Offline Retreat (Momma style)

Hello Lovelies:

I will be offline from December 19th until January 4th. I will complete the year with stillness, calm and restoration. I am intending to reset my body and mind and gain more clarity on my biggest intentions for 2016. I have lots of fun plans but wanting to “be” with them more and go deeper in order to feel what resonates the most on a soul level.

During the next 2 weeks I plan to go at an even slower pace, sleep more, be more mindful, do less reading and writing and more meditating and resting. I’m still following my Brain & Body Optimization Game too. My sole intention is to care for my family and rejuvenate as much as possible. A Momma style staycation. 🙂

I share more about why I’ve chosen to do this in the video below:

Here are the resources that I talked about in the video:

  • Vipassana meditation – 10 day silent meditation. No talking, no writing, no reading. You meditate for 10 hours a day, sleep, walk and eat. That’s it. It’s intense and amazing! I am going to do a super modified version of this. 😉
  • Let’s talk about mold post– I share about how the mold impacted my brain and what I’ve learned.
  • Amen Clinics – We did a brain scan + QEEG with Daniel Amen and he saw some ways I could optimize and heal my brain even more. Love his work!
  • Neurofeedback– I am doing this to help balance out my left and right hemispheres. The QEEG actually showed that my brain is doing pretty well with one spot on the right hemisphere that needs a little bit more love.
  • EMDR therapy – This helps people “heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences”. Daniel Amen noticed some subtle things on my brain scan that could have been from emotional upset. He recommended I do it, so I am doing some sessions.

Alrighty…I am off! Kinda nervous (hehe). But, I also know it’s going to be awesome! 🙂

Happy Holidays and sending big love,

alex_signature_pink

How motherhood is deconstructing my hurriedness

I sometimes feel the bubbling of impatience as I mother. I observe myself and other parents wrestling with this desire to hurry up and get our little people to go where we want them to go. Children move at a slower rhythm and our prodding and pushing can disrupt their natural flow.

When I feel into the natural pace of children and then adults, there is a huge disparity between the two. This can cause a lack of harmony which usually results in unnecessary struggle. I don’t believe we need to force or coerce our children to do daily tasks. I see it as a partnership. I often ask myself how I would want to be treated.

For example: let’s say I am fully engaged in something I love like writing, reading or exercising. I am in my flow and someone comes up and jumps into my bliss and says: Hurry up. Let’s go. We are leaving right now to go do (fill in the blank). It would feel jarring and disorienting. Why would this be any different for our children? Yet, we expect them to just go with our pace and tempo.

One of the best pieces of parenting wisdom I’ve received was from the late Magda Gerber; her recommendation was one simple word: Wait! Silently repeating it to ourselves if needed. Wait…Wait… Wait... When we make a request…pause, wait, and give our children space to process. When we feel the urge to push our children to do something like put their pajamas on,  change their diaper or brush their teeth. Remember to wait.

Create more space in your mind and your life so you can give the gift of spaciousness. A natural flow will emerge, even if it feels counterintuitive. There can be a concern that by giving them more space they’ll never actually do what we are asking, but that hasn’t been my experience. Usually, I am astonished at how just a few minutes of patience can create so much more peace.

This may sound easy but it’s a monumental task to feel the rise of frustration and choose to wait and breathe. This doesn’t mean we are permissive with our parenting and let them do whatever they want whenever they want to do it. It just means giving more time and presence in order for them to move from their center.

Our role as parents is to create a safe haven for our children to thrive and also hold strong boundaries so they learn how to be a collaborator within the family. Treating them with respect and love and trusting that just because they are smaller and their brains aren’t fully formed that they understand, because they do. Their knowing may not always be an intellectual understanding. Most of the time (especially when they are young) this knowing is an energetic transmission.

The mother sets the tone, rhythm and culture for the family. We must be centered and attuned so we can create a flow that works for everyone. Sometimes this means there are time constraints we must honor in order to create harmony within the whole. This may upset our children’s desire for play and exploration which may include upset and tears.

This doesn’t mean something’s wrong. It just means we need to hold more loving space for them as they integrate the emotions that are arising. We all have these emotions and children just express them more fully and outwardly than we do. If we can hold space and allow their emotions to flow like a river they will move right through them.

