Mom-ME Circle

A Mother's Empowered Community

Welcome to your tribe

Centuries ago we raised our children in tribes. If one of our sister tribal ladies wasn't feeling well or was PMSing we would have swooped in to care for her children and make her a pot of soup. We would have all lived close enough to one another that we could just open the back door and say to our kid, "Go play!" And there would be wise, older women in the tribe who we could go to for support and guidance. We wouldn't feel ALONE the way so many of the women I speak to today feel.

Chances are, you don’t live in such a tribe. (And if you do, please invite me to join it ASAP!!!) But did you know we have the very best virtual Motherhood community?

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In the Mom-ME Circle facebook group you will find wise women who you can ask for support from, sisters who are on the same self-growth path as you are and who are ready and wanting to lift you up, and it’s a great place to ask all of your parenting questions. Trust me, no question is too simple or complex for this crowd. Click HERE to join our Facebook group. And if you love it, feel free to invite your fellow mama friends to join too!

Welcome to your tribe!

ME TIME

One question moms ask me all the time is this: How do I make time for myself? It took me years of practicing (and lots of trial and error) before I discovered the secret sauce of what I call "ME time." ME time has 4 components and lucky for you, they come in the form of an acronym: ICAN

If you would like to learn more about "ME time", I’m offering this training as a free download.

Until you value yourself, you will not value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.

— M. Scott Peck

Remember, "ME time" is about doing what you need to do to feel the way you want to feel. So, if you want to feel more calm and collected spending time with a friend who talks really fast and has a lot going on herself is not the best use of your ME time. However, if you want to feel connected with someone who really loves you going out with a friend is the perfect way to spend "ME time." 

So right now, in this moment, how do you want to feel? OK, now go do what you need to do to FEEL that way. (Could also be a movement in your body, a deep breath, a moment of stillness or and long sigh.)

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You can do it!

The importance of "Tarry Time" when you talk to SHE

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (1969) defines "to tarry" as to wait until another catches up. I love that there is actually a definition for that time between one end point and the next beginning point. Tarry time is measured by the amount of silence that occurs during the verbal communication of two people.

Magda Gerber created the term "tarry time" for her doctoral dissertation in 1979. She hypothesized that if two individuals are more intensely engaged in verbal activity, there will be less tarry time. She used it to describe how and when we listen and respond to our children. I want to propose that we use the same concept when dealing with ourselves, our SHE. How long do you give yourself to really listen to what you (your body, your emotions, your mind, your intuition...) are saying?

If the length of time you are willing to wait for your inner self to respond is any indication of your level of self-respect, then my guess is it's pretty low. I know it has been for me, until I began to intentionally give myself more "tarry time" when it came to making decisions.

For example, when I awaken in the morning, I have begun to practice running through the different parts of me to see how I really am. Certain parts of me respond quickly while others are slower to respond.

My body is the first to respond. SHE is excited by my tuning into her and announces all her aches and pains with enthusiasm. SHE also tells me if she is hungry or thirsty. As you can imagine, this is helpful information that I might not have received had I not asked for it.

My mind is also fairly quick to respond. SHE is sometimes sluggish, sometimes full of content and sometimes she just wants to go back to sleep. Tuning into her is useful because, when I don't tune, she runs the show without me knowing it. I've heard the phrase "The mind is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master" and it rings so true for me. When I check in with my mind I am able to remind her that I am in charge and that she doesn't need to figure everything out. We are safe.

My emotions are slower to respond and need more "Tarry Time." This probably comes from a long history of stuffing them way down (the exuberance and the anger.) When someone has been ignored it takes them time to trust that they are now really wanted. Giving this part of myself the space she needs has really helped her to feel more confident that I will love her no matter how she is feeling. If I notice that a "negative" emotions is arising I touch my heart with a gentle had and remind her that we are wanted and loved exactly as we are. SHE doesn't need to put on a happy face to receive my acceptance.

And the turtle of the group is usually my intuition. She needs A LOT of "tarry time." But when she does, eventually, come out to play she brings sooo much to the table. My intuition and the emotion fear sometimes look like they are the same part of me, but I'm learning that intuition is actually devoid of emotions. So, if I hear a voice telling me "don't go to that party." I check in. Do I not want to go because I'm scared that they will ask me to dance and I don't like to dance in large groups (in which case it's my emotions doing the talking.) OR is the voice saying, "Don't go to the party because you would much rather stay home and have a quiet night reading a book." In that case, it would be my intuition. 

