40 Days Week 3: Equanimity

I was expecting a huge shift this week. Last time I went through the 40 days program I remember experiencing a HUGE shift this particular week where I felt like everything really came together. As you can probably tell-the shift didn’t happen. Or atleast it wasn’t as monumental as I had anticipated it being. This time it felt more like an overall shift.  I felt like I entered this week with more patience, and an increased feeling of peace which was very, very helpful in having an equinimious week.

Here are my questions:

1. How much do I believe the winds of grace support me?  As much of a believer as I am, and I am a BIG one, I sometimes-okay most of the time-have a hard time believing that I am worthy of His grace. I know it exists, and I know that he freely gives it, but I still have a hard time accepting the fact that I am worthy of His grace in His eyes.

 

2.Where can I use less reaction and more divine interpretation?  I can use less reaction when it comes to my kids. I have a tendency to get overwhelmed very easily, and to let little things bother me.  I’ve realized, through equanimity, that when I take the time to breathe and remove myself from a situation I am allowing myself time to think through what kind of an impact the decision will yield? Will this make a difference in a month’s time? How about a year? A week? If the answer is no then I can generally loosen the reigns, and know that this one very small piece of time will not have a huge lasting impact.

 

3.  How can a shift in vision enhance the quality of my life?  A shift in vision was huge in enhancing the quality of my life this week.  I realized that by removing the negative and shameful words from my vocabulary I was able to let joy, and happiness pour into my life.  For example, I am by nature a very anxious person.  This week when I was anticipating certain situations that I knew I would find myself in rather than labeling my emotions as “anxious” I labeled them as “exciting, eager, and intrigued.”  This not only helped me make my way through some challenging moments this week, but it was a very helpful tool in helping me shift my vision.

 

4.  What things are likely to trigger reactivity in me?  Hunger, exhaustion, topics I feel passionately about, situations that I believe I should be able to control (ie traffic, my children’s behavior), and situations that I think I could have made a better decision in.

 

5. How can I respond better to moments of reactivity?  I have found that my AM and PM meditations have really grounded me.  They have helped me remember to come back to my breathe, and I have found that by taking 5 or 6 deep breaths I am able to better assess and work/think through a situation.

Next week we are onto Restoration and our 3 day fruit cleanse, check back to see how my week went!!

  

 

40 Days: Week 2 Vitality

So as life would have it I am behind on my promised posts!  As I sit here and type this I’ve just finished feeding my troops dinner, I’ve got two kids working on homework (fractions, and counting money-ayyyyy!), one kids sick on the couch, and in a few minutes I will tackle Valentines Day Cards for close to 70 kids :/ And this is an “uneventful” night in our house!!

Here’s a recap on my Vitality week.  For me, vitality means editing out all of the busy.  Removing all of the non essential, in order to make room for the essential.  For what my body and mind and spirit are craving.  Some days that is rest. Some days that is curling up with a good book and a cup of tea in bed. Some days that looks like treating myself to a juice from my favorite juice bar.

Here are my vitality week questions:

  1. What is your most meaningful creation? My most meaningful creation in this life is my family and the stability, love, and support that I am able to give my children.

2.What is your most courageous act?  My most courage act, in this season of life, is making my health my number one priority.  Because this is something that I have neglected for as long as I can remember it feels strange to make something about me and for me my number one priority. It is uncomfortable, but necessary.  I am willing to do whatever, try whatever, and eat whatever I need to to in order to restore a level of homeostasis in my body.

 

3.  When do I feel the most energized?  I feel the most energized when I get a good night’s sleep.  A restful, complete nights sleep. I feel energized when I allow my body to rest, reset, and recharge without judging myself.

