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? 🙂

Zen to Done – 10 Productivity Habits

05c2e4c2d3ef971c336d1c1bb66c355eThe other day I read (for the second time) Zen to Done by Leo Babauta . It’s a super quick read and I love the simplicity of it.

I’ve read Getting Things Done and a variety of other organizational books but I often felt like there was too much to implement and I, ironically, never really got to far in the process.

I thrive when I get *really* clear on what’s essential and do that. I ask myself a lot: What is most important? And, then I give all of my time, energy, and attention to the answer to that question. Which means saying “no” to a lot in order to honor my values for this phase of my life.

This can be challenging sometimes because I have so many creative dreams and ideas. Creativity is one of my top strengths, therefore, it’s crucial to exercise discipline and focus to make sure I get my projects across the finish line. This helps me zone in on what I want to do most and be more efficient and productive.

Below is a snapshot of Leo’s 10 Habits for implementing his Zen To Done (ZTD) system. I am sharing these in hopes they might help you and also as a reference and reminder of what I am committed to. 🙂

1. Collect — Get everything out of your head and onto a paper or an app so don’t forget things and also, so your to-dos aren’t just swirling around taking up energy that could be directed somewhere else. I use OmniFocus (1st version) and a notebook for this. This habit has been HUGE in helping me become more organized. Life changing huge!

2. Process — This means taking the time to process your list of things to do. Make quick decisions on what needs to be. Delete, delegate, do it immediately, defer for later, file it and repeat this process until your inboxes are empty. Soon as something comes into your mind, mailbox, phone, inbox, etc. decide what you need to do to be complete with it. Don’t just let it sit there (I’m telling myself this:)!

3. Plan — What are you going to do today? He recommends having 1-3 MIT’s (most important tasks) or Big Rocks. What will you feel happy you accomplished? Plan your day around these goals/tasks. Ideally do these in the morning with a block of time. I’ve found with my mothering schedule I have less big chunks of uninterpreted time but I can easily create little pockets of time. It’s amazing what you can get done in 5-15 minute time slots.

4. Do“The habit of “do” is the key to the ZTD system. It’s the habit that’s missing from many other productivity systems, and yet it’s the most important. All the rest is just busy work if you don’t actually do the things on your to-do list.”  The key is to create the time, limit all distractions, completely focus, and then…get excited, commit and GET IT DONE! Finish is my mantra! 🙂

5. Simple trusted system — Create a system so that you can have everything you need/want to get done in one place. Then, when you have the time and space to get things done you will be ready and you won’t waste time preparing. You can just get to work and master the habit of “Do”.

The basic idea is to categorize the things that need to get done in your system like: work, personal, errands, calls waiting for someday/maybe lists, etc. So, for example, when you have 15 minutes you can go to your phone category and complete a bunch of phone calls, or maybe batch a bunch of errands/emails, etc.

Like I said above, my meta system is OmniFocus for this. I’ve used it for the last 3.5 years and I love it. David Allen’s GTD system inspired me to get more organized on this and it made life so much easier! I not a tech queen and only use a handful of apps so there might be a bunch of newer apps you can use now. You don’t need anything fancy, in fact a notebook can easily get the job done. I also use a journal where I can jot things down because sometimes I like to turn my phone off.

6. Organize “One of the oldest organizing truisms around, but perhaps the most important of all: a place for everything, and everything in its place.”

Do you know, at this moment, where everything single thing in your life is? HA! Nope! Where do the papers go? Bills? The toys? The keys? Clothes? Once we have found a home for everything then, accordingly to Leo we want to…put it away immediately, make it a habit, pay attention to transitions, keep flat surfaces clear, label, evaluate. Yep, I would benefit from all of these suggestions. 

I especially like the  transitions one…”The time between when you’re doing one thing and when you’re doing the next thing is a transition. This is the time when you should put stuff away where it belongs and clean up your mess, but it’s also the time when we’re not thinking about that stuff and only thinking about we’re going to do next.

If I took a few minutes to put everything in it’s place before moving on to the next thing there would be a sense of accomplishment and flow. The kitchen would be cleaned after a meal, the toys/books picked up from the floor, and my desk clear when I was done. Ah! That sounds like heaven. 🙂 These mini habits probably take 5-10 minutes and could probably revolutionize my life!