I am a strong advocate of talking to the different parts of yourself in the morning as a way to locate where you are in your body, mind, emotions, and intuition. When you go to a doctor appointment you probably expect to be told what he or she is going to do before doing it, or you might not come back again.

So, how much longer would it take to let all the parts of you know what the plan is for the day and asking for their input? 5 minutes?

So, tomorrow morning I want to invite you to extend your tarry time to yourself and listen, really listen to what SHE wants to tell you. My guess is that the following will happen...

Your body, mind, emotions, and intuition will tell you more that you ever though possible. The interaction between you and SHE will become more respectful, because you are being thoughtful of what SHE is trying to tell you. Try taking some deep breaths as you attempt this connection exercise.

ENJOY!

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Are you more afraid of acceptance or rejection?

Attachment Theory suggests that we’re wired to seek love and acceptance. So the fear of rejection is understandable. But might there be a corresponding fear that is less visible — a fear of being accepted?

“I have such a fear of finding another like myself, and such a desire to find one! I am so utterly lonely, but I also have such a fear that my isolation be broken through, and I no longer be the head and ruler of my universe.” 
― Anaïs NinHouse of Incest
 

So much has been written about the fear of rejection, but we don't often hear about the fear of acceptance.

The fear of rejection makes obvious sense: If we’ve had a steady diet of being shamed, blamed, and criticized in our early years, we learn that the world is not a safe place. We learn to protect our tender heart from further stings and insults by isolating ourselves.

This protective mechanism doesn’t make discriminations though. Our defensive structure not only safeguards us from possible rejection, but also from the prospect of being accepted and welcomed.
 

Personal Story...

Strangely, I have found myself feeling anxious that people will actually LIKE me. I remember being in college and going to a party feeling worried (father than hopeful) that I would get hit on. A guy might ask for my phone number. Then what? I'd be flooded by fear. What if he begins to see who I really am? What might he see? What if he doesn't like me after he gets to know me? And what if actually DOES like me?

Being accepted and liked might be scary for you if:

  1.  You struggle with receiving.
    You may not know what to do with compliments or positive attention. You might shut down so that you don’t have to let down your defenses and allow yourself to be seen. And what if they no longer accept you at some point? That might really hurt! So you play it safe by distancing as a preemptive defense against possible future pain.
  2. You cling to limiting beliefs about yourself.
    When someone does like or accept you, then negative/limiting beliefs might come up. If you believe that you are unlovable or that relationships always fail, you may not know how to respond when evidence contradicts your limiting belief.

To overcome my fear of acceptance I had to explore my blocks to receiving and examine my limiting beliefs about myself. This involved a radical change in my self-image. When I began viewing myself more positively my life began to totally change.

Accepting Ourselves

In Mom-MECircle we explore how scary in can be to accept ourselves.

We talk about how practicing radical acceptance — embracing ourselves just as we are –means not judging ourselves but rather honoring the full range of our feelings and desires. It can be scary to open to our human hurts and sorrows and accept that this is simply a part of who we are. 

When we come together in sisterhood though, we realize that we aren't the only ones who feel this way.

Together, we move toward a courageous self-acceptance as we realize that we are a vulnerable human being — just like everyone else.

When you are with someone whose demeanor or smile or kind words suggest that they respect or accept you, how do you feel inside? Do you notice some inner squirming or discomfort? Can you allow those feelings to be there and be gentle with them? Perhaps take a breath and let in how it feels to be accepted. You might learn to like it.

The Cleanse

Last month, Brandon and I did a 10 day cleanse.

It was a food based cleanse so I was never hungry, but I did notice that I was a bit more irritable than I usually am. 

As we were planning our meals for the 10 days I realized that one of the days was going to be a date night and we would need to implement a very different process of choosing what we would eat than we would have had we not been on the cleanse.

I finally realized how hard it must be for several of my friends who have limited diets due to food sensitivities. I had to really look at the menu and asked the waiter to clarify some of the ingredients in the dishes to make sure they complied with our cleanse. This was new to me because normally I eat whatever is put in front of me :)

On a recent date night, I took what I learned from the cleanse: what felt good to my body and what didn't, and I ordered in a NEW way.

First, I took a moment before even opening the menu and took a deep breath. 

Then I simply ask myself this question, "What would make my body feel fantastic to eat?" 