 

4.  Forces in my life that drain my energy:

-Too much time on Facebook/IG

-Not taking a break

-People pleasing

-Valuing others opinions over mine

-Taking things too personally

-Getting inside my own head

-Not asking for help

-Saying yes to too many things

-Over scheduling myself and my kids

 

Our Laws this week were:

Law 3: Step our of your Comfort Zone

Law 4: Commit to Growth

We were asked to write down 1 goal (attainable in 7 days) that we wanted to accomplish. For me, my goal was to take an advanced class at our studio called Deepen Your Roots.  This class was no joke! It was the real thing!  For starters instead of there being a FULL class of 40+ people there were maybe 10 people in the entire class.  Goodbye “blending in!” It was also taught by the owner of our studio who has an amazing ability to craft an incredible class. Was it hard? VERY! Did I feel awkward? YUP! and it wasn’t pretty…I fell over, I fell down, and I fell into just about every pose-BUT I got back up. I laughed it off, and there were others in the room, including the instructor, who were supporting me. Who were rooting for me. Who were sending me good vibes in my moments of struggle and it was SO WORTH IT!! If I hadn’t been challenged I may never have even tried to take that class!  What a week!

  

40 Days: Week 1

40 days week 1
We just finished week 1 of 40 Days to a Personal Revolution and keeping with my promise of sharing this experience with you here are my thoughts from this past week..

Law 2 says: Be willing to come apart- the big part of this law for me is letting go. Letting go of the control. Letting go of constantly being on point. Letting go of having it all together. Letting go of constantly filling up others wells while mine runs completely dry. This week we were traveling as a family, and I experienced this in its fullness. I laid down in bed, around 12:30 pm, and I took a nap! Usually when I attempt to do something like this thoughts of everything else flood my mind. Ways I could be spending my time being more productive usually involving laundry, cleaning, or attending to my kids. But that day this law and a gentle reminder popped in my head telling me to give up control, and to give into what my body needed and I napped for 1 whole hour! Hallelujah!

We also have excavation questions to answer each week. Here are my questions and answers from week 1…

1. How much am I taking responsibility to learn and grow from the experiences, both easy and difficult, that I have in my life? I am taking more responsibility than ever before to learn from experiences. Now rather than looking at an experience and saying “why me?” I am looking at it and saying “what is this experience teaching me? What have I learned from going through this?” I am realizing this is my life and time spent asking “why me”, time spent people pleasing, and validating others opinions of me is exhausted and time wasted. When I do those thing I’m not being responsible of my time or my views. 

2. What are my beliefs about:

My body– while I believe my body is strong and sturdy I am also very frustrated with my body for not allowing me to always do what I want to do. My body gives me a lot of limitations. Limitations that cannot be helped, avoided, or cured. 

My relationships– I am realizing the relationships I have need to have purpose. They need to serve me and they need to serve others. And I would love it if they served us both really, really well. I’m also realizing that it is okay to have surface relationships, because not every relationship is meant to go below the surface. This just makes my solid, below the surface relationships mean that much more to me.

My work– I am starting to develop and maintain more self-worth which is turning into more worth for my profession and my position in that profession. I’m realizing that while everyone may no agree with my opinion, I am allowed to have an opinion and I am becoming more comfortable with sharing those opinions with others.  

My spirituality– I believe we serve an almighty God. One who is forgiving, gracious, patient, and who knows our every desire. I know who I serve and what I stand for. 

Money– I believe that, for me, money is extremely stressful. It can turn my mood upside in a second. I find the more I “crunch the numbers” and the more I focus my attention and energy on money the more I stress. It’s no secret that money makes the world go round. We literally need it for survival. Food, clothing, and shelter wouldn’t be possible without money. This is a constant battle I have, internally with myself. Sometimes it is a daily internal struggle that I am trying to look at from a different angle.

3. When do I feel most present? I feel most present on my yoga mat. When I come into my yoga studio, lay down my yoga mat, and set an intention for my practice. 

4. Where in my life am I hiding? I feel like I am hiding in my relationship with my husband. I don’t always maintain open communication, but rather I maintain the expectation that he knows what I am feeling, thinking, or wanting. This is not the case. He isn’t able to read minds. I am working on being more mindful of this.

5. Where in my life am I flirting with disaster? I am flirting with disaster when I:
-over schedule myself and my family ( currently reading a book about being less busy!)
-having the mindset of having to do it all, by myself.
-thinking that I can push my body to extremes, rather than finding middle ground.
-when I don’t fill up my well in order to fill up others wells.
-when I don’t eat healthy, light, nourishing foods and my body becomes heavy, sluggish and foggy. 
 
