A mindful life, like photography, requires some intentional focus.
As we approach the last month of summer, we can choose to narrow focus from every wonderful thing we might be missing or should have done to this moment, right now,.
Would you like to join me? Take time to enjoy something that's happening right now.
Sometimes I get tired and 'off.' My mind gets into its thing--what's happening isn't good, there's something wrong with me, I need to fix my kids. . . Today I was having those thoughts and was wise enough to stop and check in with myself.
I drew a card from my new deck (Soulful Woman cards) and was reminded to appreciate, to practice gratitude. I sat and wrote three things I am grateful for, then noticed these beautiful baby plants that I've been loving & had to take a picture.
Gratitude is an immediate game-changer. Appreciating the beauty that I find rather than focusing on what's wrong lifts my mood and brings me back to center. I am going to practice gratitude this week. Each day I'll write three small things that I'm grateful and share one gratitude-reminding picture on Instagram. I'm already feeling the love!
How are you feeling? Want to join me in a gratitude practice? Please share something you're grateful for in the comments!!
Do you know what your parents see when they really look at you (or when they did)? A beautiful, successful, radiant soul shining? Or someone who needs to lose weight, exercise, get a better job, relax, get a haircut, wear nicer clothes, speak up, quiet down . . ?
What do you see when you look at your child? Of course you love them, but when you gaze at them, what are you thinking about?
A mess about to happen?
A project or chore they haven't done yet?
A habit that needs to change?
A worry about how they will end up?
Someone who's headed for trouble?
A bad mood?
Or do you see a radiant soul?
When a baby is born we can see the soul so easily, but as life goes on we sometimes begin to see a child through the lens of our mistakes, our conditioning, and our challenging experiences. And children (and adults) can sense that, even if they don't say anything. They can see the disappointment, criticism, and worry in our eyes, just as they can see the admiration, love, and pride.
It is possible to begin seeing the radiant being in everyone with practice. To begin, we have to notice what is already happening. Today, will you join me noticing what you see? Take ten minutes to sit and write about what you notice in yourself when you look at your child. Let yourself consider whether they notice and how that may feel to them.
(this is a post that I originally shared on 7/14/2016 and felt inspired to share again today)
Whatever life brings you today, may you be
Whenever I think someone shouldn't be how they are--
When I turn inward and tend to my own discomfort, interesting things happen. Body sensations and feelings arise and, with time, fall away. My heart opens to myself and the shadowy place within me that is react. Magically, my heart also opens to the person I was upset with.
Sometimes this leaves me able to be present for them in their anger or pain. Other times it moves me to speak, perhaps saying something that's scary for me to say or painful for them to hear. After caring for my own uncomfortable feelings, my voice is clearer, gentler, and at the same time closer to truth.
The moments that I want to push something away become my teachers when I allow them to be.
I saw this image on Facebook this morning and felt the call to write a little something.
We all want this, right? Someone to love us for our real, messy, hard selves. Someone to accept who we truly are. Someone who can handle the whole truth.
Our kids want and need it, too.
The someone we're looking for is us. You are the one who needs to love yourself for the person that you are, even when you're messy. Can you do it? Will you practice it with me? A simple practice of noticing a messy part of yourself, imagining it as a baby, and holding that baby with love can change your life.
Loving ourselves as we are helps us to heal. Then we can love our kids as they are. And our partners, colleagues, strangers on the road. . .
What if it's okay to feel what you feel today? Whether you're angry or worried or tired or elated, how would it be to just feel it? To breathe into it, maybe while you're sitting quietly in a room alone, or maybe as you vacuum or make lunch for fussy kids or try to get through a shift at work.
To give yourself permission to be who you are.
To allow yourself to feel what you feel.
To make space for what is, knowing that mental judgments can't change feelings and sensations and emotions.
Most of all, to know that you are okay, even if you are feeling something.
Today, I wish for self-acceptance for you and for me.
My life and work are guided by the these core understandings: that all beings (including me!) are capable of transformation and joy, that healthy parenting matters profoundly, and that simple practices can support each of us.