. These pauses help slow down the racing mind that can be consumed with time and getting it all done and a tendency to rush from one thing to the next.

The practice is to unbusy my mind and fully engaged in sensory awareness. This bestows so much more daily grace. These pauses of celebration inspire an unhurried life. I like this. To truly acknowledge the power of the moment. The abundance of the sun shining on my face as a new day begins, seeing my child laugh, having the freedom and resources to make healthy meals, taking leisurely walks playing and exploring, listening to a heart felt song, connecting with my family, being present to my life and all the magic that is unfolding. The bigness in the simple things is my central  focus these days.

This can’t be captured on facebook or twitter or in a bank account, for this is a visceral experience captured in our hearts and bodies in a very tangible way. It’s a way of inhabiting our lives, realizing there is no “getting there”, “arriving”, or “having it all figured out”. This. Is. It. Our life journey…in all it’s colors, dimensions, textures and flavors. It’s the collection of simple things that come together to weave our precious individual stories.

We must limit the noise in our heads and our lives and be willing to slow down enough so that we can actually embrace these moments. Otherwise we miss them. The simple magical moments require attention, presence and recognition. When you feel one. Stop. Smile. Feel it in your body. Listen to the vibration of life happening all around you. Rest and delight in that particular snapshot of time.

I believe the deep breaths, the sun, the water, tuning into my senses, the wonder around me and the little moments of joy can lighten and soften the occasional feelings of overwhelm and overload. Trusting that our life is unfolding with divine perfection. Resting in that place.

Resting our minds and our bodies even while we get things done. There can be a peace, a flow even in the midst of the mess. Life is messy. There will always be toys and dishes to clean up, and things to get done. As long as we are breathing there will be details that need tending.

The listening and resting helps. It’s where we hear the call for expansion…the call for a deeper authentic life. The simplicity gently guides us with grace, love, and enthusiasm. How can we dance with the big and the small with utmost respect and importance? Boldly saying yes to it all! Yes to our lives!

Last night as we transitioned from dinner to bedtime rituals I paused looking at the kitchen before turning off the light.  My husband had graciously done the dishes. There were a few things that weren’t cleaned up. A few glasses, supplement bottles, and some dishes drying next to the sink. With the eyes of perfection I would’ve wished that it was cleaner. With the eyes of beauty I saw life. I saw our lives.

These little things we do every day make up our lives. They are yes, just glasses/dishes/bottles on the counter, but they were used by people I love. I smiled and thought yes, this is my life. It’s not sterile and perfect, but it’s mine.

There is magic in our day to day lives. The simplicity of most of our days sculpt our life stories. These divine tasks mold our character. The miracles may not seem big but they are, for if we only feel deeper we will see the love. We get to choose how we will weave our myth. Why not choose one of magic and miracles right where we stand?

There may be thoughts that it’s not enough. We can look at what is happening in the world and think we must do more and be more. But, as Byron Katie advised in a workshop I attended a few months ago: we must save ourselves first. This is how we change the world. Be the change we want to see. What world do we want to live in and create? It starts with us.

Even if we think our little space in the universe can’t really change the world. It can and it is. Because our choices are changing us, changing our families and therefore our communities and world. Our presence impacts the world. We must start where we are and let spirit/god/life move through us it guides us to our next adventure. It’s that simple. Today I honor the magic and bigness in the simple things. This is what’s calling me. What’s calling you?

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Snarls, Stains & Shame

Shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging – something we’ve experienced, done, or failed to do makes us unworthy of connection.
Brené Brown

I’m chatting with my Mom on the phone. I love my Mom, she’s my best friend. She proceeds to tell me 2 family members have recently made comments that my son’s shirt had stains on it and that his hair was matted. I felt the initial heat rise, wanting to get nit picky. I instead launched into why I don’t agree and then started justifying (or protecting) myself from these comments.