Now we are onto week 2: Vitality

Law 3: Step out of your comfort zone

Law 4: Commit to growth



Stay tuned for this weeks experiences, and questions!

  

40 Days to a Personal Revolution 

Last night my yoga studio started our 40 Days to a Personal Revolution program. This is my second time participating in the program and I am so darn excited! No only do we have an amazingly talented leader, but I am so ready to dive in, dig deep, and see all the changes I make in my life for the better. The first time I worked through the program, for me, there was a lot of fear, apprehension, anxiety, and holding back. This time the vibe already feels completely different. There’s a calm, almost a stillness I felt in last nights meeting. I feel like I am entering this program from a place of being grounded. 

During our last program in the fall of 2015 I uncovered so many truths within myself. I was able, for the first time ever, to articulate and verbalize thoughts I hadn’t been able to for years. It felt like all of those webs that were tangled in my brain became untangled. I had some pretty huge shifts during the last program and so I thought it would be neat to document and blog my way through the program this time.

 
Last night, as a group, we set ground promises- not rules. Why? Because rules are made to be broken, promises are forever. And for me, this program is forever. This program will forever change me. When I am finished with this program at the end of February I won’t be the same person I was when I started. 

During the program we make a commitment to practice 6 days a week, be mindful of our eating habits, AM & PM daily meditations, and attend weekly meetings.

  
We were also asked last night to set some personal promises for ourselves. Attainable goals that would set us up for success. For me that looks like:  

– Being authentic and true to myself as well as those around me

– Getting uncomfortable 

– Sharing without fear

-Trusting the process-wholeheartedly

– Digging deep

– Building community 

– Less shame

– No internet/social media after 9pm

Each week we will work through 2 of Baron Baptiste’s Laws and 1 chapter of his book. This week our laws are:

1. Seek the Truth

2. Be Willing to Come Apart

And our chapter is: Presence

I cannot wait to start this journey, and see what lies on the other side of it! 

  

   

A Piece of my Heart.

This week was a struggle. Looking back I was over scheduled, over tired, and over everything by Friday at 4:30.  Although I did have moments of Joy shine through and brighten moments of my week, my week overall wasn’t very joy-filled.  Since making this realization I’m starting to go back and go through my motions, my emotions, my schedule, and my past week to figure out what the  major differences between Week 1 and Week 2 were because I did feel such a huge difference.

In the meantime, while I am trying to figure all of that out, I came across an article in a book I am reading by Brene Brown called I thought It was Just Me (but it isn’t). Making the journey from “What will people think?” to “I am enough.” First of all, WOAH!! This book has been an incredible eye opener, for me. It has allowed me to know that I truly thought I was alone in my struggle and I am not.  I don’t think me reading this book should come to any of you as a shock. This is a year of me working through all.of.my.feelings. Even the not-so-great ones in order to better myself. In order to live more authentically. So, in my latest reading of her book I came across this incredibly powerful passage that related to my current life in almost every way possible. I had one of those, “this is everything I’ve been wanting to say, but don’t know how to say it” moments!!  And it felt so good, even if they aren’t my own words. They are still a stepping stone. A catapult into healing. A friend of Brene’s was working through infertility and decided to write a letter/pamphlet to those in her life who didn’t necessarily know or understand how to help her work through her feelings while on her journey. I am currently in the same position, not with infertility, but with my life post stroke. I am in a place of vulnerability, confusion, shame, discrimination, of being misunderstood, of being unrelatable, of being the minority. So for me, and for the sake of ridding my heart and mind of some of the shame that is associated with a life changing brain injury, along with taking back the power and progress in my life, I have decided to type the letter.  The only difference will be I am changing the word “infertility” with the word “condition.” Here it goes…

“I want to share my feeling of my condition with you, because I want you to understand my struggle.   I know that understanding my condition is difficult; there are times when it seems even I don’t understand.  This struggle has provoked intense and unfamiliar feelings in me and I fear that my reactions to these feelings might be misunderstood.  I hope my ability to cope and your ability to understand will improve as I share my feelings with you. I want you to understand.