I sometimes make excuses having a toddler, because their creativity (well, at least for my son) is to dump a lot of stuff on the floor. Think: 100’s of legos everywhere! The thing is it wouldn’t be that big of a deal if we created the habit to put everything back in it’s place before moving onto something else.  Reminder: This habit starts with me and he will learn from me. What do I want to model for my child?

7. Review — “Let’s face it: even the best of us loses track of things over time, and loses focus on our goals, and let’s the best-planned system fall apart a little. With a busy workweek, a busy life outside of work, the best systems tend to gravitate towards chaos. That’s where the Weekly Review comes in — it gives you a chance to get things together and refocus yourself on what’s important.”

The gist of this habit: review your single long-term goals and short term goals, review your notes, review your calendar, review your lists, set your short-term goal for the week and plan your Big Rocks (MIT). This can take anywhere from 20-60 minutes.

8. Simplify — If you’re like me, you have a long list of tasks to do, perhaps broken down by different contexts (work, personal, errands, calls, etc.). Your list of tasks is so long that it’s overwhelming. You can never completely wipe out your list because it’s growing every day. Simplify your list down to the barest of essentials, and you can eliminate the need for complex planning systems.” YES!

What I do most days is get out a piece of paper and write:

1. My 3 biggest Creative Process Goals (same as MIT)
2. Blissiplines (exercise, meditation, nutrition, etc.)
3. 3-5 little tasks I’d like to accomplish for the day

“You don’t need a huge to-do list to be productive — just do the stuff that matters.” This has been vital for me in the last 3 years as I integrate my new role as a creative mother!

9. Routine — Routines can also greatly simplify your work day and personal life, as your day won’t be overly chaotic and complicated, you can group similar tasks together and batch process them, and you can be sure of doing the things you really need to do. Most importantly, it puts you in control of your day, instead of putting you at the mercy of the ebb and flow of all incoming requests. Without a routine, we have no way of saying “no” to requests as they come in, and we are at the beck and call of every person who wants our time and every website that wants our attention. That’s not a good thing, not if you want to get the important things done.”

I like routine and I also like spontaneity. I’ve found that regular routines help me to happily get the important things done. And, then my mind is less cluttered and more spaciousness which allows me to enjoy the adventure and unstructured time even more. I didn’t used to believe this but experience has shown me differently.;) I have an awesome morning and evening routine but I want to create more routines for meals and cleaning.

10. Find your passion– Some ideas from Leo: Is there something you already love doing? What do you spend hours reading about? Brainstorm. Ask around and surf for possibilities. Give it a try first. Never quit trying.

Other wise words: Don’t quit your job just yet. Do some research. What are your obstacles? Make a plan. Take action. Practice and practice, and practice some more. Be persistent. 

*I intend to share a video soon on some misconceptions I believed about following your passion for years that I think limited my results, successes and creativity.

Talk doesn’t cook rice. —  Chinese Proverb

Now, the action part! Leo doesn’t recommend doing all these habits at once. Look at where you might need some extra attention and start there. Implementing 1-4 habits at a time until they become routine.

The habits I’m starting with are: Process, Do, Organize, & Review.

Yahooo!! I’ve completed my #1 Creative Process Goal with this blog post. Now, I’m gonna go do a 15 min workout (5o burpees, 50 squats, 50 pushups, 50 lunges and 50 mountain climbers) and then do my #2, which is doing a bunch of online tests for my appointment with Dr. Daniel Amen next week. I am excited to learn how to supercharge my brain even more and hopefully his wisdom will help me with my organizational skills. 😉

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P.S. If you want to do a quick Amen Brain Checklist you can find a PDF HERE.

Meditation + Dance Party (w/ my son) = Joyful Momma

be-still-in-the-now-picture-quoteMy son said he wanted to make me feel better today. He got out his healing glove and told me to come into his hospital and lie down on the bed so he could help me. He’s really into firetrucks, hospitals, doctors and caring for me these days. So sweet!

He “buckled” me in and then got some legos along with a few other toys and put them on my belly and touched my head with his glove. I laid there for a few minutes and then said I was going to get up. He said: No Mommy don’t get up. I’m not done yet. Be still. Don’t move. 

