Relax Mama!

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Relaxation puts you back in touch with your body so you know when to push and when to yield. (For more on this see the balanced mama planner.)

As mamas, we tend to be so used to being busy that we forget how to slow down. I think we can even get addicted to busyness because when we pause, we are confronted with the bubbling up of thoughts, sensations, and memories. Sometimes this can be unsettling, so if stillness doesn't resonate with you right now, I totally get it, and there are many different ways to relax.

Here are some of my favorite:

1) Take a meditative shower. Be totally present and just let the water unwind you. Immerse yourself in the sensation of the water against your skin, connect with the cleansing properties of it, feel your troubles wash away with the water.

2) Really FEEL your breath with yoga mudras (hand gestures.) 

3) "I am" meditation. This can be a formal sitting practice or you can do this on your commute/ at your desk/ while nursing your baby... As you breath in repeat the words "I am" and as you breathe out choose a word that cultivates the way you want to feel. I usually use the words "Calm" or "Patient." Keep repeating the one phrase or change it with each exhalation.

4) Seek out beauty! I love this one because it reminds me to be on the lookout for something inspiring. You can also do this from anywhere. Perhaps you glance up at the trees during your commute or you pass a vase of flowers and you vacuum your living room. 

5) Create a relaxation library. This can include magazines, books, photo albums, or netflix movies. Even your own journal can be included here. Build a collection of mindfulness resources and use these to be led into a calm state. 

6) Practice Yoga Nidra. This is a type of guided relaxation, which is not only a great way to unwind, but can also help alleviate depression and anxiety.

What are your favorite ways to relax?

3 Easy Ways to Create your Ideal Sleeping Environment

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-Eliminate as much light as possible. Lower the wattage of your bedroom light bulb or use the hall light instead. Switch off your electronic devices and don't check them if you wake in the middle of the night. Black0out blinds have been life changing for me. So has an eye mask.

-Keep it cool. The ideal bedroom temperature is around 65 degrees.

-Make your bedroom a haven. Use linen that you can't wait to slide into, decor that you find soothing, and a clean and clutter-free environment.

Breathe and Relax: Three Tips

Breathing has long been used as a tool to relax when feeling stressed and overwhelmed

Muneera Wallace lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her two daughters (ages 11 and 8). She has worked as a doula for the past 12 years for several hundred families and as a wellness counselor.

From having kids herself and experiencing the birthing process with so many families, she has come up with three wonderful tips to help us get the relaxation we deserve.

Watch the video to see each of these tips explained in depth and to join us in a breathing exercise.

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5 Mistakes even amazing mamas make (that shouldn't keep you up at night!)

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Raise your hand if you are guilty of any of these.

 

1) We forget that how we say something matters just as much, if not more, that what we say. We aim to be kind and respectful in all of our encounters, but sometimes we miss the mark.

 

2) We communicate to our kids that their big emotions aren't acceptable. Even though we value having emotionally intelligent children, sometimes we shut down their emotions because their negative emotions trigger our own negative emotions.

 

3) We over react! We overshoot the mark with our discipline and are more harsh or punitive than we intend to be. We react with an intensity that causes our kids to focus on how mean or unfair we are rather than on their own behavior.

 

4) We don't repair after a conflict. We behave immaturely and unkindly without apologizing.

 

5) We forget that our child sometimes needs our help making good choices. The temptation is to demand that they "stop that immediately!" event hough we know that they aren't capable fo stopping without our support.

 

And we are still AMAZING MAMAS!!! Our kids don't need us to be perfect to know that we love them :)

Favorite sleep apps

3 go-to relaxation apps for mamas who have trouble sleeping:
 

I think sleep tends to get a pretty bad rap these days. Attitudes like "I'll sleep when I'm dead" and "FOMO" reflect a cultural norm of seeing sleep deprivation as essential to motherhood. Let's be clear, sleep is a fundamental human need.