That is, I try and imagine which meal would leave me feeling wonderful, nourished, satiated and satisfied. 

And guess what! I ordered the most amazing salad and soup that I normally wouldn't have ordered.

I checked in and then let my body lead me.  And it was right.

Try it next time you are eating out and let me know how it worked for you!
 

“Your body is your best guide. It constantly tells you, in the form of pain or sensations, what’s working for you and what’s not.” 
― Hina HashmiYour Life A Practical Guide to Happiness Peace and Fulfilment

Finding Spaciousness in Everyday Life

One can not reflect in streaming water.
Only those who know internal peace can give it to others.
- Lao Tzu

How spacious does your life feel at the moment?

If you asked me what I mean by "spacious," I would say that it is not something you "do" or "make happen," but rather, a state of being that you cultivate.

Everyone has their own unique way of experiencing and embodying spaciousness. For me personally, it's a sense of gliding gracefully through the day, free of friction and resistance -- like the feeling I get when I'm sitting in one of those gliding rocking chairs or floating in the warm waters of the ocean in Hawaii.

-The problem is not entirely in finding the room of one's own, the time alone, difficult and necessary as this is. The problem is more how to still the soul in the midst of its activities. In fact the problem is how .png

How do you feed your soul?

If you want help cultivating more spaciousness in your life, I invite you to book a FREE dream catcher session with me.

Here is my recipe for spaciousness:

Close your eyes and relax. Notice the blankness, the darkness, the...spaciousness. Can you find any borders or boundaries? Can you tell what size it is? How close it is? Where it is?

You can do a similar investigation with your eyes open (spaciousness might seem to be overlayed on top of everything or permeating everything), or investigate your hearing or physical or emotional sensations.

It's not something to think about, but something you notice. "Spaciousness" is always already there. It just takes a shift in perspective.

How would you describe spaciousness? What does it feel like to you?

Own your Power- Create ME time

I don't know about you, but I have found the spring to be alive not only in the natural world around me, but also withIN me. This is a powerful season. I also have found that when I embrace my power, I have a greater impact on my kids and even my husband :).  I know that it may sound a little crazy to you but it's real and it's true.  They listen to me like never before when I own my own power.  

I remember a  few years ago, when I wasn't owning my power, I was having a conversation with Grace (my then 4 year old) about why mommy was going to go on a trip without her. I was explaining to her Grace that I needed to take some time for myself so that I could be the best mom possible and that I would come home fully refreshed. She looked up at me with her hands on her hips and said, "Mommy, taking care of me is your job! You shouldn't need a break."

Why didn't she believe me that time to myself was important?!

Because, at an energetic level, I didn't believe it myself.  I thought that being a good mom meant always being fully present with my daughter.  Please understand that these beliefs were unconscious, below my consciousness, and I didn't necessarily believe that taking time for myself was wrong.  But none of that mattered.  My unconscious beliefs were being shown to me.  

How we feel about ourselves is played out among the people around us.  Especially our children.  So if your experience with your children is that they don't listen to you and/or not respecting you then your limiting beliefs about yourself must be discovered and shifted.  

I'd like you to take a moment now and review your own life. Can you recall experiences that formed any limiting beliefs about your self-worth (or lack there of) that set in motion the chain of causes and effects that brought you to where you are today? 

The truth is that we can learn to condition our minds, bodies, and emotions to link pain or pleasure to whatever we choose. By changing what we link pain and pleasure to, we will instantly change our behavior.

THIS is Mother's Empowerment, Ladies.

Let's take "ME time" as an example. All we must do to create more ME time in our lives is link enough pain to not having it and enough pleasure to having it. You have the ability to do this right now, but you might not exercise this ability because, like I did 3 years ago with my daughter, you've trained your mind to link pleasure to being self-sacrificing or you fear that taking time for yourself would be too painful or difficult. 

At the same time, if you have ever met someone who takes adequate ME time, you know that they truly live a life they love.

This is what I want for you too- to truly love your life. If you'd like to talk to me about some strategies to make that happen you can make a FREE dream catcher appointment here.

Creating a Morning Routine

How to Create a Morning Routine

My favorite time of the day is the morning.

That's why for the past 10 years I've been experimenting with morning routines. Before I became a mom my routine was pretty set. Wake up at 6:30 AM, meditate and journal. Drink my green tea, read some emails, and take a shower. By the time the clock struck 9 AM, I was bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to greet my yoga students.