My pep talk went something like this: Hello, he’s a boy! He gets dirty and sometime spills on his shirts. And…he has longer hair and it’s not matted. I use a detangler and try to comb them out and yet, still in the morning they are back. Could I do it better? Of course and I’m not too concerned with a few stains and snarls. I make all of our food, I gave birth naturally, he’s never sick. So there!

Ah! I felt a bit better. My Mom patiently listened to me. Then I finished with: There is only so much time in a day and I am more interested in my child eating healthy food and moving as much as he can. Not looking picture perfect all the time. Plus, I think we are both rockin’ it and ain’t no snarls and stains gonna get me down!

Note: My kid does take baths and washes his hair (haha). I personally think his hair is awesome with a few snarls and all. And..sometimes I spill things on my shirt….and don’t brush my hair everyday. So…it’s clearly not top on my list of priorities.;)

I got off the phone still feeling slightly triggered. I glanced at the kitchen sink that had dishes in it from yesterday’s cooking. I found it odd that I was upset about it now. Because just this morning I actually danced around the island listening and singing to All About That Bass, celebrating my life and feeling good even though the kitchen was a mess. I knew I’d clean it today but as I stood there with agitation…I felt a hit of what?? Shame!? Is shame lurking behind the scenes right now I wondered…

I dug a little deeper. I realized this is a part of me I keep integrating (+ accepting) more and more. I’m not interested in interior design or fashion. It’s not my thing. It never has been. Currently, I am more comfortable in yoga clothes, vibrams with my hair pulled up (usually not brushed). It feels easy and functional to do the things I’ve deemed most important like moving my body. If I was all dressed up in restricted clothes I might not move as much as I do now…but, I digress (that’s a whole other post).

Occasionally, a voice pipes up telling me I should care more about home design and what I wear. I get inspired for like a minute to do something about it and then I realize I don’t currently want to invest my time and energy into that. I am clear on what lights my fire and that’s not it. I’d rather read a book, go for a walk or take a nap. 🙂

While it seems our culture is all about photoshop, perfection, makeup and looking like a celebrity; I am all about wearing less makeup, getting down the truth of who I am and being more real and authentic and not having to look picture perfect in order to be worthy. I’ve tried the other path and it never felt like it fit.

For many years I slept with a futon on the floor. As long as I had my journal, books and good healthy food in my home I was golden. I could probably wear the same outfit every single day for a month (or year) and it wouldn’t negatively effect my sense of aliveness or creativity. My “makeup” consists of moisturizer, boom that I use on my cheeks and lips, mascara and occasionally natural mineral makeup and some eye liner. That’s 5 products. I love the simplicity.

I realize it’s not an either/or choice…and there’s no one right camp. The only camp I am interested in is the one that truly resonates for me and my willingness to own it more and more. And…I can totally appreciate the opposite perspective as well, it’s just not my current interest. We all have our own style, flava and season of expression so there’s room for all of our divine uniqueness.

So…after a few minutes of excavating through my thoughts and emotions. I walked to the park pushing my son in the stroller and I had the thought: I am actually an interior designer. My designer skills are more oriented towards the interior landscape of consciousness. The feeling/emotional/mental/spiritual realms of life design.

It can be so easy to focus on the “spots” where we aren’t the strongest and let that outshine our true greatness. I’m talking figuratively and metaphorically here. I do believe we need to be aware of stains and spots but not allow them to take center stage.

We need to have a clear sense of who are and embrace it fully and lean into our strengths. There’s not doubt our weaknesses can diminish our shine so it’s important we don’t let let them kick the joy out. But there is only one main stage. Who’s voice is that gonna be? Hopefully our highest self.

Yet there was more…I pondered…What’s underneath my trigger? I’m well aware that we aren’t the most “fashionable” family ever. I am also well aware that I am *really* proud of myself for the mother I am. I gave birth naturally at home and I’ve done my best to give him the most loving and nourishing home life as possible – from the nutrition, to RIE, to reading and studying and my deep commitment to being an awesome parent. Shame can’t take that away from me.

