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Posts Tagged ‘gratitude’

saw mill brook reservation


in november gratitude becomes hip.

nothing bad about that.

i find the fall season makes me feel reflective anyhow – as i am moving more deeply inside myself preparing for the winter months.  first there is the fall funk and then there is this state of reflection that arises.  last year around this time i happened upon a little moment on the radio that changed the way i think about my own thankfulness. really and truly it created a vast shift in the thoughts that arise within me when i am bringing awareness to my own gratitude.

i am deeply thankful that the universe aligned to send along that message.
i am so thankful for the challenges that have been placed before me over the years. once i have made my way through them (for better or worse) i am always able to see how much they have shaped my spirit and led me to where i need to be. this process, repeated, had made it easier for me to trust. when things all around me are swirling, when i feel like i am sinking, when i am irritated and overwhelmed and just plain old beat i have managed to hold onto a little spark of somethingness. i might have called it hope at one time but my labeling has shifted and now i sense gratitude – sometimes a wave and sometimes just the thinnest little line right down at the bottom of my heap of emotions. but still, present.

i almost want to say that right now i am thankful for gratitude.
almost.

instead i will just say the obvious. i am deeply grateful for our walks in the woods.

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in this moment

~ healing iced tea, a recipe i intuited on friday.

~ mixed nuts, trader joes.

~ looking at the patterns i chose for my big push to make  a sweater for beanie and a sweater for pea for next winter.  going to follow the joy on this one and not worry too much about what is truly possible.

~ loving the yarn i chose for the above mentioned sweaters.  oh yes.

~ feeling happy about the slow and steady progress on my shawl.

~ resting while the kids rest.  saving up energy to continue healing myself and also manage the home and kids alone this week.

~ more iced tea.

~ maybe a cookie.

~ peeking at the company store sale.

~ realizing how much i love knitting.

~ feeling pretty happy.

~ wondering how you are.

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and god

yesterday evening i watched the oprah show on which she hosted geneen roth, the author of the new book “women food and god”. it made me think.

what kinds of things do i do when i am losing touch with my core self, my higher self, god, the universe?
when are my actions trying to fill a void that can only be filled by that connection?

i am not going to run around collecting answers to those questions right now. i think sometimes it is equally important to sit with the power of the question itself. that is my intention. my intention is attention.

yesterday i sat here writing about accepting myself as i am. loving myself right now. geneen roth said on the show that we cannot hate ourselves enough to get to a place where we are happy. oh yes, that resonated with me. belittling myself does not bring about change. it brings about hiding out in a frozen little corner of shame and doubt.

what makes me live in ways that feel good is, funnily enough, feeling good.

i don’t have a nice tidy package to wrap this post up in. i just feel like the universe is conspiring to show me, remind me, again and again how important it is for me to foster my love for my self. it might be the most important thing i can do for my children and my family. i don’t mean that i love myself when my house and clean, and the kids are eating carrots, and the laundry got folded and put away right after i finished my 3 mile run. i mean, i need to find the path to loving myself when play dough is smashed into the rug, the mornings oatmeal is still congealing on the counter, i haven’t showered since the weekend, and i just ate half of a chocolate chip muffin.

maybe i am talking about transcendence. maybe not. doesn’t really matter what we call it. i am trudging up my path on the mountain. i am thankful for any insight that shows me a nice trail to follow.

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i was sinking into the house of illness. leaving the shades in the bedrooms drawn and the yesterdays clothes on the floor of the bathroom. both kids were coughing and sneezing and feverish and clinging to me through day and night. meek voices, loud coughs, streaming noses and tears. i could feel my own body fighting off the same virus. i am sore and tired and stuffed up and achey. but it barely is worth mentioning or noticing your own illness when the kids are that sick. we got hit so hard.

we got hit so hard and i was sinking into it. so yesterday i set myself to the task of inspiring. flash asked me, amidst the running noses and viral tantrums, how i spend so much time with them without yearning for a break? this is a question difficult to answer. i do need breaks but i find them in the quiet moments of the day. when they fall asleep at night and then i stay a moment to kiss them in the silence marked by their deep breathing. when i sink onto the couch after finishing the tidy up. these are my breaks.

i think it is worth noting as well, and i said to him, this is what i do. i couldn’t take on another person’s job without wondering how on earth they do it. but this is it for me. it is what i do. my body, my heart and soul, we are used to the rhythm and pace of this work. as with any full time commitment there is an ebb and flow of ease. some times being a full time parent and earnest homemaker just happens. i wake and get to it and the day passes by with smiles and homemade bread and pots of kale soup. train tracks are built and cleaned up and pictures are drawn for daddy. we eat healthy snacks and catch ourselves laughing and playing outside for longer than anticpated on a cold day. then i sneak in a quick vacuum with them trailing after me with their vacuums. those days i feel accomplished and sure i am on to something good.

then other times i sink into a house of illness. it feels like every room is overrun with dust bunnies and misplaced toy bits. i find stickers on the bottom of my shoe and catch myself cursing whomever chose white tile for our kitchen floor. the children keep falling into rumpled piles of tears at my feet begging, “hold me hold me.” i can’t think when was the last time the toilets were scrubbed or a carrot was eaten. the art decorating our walls is from at least a month ago. i can’t figure what to make for dinner.

i want to sit on the couch and sigh a lot and then perhaps take a moment to yell at someone. i want to watch television and have a pizza delivered. i eye my knitting basket wearily.

what is a woman to do when she is sinking into it?

i have learned over the last four years what i need. i need to reinspire myself. i need to dream big and eek out the baby steps to get us there.