That was my routine for 3-plus years. Now that I'm a mama, my morning routine is more malleable - though no less hectic. I've learned that sometimes sleep is just more important than my morning routine. Some of my good morning routine habits have fallen to the wayside though and I feel ready to get back on the wagon.

What Is a Morning Routine?

A morning routine is what you do from the moment you wake up until the moment you start your work for the day (whether that’s inside or outside the home).

Examples of things you may do in your morning routine are: make your bed, drink coffee, work out, shower, pray, get your kids ready, or check your email or social media accounts.

Right now, you may or may not intentionally plan your morning routine, but one way or another you have one.

With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts. – Eleanor Roosevelt

Why Should You Have a Morning Routine?

 

If you want to change your life, start by changing your day. And if you want to change your days, start by changing your mornings. If you want to change your mornings, start by changing your habits.

It’s the little habits repeated over and over that will be the difference between failure and success.

Your morning routines are perfect times for you to implement habits to promote your success.

For example, if you plan to read for 1 hours tomorrow morning (before the kids wake up), you will be much more likely to do it if you plan it ahead of time. If you don’t plan it, you could easily get side tracked and end up watching youtube videos of cats being cute instead.

How do I Plan to Use a Morning Routine?

During the month of April, I've committed to establishing these 5 habits:

  • No Emails In the Morning: Inspired by a few articles I've read, I've decided to not look at any devices until after my kids have gone off to school. (Yes, a habit can be something you DON'T do.)
  • Meditate: Lots of folks make a big deal about how well-known people meditate in the morning to clear their brains. My Headspace app will track how many days in a row I have meditated, which is a big motivating factor for me.
  • Stretching: I actually love the way my body feels after just a few minutes of stretching, but I haven't done it in a long time. Now's as good a time as any to start.
  • Read: I love to read in the morning because my mind is crisp and eager to take in new information.
  • Write in my journal: This is another form of meditation that helps me center myself for the rest of the day. My morning pages habit came to an end after I became a mom because I told myself "I don't have time." Well, now I'm MAKING time!

Care to join me?

 

DOWNLOAD your Morning Routine Calendar so you can track your progress.

Morning Ritual 30 Day Challenge

Happy Spring!!

I always love this time of year because it always feels like I get a new, blank canvas-- and that I get to start fresh!

To celebrate, I have decided to do a 30-Day Morning Ritual Challenge, and I wanted to see if you'd like to join me.

Very simply, here's what we will be doing...

  1. Write down your ideal morning ritual: what time you want to wake up, and how you want to start and set the tone for each day! (i.e. Journaling, meditation, exercise, drinking hot water with lemon or an awesome green juice, healthy breakfast, setting the intention for the day, etc.!)
  2. Print off a March and April calendar (you can just Google a calendar image, or maybe you already have a calendar you can hang on a wall in your home)
  3. Each morning that you actually follow through with your morning ritual, put a star on that day! Yay! :)
  4. Schedule your FREE Coaching & Accountability Call with me THIS WEEK while I still have spots available - you can then share with me your Spring goals! Click here now to schedule your call with me- and we'll chat this week!

Join our free Facebook community, Mom-ME Circle, and share DAILY how your 30-Day Morning Ritual Challenge is going-- so we can all be in this together! 

Are you too busy to slow down?

The other day, one of my clients was about to say she was "... so busy" and immediately changed her language!

You see, I believe the word “busy” is so overused - and all of my clients know it. Instead, I have empowered them to say, "I have a full schedule..." or "I have such a full life..." and "...I am so thankful for it!"

I admit-- I used to use the word "busy" ALL. THE. TIME.

When people would ask how I was doing, I’d say, “I’m so busy! I’m doing this, and that, and this... blah, blah, blah...”

My energy was busy and frantic; I wasn’t very present, and I was overwhelming my schedule with WAY too many things.

Here’s the deal...

I was moving too quickly!

I was filling my time by saying YES to everything and not really being clear with my own goals and dreams... And to get it all done I told myself that I had to HURRY.

Once I realized I was going nowhere fast, with no clear focal point, I knew I needed to do something.

So I became clear with my goals. I did this by doing less more slowly. And I began looking at my daily calendar as a blank canvas to build my dream life. I had values around slow living (eating and preparing meals slowly, raising my kids without constantly rushing them, and spending time doing what I love), but my life didn't reflect these values until I started making them a priority.

