Our happy place

We have always been a beach loving family. Really since I was little the beach always felt different to me. As an adult I recognize that the different feeling is peace, the beach feels like a slow cleansing deep breath for me and I see the change in my kids when they are in our happy place.

We live about a 5 minute walk from the beach and over the summer the kids and I made a plan to try to get there every day, even if it was just for a quick visit. Although we didn’t make it every day we got there weekly and I saw some big benefits. One particular day we went to the beach, it definitely wasn’t an ideal picture perfect day. The kids were arguing, I was tired and it was one of those days where everyone is just in a funk. I remember thinking …”that’s it, somethings gotta change” and that’s when we spontaneously got in the car and took the two minute drive down the street. That little change in our day changed the trajectory for the remainder of the evening.

Fast forward to yesterday… we are in October. Typically the first place one thinks of going may not be a windy beach on a chilly day, but there we were. It had been a rough morning before school, there were tears and stress. I knew when I picked him up at the end of the day I had to recognize the rough morning he had. And this is where we ended up, this is where the car took us.

I believe so strongly in teaching our kids to be mindful of their feelings, then to stop and acknowledge them. I just started doing this myself. When I’m gripped with anxiety or stress, not to power through and ignore it but to look it in the face, feel it, and give myself the gift of letting it go.

My son had a rough morning, rough mornings are always going to pop up throughout life. Once we got in the car I got the beautiful reward of our special after school beach trip. ” mommy, I love you so much and this was the best part of my day. I feel better.” Does it get any better than that? Happy October 🍁

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Start with an intention

This morning started in the usual way, coffee and getting kids ready for school and taking care of the dog. After everyone left and things were quiet for a moment I decided to sit back in bed and reset. I decided to set an intention for the day. One word to work on and focus on. The word that kept coming up for me was forgiveness. I knew I’d been hard on myself for not getting enough done, I’d had a few arguments with my daughter and had some other stressors bothering me in some relationships in my life. Setting an intention to focus on forgiveness of myself and others set the expectation that things will come up and knowing and expecting this will help me to deal with the unexpected disappointments or upsets with grace.

I try to keep things simple so I am more likely to put them into practice:

  • Calm your mind
  • Set your intention (something troubling you or something you want to put focus on)
  • Imagine your day, will you be home, do you have appointments, or will you be in the office?
  • If you know you will come in contact with a person or event that is difficult for you, picture how you can handle the situation before it happens in a way that supports your intention.
    Put it all into action!
  • It takes practice but we truly can manifest and create the life we want to live by starting each day with an intention or focus point to keep coming back to.
  • Give it a try!! Wishing you a peaceful day full of forgiveness ✌🏻
  • Lonely

    I just LOVE the silent treatment, don’t you? I’m still supposed to wash her clothes and help her with her homework and love and support her when she breaks my rules and frankly treats me like crap. Parenting a 13 year old is HARD!!! All the friends have social media and in your gut you know your kid isn’t ready for that. You’re the mean mom who says “no” when other parents don’t seem to check in and monitor the way you do. You read all these articles about how they only lash out at you because you are their soft spot to land, their safe spot to unleash their fears and anxiety…. but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t completely suck! If a friend treated us this way, let’s be honest… we wouldn’t be tolerating that sh**! This truly feels like a roller coaster, sometimes drowning and sometimes genuinely wonderful. Today feels like trying to wrap my arms around a porcupine. This feels lonely and like most of the time I’m messing up. I am weary but I’ll show up every day for you my girl because you are worth it. And now… Time for a glass of wine 🍷

    Start today

    So the kids are back to school today. While this summer was restful and fun and spontaneous it was also exhausting and trying at times. This summer was all about the kids and fulfilling everything on the summer bucket list we created. I wouldn’t have had it any other way 🖤

    But… let’s be honest… there’s very little time to reset and take a breath when those beautiful kiddos are always looking for a snack or want you to play with them or you are driving them and their friends to the park or the splash pad or the beach…

    I made a loose promise to start some sort of self care routine the day the kids started school. I’ve been feeling the anxiety and tension big time these last few weeks and yoga and meditation always work wonders. Making time for this is the challenge.

    I found a 30 day yoga challenge. Each video is 10 minutes! ( here’s the link if you’d like to check it out: https://www.doyouyoga.com/programs/the-30-day-yoga-challenge/) it’s free too!