But, there was still an urge to say: Screw you and throw some criticisms their way. But, is that really what I want? Does this really matter? What would I say about these two family members if today was there last day? I wouldn’t criticize. I would celebrate all their awesomeness. So, why waste time doing it now? I don’t want to fight back, blame or justify myself. I just want to be myself.

Criticism doesn’t support me in who I know myself to be. It doesn’t elevate it belittles. There’s a feeling of relief and righteousness when I criticize someone. But, what’s really hiding behind the criticism is my hurt and a feelings sense that I’m not being seen for all the good I am actually doing and for who I truly am.

Wait a second how the heck did I get to this place. It was just a short little chat with my Mom about hair and stains. No big deal. Oh, how shame weaves a powerful web of illusion.

In the big scheme of life this is petty stuff. And, yet if not addressed can ruin our days, years, lives if we don’t investigate. So I take a few deep breathes and ask how I can grow? What can I learn here?

I think about what I love and appreciate about these 2 family members. I can find a lot of good and gratitude if I am willing to step out of irritation. Then, I think about the things I love an appreciate about myself. Who I am and all the ways I’ve grown and changed over the years and how I am getting better and better every day.

I look at the “comments” objectively and look for the kernel of truth with a growth mindset. Can I work on my son’s snarls more? Yes, of course I can.  Can I be more aware of stains and change his shirts more often throughout the day? Yes, I can. This doesn’t mean I will always choose to do it. But, I can. I have that choice.

I can also work on the snarls of criticism and blame in my mind and scrub some of the self limiting stains from my consciousness as well. We all have limiting mental drama in our minds that could use a bit more attention and elbow grease to clean up the clutter that blocks our power.

I also can see how both of these family members have an amazing talent with organization and cleaning. This is their strong suit. I can learn from them. It is no secret that this hasn’t been one of mine. I’ve already improved so much over the years and I keep refining my systems and habits to get even better. Everything can be for our growth.

If we can step far enough back and question, meditate, and see the bigger picture then all the so-called criticisms can be used to our advantage, for our transformation. When we point our finger at someone there is always more fingers pointing back at us. Which means we have more work to do. This is actually exciting when we can do it from a place of love, kindness and awareness. Listen with curiosity to our shame because it’s always calling us to come home to our essence.

We all have our strengths and weaknesses. Don’t let the snarls, stains and shame get you down. See the growth opportunity and seize it. Use criticism to catapult you to the next level. Don’t swim in a shame storm, it does no good. We are all doing the best we can and we can also do better. The criticisms, frustration, and anger can lead us to a more fulfilled life. We are all splendidly imperfect. See the beauty in it all. It’s there.

Bring it on!

alex_signature_pink

Daily Bliss – November 9, 2015

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.  Howard Thurman

Affirmation: I feel enthusiastic, energized, radiant, powerful, and joyful!

Nutrition:
* 7:30 bulletproof decaff coffee w/cacao powder/coconut milk/mct oil/stevia
* 10:00 power smoothie (homemade almond milk, steamed spinach, blueberries, maca, stevia leaf, collagen)
* 12:30 handful of plaintain chips (planned on a juice but the place was closed)
* 3:00 chicken dipped in primal kitchen mayo (love this stuff)
* 6:00 butternut squash soup with sauteed chard and ground beef topped with avocado + few bites of a persimmon

Movement: 5 minute walk at 6:15 w/ E to walk the doggie + 20 minute strength workout (pretty light but did get heart rate up) +10 minute walk + 10 minute walk + 10 minute family walk

Meditation: 20 minutes + 45 minute napitation and listened to this 4 minute Blissitation: Power Strength & Courage:


Book Love:
I recently finished these books:
The Loving Diet. This one’s about going beyond paleo into the heart of what ails you. I really loved it because it’s about choosing to love yourself and life no matter what your physical ailments are. Jessica, the author, focuses on the autoimmune protocol in her practice but she also brings a lovely heart centered approach to healing that I really dig.