I laughed and said: Yes, good advice. Be still. I took a deep breath, laid back down and smiled. Who says you can’t meditate with a child? I had a whole 5 minutes of deep breathing plus a “healing” session. How does it get any better
than that? 🙂

In the last few months I’ve occasionally awoken before E (we co-sleep) and I’ll be meditating in bed when he wakes up. I tell him I’m meditating and he can sit with me if he’d like. Most of the time he comes in and cuddles up in my lap and patiently waits while I “practice.” Sometimes he’s ready to get up and I flow with that too.:) The more I slow down, listen and be still the easier life becomes. In the stillness I can hear the voice of silence gently guiding me towards peace, love and freedom.

After our healing meditation he wanted to listen to some music. So we turned on the “Let it go” Pandora station and rocked out to: Part of your world + Uptown Funk. Love me some dancin’ and singin’! (You can find a 5 minute video on how I make dancing a workout HERE).

The lesson I am remembering today is there is always time and space to do whatever nourishes our soul. We just have to keep our intention at the forefront so we can see the opportunities when they arise. Otherwise we miss the joy hidden in the mundane because we are off to the next thing.

So…my fun challenge for you, SuperBetter style, is to take a minute or five to be still, breathe and tune into your innate awesomeness and pick one of your favorite songs and dance and sing your heart out. Dance like there’s nobody watching, love like you’ll never be hurt, sing like there’s nobody listening, and live like it’s heaven on earth. — William W. Purkey

Now, I’m off to make dinner!

Dance on Goddess,

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P.S. I’m always on the look out for new songs to rock out to. If you feel inspired share some of your favorite tunes in the comments below.

Momma Zen – Interview with Karen Maezen Miller

Karen Maezen Miller is a wife and mother as well as a Zen Buddhist priest at the Hazy Moon Zen Center Los Angeles, California.

She writes about spirituality in everyday life and is the author of Paradise in Plain Sight: Lessons from a Zen Garden, Hand Wash Cold: Care Instructions for an Ordinary Life and Momma Zen: Walking the Crooked Path of Motherhood.

This interview is sooooo good!! I listened to this 3 1/2 years after I interviewed her and it was exactly what I needed to hear today. This conversation never tires because how we experience motherhood is how we live. Powerful medicine and awesome wisdom for Mommas!!

I *love* her Momma Zen book! Here are a few of my favorite passages:

Your life is your practice. Your spiritual practice does not occur someplace other than in your life right now, and your life is nowhere other than where you are. You are looking for answers, insight, and wisdom that you already possess. Live the life in front of you, be the life you are, and see what you find out for yourself.

We can handle anything when we exchange our worries and fears for alertness and spontaneity, when we focus solely on what is in front of us, and when we leap into the sheer wonder of the unplanned life.

Practice acceptance on yourself so you can be kinder with your child.”

Life is full of fits and starts. Some things are easy; some are not. Some things go and some things stop. Do your work; then set it down. There are no failures. Forgive and forget yourself.”

You can change in an instant. You can change your mind. You can change your timing. You can change your approach. You can change your words. You can laugh instead of scream. You can hop on one foot. You can step away from the fray instead of stepping in. You can give up, give in, and go in a completely different direction you’d like to. You can do the dishes later. What then? What next? The Zen master has told you, ” You embody the golden breeze.” You are change. You have infitnite power to relax, to release, to change, and thus to change everything. If you find that you don’t have the energy or the good humor to do so this time, I will understand. There will be many opportunities afforded you.”

Your child is a tireless teacher, constantly probing your self imposed limits and boundaries, your self-centeredness, your sheer stubbornness.”

Yes, we all have a load on our hands, but the heavy is in our heads. Set the heavy down and sweep aside the useless mental clutter…When you can do anything as though you work at nothing, you have the best days of your life.

Words are magic. All words are, not just please and thank you. The words my daughter will use are the ones she hears; the words I want her to use she must hear from me.

All the careful preparations and good intentions you bring to motherhood come down to this: can you handle it right now?”

Here comes again: another start start of another day. What a reprieve! You have incalculable chances to change the ending. To change your attitude. To be the new you. Whether you know it or not, you already are the new you. Forget what you think, lose the foregone conclusion, and just be new.

In my home, the life of a priest, a wife, and a mother are one and the same. I have only one life and my life is only one thing. Motherhood doesn’t get in the way of being a priest, and being a priest doesn’t get in the way of being a mother. My practice is to see that nothing ever gets in the way of anything else. More to the point, my practice is to recognize that no one else is ever pushing me forward, and no one else is ever holding me back.