It’s a constant dance. It’s vital for us, as mothers, to honor our desires and also our children’s. When these desires conflict (as they often can), I usually get down on my knees or pick my son up so we can connect eye to eye. Then, I say: I see that you want this and I want this. Let’s make a deal.

We talk about creative ways we can both get our needs met. Some days this goes smoother than others and sometimes we need to re-negotiate deals again and again. The simple practice of slowing down enough to listen, connect and be in relationship with my child makes such a big difference.

The reality is that children go slower than adults. They explore, they’re curious and ask questions, they see and experience the world with completely different eyes. If we are going to authentically connect we must tune into their level of absorption and focus…their enthusiasm for the ordinary. This isn’t easy for most of us.

Our culturally conditioned adult minds tend to move faster. Much faster and disembodied. Life is a full embodied experience for children — mind, body and spirit. So-called grown ups can tend to be distracted with future thinking about what’s next, where we need to go, what needs to get done.

I continually play with the rise of hurriedness I feel sometimes. This urge to hurry up. When I notice myself projecting into the future while I am at the park with my son or thinking about the dinner I still need to make, or wanting to be doing something more interesting, etc. I stop the mental chatter and ask myself to come back to the present.

I inquire into how can I sink more into this moment so that I can find the joy right where I stand. I ask: How can I be fully engaged with my child? Learn from him? He knows presence way better than I do. In many ways in the pursuit of adulthood I’ve unlearned the simple joys of living. Being with him helps me settle back into my natural soul pace.

The art of motherhood fascinates me. It’s a completely different pace and reality than most of the world. I wonder if this is why it can feel so challenging to be a modern mom? The email, the iPhones, the technology moves at the pace of electricity. Children don’t.

Our relationships don’t move in this way. They need space to explore and to feel and to rest in order to flourish. There is a rush we feel when we work, or are engaged with adults because most of the time the vibe is higher and faster. It feels more in sync with our racing minds. If we want to experience joyful parenting we can’t try to operate our home in the same way we would if were leading a meeting, managing a business, or trying to get 100 things done in a day.

There are days I wish for more excitement in my daily life. More burst of electricity and less of the mundane. Then, I step back and see. I see that motherhood is calling me deeper into myself and deeper into life. Which is what my soul wants more than anything. I want to live deeper. I want to feel more. I want to experience more. I want to feel the pulse of life running through my veins. This takes patience and practice. It’s not glamorous and it can be challenging. But, what could more powerful than returning to my natural essence?

Motherhood is changing me in ways I could’ve never imagined. I am grateful because it’s calling me home in a way I’ve been desiring for a long time. I just didn’t think it would look like this. I thought it would be more graceful and more easeful with more sparkles and joy. Not there aren’t a lot of those moments…because there are. But it’s…well, a whole lot harder than I envisioned.

I imagine it’s easier for some. But, for me it’s been a deconstruction phase where I’ve challenged my beliefs about time, love, joy and success. I continually choose to create the sacred in the ordinary again and again and again.

This has opened up space for a whole new re-invention of self that I wasn’t even aware existed. I could have missed this call for transformation but I’ve done my best to stay present to what’s real and true for me. Even during those times I wish things felt easier I hear the emergence of my true self whispering to keep on…there’s more unfolding you just can’t see it right now.

It’s all a work in progress. I am no zen priestess but I am slowly learning there is no need to hurry. I can sit for a bit longer. I can rest in the moment a bit longer. I can enjoy the sun on my face and feel the joy in my heart as I watch my son completely and fully be himself.

Why would I want to hurry this? My desire and practice is to be passionately present and engaged and connected. My son is my teacher on this one. His natural pace and essence is guiding me to a place I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have experienced if I wasn’t his mother.

The hardest part of stepping into motherhood was the feeling that I lost some of my spark, my creativity, my freedom. Now, I smile (most days) because I know that’s not true. I am finding an even more authentic voice and spark and an internal freedom. Transformation takes time, persistence, diligence and a willingness to see the light even as we navigate the unknown. And, motherhood is the definition of flux.