Kale and Coffee. I’ve known about Kevin Gianni (The Renegade) for years. His book is all about his journey to finding health, happiness, and longevity. I enjoyed reading his story because I was pretty intense (like him) with the vegan (high raw) diet. I appreciated his honesty, courage and willingness to explore all avenues of health to see what works best for his body even when it challenged what he believed to be true.

Notes from a Blue Bike. It’s another memoir all about the the art of living intentionally in a chaotic world. Tsh is a wife and a mother to 3 kids. I love reading about how other mothers are creating their desired lives. It takes courage to create sacred boundaries in order to live the lives we most want. She’s a great writer and it was a fun to travel around the world through her eyes.

Body Goodness: I’ve been slowly getting off the bulletproof coffee. I liked the potential health and longevity theory but I didn’t notice any big benefits. And, I feel like a green smoothie/juice would probably be a better choice for me. Happy I tried it though.

Dr. Amen gave me some Serotonin Mood Support to help optimize my brain from what he saw on my brain scans mostly my limbic system being a bit overactive and signs of some trauma (from the last year with mold, our dog being killed and our best friend’s death). I think I notice a difference. I start my moon cycle in the next few days and I don’t feel the slight irritability + heightened emotional sensitivity that can come up for me at this time. Go serotonin boost! 🙂

Mind/Heart Goodness: I am inspired to simplify even more and to keep refining my essentials and rockin’ the simple habits that add the most power and joy to my daily life. I get *really* excited about a lot of habits and things I want to do and can tend to want to do them all (now!). 🙂

I’m bringing in my focus and only picking a few. This feels a bit challenging but I also know I will master more habits in the long run doing it this way. The question that is at the forefront of my mind is: What is most important now? What will have the greatest impact on my life today, next month, next year? What would it look/feel like if I did these habits every day? Simple wins and creating sustainable success!

Gratitude & Appreciation: I am grateful for the blue sky and clouds. They seem extraordinarily beautiful today as we walked and played outside. I am grateful for the abundance of yummy fruits and vegetables we have access to every week. I am grateful for books. Every day so much gratitude for books and the awesome people who wrote them! I am grateful for all the sweet little interactions we have with people around town. I am grateful for everyone who helped built the new park by our house. I am grateful for the Internet and all the amazing people I’ve met because of it, including my husband! I am grateful for the life and family we’ve created together.

Oh, and I won the day for my Brain & Body Optimization Game! Woot! Woot!

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Brain & Body Optimization Game

Recently, I posted about a game I’m playing to help optimize my brain and body! I’ve been (mostly) rockin’ it! I haven’t done a great of a job with holding the vision and jazzing up my enthusiasm or tracking my daily progress which I know is impacting my intention, daily focus and commitment. And, making those meals. Yeah….

We don’t eat out (well, occasionally we do get a plain roasted chicken + some pre-made guacamole at Whole Foods and a salad if we go to Erewhon Market – my two favorite health food stores EVER!) but that’s about it these days.

The other night I knew I needed to do a better job with meals because we went to the park after the hubster was done working and I didn’t have anything prepared for dinner (usually I at least have something planned). So, we ate organic chicken/turkey sausages, plantain chips, olives and fermented pickles. Bonus points for getting outside and moving but…the whole meal planning needs work! 🙂

I felt like I needed to breathe new life into my game!

So, I printed off the game and made a commitment to read it every day and actually play the game by keeping score. I’ve kept track some days and I noticed I felt more on purpose and alive, so I am going to do that more! Focusing on getting better not doing the game perfectly (reminding myself!). 🙂

I wanted to share it with the hopes that it will spark and help you rock your health even more! Here’s the game:


The Brain & Body Game

The Mission: I’ve chosen to take on the mission of optimizing my brain and body and supporting my son and husband to do the same. The intention is to execute and follow the plan to completion. Epic win, baby! I will detox the mold out of my system, balance my brain and increase my energy and vitality. #YES

Superhero Name: The Supercharged Goddess! She is all about creating vibrant body and brain health and peak performance. She has the ability to heal and create a beautiful brain and vibrant body! #Superpowersbaby!