Aaaamazing right!? LOVE! I hope you enjoyed the interview and her golden wisdom!

Lots of Momma Love,

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Magical & Miraculous Love List

There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.
Albert Einstein

These are a 9 of my favorite experiences from last week:

❤ My son turned 3 years old. What a beautiful journey. He is the light of my life. He inspires me to rise up and be who I am (even more). His birthday is also a celebration of my initiation into motherhood. I was forever changed the day he was born. I gave birth at home in our bedroom and it was one of the best and most powerful days of my life. Motherhood can be such a vital expression of our creativity as mothers (in my humble opinion). In many ways this “art” form is raising me as much as I am raising my child.

I interviewed the late incredibly glorious Gabrielle Roth (creator of 5 rhythms) about 7 years ago and one of the things that stayed with me was how much she said having her son transformed her. While most of her friends were going off to be with gurus, going to mediate in the Himalayas and seeking enlightenment she decided to have a child.  I’ve remembered and thanked her for her wise words over and over the last 3 years.

Motherhood has been one of the biggest spiritual practices of my life. Everything that we need for spiritual awakening and growth happens in the day to day life with a child. If we are willing to see it…it’s all there and we can grow from everything (yes, even the laundry, the crying, the night wakings, the boundary testing, and all the attention and care that is needed to help these little people thrive). This is where we see what we’re made of, we see our cracks that need some extra lovin’, and we embody our power and gifts. Children help us see deeper into who we truly are.

❤ This is one of my favorite miraculous moments ever. So…I’ve been reading Dr. Daniel Amen and loving his brain wisdom. I was talking to my husband on Sunday about wanting to go to one of his clinics to get a SPECT scan so I can see how my brain is functioning.

Monday morning Dr. Amen serendipitously emailed Brian about his revised and updated book: Change Your Brain, Change Your life that will be coming out soon. Long story short, Brian told him about my 2 seizures and mold and we are both going to do scans and do a consultation with him next week.

Whhhhaaaat!?! Totally jazzed and over the moon grateful! He is literally the *perfect* doctor for me to see. He is one of the world’s best in his expertise on brain, mold and thyroid function. I am in awe and definitely did a big happy dance when we booked our appointments! 🙂

❤ Taking a walk one morning with my son and our dog at 6:45 am. Aaaaammmmazing! Beautiful reminder of the simple joys of life. The glorious sun, the fresh crisp morning air, the vibrant trees…life really is a grand adventure. There was such a joy, lightness and freedom that moved through all of us as we played in the early morning radiance. An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day. — Henry David Thoreau

❤ I also loved this TED talk about Jane McGonigal called: The game that can give you 10 extra years of your life. She found herself bedridden and suicidal following a severe concussion, she had a fascinating idea for how to get better. She dove into the scientific research and created the healing game, SuperBetter. She explains how a game can boost resilience — and promises to add 7.5 minutes to your life. My take away: It’s all a game. Have fun. Be you. Play full out. Losing is part of the game. Express yourself + be creative. Let yourself be happy!! #boom

Elizabeth Gilbert interviewing Brene Brown on Big Strong Magic!   Sooooo gooood! Elizabeth is the The author of BIG MAGIC and Brene Brown, is the author of RISING STRONG. This talk is about how essential creativity is for healthy, wholehearted living. I listened to it while rebounding and had to stop a few times to take a few deep breaths with tears in my eyes. I *loved* Brene’s book and I am just starting to dive into Big Magic.

❤ I got a few “passionate” dislikes and comments on my video about no longer being vegan. This wasn’t the most magical or miraculous thing (ha) but what I loved about it was my emotional process. I observed as I felt pissed off and then a softening happened and I saw it all with compassion. Compassion for myself and for the people who criticize.

I then decided to watch the video. While watching it I felt proud because I think it’s an important topic. I felt a strong resolve to continue to express my truth even if it goes against everything I believed to be true last year (month, day). I felt the freedom and flexibility that comes from being willing to experiment. “All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

❤ Cranialsacral session the other day. I am relatively new to cranialsacral work. My intention was to remove physical and emotional obstacles that may be constricting the flow. I had a profound experience as she was doing her “work”.

Last year at this time our dog was attacked at the beach. In our session the image of our sweet dog dying presented itself. I viscerally felt the fear, the helplessness and sadness gripping in my body. I acknowledged it and I let it be there. Then, something shifted, I felt a release. I realized I didn’t want to hold on to the fear any more.