There is nothing lazy, self indulgent or selfish about getting enough sleep. When life gets full to the brim it is often the first thing that is sacrificed and if you are a mom to a young baby you know the misery of wanting to sleep, but not being able to due to needing to take care of another being.

We need sleep for cellular renewal, for the health of our nervous system, to regulate our body weight, for our mood, and for cognitive performance. Lack of sleep is connected with increased risk of heart disease, obesity, and stress. 

So, to help you get the sleep you deeply desire and so greatly deserve, I have included my top 3 favorite apps for sleeping assistance:

Sleep Cycle
 

iPhone rating: ★★★★★

Android rating: ★★★★★

Price: Free with optional in-app purchases

Sleep Cycle features a patented technology that can track and evaluate your sleep patterns using sound or vibration analysis. The app then uses the data to generate graphs and reports to help you visualize your sleep cycles. It can also wake you at the optimal time so you feel less groggy during the day.

 

Sleep Well Hypnosis

iPhone rating: ★★★★★

Android rating: ★★★★✩

Price: Free with optional in-app purchases

Insomnia and anxiety can interrupt a mamas sleep and lead to poor overall well-being. I love this app because it doesn't require me to take sleeping pills. Sleep Well Hypnosis uses soothing sounds along with the voice of a hypnotist to help users unwind and rest. According to the creators, using the app can lower anxious thoughts and improve sleep in just one to three weeks.

 

Noisli

iPhone rating: ★★★★★

Android rating: ★★★★★

Price: $1.99

Improve your focus and concentration — and get a better night’s sleep — with Noisli. This app is ideal for moms with insomnia who want to quiet their minds and let their bodies rest. Custom mix sounds that can drown out external noise so you can work and sleep better. The interface is simple to use and boasts a variety of ambient sounds that can provide a soothing background for your day or night.


With these 3 apps on your phone you are much more likely to get the sleep you want and need.

What's your favorite app these days? Head on over to our FB group, I'd love to hear about them.

Balanced Mama Planner

I deeply value balance in my life. The balance of relaxation, achievements, commitments to my home, spending time with my kids, and investing in my own self-care is very important to me. It’s so important that I created the Balanced Mama Planner to help plan our days with balance in mind using concepts from Yin and Yang.

The Yin and Yang symbolize balance. We should strive to find balance as much as possible, and that includes planning our day to be balanced.

Yin: Being, Relaxing, In the moment, Nurturing, Receiving, Connecting, Flowing, Trusting, Feminine

Yang: Doing, Accomplishing, In movement, Industrious, Acting, Assertive, Organizing, Structured, Masculine

Your body may resonate with Yin or Yang depending on the circumstance, or it may resonate with both. In our bodies, we can identify our harder attributes and softer attributes, then invite the opposite into those areas to help create balance within ourselves.

I love Dr. Christiane Northup’s take on this concept of balance. In her analogy, sperm are masculine, and the egg is feminine. Think about it!

Sperm are the masculine side of balance. They are competitive, driven by survival, moving quickly to get to the destination. For them, to win is to swim faster than the rest.

Eggs are the feminine side. The egg is calm and relaxed as it sits and waits to receive.

These are not related to gender at all. The masculine principles do not only apply to men, and the feminine principles do not only apply to women. Everyone can encompass these masculine and feminine qualities.

When we intentionally invite both of these concepts into our lives as mothers, we can choose intentionally how we want to be with our kids. Our mothering requires us to embrace the masculine and the feminine.

Click here to receive your free Balanced Mama Planner. 

 

3 easy ways to get the rest you want even if you aren't getting the sleep you need

Today I am sharing the single the most crucial element for effortlessly creating a life you love.

Now, if you're thinking take a vacation 4 times a year, eat healthy or write in a gratitude journal everyday those are pretty important too but...

...there's one more thing that's more essential. In fact everything else I teach is literally and figuratively based on it.  

Unfortunately for me, it was elusive for the first 2 years of my daughter's life.