 

You may describe me this way: obsessed, moody, helpless,envious, too serious, obnoxious, aggressive, antagonistic, and cynical. They aren’t very admirable traits; no wonder your understanding of my condition is difficult.  I prefer to describe myself this way: confused, rushed and impatient, afraid, isolated and alone, guilty and ashamed, angry, sad and hopeless, and unsettled.

 

My condition makes me feel confused. I always assumed I was strong. I spent years avoiding being “weak.”

 

My condition makes me feel rushed and impatient.   My condition came on 3 years ago. My life plan is suddenly halted. I worked so hard to be the very best I could be and now I feel I am at the bottom.  

 

My condition makes me feel afraid.  My condition is full of unknowns and I’m frightened because I need some definite answers. How long will this last?

 

My condition makes me feel isolated and alone. Reminders of unaffected people are everywhere.  I must be the only one enduring this invisible curse.  I don’t share with others, because they can’t relate. 

 

My condition makes me feel guilty and ashamed.  Frequently I forget that my condition is a medical problem and should be treated as one.  My condition destroys my self-esteem and I feel like a failure. Why am I being punished?  What did I do to deserve this?  Am I not worthy of a normal life?

 

My condition makes me feel angry.  Everything makes me feel angry, and I know much of my anger is misdirected.  I’m angry at my body because it was betrayed me even though I’ve always taken care of it.  I’m angry at my partner because a part of me feels like he will never understand my feelings of inadequacy.

My financial resources may determine the amount of answers I have surrounding my condition, and the amount of rehabilitation I am able to achieve.  I can’t miss any more work, or I’ll lose my job. I can’t go to a specialist because it means more travel time, more missed work, and greater expenses.  Finally, I’m angry at everyone else.  Everyone has opinions on my inability to overcome my condition.  Everyone has easy solutions.  Everyone seems to know too little and say too much.

 

My condition makes me feel sad and hopeless.  My condition feels like I’ve lost my future, and no one knows of my sadness.  I feel hopeless; my condition robs me of my energy.  I’ve never cried so much or so easily.  

 

My condition makes me feel unsettled.  My life is on hold. Making decision abut my immediate and long-term future seems impossible.  I can’t decide about education, career, purchasing a home, pursuing a hobby, getting a pet, vacations, business trips, and house guests.  The more I struggle with my condition, the less control I have.  

 

Occasionally I feel my panic subside. I’m learning some helpful ways to cope; I’m now convinced that I’m not crazy, and I believe I’ll survive.  I’m learning to listen to my body and to be assertive, not aggressive, about my needs. I’m realizing that good medical care and good emotional care are not necessarily found in the same place.  I’m trying to be more than my condition while gaining enthusiasm, joyfulness, and zest for life.

 

You can help me. I know you care about me and I know my condition affects our relationship. My sadness causes you sadness; what hurts me, hurts you, too.  I believe we can help each other through this sadness.  Individually we both seem quite powerless but together we can be stronger.  Maybe some of these hints will help us to better understand my condition.  

 

I need you to be a listener.  Talking about my struggle helps me to make decisions.  Let me know you are available for me.  It’s difficult for me to expose my private thoughts if you are rushed or have a deadline for the end of our conversation.   Please don’t tell me all of the worse things that have happened to others or how easily someone else’s condition was solved.

 

I need you to be supportive. Understand that may decisions aren’t made casually.  I’ve agonized over them. Remind me that you respect these decisions even if you disagree with them, because you know they are made carefully.

 

I need you to be comfortable with me, and then I also will feel more comfortable.  Talking about my condition sometimes feels awkward.  Are you worried you might say the wrong thing? Share those feelings with me.   Ask me if I want tot talk. Sometimes I will want to, and sometimes I wont, but it will remind me that you care.

 

I need you to be sensitive.  Although I may joke about my condition to help myself cope, it doesn’t seem as funny when others joke about it.  Please don’t tease me with remarks like “they were in such an uproar, I thought they were going to have a stroke” It’s no comfort to hear empty jokes.

 

I need you to be honest with me. Let me know that you may need time to adjust to some of my decisions. I also need adjustment time. If there are things you don’t understand, say so.  I need you to be informed.  Your advice and suggestions are only frustrating to me if they aren’t based on fact.  Be well informed so you can educate others when they make remarks based on myths.  Please don’t think that my condition will be cured if I relax more and stress less.  Don’t tell me this is God’s will.  Don’t ask me my need to justify my need to live life as I once did prior to my condition. 