My divine assignments are to focus on daily core vitamins:
Vitamin (N)utrients — Eat an abundance of nutrient dense foods + eliminate potential inflammatory foods
Vitamin (E)xercise — Move ALOT throughout the day
Vitamin (R)est Digital sunset (meaning turning off electricity when sun goes down) go to bed early + nap when needed
Vitamin (M)editation AM 15 minutes (bonus if I do it in the evening)
Vitamin (G)ratitude — AM + PM  (+ choose gratitude and appreciation though out the day)
Vitamin (O)ptimism — Review my game + feel into my vision every AM + PM – Choose awesomeness!
Vitamin (L)ove — Practice loving kindness towards myself/others. No criticism, blame, complaint.
Vitamin (P)lay — Have fun! Play and enjoy! 🙂 Be willing to do things differently and laugh a lot!

Game Rules:
1. The game is 5 weeks long. Start Date: October 26, 2015 + End Date: November 30, 2015. This is sort of a jump start because according to my functional doc this will probably be 3-6 month process.

2. My Yeses — Eat meals that are super nutrient dense, lower in carbohydrates, limited fruit and nuts (with a lot of autoimmune protocol meals to help decrease any inflammation).

3. My Nos — No grains, No legumes, No dairy (except ghee), No sweetener of any kind (except stevia), No vegetable oils (to keep a healthy omega 3 to 6 ratio) — with the exception of an occasional “special” day when we choose to eat out. Most of our meals are in alignment with this already but it makes it easier when there is absolute clarity.

4. Be intentional — Stay connected to the vision, record +celebrate my daily wins and progress.

Feeling & Being Desires:
1. Enthusiasm — I feel enthusiastic!
2. Energy — I feel energized!
3. Radiance — I feel radiant!
4. Power — I feel powerful!
5. Joy — I feel joyful!
6. Love — I feel loving!

Specific Desired Outcomes:
1. Create amazing systems so it’s easy for our family to eat a daily nutrient dense diet (6+ servings of vegetables a day with good amounts of healthy fat and moderate amounts of protein)
2. Detox mycotoxins (mold) and eliminate any potential inflammation in body/brain (confirm this with another urine test from reatime labs)
4. Optimized + supercharged blood panel (will test with wellnessfx )
5. Optimized gut panel with genova (no mold, candida, optimal gut flora + optimal digestion)
6. Optimized hormone panel (comprehensive test — thyroid, progesterone, testosterone, estrogen, etc.)
7. Balanced and optimized QEEG with neurofeedback training  (do 10+ sessions)
8. Be ready to cut down on the anti-convulsant (keppra) medication to 500 mg starting in December. I’ve already gone from 1000 mg to 750 and intend to go to 250 by January and then completely off by the end of January and then be able to drive again in February. #YAY!

This is the structure I am using to track:

Energy Generators: Goal is to activate at least 5 of these a day. —  1 point for each one.
✓    Morning sunshine — say hello to the sun within an hour of waking (1 minute minimum)
✓   Read my vision – get inspired and create day
✓    1 song dance
✓    Take supplements
✓    Meditation
✓    Nap(itation) – meditation + nap
✓    Take 10 deep breaths
✓   Walk (minimum 5 minutes)
✓    Strength Training (minimum 10 minutes)
✓    Rebounding
✓    Green Smoothie
✓    Green Juice
✓    Raw greens
✓    Cooked greens
✓    Bone broth or collagen supplement
✓    Sing and/or hum
✓    Plan the meals for the day (do this the night before)
✓    Body Love — look in the mirror and say I love you and appreciate 1 thing about my body
✓    Gratitude – take a gratitude pause and/or thank someone for helping me in some way (be specific)
✓    Whole Body Vibration Machine
✓    Grounding – use mat or go outside on the earth
✓    Touch a tree and take a few deep breaths
✓    Digital sunset + in bed by 9