    I did this followed by a 5 minute guided meditation ( the ones I used I purchased in a bundle from http://www.simplysadiejane.com/ she is amazing! She also has kids and teens meditations which my kids use every day!) while waiting for the bus I wrote a quick journal entry which took maybe 3 minutes.

    So I started some laundry and did some dishes and spent 15 minutes on myself then got back to the other things on my list. It’s amazing how much clearer and more centered you can feel after spending a short time just on you!

    Whatever your thing is, you will be a better mom, wife, nurse, teacher, person when you make the time to do that thing for yourself. Start today, you won’t regret it!🖤

    Guilt…& a challenge

    Imagine you are having a conversation with your best friend, sister, brother or someone special in your life. Imagine that person is confiding in you how they feel that they are failing and not measuring up to the person they feel they should be or accomplishing what they should be in their life. What would you say? It’s likely you would try to disprove them by pointing out all of their amazing accomplishments and all of the things you love and admire about them! You’d try to lift them up and remind them no one is perfect and despite all they’re going through they still do their best everyday and you’d tell them you’re proud of them and you value them.

    Now remove that person from the picture and imagine you are having this conversation with yourself. I bet it would go much differently. You’d likely be telling yourself that you should be doing better, and you’d be pointing out all of your flaws and weaknesses. We are so quick to give grace to others but will never give it to ourselves. We expect perfection of ourselves but offer others forgiveness and patience.

    For me, this ugliness shows up in the way of guilt. I should be doing more with my kids, I shouldn’t be working nights, I should have finished that by now, I’m so lazy, the house should be cleaner…. I should be better…

    my sweet husband always always knows what to say and is so wise. I was talking about all the ridiculous things I “feel bad” about and all the ways I’m failing. He said something that really changed the path of my thinking. ” what if you tried to not say “I feel bad” for one whole day ” he then continued to tell me how hard I am on myself and pointed out all the things I do well, just like that conversation described at the start of this entry. But that challenge he posed really stuck with me, one whole day with no ” I feel bad …”

    So what if we try to offer ourselves love and patience and notice the things we are doing well. It’s harder to focus on the good stuff but it’s worth a try because we are worth it.

    This guilt thing is a hard habit to break for me, it really feels impossible to change my thinking sometimes. Maybe those moments are the ones where I have to stop and have a conversation with myself as if I were talking to that friend. “You’re doing really well, things are hard but you show up everyday and do the best you can. I’m really proud of you ”

    Starting is always the hardest part, but in order to change we must make small changes everyday. I challenge you to change the conversations you have with yourself and give yourself the love and support you’d offer to that friend. You matter and you deserve better ❤️

    Just notice…

    Recently our family has gone through a difficult and challenging time. That story is for another time and truly not my story to tell, however what I have been longing to share is how we have survived these difficult days. I have felt a pull to write and share and in doing so, to create some sort of survival guidebook that I could look back on when difficult days arise, as they inevitably will. I have picked up many new habits that have helped tremendously such as meditation and mindfulness and cultivating more of a slow and simple life. The one thing that I can pinpoint that always brings me peace and has the power to change my perspective has been looking for the little things. Each day I started to look for one good or beautiful thing in my day. These things began to become easier and easier to notice and now I find that they find me… as long as I take the time to notice.

    The photo of the morning glories was taken from my driveway after I got out of the car after a long night shift. I work nights as a neonatal ICU nurse. This had been a particularly sad night during a particularly sad few weeks where there seemed to be more devastating stories than happy ones for our patients. I could have easily kept my eyes down and continued to think about how tired I was or continue to be grumpy thinking about all I had to accomplish in the upcoming day and how I surely wouldn’t get enough sleep and there was no way I’d get it all done….. an on and on.( it’s a slippery slope fueled by negativity). For some reason, on this day, I glanced up and before going inside I decided to spend some time with these beautiful flowers.

    And that’s it folks, It’s a choice. A small choice to make a small change. That small change leads to other small changes, which have the power to make big changes in your life. These small changes take work and most times I have to force myself to make these choices, because busyness and distraction just feels easier. The thing is, once we notice and once we start to see beauty and goodness, even if it’s in a small insignificant object such as a flower, for example, the noticing starts to open up a beauty that can begin to heal. In that moment in my driveway that gift of time I gave myself reminded me that I do my best at my job and that whatever I got done in the upcoming day would be my best, and that is all we can do.

    I hope today you see something beautiful, it probably won’t be grand or loud but a soft gentle reminder that we are here for a purpose and that we owe it to ourselves to notice the little things and take a moment to enjoy the beauty. Wishing you time today to notice. ❤️