She died, there is nothing I can do to change that. I can wish it didn’t happen but that won’t bring her back. I then had the realization that I didn’t want to send her off to the light with my worry and helplessness…I wanted to send her off with love. My heart broke open as tears filled my eyes. I had a sweet chat with her and the floodgates of love flowed through me.

This didn’t make all the sadness go away as I went through the whole experience again but what it did do was let me bring more love into my body and soften the fear and smile as I said a goodbye prayer with a heart full of gratitude remembering: Life and death are one thread, the same line viewed from different sides. — Lao Tzu Thank you sweet Zoey for giving so much. I love you.

❤ This blog. Grateful to have a place to share my stories, passions and life. I do it for the love of it. I do it because I’m called to do it. It’s a sacred space to share my creativity and it makes me smile. It feels good to be back in the game after years of not blogging. There is peace in knowing I am doing what I am here to do. I am honoring my sacred contract with my soul. Sometimes celebrating the magic lies in the simplicity. The simple creations may not seem like that big of a deal but they are. The way we choose to live our life is our greatest art. Zeus

❤ This morning in my meditation practice. I felt really supported and loved. I have an amazing support system. And, I had tears feeling the love and joy. I savored the grateful overflow. My dog must have been feeling it too because he rested in my lap. I felt like I was wrapped in a beautiful blanket of support. #grateful

Magic, Miracles + Love Abound,

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Bliss Diary – July 8, 2015

The only gift is a portion of thyself.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nutrition:
7:00 longevity tea w/few tb coconut cream + tsp mct oil + 2 scoops collagen
10:00 16 oz green juice
10:30 bowl of coconut chips (chose this instead of making food so I could write this blog ;))
1:00 goddess green salad w/ salmon on a raw asian wrap
3:00 25 oz lemon, ginger, few drops of stevia
6:15 bowl of cauliflower rice/nori/bone broth/spinach/coconut oil/sea salt + ground beef + 5 olives

Movement:
10 minute walk + park time w/ little E
20 minute rebounding
60 minute adventure at the meadow walking, lunging, climbing trees, + a 30 lb toddler carry 😉

Meditation: 15 minutes + 25 minute napitation (with this little guy on my lap) FullSizeRender.jpg

Body Goodness: I am feeling sooo much better! Woot! Woot! I woke up feeling so grateful for this amazing body I have. I’m also feeling tight in my head and shoulders. I did more body scans today and noticed I unconsciously tense my body. Every time I noticed this I did some light bouncing and shook out my body combined with a few deep breaths to release the tension.

Mind/Heart Goodness: Lately, I’ve  been exploring what it means to be a creative woman and honor my choice to be at home with my son and future children. I love solitude. I’m an introvert with a splash of extrovert. I come home  when I have space to be with myself, alone. As mothers know, this isn’t something we have in abundance (especially with the little ones). Yet, it’s vital.

To quote Anne Morrow Lindbergh from her book Gift From The Sea:

The artist knows he must be alone to create; the writer, to work out his thoughts; the musician, to compose; the saint, to pray. But women need solitude in order to find again the true essence of themselves: that firm strand which will be the indispensable center of a whole web of human relationships. She must find that inner stillness which Charles Morgan describes as “stilling of the soul within the activities of the mind and body so that it might be still as the axis of a revolving wheel is still.”

Yes, how do we carry that stillness within us throughout our days even in the midst of the divine chaos called motherhood? How do we honor our creative spirits while being a powerful center for our families? How do we get our needs met so we can thrive not just survive?

I’ve been looking at motherhood as an art. The becoming a mother part is actually pretty easy. But, mothering with intention and purpose is an art. It is a creative expression…a craft to be practiced. It is one of the greatest gifts we can give to the world. I feel this. And, sometimes, I notice that I can make everything hard. The passage below is from Karen Maezen Miller’s book: Momma Zen. She’s talking with her teacher at the end of a retreat and he says:

“You seem to have a little problem with your work ethic,” he said. I didn’t follow, since I judged myself to be the hardest worker there ever was.

“You make everything work,” he said.

I do. Do you?