Score for the day:

Obstacles: Goal is to avoid at least 5 of these a day.  — 1 point for each one. We all have obstacles that get in the way of achieving what we most desire. It’s important to be aware of them so we are prepared to choose (not resort to our default tenancies).
✓    No sweeteners (except stevia)
✓    No packaged foods
✓    No grains
✓    No legumes
✓    No vegetable oils (like canola, safflower, sunflower, grapeseed, etc.)
✓    No eating out
✓    No dairy (except ghee)
✓    Laziness – not being prepared and/or not wanting to make food
✓    Not picking up the kitchen – I notice it’s much easier and more inspiring to cook in a clean kitchen
✓    Negative self-talk and victim thinking (5 to 1 with myself – meaning 5 appreciations for every criticism).

Score for the day:

Goddess Adventures: These are bigger so I get 5 points each time I do one of these. 🙂
✓    Go to a class – fitness, yoga, do something different
✓    Neurofeedback session
✓    Colonic
✓    Enema – coffee or probiotic one
✓    Wash a bunch of vegetables and cut them up so they are ready for meals  — my ultimate goal is to create a system that makes this easy (calling on the food fairy for support on this one;)
✓    Make a new recipe
✓    Help someone else – Look for ways to help other people – do something for someone else — actually plan a way to do something kind and helpful for someone else.
✓    Dance party — 3 or more songs – sing, laugh and dance
✓    Letter of appreciation to myself. Thanking myself for all that I am doing and accomplishing and who I am becoming.
✓    Record and listen to the Optimize Body & Brain Game! (Create a meditation and a vision of why I am doing it and who I am committed to being.) — started working on this yesterday!:)
✓    Do The Work or ANTS (reframing Automatic Negative Thoughts by Daniel Amen) when I notice something triggering me
✓    Sauna (minimum 15 minutes)
✓    Hyperberic Oxygen session
✓    Do something fun and ridiculous and out of the ordinary — skip down the street, do a cartwheel,  hop on one foot, do a break dance while making dinner. Change it up! (like adventure quests with a toddler).

Score for the day:

What’s my Heroic Victory? These are some of the questions I am contemplating and maybe they will inspire you to do something new to upgrade your health.
* What’s the end vision look and feel like?
* How will this game help me grow? What do I hope to learn?
* Who do I want to be for my family? Why is this important to me?
* What would feel super epic if I accomplished in regards to my health?
* How can I be the heroine in my own life and make myself proud?

Love to hear your thoughts and any ideas/games you might want to play!

alex_signature_pink

P.S. Any tips on meal planning for those of you superstars that have mastered that habit!? 🙂

The Rechargeables: Eat Move Sleep

We read the Rechargeables book indexat least once a day. It’s one of little E’s favorites. I love it because it reminds us how simple and important staying recharged is to living an optimized life.

If we, as a family, are eating right, moving and sleeping well we are setting ourselves up for a pretty awesome day!

Eat, Move & Sleep are vital for our family flow. We have such great routines that it’s easy to notice the impact on the whole when someone is off in one of these 3 areas. Life is so much smoother (and more fun) when our days are shaped around these basic principles.

Are we eating nutrient dense foods? Moving a lot? Getting outside? Resting and sleeping well? If the answers are YES we’re rockin’ it! I also like to add in some FullSizeRender-6gratitude, a positive mindset, play and laughter and we’re unstoppable! 🙂

Today in celebration of the eating well principle we made some juice. E’s at the age now where he can do it by himself (w/my supervision of course) which is pretty exciting. He *loves* to do it. Today we juiced outside because Daddy needed us to be quiet so he could record. Toddlers and quiet don’t usually go together.:)

<– Here FullSizeRender-7we are drinking our juice and getting recharged.