However, when I eventually made it a priority things that we really hard instantly became easier:
• Cravings for sugar - sliced in half
• Excuses for not taking care of myself in other ways -vanished
• Happiness level - through the roof

Eager to know what it is?

It's REST.

Look back over the week. Did you notice the days you felt happier, ate better even worked out more? I'm willing to guess you had a great night sleep. Now I know it's hard to get a full 8 hours when you're trying to juggle health, family, friends, work and a side business. (If you're crazy like me).

Here are 3 basic tension and relaxation techniques to help you get the rest you want even if you aren't getting the sleep you need:

1. Eye relaxation (palming)

For this technique place your palms directly over your closed eyes. Block out all light without putting too much pressure on your eyelids. Try to see the color black. You may see other colors or images, but focus on the color black. Use a mental image to remember to color black (your cool black leather jacket would work well.)

Continue this way for 2-3 minutes, thinking and focusing on the color black. Lower your hands and slowly open your eyes, gradually getting accustomed to the light. Experience the sense of relaxation in the muscles that control the opening and closing of your eyes.

This is also a fun exercise you can do with your kids starting at the age of about 7 years old.

2. Metaphorical Images

For this exercise, lie down and close your eyes. Visualize an image that represents tension. The best images are those you make up yourself, but here are some that work for me:

  • The color red

  • The screech my children make when they are fighting (a personal favorite)

  • The tension of a cable

  • The scream of a siren at night

  • The pounding of a jackhammer

Then replace it with an image that represents relaxation. Again, choose your own, but here are some that work for me:

  • The color red can fade to pale blue

  • The screech of my children fades to giggles of play

  • The cable can slacken

  • The siren might soften to a whisper of a flute

  • The Jackhammer might become the hands of your partner giving you a massage.

As you scan your body, apply your tension image to a tense muscle. Allow it to develop into your relaxation image. For example, if my neck were tense, I might visualize a tightened vise. Then, I'd imagine the vise opening as I say the affirmation "Relaaaax."

End by reciting your affirmation. Speak to the specific tenseness as you apply the relaxation image. Observe what happens to your tension.

3. Listening to music

Listening to music is one of the most common forms of relaxation. However, we all give our own meaning to music. It's important that when you want to listen to music for the purpose of relaxation that you choose music you find peaceful and soothing. In other words, your kid's music together CD is not the best choice here. 

I personally like this piano music.

To get the most out of this tip, find a half hour of uninterrupted time to be alone (probably after kids are asleep.) Put on your music, settle back into a comfortable position, and close your eyes. Mentally scan your body, noting areas of tension, pain, and relaxation. Be aware of your mood as you focus your attention on the music

Each time an unrelated thought enters your head note it and then discard it, remembering your goal of focusing on the music and relaxing. You can say an affirmation like "music relaxes me."

When the music ends, allow your mind to scan your body again and become aware of how it feels. Does your body feel different than before you started the exercise?

Head on over to our Facebook group and let us know which exercise you chose and how it made you feel.

 

 

Just Breath

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Breath is the key to life. It is the vehicle that carries the prana (life force energy) throughout your body. Breathing with intention calms you, giving you more presence as well as far more personal power. 

Simple breath awareness is my #1 go to parenting strategy when my kids are out of control. My mantra becomes, "Inhale. Exhale."

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This sounds simple and yet it can feel confusing to many people. There are multiple formal breathing techniques and I often have students and clients asking me if they are breathing correctly. Trust me, mama, if you are still alive you are doing it right.

That said, here are some tips for breathing in a more EMBODIED way:

1. GO WITH THE FLOW. In my yoga classes, I teach my students that the inhale is taken when we expand the body and the exhalation occurs when we contract the body. So, in real life this might look like taking an inhale as you open your arms, waiting to embrace your child and exhale as you wrap your arms around your bundle of joy.

2. NOSE YOUR WAY THROUGH. Take a minute now to breath in and out of your nose. You may notice that this heats your body while also increasing your lung capacity. Keep your jaw relaxed and throat slightly constricted, which will make a "hhhaaaaa" sound, like you are fogging up a mirror. In yoga, this is called "victory breath." I'll use this breath first thing in the morning as a way to start my day victoriously.