 

I need you to be patient.  Remember that working through my condition is a process. It takes time. There are no guarantee’s, no package deals, no complete kits, no one right answer, and no “quickie choices.”

 

I need you to be strengthening and boosting my self-esteem.  My sense of worthlessness hampers my ability to take charge.

 

Encourage me to maintain my sense of humor; guide me to find joys.  Celebrate with me my successes, even ones as small as making it through a medical appointment without crying.  Remind me that I am more than a person with a condition.  Help me by sharing your strength.

 

Eventually I will be beyond my struggle with my condition.  I know my condition will never completely go away because it will change my life.  I won’t be able to return to the person I was before my condition, but I also will no longer by controlled by this struggle.  I will leave the struggle behind me, and from that I will have improved my skills for empathy, patience, resilience, forgiveness, decision making, and self-assessment.  I feel grateful that you are trying to ease my journey through this condition struggle by giving me your understanding.”    ~Jody Earle

 

My sincerest and most authentic hope in posting these words is that you can see that people who are suffering out loud, or in silence, are trying their very best every single day to overcome their obstacles.  We are people too. We just happen to be on this journey that has changed our lives. And we hope that you continue to support and understand us.

  

  
 
 

 

 

Week 1: Joy

I am officially 1 week into the new year and embracing life with the word JOY. I am learning how to “be” joyful. So far my experience has been this: incredibly life giving!! One week of living life with a completely different outlook, on life and on people, and I have had a huge shift. Before this week I didn’t feel too much of a connection with people, was consumed with self doubt, fear, anxiety and shame.  And while those feeling haven’t completely diseppated they have decreased significantly.  After this week I feel so much lighter, brighter, happier, more open, and way more fulfilled. Perhaps the most eye opening realization is that I have the ability to control how I feel. I have the ability to determine whether or not my day is going to be full of joy, or crummy.  I have the ability to choose joy. Always. I can choose joy the minute I wake up, and I can choose to remember joy at the end  of my day when it is the craziest! I can choose joy to make the little moments count as much as the big ones.

One of the biggest changes I have made this week is choosing joy and genuine happiness for me.  If it makes me happy I go for it. I speak it. I act on it. For me this means living a life that is less filtered- not dwelling on what others think of my opinions, but rather speaking my mind. I have given credit to my opinions and outlooks. I have grown my self respect. I have grown my self compassion, and self empathy. I have lived the most authentic life I know possible right here in this moment. I’m realizing that by living how I was (filtered, inauthentic, non joyous, unfulfilled, not self respecting, people pleasing) I really wasn’t living at all. I was simply the worlds puppet, just going through the motions that I thought others wanted. Answering with what I thought others wanted to hear. It turned out I wasn’t living for me. I was living for other people. I was so consumed by people pleasing that I somehow lost the true meaning of life, and myself. And you know what? It was exhausting, and incredibly sad. I lost who I was. The good news is 1 week into the New Year and I am slowly starting to find my way back to the true me. Or I could say the new me. One minute, one hour, one day at a time.

 

I’m not gonna lie… This week hasn’t been the most comfortable, week of my life. In fact I experienced a lot of uncomfortable.
But I am realizing that…

 
Uncomfortable leads to growth.

Uncomfortable leads to connection.

Uncomfortable leads to authenticity.

Uncomfortable is SO worth it!

 
For the first time, probably ever, I am listening to my body. I am listening to what my body wants and needs. It’s likes and dislikes. And truly giving it what it needs. Rest. Peace. Nourishment. Laughter. Release. Stretching. Meditation. Connection. Stability. And it feels absolutely amazing!

