When my kids were very small, as in ages 2 and 0, dinner was my daily dose of insanity. I got so stressed cooking and plating the food, cajoling bites into little mouths, doing it all in a timely manner so we didn’t miss their insanely early bedtimes, and then cleaning everything up after. Blech! I hate to even think about it.
That’s why writing this post for Gaiam on how to take the crazy out of those evening hours was so gratifying. Hope you enjoy it — and I’d love to hear in the comments either here or there about how you bring a sense of tranquility to the dinner-bed-bath rodeo!
I’ve got a new favorite saying: “Where there’s a want, there’s a way.” I made it up – well, actually, it came to me when I was meditating one day. And it means that whenever you have a true desire for something, no matter how big or outlandish seeming, you also have all the means available to you to make it a reality.
Lately, this belief has been proving itself around our new house. (That’s her in the photo.) I think just one look will explain to you why I like to call it “Home sweet homely.”
Let’s be honest: She’s not currently, nor was she when we first lay eyes on her, a beauty. When my husband and I first saw this house, she was covered in vinyl siding in a color that our realtor so delicately called “cloudy urine.” She had creepy, overgrown, cobweb-strewn evergreen trees crowding out her stairs. And she had doo doo-brown shutters. Read more…
I’ve been hearing these type of thoughts from my clients and potential clients a lot in the last week or so:
“I’m scared to see what I’ve been avoiding.”
“I’m afraid I’ll realize I’m in the wrong job or relationship.”
“It would be easier just to stay in my old bad habits, because then I know what to expect.”
I understand these thoughts. I really do. Read more…
Think crickets, the first cool breezes, a big ole moon…
It’s amazing that I recorded this only a few weeks ago. It already feels like a different lifetime.
Let’s just say you’re in a spot where it feels like everything that used to work for you isn’t working any more. You can feel so acutely how uncomfortable you are in your current reality-whether it’s your job, your weight, your relationship. And you’re so ready for a new, happier reality. You can see it. Heck, you can taste it. “Let’s do this,” you say to yourself.
So what’s the first thing you do?
Raise your hand if you decide to rein in all ‘unnecessary’ spending, so you have a cushion for when things get lean during the transition to come.
Or, you make a list of all the actions and behaviors you’re not going to do any more, such as “No more white bread and pasta,” or, “No more falling asleep on the couch.”
Or, you stay up late Googling all the classes, programs, or products you assume are the things you need to acquire in order to grow. Read more…
This morning was my morning to sleep in. (Yay.) But because I’ve been craving a long meditation session, I rolled out of bed and went to sit on my cushion in my closet. (Short backstory: I’ve got a ton of big, exciting work projects going — including my first retreat this Friday, woot! — and my husband and daughter have both been sick and in bed for several days, meaning I’ve been busier than usual on the caretaking front just as my workload is amping up. My meditation practice for the last 10 days or so has been relegated to a few deep breaths when I needed a moment of quiet reflection. The pain of not having a longer conversation with my intuition was building up, big time, and it was starting to affect how I was relating to others, and feeling about myself.)
Everything was going great. I was in a good mental groove — I was getting a ton of insights, coming fast and furious, but I trusted that I would remember them when I was done and could return my focus to my breath. This was all happening even though I could hear my husband getting my 2-year-old up and out of bed, and there was tons of their external chatter to focus on. And then my 2-year-old started to have a mini tantrum. Read more…
Sometimes, everything gets all messed up. Even broken. It’s like you wake up one day and all your super powers vanished over night. The tricks you use to cajole the kids in to the car seat don’t work. You hit the snooze button, like always, but now it takes 5 or 6 times for you to muster the energy to get out of bed. The dark chocolate you have in the afternoon just leaves you with a bellyache. You sit down to do something at work that you’ve always prided yourself on being great at, and it feels hollow.
What’s going on?
What we do, how we think, how we are is constantly evolving. There is no figuring out what kind of a person you want to be and that staying that way forevermore. (Sorry! Bummer, I know, but the one constant in life is change, and that goes for us too.) What works for us will inevitably stop working one day. Seemingly all of a sudden, we don’t get the results we used to, we aren’t satisfied with where we are, and we feel our energy draining away because of the effort we’re putting toward things that are keeping us stuck.
I was there not so long ago. After my second child was born, I spent two years pitching and writing articles even though when I sat down to write every cell in my body thought, “I don’t want to do this.” Read more…
I’ve been thinking a lot about the truth lately. Truth seems like a concrete thing—something you can stick a pin in and hang on the wall, like a butterfly. Something that can only be one way, forever.
But the truth is a lot more slippery than that. What you accept as a truth may actually be a belief that has nothing to do with reality.
Here’s how figuring out what I know to be true has gone down lately: I had an a-ha moment when working with my coach that an assumption I had taken as the truth – that I had to be smart, buttoned up, and eternally productive and high-achieving in order to be a valuable human being — was in fact, a belief. That was a real mind-bender. If what I thought was true isn’t, in fact, the truth, then what is? (For all your Matrix geeks out there, it was a real there is no spoon moment.) Read more…
Here, for your listening pleasure, is an audio clip of our recent hike in the George Washington Land Management area, in the Northwest corner of Rhode Island.
You can hear cicadas, birds, the wind, and little snippets of my husband talking to the kids, doing his best to keep them quiet and away from Mommy.
That’s my little fairy ballerina hiker to the right.
When you listen, open your ears and let all the sounds in, registering everything that passes your eardrums. In this instance, the focus on sound replaces the focus on breath of a more traditional seated meditation.
Growing up, I learned that staying busy was the only way to achieve great things and fulfill my destiny – whatever that might be – as a smart person. As a result, I filled sashes with Girl Scout badges, became a perpetual spelling bee participant, ran for every student government office, played basketball, soccer, and softball, ran track, cheerleaded, entered beauty pageants, sang in the choir, edited the yearbook, played piano, and participated in every contest that crossed my teachers’ desks.
I was torn between being driven to prove I was more special and talented than everyone else and just wanting to be one of the gang. This struggle came into sharp relief my junior year in high school, when I missed out on a John Cougar concert (that my friends are still talking about) because I was at a symposium in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania—the prize for my winning essay on “What is terrorism?” Read more…