3. BELLY UP! Have you ever watched a baby breathing? You'll notice that her belly completely fill on the inhale and deflates on the exhale. For this breath, begin by expanding your belly (you might need to unbutton your pants for this one), the your ribs, and finally your chest. Release them down as you exhale fully through your nose.

Intention:

Notice how many times a day you hold your breath and when you do, try one of the above breathing techniques for 20-60 seconds. Feel any different?

Be Grateful

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The first step to creating abundance is appreciating what you have. After all, if you can't appreciate what you already have, what makes you think you can appreciate more? It is essential to count your blessings and honor the gifts in your life on a daily basis.

Vulnerable moment...

When I was a little girl, I had a total lack of gratitude. In fact, I was often disappointed. It seemed like no matter what my parents got me, I felt dissatisfied. And it wasn't just the gifts that were disappointing, so was the connection and intimacy. And not because there was a lack of it!

I also didn't believe I was very smart. I had a learning disability so it took me a lot longer to get my school work done than it took the other kids. This gave me a real chip on my shoulder and I felt like I had to prove myself in other ways. I seemed to fit in with all the groups at school, yet I felt out of place.

Even as a young teen I could sense that I had a lack of gratitude, but that didn't mean I changed. I had beautiful clothes, my dad had a good job, and my life was pretty darn good. So why was I so dissatisfied? 

One Thanksgiving, we were asked to create a gratitude list. Every day of the month of November we were instructed to make a list of 5-10 things we were grateful for, including things that didn't seem like positives. That assignment changed my life.

It taught me that when something happens that is out of my control, I could put it on my gratitude list. So, when my first boyfriend broke up with me I bravely put it on the list as something "good." It was an act of faith that, despite the pain, it was for the best. And writing a thank you card to the Universe is an easy way to begin the manifesting process. (Our theme this month in the Mom-ME Circle Facebook group.)

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Invitation...

With appreciation for your bounty of gifts in mind, it's time to add a gratitude list to your routine too. 

...And I want more!

Yes, and! The old type of linear thinking says either/or, but at Mom-ME Circle we hold both at once. I love what I have AND I want more!

It's important to know your value and value your needs. We are spiritual beings having a physical experience. AND it's ok to have possessions.

Come to your Senses

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Many spiritual practices and guides encourage us to renounce our bodies and our senses. While there may be a place for this, it is a very masculine practice. I personally prefer a more feminine practice where I become totally present to my senses.

Your seat of power is the present moment, and your senses are the tools to access this power.

"Life is available in the present moment. If you abandon the present moment you cannot live the moments of your daily life deeply" - Thich Nhat Hanh

If you have ever watched a baby take in the world with so much awe in her eyes, you know what I'm talking about when I say that this body is a miracle. And how lucky are we are to be in it for this brief time. I am constantly forgetting and reminding myself of this throughout the day.

And then I forget again :)

As we continue on this theme of setting EMBODIED intentions, I am reminded that the greatest and most spiritual experiences I have ever had didn't happen in my head, but in my body. They were felt experiences.

The simplicity of pure presence has such an awesome impact, it kind of blows my mind.

For instance, right now I am sitting in a coffee shop with my green tea, surrounded by 5 other people on their own devises. I am listening to the music (I've got you babe- don't you love that song!) playing over the speakers. There is a fan whirling overhead. I can feel the keys on my keyboard as I tap them.

Even though it is almost summer there is a slight chill in the air. I can still taste the muffin I just ate in my mouth and the smell of coffee wafts through the air.

All that is impacting me right now- through my senses.

Take a moment and look up from this post. Notice what your senses are telling you. Take a breath. Come to your senses.

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When I was a teenager my dad introduced me to Joseph Campbell. He was considered one of our greatest scholars and teachers and I have so much respect for him. The Power of Myth is an incredible book. He talks about how one of the most spiritual experiences he has ever had happened when he was running on the beach at dusk.