Ok…back to the Rechargeables book. The main characters – Poppy and Simon go on a bunch of adventures to figure out how to keep their charge up and stay in the green zone. By the end they realize it’s essential to eat right, move more, and sleep well for energy. Then, they decide to go and help everyone in the village get recharged.

Sidenote: In a lot of our books I change words and even some story lines. I actually really dig most of this one but still do add a few additions here and there.:)

Here’s a fun little recording we did about how to stay recharged while we were making juice:

(At the end Zeus, our dog got scared of the wind blowing so E was checking in to make sure he was ok.;)

We talk about Simon and Poppy a lot. They even accompany us on our walks, playing and making food in the kitchen. It’s such a brilliant way to help children understand how they can impact their health and energy (and a great reminder for us parents too). FullSizeRender-8

Emerson will say things like: I am getting my charge up when he eats or he’ll ask if something is brain food. Or, he’ll run and say: I am getting recharged. At bedtime we talk about how sleep helps us stay well resourced and recharged so we can have another great day tomorrow! 🙂

What are your favorite children’s books and ways to recharge with your family?

alex_signature_pink

10 Adventure Quests with a Toddler

One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure. — William Feather

Yesterday I awoke with a few limiting thoughts and a lack of excitement about the day with my toddler. I decided to do something different. I asked the question: How can I make today an adventure!? How could we make it more fun!?FullSizeRender_3

I thought: Make it a game. We will go on 10 quests today. I shared the idea with my son and then, we sat down and wrote out our list. He contributed the park, store and making the pumpkin porridge, the rest were my ideas that he agreed with.

We started our game at 10:30 am and ended at 5:30 pm. Below is what we did in the order we did them. 🙂

1. 7 minute Whole Body Vibration Plate workoutWe  have our own little home gym so he did his own little “workout” which consisted of not wanting me to workout, playing with legos and doing a little bit of rowing. 😉 (If you’re interested in the vibration plate there is also a less expensive one on Amazon you can find HERE!)

Image-1-12. Grocery Store — Here we got a green juice and kale chips to power us up for the start of our outdoor quests. We also stopped by a sign that I’ve walked by many times but have never read. It was pretty awesome to see people’s desires. Made me smile.

3. Find a feather — We went to the metaphysical store down the street from our house and serendipitously saw a Image-1-2bunch of feathers. #Score! I also got some more frankenscience incense and a little memento to put on my desk. Oh, and I bought a magazine which is something I pretty much never do. I know really daring greatly. HA! FullSizeRenderI thought the cover was brilliant!! 🙂

4.Discover something new — We stopped to ask two construction workers what they were fixing. We learned all about how the water actually gets into our homes so we can use it. Amazing how many people help our lives run smoother. WFullSizeRender_4e also discovered this cool free library someone created on the street outside their house and made a note to go and donate a book.

5. Walk down a different street — While we were walking down our quest street we met a local author, Robyn. If I wasn’t in the adventurous spirit I probably wouldn’t have said anything. But, we were on a quest so I said: I think I have a book you wrote. Did you write a book? She said: Yes! We talked about her book/work/parenting/etc. Then, I shared how much I appreciated her commitment to unabashedly be herself. We had a delightful conversation and hugged as we both went on our way. (Her book is Go Only As Fast As Your Slowest Part Feels Safe To Go).

6. Go to the park and do 10 different activities We visit the park at least once a day. I sometimes play but mostly just hang around and watch my son play. I wanted to get in on the action so I committed to doing 10 different activities. I went down slides, climbed walls, attempted pull ups, jumped, etc. It was so much more fun. Good reminder we can inspire play wherever we go. Don’t let the joy stoppers limit our fun!

