Sunday, November 6, 2011

Happy New Month!

Happy November!!  Just wanted to put that out into the universe before the month gets all messy with hype and over doing and heaviness.

I love the beginning of the month ...any month because I love second chances.  The beginning of the month for me is my indicator of a fresh start, change of attitude, reassessing the game plan, bright hope for tomorrow all rolled into one.  This takes a lot of pressure off of January 1 since I treat every month the same.

This also allows for me to accept was has and has not happened and move forward.  That's right move forward and celebrate life just as it is and not as I think it should be.  This is hard sometimes.  Especially when I find myself being a little less than gentle with myself.

So, it is a new month what are you doing to enjoy and celebrate?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Beautiful You

As I was entering the public library I ran into one of the parents from my son's school.  Before saying hello her response was "what are you all dressed up for?".  Mind you I had just freshly showered and changed into clean clothes (a regular practice for me) so I probably had that shinny new penny look about me.

I started to think what an odd question to ask.  Although I really think the parent had another thing in mind when asking but that is another posting.  While I did not answer her question, I know that for most there has to be a reason to "dress up". I was not in anything fancy (although my blouse did have ruffles) yet the comment was made.  For many mothers with young children, brushing your hair or putting on lip gloss before going out is a big step.

I am hear to tell you the frumpy mom look is soooo last centry.  For real.  No seriously.

Think of how you feel when you walk pass a mirror and see a vibrant reflection of you.  If you could high five yourself  you would.  So why the stained t-shirt and run down shoes?  There is no valor in going without a shower and not combing your hair.  This is not for anyone but you.  If your mate or someone on the street likes what you have done that is just extra.  Stop whinning that you don't have time or it takes to much effort and start reminding yourself that you are worth the time and the effort.

Beyond the fact that you are worth the effort is the message we send to the world and to our children.  This is not a shallow posting about what everyone else says is the "in thing".  Self care is one of the healthiest things we can pass on to our children.  Especially now as there are more and more messages that are not necessarily healthy in their approach to how we care for ourselves in the midst of daily living.  We are our children's first teacher in all facets of life...including how we care for our selves.

Today is a very good day to begin to honor yourself and the beautiful packaging God gave you!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Radical Hospitality

It is easy to hospitable on your own terms. However to practice Radical Hospitality forces you out of a space where you control everything into a place where you have to accept what comes your way - unconditionally.

This is where my daily journey has taken me.  My Neighbor and her two young children have found a variety of ways to invite themselves over for lunch, dinner, snacks, and kitchen necessities (charcoal, foil, oil, etc.).  It does not matter who is here when they come over and the children seem to have no issue with taking out games/puzzles and leaving the pieces out. This is the point where you start asking questions to get a better understanding... Let me stop you there.  It doesn't rally matter because in order for me to practice Radical Hospitality, the rest just doesn't matter AND THAT'S WHAT'S SO RADICAL.

It is interesting anytime I mention the situation with my neighbors to friends.  I have not shared this story with many (blogging doesn't count) and yet I don't recall anyone being very radical in their opinion.  Very few of us who are comfortable in our living really understand the concept of true hospitality.  Most of us are very territorial when it comes to who enters our living space and how far they push the boundaries.

Here's what the art of Radical Hospitality says to me;
  • Accept people where they are not where I want them to be
  • See God in them and recognize the divinity of each living being
  • Place more value on the human experience and less on the material wealth (my things)
  • No matter how challenging the situation, unconditional love is the motivation for all I do
With this in mind, I believe the universe is abundant enough to care for all our needs and therefore I need not horde anything I currently possess!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Coloring in the Lines

The other day while driving my niece instructed her 3 year old cousin to be sure to stay within the lines while coloring.  I ALMOST CAME TO A SCREECHING HALT!!  What kind of madness was this 8 year peddling?   Who was she working for?  What system had she bought into?  Okay, clearly I needed to calm down.  My sweet niece meant no harm.  She is merely a victim of her environment and I am always the mother who rocks the establishment!  While I encouraged her to allow my little one to color wherever she wanted I couldn't help but wonder why is coloring in the lines a sign of success and competence?

On an academic level do we teach coloring in the lines as a means of eye/hand coordination or is it teach about boundaries?  Artsitically the black lines are the outline of the picture and allow the colors to stand out even more - but this still does not help me understand why it is so important to color within the lines!

Coloring itself is a relaxing and freeing activitiy and everyone should enjoy it on their own level (especially adults).  Many times as parents under the guise of showing our children the "right" way,  we often block the creative process or find it difficult to accept their art work just as it is.  Inside or outside of the lines, the important thing is to participate and enjoy the creative process!!!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Learning as a Parent

Super Mom Action Figure from

Having gotten that out of the way, I want to share some things that I have learned in the process of accepting that I am not going to be nominated for this most sought after award.

  • Parenting teaches you about your own stuff - you think it is about guiding the life of a young one but at the end of the day you realize you have to deal with your own expectations and failures from your past or you end up projecting on your children

  • You can't take things personally.  99.9999% of the time it really isn't about you and your children are just where God wants them to be.  It is really okay for your child not to like the same exact things you do or to do a back flip when you decide to make crepes from scratch.

  • Most of the time your children aren't trying to be mean spirited, hurtful, rude, or obnoxious.  That's just our own stuff again assuming the worst about them.  Now that does not mean our children are perfect, but there are more time than not to give them the benefit of the doubt or at least hear their side before handing down judgement.