May I be present to the magic that is always unfolding. May I trust in the flow of life. May I rest in the joy that is always available. May I be engaged and present. May I be willing to slow down and go at a completely difference pace than the collective. May I move from a place of rest, ease and grace. May I continue to honor the sacred duty of being a mother.

Here’s a little free flow blissitation to support you in resting today:


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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

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? 🙂

Don’t rush the moments

What do we want? When we get still enough what are our true heart desires?

My son and husband are asleep, it’s 8:40 pm. Tears are streaming down my face as I sit in the silence meditating/contemplating and feeling into my life before I go to bed. I believe we all want to feel alive, like really alive Joseph Campbell style:

People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances with our innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.

When I can touch the tenderness of this desire the tears steam so easily. This joyful aliveness is in the moments, in our connections, in the small acts of kindness. If we can slow down enough we can feel our innermost being vibrating with aliveness.

I sometimes notice as a culture we are looking for the big. If this BIG thing happens then everything will be OK. I will be OK. So…we strive and we look forward. We quickly move from one thing to the next so that we can hurry up and get there.

What if by all of this rushing to the “next thing” we missed some of the most loving moments? What if the biggest wins were the times we found the gold shimmering in the slivers of time as we pursued our goals? What if we really did enjoy the journey instead of rushed? This sounds cliche and easy but as a real life practice it can challenging.

I wonder why…it seems like it would be easy right? Savor, soften, open, love and enjoy! Easy enough. Yet, I notice the holding back, the protecting, the restriction of my natural flow. Sometimes I wonder if it’s easier for others? But, then think: I’m pretty sure this is something we all work with. If you don’t please share your sage wisdom!:)

I relish the moments like tonight where I intentionally slow down, pause and feel my heart in such a big and powerful way. It’s like a veil lifts and I want to forever open up my heart big and wide. Knowing this is where the magic resides.

I think it’s important to do things we are proud of, and cross the finish line and feel accomplished. This helps increase our sense of aliveness, but there is more. What about resting for awhile where we are — playing, meandering, looking for the simple beauty, relishing in the appreciation of all that is good now. What’s the rush?

My life isn’t perfect. I am not floating on some cloud with complete peace and joy. But, it’s mine. All mine to create as I choose. The sacredness of our unique lives is astonishing and yet so ordinary. I felt this tonight as I was enjoying some time with my son before he went to sleep. Something pretty much all Moms do…we support our children in getting to bed. But, I was touched by the holy honor it is to be a mother.

After we read our 4 books he said: “Cuddle Mommy.” I cuddled in and he snuggled up next to me holding his green “blankie”; which is one of my dresses that he turned into a blanket because it “smells like Mommy.”

As we lay there in the amber glow from the nightlight he is shining like the angel he is. I softly stroke his hair and face doing my best to enjoy this moment. I feel the pull to go and get ready for bed and I breathe. I don’t want to rush this moment. Not tonight.

I listen to him breathing. I’m acutely aware that one day he will no longer want his blankie or me to cuddle him to sleep. I soften. These are the moments where the divine lives. This is heaven on earth. I watch him slowly close his eyes. I stay awhile longer reveling in his perfection and then, gently get up and walk out the door with a heart full of love.

Tonight as the tears drop down on my journal I write: Open sweet one. Open. It’s really ok to feel this much! I pray to stay open to the wonder of now. Help me see the world through my heart. May I stand in all that is real, true and beautiful in my life. Help me stay connected even when I want to close. Help me love and play even more. Allow my tenderness to heal my soul.  May I feel the presence of grace everywhere, even if I don’t want to and sometimes feel scared. Let me surrender to the LOVE! I breathe in the joy and gratitude for this day. Thank you!

I know there is no getting to a perfect state of grace all the time. I know there will be days and moments the urge to rush will win. And, yet, I hold the intention to continue to remember. Remember to pause and not hurry the moments. This simple practice guides me to more fulfillment. I celebrate these moments like tonight where my heart feels like it grew. I also know I will get triggered and close. Then, I will open. Then, close. And play somewhere in between…thus, is the dance of life.
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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.