When you are scraping the crusted cereal from the wall with a chipped fingernail, do not think: For this I gave up a vice presidency. When you are folding a stack of late-night laundry, do not think: This is my sixth load this week and it’s only Monday. When you stand over the sink of three-day old dishes, do not think: When, oh when, will I ever catch up? And while you’re at it, please don’t complain about the mindless nature of a mother’s work. The great transformative potential of a mother’s work is that it is mindless. No thinking of any kind required.

Ah, yes and I come back to being in the moment (no thinking required.) I come back to my chosen art: FullSizeRendermotherhood. I come back to my intention to be the love, joy, stillness no matter where I am or what I am doing. Reminding myself, I get to choose how I experience my days.

What if my biggest creation was my child and who I became during the years of mothering? I smile as I look to the left of my desk at my toddler’s creation. Breathing in and breathing out. This is it. This is where the magic of transformation happens.

Gratitude & Appreciation: I am grateful for our adventure at the meadow. It’s so beautiful and fun to see my little guy explore the open land. I am grateful for music that moves me. My singing mantra today was: I am bountiful, blissful and beautiful. Totally elevated my energy. I am grateful for all of my books, yes, the ones that are still all over the floor. I am grateful for our local health food store. I am grateful for my quick chat with a fellow Momma Goddess (+ her kiddos) on our walk today. I am blessed. Thank you for another day.

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P.S. I was writing some of this while my son was playing in my office and he came up and hit my keyboard and somehow deleted a good portion of the post.

I said Argh out loud. He said: Mommy upset? A small smile breaks through the frustration. How can I be that upset when he asks me so sweetly? I said: Yes, I’m a little upset. Then, explained to him what happened requesting 5 more minutes to write. He got it and began playing again.

And then, I began again…and again…and again. This is the path of the Mother. How do we patiently, persistently, diligently, lovingly show up for ourselves and our families?

Bliss Diary – July 3, 2015

Everyone and everything is in some degree or other our teacher. — Jack Kornfield

Intention/Affirmation: I choose ease, grace and flow today.

Nutrition: 
morning delight
lemonade (longevity tea, lemons, stevia)
16 oz green juice
handful of olives, chicken, + few bites of yummy applesauce I made for the little guy
3 small squares of homemade chocolate
fresh coconut water/meat + coconut blueberry gelatin pudding

Movement:
* 30 minute walk in the meadow with doggie and E.
* 15 minute rebounding
* 15 minute walk pushing stroller for a trip to the store
* 5 minute family walk

Meditation: 45 minute napitation (15 minutes of guided and thenFullSizeRender 30 minutes of napping) + 25 minute napitation

Body Goodness: My son was tired this morning and requested to take a nap after our walk at 8:15 am. Normally he takes a nap between 11-12 ish. We read books and he napped and I meditated and napped too. Felt so good. I think if I have an eye mask and a guided meditation I can nap anywhere, anytime. 🙂

He then, took another nap around 1 pm so I did too. Whoa two naps. I feel like I’m on vacation. My body needs it. It feels like I’m working through something…it might be detox or something triggering my immune system to work a bit extra. The extra rest feels nourishing.

Mind/Body/Heart Goodness: Creativity. I’ve always been creative. It has shown up in different ways…as an athlete, a healer, a coach, a writer, a teacher, a lover of wisdom. My creativity mostly shows up in the way I live life. I like to think of myself more as a life artist. This artistry is vital for my soul.

One of the reasons I like minimalism and simplicity is because I want to streamline my to-do list to ensure I have plenty of time for soul work. I love to think about all the ways I can write, teach and create. My intention is to practice mindfulness in the mundane and be more productive (+ do less) so that I have the time and space to dance with my creativity. Win/Win baby.

I create because I’m happier when I do.  I create for the pure joy of creating, and to connect with myself and others. It fuels me. It gives me life. It doesn’t even matter if my critic thinks it’s not good. That’s not the point. The point is to express what is inside me to express. Show up and give myself (+others) the gift of creativity.

Gratitude & Appreciation: I am grateful for naps. I am grateful for the beautiful video of Maya Angelou on how love liberates. I am grateful for the awesome chat I had with my hubby and all of his wisdom and support. I am grateful for my blog and technology. I am grateful for connection. I am grateful for all of the spiritual masters who inspire and call us forth to a greater expression of our divine essence. I am grateful for my meditation practice. I am grateful for Zoey and Dave who aren’t physically with us anymore. They were both in my heart today. I am grateful for the play, love and joy they both embodied. May I continue to expand (even with tears of sadness) and carry their light with me.

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