  • There is nothing wrong with allowing your children to do the absolutely foolish.  They learn by experience.   My son wanted to wear a ski jacket in 95 degree weather.  Instead of fighting with him, I allowed the foolishness and when we returned home later that afternoon, he informed me that he would not do that again.  Lesson learned.

For those of us entrusted with the scared task of parenting, enjoy the journey.  Allow your child to show you how to make the most of each day - that's what children are good at doing naturally and along the way share what you love with them!!

Friday, July 29, 2011


Think back to your days as a child... despite all the happy memories, didn't there seem to be too many rules and regulations?  Even if your parents were pretty easy going, there were still a ton of do's and don'ts outside out the home.  This is were the BRILLIANT concept of YES Day enters the picture.

As a parent of two wonderful beings, I find myself needing to change the routine from time to time just to keep things fresh.  YES Day allows for that change to take place quiet naturally.  Simply put, YES Day is a designated day (or time period) to say YES to everything your children ask for.  That's all.   Then let the day unfold before your very eyes.

Already I am hearing the rumbling in the room and the reasons why this would never work in your situation.  Okay, here are some parameters to help ease your fears that your children will take over and leave you barricaded in a small room with nothing but a day old newspaper and half a sandwich...

  • Pick a day and time that is easy for you - now if doing the entire day scares you choose a portion of the day and build up from there.
  • Do not announce to the child that you are going to say yes to everything.
  • Lift the Yes to everything rule if they ask for something that will harm them the planet or set you on a path to financial ruin
  • Relax
Let me let you in on a little secret.  Most of the things your child(ren) ask for aren't really that big of a deal and YES Day allows you to enjoy the simplicities of life a little bit more!

Sunday, July 24, 2011


You know that list of fantastic ideas, projects and goals that you have written and re-written?  IT IS TIME TO GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO DO THEM!

Most women naturally punish themselves by waiting for the perfect day before starting new ventures.  My perfect day would include a completely organized and clean home, which includes laundry cleaned, folded and put away,  all emails and phone calls answered,  a full tank of gas in a freshly cleaned  (inside and out) car  and enough money to do all the home repairs that are currently waiting in queue.  And these things (along with a few others) are the "reasons" I have not found a way towards composting for the organic garden I say I want or starting the small group with other friends who agree we need to support each other and so forth.

You get the picture - right?  My reality is that the above mentioned may or may not take place but waiting for the perfect day only ensures that I am never going to do the things I say I really want to do.  Perfectionism gives me a false sense of reality and blocks my ability to function in a healthy manor.  Let go of perfectionism!   What has it gotten you so far?

I am giving myself permission (and time) to begin fully living life and at least making a step towards that list of things I say I want in my life.  All I have to do is take the first step.  No need to forecast about the what ifs!

Are you down?  Are you in?  Are you ready?

Okay, then say this with me - "Today, I have all I need to begin doing ______________(fill in the blank).  I will release the notion of perfection in order to live a life that honors what I value!  Say it three times out loud so that you begin to believe what you are saying!!! As a matter of fact repeat it each day and anytime you need a gentle reminder of the life you want to live.  And I'll see you on the other side!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Reasons to Give Thanks

When your child is given a gift as the parent our first thing is to make sure they thank the gift giver.  We would never want anyone to say our children have no manners or worse - they are ungrateful.  That kind of thought would knock us out of the running for PARENT OF THE YEAR!

So in order for us to stay in the running let's demonstrate the art of giving thanks - regularly!

Real fast name five reasons to give thanks -here are mine for today
  1. connecting with other creative people.
  2. a supportive family 
  3. making a new friend this week 
  4. completing a task 
  5. the breath I breathe 
  6. pleasant memories - okay that was one to grow on!!
Want to change the direction of your day?  Give thanks!

Laughing All the Way

I LOVE TO LAUGH!  I love the sensation my body gets when I am laughing.  I love the fact that you can actually loose control of your bodily functions while laughing.

Recently my son shared with me that while at lunch with friends and his teacher, a comment was made and he laughed in the process of drinking - you know what happened next.  The spraying of the table with" liquid laughter residue".  My son was not very happy and felt his friend should have exercised better timing.  I gently reminded him that while timing is everything in comedy, funny is funny because it is usually not planned.

I began remembering days where I laughed until the point of loosing control and realized I kept on laughing.  There are two places I can always count on loosing laugh calories; with my cousins from my mother's family and with our family friends the Hopsons. These remain 100% laugh-fests! Growing up there were many episodes of milk or kool-aid through the nose whenever we gathered with the Hopsons.  I am not sure how we ever got through a meal with them because it seemed someone always had something funny to say.  When I gather with my cousins, I accept the fact that it will take me twice as long to eat because of the laughter.  And even though the Hopson family and my family have experienced the regular losses and disappointments of life, there always seems plenty of room at the table for a huge helping of laughter.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Spa Friday

My darling daughter has managed to skirt the issue of having her fabulously full head of hair thoroughly combed through.  As her mother I am slightly embarrassed (only slightly) that she has out negotiated me and has rocked several versions of her last hair-do for a lengthy period of time.

Put your hands together for .... Spa Friday !!!  That's right, it is all in how you present the truth!  Now when I say let's comb your hair - the response is usually something similar to "tomorrow mommy".  However, who would say no to spa treatment?  Not my daughter!!

She parked her tricycle by the door and the spa experience began!  We still had some moments that were not spa-like, but in the end I think she will return for future service...

Mani and Herbal Pedi
Purse and Lunch Bag - must haves!
Let's hit the road!