This week I tried new things. I totally went out of my comfort zone, and challenged myself by doing a handstand workshop at my yoga studio with a friend. Yes, me-a handstand work shop. The mother of three who doesn’t even remember what it means to “activate your core”… And who quite frankly didn’t even realize I still had a core!! But I did it. I put myself out there and I GREW! I felt vulnerable, uncomfortable, fearful, and sure I wouldn’t be successful. And guess what?! thanks to an amazing leader, and an incredible workshop partner I DID IT!!! Yes I felt silly at times, yes I felt like I was doing it all wrong at times, and yes I wanted to go running out of that room at times. But I didn’t. I pushed myself. I pushed through all of that fear and anxiety and I grew myself. I allowed joy to completely consume me…And I’m still living on the natural high of yesterday’s workshop.

This week I chose joy and happiness. For me. For my body. For my mind. For my soul.  This certainly has been one incredible life giving, joyful week!

 

Goals for 2016

One of my top goals for 2016 has everything to do with health. If you haven’t already read this post, I encourage you to. If you are looking for the cliff notes here they are…3 years ago at the age of 27 I suffered a large stroke. Yes. Really. My road to recovery included 6 months of intense physical and occupational therapy, having to retest for my drivers license, and each day is still much of an uphill battle. So for 2016 I am making sure to make my health my top priority.
What does that look like? For me making my health my top priority looks like…

 
1. Getting at least 8 hours of sleep every single night. For me this is one of the worst side effects of my stroke. One bad nights sleep leaves me feeling hungover. Seriously it’s the best way to describe it. Everything hurts. I have ringing in my ears, I’m unable to concentrate, and I have blurry vision and get dizzy very easily. No fun, so for me staying up an extra few hours simply isn’t worth it.

 
2. No alcohol ( well kind of ) don’t get me wrong I do like to have a good time, and let loose every once in a while and a glass of wine certainly helps ease my social anxiety when I feel it creeping in, but honestly the way I have been feeling the past year after drinking even just one glass of wine totally isn’t worth it for me. I almost immediately get a headache, and I sleep terribly on nights that I have even one glass of vino :/ if you read #1 you know why poor sleep is so terrible for my health, and don’t get me started on the tummy issues that I get as a result of drinking alcohol either. So my goal is rather than drinking 2-3 times per week it’s looking more like 1-2 time per month MAX! I mean come on I’m all about that healthy lifestyle but sometimes a momma’s just gotta have her mommy juice and loosen up!

 
3. Cultivating Community. This one is new for me. In middle school and high school we moved so much ( my dad was in the Coast guard) and I had such a terrible group of friends. This combination never allowed me to really develop and maintain that strong grounded connection with anyone. It felt like the minute I did we were either packing up boxes to move again, or I was being betrayed by another close friend of mine. For me at this stage and walk of life this isn’t an easy task. Or something people openly discuss. But so many of us walk this path. Loneliness. Everyone is already established in their own little groups and cliques and I’m all like ” hey guys, I’m over here… Wanna hang out?” No…but seriously. That’s what it feels like most days. I am working on this though. I have turned a new leaf though…Within the past couple of months I have joined an amazing and supportive yoga community who have made me feel like I belong for the first time in the longest time. Just me, as I am. No hoops, no tryouts, just open hearts! I’m looking forward to building a firm foundation on those already established connections to springboard me into deepening those relationships. And for me that looks like putting myself out there, which leads to #3.

 
3. Being vulnerable. In case you skipped past 1 and 2 this is a biggie for me. I don’t think I have ever once in my whole life been vulnerable. Up until now being vulnerable has just been too uncomfortable for me. It’s a door that was shut many many years ago, duct taped, nailed, and soldered shut never to be opened. My natural go to is to close up tight like an oyster shell the second real conversation happens. I’m more of a light and fluffy kind of girl. But what I am learning is that in order to live a life of connection, a life of joy, a life of compassion, caring, and wholeheartedness I HAVE to be vulnerable. I have to put myself out there and I have to let others in. As awkward and uncomfortable as it is it really is a good thing.