Even one of our greatest scholars used his body and senses to connect with God. 

I witness my 2 year old doing this same thing when playing with his blocks. He is totally in his body, in the moment. It is beautiful to watch.

Invitation...

Today, I invite you to slow down enough to appreciate the energy running through your body. Take time to remember that your senses are a manifestation of the spirit. Be willing to indulge in them, but notice what nourishes you and makes you feel grounded.

Enjoy!

Make Short Term Goals

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The beauty of setting short term goals is the immediate gratification that you get when you achieve them. It gives you a chance to be victorious. Often, that feeling is reward enough, but I always advise my coaching clients to celebrate when they accomplish what they say the will, even if it's in a small way.

See the finish line

Any goal that I have ever reached started with an intention, but it had to be reinforced by a picture in my mind. 

When I decided that I was going to climb out of my postpartum depression haze I began with an intention to feel more joyful in everyday moments. I would start each day by closing my eyes and imagining myself smiling as I went out for a walk with a girlfriend. In my mind, I was carefree and confident that my 3 month old baby was in good hands at home with her daddy. The endorphins began to flow even though I wasn't actually out for a walk.

The eye likes to have a visual image to connect with the tangible result. It delights in images that motivate and inspire- something that can be seen.

Warriors jump over walls, they don't demolish them - Carlos Castineda

That is why I recently created a vision board that connects me with my current hopes and dreams. (I'll share how you can make one too in a future post.)

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This is a poster board where you can arrange a collage of images that represents all areas of your life: personal, how you look, your kids, your marriage, finances, possessions, home, creative projects, friends, work, health, being of service, travel, education, career, spirituality, and unknown. It can also contain phrases that motivate you (like mine does.) 

You get the idea!

I can't wait to see what you create, Mama!

Set your intention

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I want to let you in on a little secret... You already have everything within you to manifest your dreams. If it wants to take root and come to fruition it CAN.

The way you begins something has a great effect of its outcome. I would know- I have never had a dream that has not come true (including the dream that I would one day get married on 7/7/07- which I did.)

So the question I am inviting you to ask yourself is, "What do I want to create?"

Every single thing that exists in our lives today, including our children, our homes, and our careers, started out as an idea. When I really think about how powerful intentions are, that those seeds we are planting with our beliefs actually grow, I feel excited about claiming my birthright as a creator. And I want this for you too, mama.

This month, in our Mom-ME Circle Facebook Group, we are working with the theme of manifesting. I can't wait to show you how I set my own intentions as a way to manifest and also learn how you set yours (if you do.) So, if you care to join us, you can find us here.

Think of yourself as a flower or a tree. The seed of potential is within you, and the way you cultivate this seed has a great effect on how that design will grow and unfold. For instance, if you did not water and feed it, the seed would likely die. More importantly, if you plant an apple seed, no matter what you do, you will not be able o turn that apple tree into a blueberry bush.

during the month of June, we will also be discussing how to become very honest and authentic about what type of a seedling we are planting and what to expect from those seeds.

This is what I love about being a Mother's Empowerment Coach- I get to tell you how setting intentions has affected my life and in doing so influence how you might set intentions in your own life. Can you imagine what a gift it would be if our kids grew up knowing this stuff?!


Begin where you are

The very best way to make a change in your life is by putting yourself in action. Believe it or not, every goal that you have for yourself begins in your body.

So, this month we will also be exploring how to really EMBODY our intentions.

Are you excited yet?!

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Name it to claim it

In order to have what you want, you must name it. 

Right now, say what you want out loud. DO IT! I dare you!!!

Then, write it down.

Even if you aren't ready for anyone else to see or hear your intention, hearing your voice say it and seeing it in your own handwriting will make it more real.

Naming and declaring your intentions is literally like casting a spell or an incantation. What are you ready to create in your own life? What seeds are you planting?

I believe that your desire is God-given, and the definition of intuition is following that impulse. 

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.