7. Have a picnic  — I was thinking we would rock this quest in the afternoon but FullSizeRender_2it ended up raining. Later I told E we still needed to do our picnic quest. He said we already did it when we sat on the floor eating our pumpkin porridge. Indoor picnic on the floor? Works for me! 🙂

Then, it was about 4:45 and it was chilly and slightly raining and I really wanted to just stay inside. But, we still had a few more quests to complete. E said: Let’s Go! So, we put our jackets and hats on and headed out. It was actually amazing.  No one was out and it was beautiful from the recent rainfall with lots of puddles to jump in.

8. Help someone — I am reaching with this one because it was more just being helpful rather than helping a specific person. But, we are counting it. We found 8 pieces of trash and picked it up and put it in the garbage. The best part was how excited he got when he found a piece of trash and then preceded to put it in the garbage. Never would have guessed picking up trash could be so fun!

9. Climb a tree — My son is only 3 so we don’t climb that high. But, we did climb up a smaller one and explored 2 really big tree trunks. While we were sitting on one of the trucks he decided he wanted to have a pretend picnic. Great idea I said (kids are awesome!). He then went and got some leaves and some sticks and we pretended to 1079_25_gratitude-quotes-gratitude-quoteswebhave some apples, porridge, cashew butter and green juice.

10. Savor and gratitude practice —  We savored all the fun things we did before his nap. And, then, before bedtime we talked about all the adventures of the day and what we loved about it and a couple of things we were grateful for.

Bonus Quests:
* Make pumpkin porridgeE got the canned pumpkin out of the cabinet and wanted to make something with it. I haven’t eaten grains in 3 years and occasionally I miss porridge/oatmeal. So, I had the inspiration to try to create something similar. We both FullSizeRender_1*loved* the experimental creation and are going to make it again today. Will share recipe soon!

* Sprints — When we were outside completing our adventure quests I said: Let’s get some sprints in too. Wanna run? He enthusiastically said: YES! And, off we went running down the bike path, stopping to rest and take a few breaths and then starting again. So great.

Whew! What an awesome adventure! It would have been a totally different day if I would’ve believed my grumpy thoughts from the morning. I might’ve even felt kinda bored with the whole at-home-mothering thing but we turned it into a wild adventure. Happy I chose something different.

We both got lots of nature time, talked with a bunch of people, had a lot of fun, discovered new things, moved our bodies a lot, and nourished ourselves with some good food, gratitude and the joy of helping ourselves and others! I was a much happier Momma today because of it! 🙂

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P.S. Any other ideas for our next Adventure Quest day? What would be your quests for the day? 🙂

Best Applesauce Ever

There was a time when I was buying my son’s organic applesauce because I didn’t want to make it. I thought: it’s good enough. Until I tried it. It didn’t taste anything like the one I made. So, I ditched the store bought one and now, we just make our own. It’s actually super easy to make and we call it:
The Best Applesauce Ever! 🙂

Here’s the recipe: FullSizeRender-5

Ingredients:
* 1/2 cup of water
* 5 chopped up apples (depending on their size)
* Juice of 1 lemon
* 2 tsp of cinnamon
* 3 TB of ghee – you can also leave this out if you want. I add it in there so my little guy gets a healthy dose of fat (you could also substitute it with almond or some other nut butter).

Instructions:
1. Bring the water to a boil in a small sized sauce pan FullSizeRender-4
2. Add the apples, lemon juice, cinnamon and stir to mix it up
3. Boil for 5-10 minutes
4. Add ghee and stir to get it all yummified
5. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes
6. Use a handheld mixer or blender (I use this one here). I just blend it right in the pan.
7. Smile and enjoy the yum sauce! 🙂

We usually use take some soaked chia seeds and then mix it with the applesauce to make a delicious snack.

Brian recorded me making a vegan version of this about 6 years ago that you can watch below. I don’t eat the peanut butter anymore but I hope you at least get a good chuckle out of seeing us laugh! Omgoddess! The video is pretty ridiculous but the recipe is actually really good if you want to make a snack in less than 5 minutes.

Applesauce Sorta Stuff Recipe:

Enjoy!

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