 
4. Acknowledging and letting go of/working through my shame. The past couple of weeks have brought an awareness to how much shame I am carrying around, and how long I’ve been carrying it. My childhood wasn’t the best (hoping to be vulnerable enough later in the year to share more details on that), I didn’t make the wisest decisions as a teenager when it came to school, I became a very young mom ( without a connected community), I married young, I never finished college (though I did manage to rack up a TON of college debt), I had a terrible basically non existent relationship with my mother (thankfully it has gotten much better the past few years), I tend to be a very jealous person, I have a tendency ( in my eyes) to be selfish, and I’m sure there’s more but for now that feels like enough self mutilation! I promise I’m not a masochist 🙂

 
5. Living a life of authenticity in order to live life of happiness. Pure, passionate, heartfelt happiness. And I want my children to know this as well. I want them to know this possibility. Whatever path you are on, you can change it. My bible scripture for this year is “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 I feel like a house whose roof just BLEW OFF and all you can see is bright blue, sun shining sky above. That’s where I am headed. My cracks are beaming with light!  Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we truly are. People are allowed to change. I’m allowed to change.  I’m learning this. I think because I have lived a life where the norm was stagnancy I felt like if I did try to live a more authentic life, everyone would think I was a fraud. A goody two shoes. An over achiever. Well guess what?! That NOT TRUE! And it’s okay if I have to tell myself that every single day ( I’m probably going to have to!)

 
5. I want to be of service. I have a servants heart. I love helping others.  I remember being a little girl and watching the commercials about starving children and just wanting to reach through the TV and hug each and every one of them. I currently volunteer at our Yoga studio as part of their Fair Trade Team. But I want to make a commitment to help others. When someone is sick. I want to drop of dinner. Fresh fruit. Chicken soup. Baked ziti. When someone is in need of a listening ear, I want to be it. When someone needs a hug I want to give it. This is important for my health in the new year because doing this makes me crazy happy!!! Like truly, down to my core, a little kid on Christmas happy. So I’ve decided I’m going to help others more! At some point in this life I would absolutely LOVE to be a part of a missions trip and work with children!

 
6. Holistic health FIRST– this year I am embracing all things holistic. The more natural the better. Chamomile tea, lavender lotion, daily meditation, yoga, Reiki. Lots and lots of water. Self care. Less social media. More real life. I’m learning technology is not connection- at least not for me. Most days it’s actually narcissistic. Chiropractic care. Reading and learning as much as I possibly can. Growing. Nourishing my mind, body, and soul. The Dalai Lama said “when we talk we are simply repeating what we already know. But if we listen we may learn something new.” How amazing are these words?! Another reason for my approach to holistic health is my hope in it healing my body. I have felt so exhausted and sick and have been dealing with residual effects, of my stroke, for 3 years and I’m sick of being consumed by frustration because my body won’t do what I want it to do. So I am taking charge of my health. I am the patient and I’m making sure my doctor has my health as her first priority. I am going through some testing to rule out anything serious, and to see if there are any underlying conditions that need to be medically treated. My prayer is that if I change my habits, eating, and wellness I can heal my own body from the inside out. I’m sure I’ll have more to post on this later.

 
7. Letting go of the guilt.  Mom guilt BE GONE! you aren’t welcome here anymore. This is your eviction notice. Bye bye! As mothers society places an incredible amount of pressure on us to do it all, have it all, share all, know all, want all, and if we can’t do this then they might as well revoke our mom card. I’m done with all of the soul crushing society has done. This past year has shown me that perfection is exhausting! Not only that but I can’t do it all. Obviously because when I did try to do it all I ended up having a stroke at the age of 27! Trust me when I say this-your health is not worth perfecting the latest Pinterest design for your 3 year old’s birthday party. It’s just not! In becoming more aware of my body and what it needs I am realizing how terrible and detrimental to my personal health stress is.  It really is a wicked thing.  When my older two were just babes we waited until they were 3 to send them to preschool and even then it was only a couple of days a week. We were fortunate to work opposite schedules so that one of us was always home with our boys. Then along came number 3. Preschool days increased for kid #2 and we added aftercare for our 3rd. Did I mentioned hubby and I both work full time? Well here we are with kid #3 who is in full time, five day preschool ( who is also the first kid dropped off and the last kid picked up) and our older two are in after care more days than not. And You know what? Sometimes as a parent you have to do what you have to do. End of story. No shame, no guilt. My kids absolutely love their schools and my older two beg to go to aftercare even on days when we don’t need it!

 
So that’s about it. For now. What is one of your top priorities/goals for 2016? Leave a comment below!