And once I became clear with what I really, really wanted to focus on—and more importantly, WHO I wanted to become, it became easier and easier to prioritize and plan out my days, so they were fully aligned with my values.


A good rule of thumb for slowing down is the "rule of one."

Adopting the rule of one means slowing down one activity (thought process, issue) -- with awareness -- for one minute, once a day, for one week.

Increase the task or time spent by increments of one as you begin to feel more comfortable and safe.

For example, if you would like to eat a meal more slowly, your sub-list might look something like this:

-Notice how my body feels when I am hungry

-Take a sip of water

-Notice what my mind tells me I should be eating

-Look at my food before putting it in my mouth

-Chew mindfully

-Take inventory of what I have to do today so that I can MAKE time for a slow meal, etc.

Once you've made your sub-list, choose ONE task that you can address for one minute today (actually put it on your calendar now.) Notice how you feel before, during, and after your one minute practice of slowing down. Repeat or address a new task from your sub-list tomorrow, and the next day, until eating a meal slowly comes easily.
 

“If you will only pause, as you hurry through your days, take a minute to look at passersby, beyond cursory skin-deep analysis, all the way into their eyes, what beauty you might find woven from the life threads there.” 
― Ellen HopkinsPerfect

If you’re struggling with any of this in your own life, I’m here for you.

Click here and let's schedule a time to chat about YOUR dream life-- and let 2018 be the year you make it happen!

xoxo!

Big hugs,

Isabelle

The Creating More ME Time Webinar

I hope you are having a great week so far!

This weekend was a BIG day one me... as I solo parented, while having my period, without killing my children or myself!! 

This was something I have always dreaded because my husband, when he is home, is super helpful and usually tries not to be away while I'm bleeding... but after learning how to care for myself with sooo much compassion during this vulnerable time, I can now say that mothering and menstration can both be easeful.

My parenting this weekend was NOT perfect.

I lost it when my 2 year old pooped in his pants for the second time in 5 hours.

I even called my mom one time to vent, "This is sooo hard! How did you solo parent for so long when were were little?!?"

Fortunately, whenever I had self-doubts, I'd remind myself what I preach to my clients- ME time is the answer when I am feeling overwhelmed!!!

I could have thrown up my hands and powered through the weekend. BUT I didn't need to because I have a tool belt full of resources to help me when life feels really hard.

The reason I'm sharing this with you, is that you may be feeling overwhelmed in your own way and have a story that there is no way you could possibly find ME time in your already over packed schedule.

I beg to differ. Below, you will find the Webinar that will teach you to create more ME time.

ENJOY!

5 Things To Do When Life Gets Tough

The last few months (December-February) have been a doozy for my family. Without getting into specifics, I'll just say that I am ready for winter to be over and am anticipating with great enthusiasm the coming Spring.

And I know that I'm not alone. I was visiting with a dear friend last week and she shared with me what a challenging year 2017 was. She beautifully described her feelings about it: "My overwhelm comes and goes. But when it returns, I often freeze and forget what helps me the most; all of my greatest self-care practices fly out the window." 

Can you relate?

I think we all know what helps us "feel good fast" (both healthy and unhealthy habits), but when our bodies and brains get triggered by BIG, powerful emotions, we revert back to our primal state. 

I have good new though! There are several simple, nurturing self-care practices that can bring you back to your innate well-being. 

5 Things To Do When Life Gets Tough:

  1. Go outside. Time in nature is often referred to as the ultimate antidepressant because it affects us on a physical, mental, and emotional level. A date with Mother Nature can reduce stress, enhance your mood and often enhances connection and intimacy when you include someone you care about to join you.
  2. Move your body. Have you heard the phrase, "the issues are in the tissues."? You could go to a yoga, Nia, or qi gong class, take a hike or just walk around the block with your dog. And to amplify the benefits of movement remember to BREATH. 
  3. Ask for help. People who are comfortable asking for help (you could ask a coach, therapist, mentor, partner, neighbor, friend, employee...) experience greater success and feel more connected and confident in all areas of their lives. Having a support system can make all the difference in how you experience this journey called life.
  4. Do less. I'd say that 100% of the women I work with are craving more time to just be- so they can actually integrate into their hearts and souls what is happening moment to moment. The more choices and decisions we have, the less happy we are. Consider ways you might be over-doing that keep you from experiencing life in the moment and therefore, taxing your wellbeing.
  5. Feel to heal. The more we are able to be with what we are feeling, the more we're able to heal out old wounds. When we feel out feelings, rather than push them a way, we become more open and accessible to our loved ones, we're more connected to our desires, and we become more comfortable voicing our needs and wants.

And remember, be kind both to yourself and to others. We don't always know what battles our fellow humans in the grocery store lines, on the playgrounds, and in the cars next to ours are battling. We are approaching Spring, but it is still winter, a time to move slowly, keep our loads light, and not be too ambitious.
 

Let me know how I can support you!

Big hugs,

 

Isabelle

Creating ME time

Have you ever struggled with pressing the snooze button several times before getting out of bed? "Luckily," I have a toddler who wakes me up very early every morning and he hasn't provided me with a snooze button yet. 

However, sometimes I still find myself grumbling as I wake up. When I've done this too many days in a row I know that I'm not living a life I love.

It doesn't have to be this way for you though! Do you remember what it was like to wake up on Christmas morning as a child, when you were actually EXCITED to wake up early? You didn't struggle to get out of bed.

Well, today, I'm excited to bring you a tool that will give you that same excitement- it'll catapult you out of bed each morning.

When I use this tool, I find myself looking forward to hearing the morning coos of my children in a way I never did before. I get excited to go to bed early because it means I am that much closer to it being morning again- now my favorite time of the day. 

This may sound a little trite, but I think that "living a life you love" means finding that feeling of excitement as you bound out of bed, ready to experience the day ahead.

THE EXCITEMENT PLAN

  • Step 1: set your alarm for 10 minutes early (or in my case 10 minutes before my kids usually wake u), and decide to do something special for yourself in these early moments of the day, before anyone else in the house is awake.

Some Ideas:

-make yourself some tea and read one of your favorite blogs

-do some yoga while listening to your favorite music

-listen to a beloved podcast or the next chapter of your audiobook while you give yourself a pedicure.

Remember, this is something that feels nourishing and uplifting. If the first thing you do upon rising feels tedious (an ab work out or paperwork come to mind) you are NOT going to leap out of bed. Do your life a favor and give yourself 10 minutes of PLEASURE right when you wake up.

  • Step 2: Plan this pleasure inducing activity out the night  before. You could put it in your journal or write it on a post-it that you place on your night stand. It could be the same thing every day or change day to day. 

THS is how we MAKE time for ourselves, mamas. 

Let us know, in Facebook group, what you are planning on doing with your 10 minutes of "ME time."

Love Yourself And Your Live Interview Replays

Self-love hasn't always been so easy

Self-love actually comes quite easily to me these days, but that wasn't always the case.

Recently, a photo came up in my Facebook feed reminding me of a day, 6 years ago. I was brand new to motherhood and having a really hard time. In fact, I was miserable.  Out of my mind in my loneliness and anxiety.

Despite having everything I had ever wanted: a beautiful, healthy baby, a husband who adored me, and a home in a neighborhood of my dreams I just couldn't deal. I couldn't deal with my thoughts about not being good enough. Deal with being the sole caretaker of this divine little being. Deal with the heartache of loosing my life prior to motherhood. Deal with my crazy hormones. Deal.... with.... life.

Here is what saved me... 

I'd reached my breaking point. I was more depressed than I had ever been before. I remember it well. I just couldn't take it anymore. I was done with feeling like I had the world on my shoulders and no one to offer a helping hand. Done with all of the motherly sacrifice. The misery, the pain, the angst, the being me.

I was sick of it, done. Done. Done. Done. And in that desperation, I climbed out of bed, staggered over to my crying baby. And as I nursed her for the 10th time that night I thought to myself: "This day, I vow to myself to love myself, to treat myself as someone I love truly and deeply -in my thoughts, my actions, the choices I make, the experiences I have, each moment I am conscious, I make the decision to LOVE MYSELF."

The intensity of what this new thought pattern meant for my life felt both heavy and as though a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders.

Prior to this moment, I'd been mostly disgusted with myself when it came to motherhood -I could love my baby and give her everything she needed, but what about me?

From now on, I would focus much more awareness on this thought. How to love myself. At first, I literally did not know. All I knew was that I'd made a vow -something far greater than a commitment, bigger than any wish. A vow. I was going all in or destroy myself trying. There was no middle ground.

Have you ever made such a vow to  yourself?

So, beautiful mama, if you are struggling with something, if you desire more support, sisterhood, or self-care, if you just want someone to talk to who isn't going to try to FIX you- you are not alone! My struggles are what compelled me to create Mom-ME Circle. It is the place I wish I had had when going through my darkest moments.

If you would like to connect with me to see if an upcoming circle is the right fit for you please respond reach out to me.

I'm here for you, mama!



Isabelle

 

 

Slow down to speed up

This week, in our Facebook group, we have been discussing the art of slowing down. Whether we like it or not we live in a culture that values and perpetuates speed. We, as mothers, are praised when our child learns to walk, read, or go to college before her peers. We are constantly feeling like we need to hurry our kids out the door in the morning so they aren't late for school. And we are anxious to succeed NOW, before it's too late.

Let's stop trying to figure out what caused the "hurry problem" and let's concentrate on the solutions. 

“If you’re always racing to the next moment, what happens to the one you’re in? Slow down and enjoy the moment you’re in and live your life to the fullest.”
― Nanette Mathews

Here are my TOP 5 tips for slowing down:

1. Make your kids rush less

I can’t believe how many times I answer some of my children’s questions with, “because we’re in a hurry.” Unless we’re running 10 minutes behind from getting to school on time, we should never be in that much of a hurry!

Christine Carter writes, “Slowing down in our fast-paced world—even just for a day—can lead to deep feelings of relaxation and joy.  Take each moment just as it is today, being mindful of your thoughts and your emotions.  Feel the urge to rush, or worry that you are going to be late?  Simply notice the anxiety that has washed over you, and bring your attention to your breath, focusing on a deep exhalation.”

Katie Hurley from “Baby Steps” writes about the effects of rushing around on children, “Rushing around increases your child’s stress level… Children are likely to feel increased anger, anxiety, and even sadness when they are constantly running around in an attempt to catch up.  It’s a lot for kids to cope with on a day-to-day basis.”

Planning ahead for the inevitable rush has done wonders for my family.  For example, if we have to leave for school at 8:00 am, we plan to have the kids out the door at 7:45 am every day.  This way, we’ve planned for the shoe that falls off, the backpack left in the kitchen and the insane amount of time it takes them to climb in a car and get buckled…or am I the only one who gave birth to human sloths?! 

2. Turn off the TV, turn up the tunes

About a year ago we got rid of our TV.  This alone has given me a sense of calm and peace I could only have dreamed of.  I’m not constantly thinking I have to squeeze in last night’s episode of This is US in my already busy day.  We replaced the TV with an old fashioned record player. 

Now, we’ve got music that we really enjoy that relaxes us and helps everyone to slow down. Carol King is a favorite.  The melody brings a certain happiness to my soul and reminds me to take care in the moment and enjoy the otherwise tedious job of unloading the dishwasher or mopping the floors.   According to K. Stone, the author of of Life Learning Today, “Listening to music naturally brings us into the present moment. It can also bring us to good memories or daydreams of the future. That’s all good.”

Carol king.jpg

 

3. Reserve Saturday or Sunday mornings

Make one time per week your family’s sacred time where phones, computers and TV are put away for a while so the family can enjoy real time together whether it be playing an actual board game, cooking breakfast together, going for a hike or just be silly and dance together!  These are the moments that will really last in your children’s hearts for their lifetime…and are memories you will cherish forever. We have "Silent Saturday" where no screens are allowed and "Funday Sunday" when the kids get to watch one show.

4. Plan Ahead

Yes, this takes extra time!  But, if you would take time each week to plan for the week ahead, combine errands to get most of them done in one morning,

Plus, you’ll get the great feeling that comes with crossing things off your list.  A sense of accomplishment which you can reward yourself with more quality time with your children, your spouse or yourself!

5. Meditate

You don’t have to have a whole room dedicated to zen in your home to meditate.  All you have to do is commit to slowing down for 10 minutes each day.  You can take longer, of course, but slow down your mind

Annabel Fitzsimmons suggests, “All you need is to put aside a few minutes to sit quietly, or go for a walk and focus on your breathing. Or you could do a few yoga poses in the morning, listen to a guided meditation during your lunch hour (for free MEditations, click here), or have a meditation CD in the car for times when you’re early for school pickup.”

The benefits of meditation include helping you better manage your emotions, being more present and attentive with your kids, decreasing stress and anxiety, and letting go of mental distractions. Research also shows that meditation can also help with insomnia and can improve mental sharpness.

For more tips on Slowing Down check out my latest Facebook Live 

Big hugs,

Isabelle