me, i hit the books. i hit the blogs and the files on the yahoo groups. i seek the vision of the life i want for my children and my husband and my self. i begin to imagine it is truly possible. even just dreaming what it would be like starts to lift my fog. i suddenly see the sparkle in their eyes even if it only lasts for thirty seconds and is followed by more sick tears. i sit on the floor and ask, “have i told you today how much i love you ?” i imagine what we can do tomorrow, and tuesday, and wednesday. i take one more step in the direction of a rhythm. i set another layer of goals down in my mind. i ask myself to do more for them and instead of overwhelming me it lifts me up.

being stuck, sucked down, into the mire of their one and three year old emotions. wanting to plug them into something else so that you can stop feeling so sapped. of course it happens. and i am not saying i catch it right away and jump off the couch with my apron tied tight and lead us in a rousing hour of clapping games. no no. i sink down and get snappy and tread water like the best of them. it is just that i am learning how to move out of the stuck with more ease and grace. i don’t bother getting so angry with myself over it. i don’t fret and regret i simply follow my heart and mind in the direction that feels like it is igniting me. then i take the smallest step.

this morning it meant i pulled up the blinds, i threw open the windows, i stripped all the beds and made them up with fresh sheets. i invited the illness to exit our life. i brought in some energy and vigor. we drew pictures and hung them up. we built a tent/fort with a tunnel and every playsilk we have. i baked a loaf of bread and we had fresh cooked grains and chickpeas for lunch. i cleaned all the old food out of the fridge and handwashed the containers with my little helpers.

i still have a cold and i snapped the bean more than i should have when he needed me this morning. yes i did and i am sure to stumble over my feet as i seek out my path again and again this afternoon and evening and again tomorrow and on and on. seeking, falling, yelling, apologizing, kissing, wiping my hands, dreaming and creating our life. that is the work. it pushes me harder than anything i could have dreamed of doing with my life. i feel called to it. i feel blessed by it. it crushes me and makes me want to rebuild myself. it is a way of life and i constantly seek the sources that help me to grow into it. i let the work be life changing. i want it to be that big.

do you let your life move you? do you seek out your forms of inspiration when you are stuck in the mud? do you thank the universe for giving you each challenge more insane than the last so that you get to grow and grow and learn in this lifetime? do you know that to dream is to bring into being? do you jump start your joy?

try it out. i dare you.

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another sleepless night with a baby who can’t breath well enough and spikes a two in the morning fever. i go between holding her in the bed, laying down with her, sitting back up, nursing, patting, taking jammies off, putting jammies on, falling asleep sitting up with my head in my hands in a daze of twenty minute chunks. eventually i give her to flash and sleep for two hours. then i get up to face the day.

irritated.
crabby.
tired.
short tempered.
pity party.

i forget to look out the window and notice the sun is shining down today, the day after a snow storm and my town is the most beautiful place in the world. i forget to thank flash for letting me sleep two solid hours and then making my coffee for me. i forget to smile at my children.

and then my friends call and tell me they are taking their kids sledding right down the road and would we like to come? is the pea well enough to join them?

i waver.
i wonder.
i worry about pushing her little ill body too hard.

bean’s face lights up. sledding?! (we have not been sledding this year and last year it was not his thing.) he so wants to go that i bundle us all up and out we go. i warn him ten million times that we might not be able to stay if it is too cold, too much, too scary, too exhausting, too too too for the pea. he nods yes. yes yes. lets go.

we arrive and the sun blinds me at first but when the blindness wears off it is like i stepped out of my cocoon of negativity and into a wondrous world. the same world. the real world. the one my bad mood was working so hard to ignore.

we take in the beauty. the snow. the sun. the trees and open fields and hills. we sled, all three of us at first gliding down the hill so fast my heart races. then the pea and i stay at the top of the hill and my beanie boy sleds and sleds and sleds. the smile on his face is a sight to behold. we are suddenly joyous.

i have said before that mother nature has all we need to know joy but i learn it and relearn it over and over again in my life.

being outdoors with her she reached out and touched us. we may still be fighting the virus in our bodies but our hearts were healed instantly.

sunshine.
nature.
snow.
friends.
sledding.

happiness.
joy.
love.
peace.
blessings.

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on choosing cake

i choose joy.
i choose to enjoy.
i choose to clean with attention and intention.
i choose to actually dance ring around the rosie with them.
i choose to all jump up.
i choose to knit while they play in the bath.
i choose to set out lavender scented water to wash our hands in before a snack.
i choose to keep on letting in spirit cleansing light
i choose to let each moment unfurl.
i choose to forgive my self when i get irritated or tense or off balance.
i choose to create.
i choose to sing.
i choose to keep working on letting the real me shine through.
i choose to drink green smoothies.
i choose coconut shampoo.
i choose to bake a cake.
i choose to eat the cake.
i choose to enjoy the cake.
i choose to believe in my ability to do this.
i choose ease.
i choose grace.
i choose acceptance.
i choose to love myself even when i fail.
i choose to leap.
i choose faith.
i choose more cake.

what are you choosing for your self today?

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cleaning

the last few days i have felt like a fog was settled in on the edges of my insides. my mind seemed intent on a blank grey shade of being. my spirit was fuzzy and lethargic. i was not unhappy and i was not feeling like something was wrong but i was feeling cloudy. it hit me the most when i was trying to write here. my posts felt flat and more forced than i like. maybe no one was noticing while they were reading but i was feeling it in the creation. i was feeling it in my conversations with friends, and with my husband and my children. i felt like the crisp edges were missing and too often i was just a tad too smoggy.

yesterday as i was doing the quiet, lights out, rock and nurse to sleep part of bedtime with the kiddos i decided to see if there was anything i could do to clean my self up a little bit. what i felt like i wanted to do was walk around in my mind, in my soul, and lift the windows open to let some fresh air gust through. i wanted a nicely scented damp cloth to polish in inner workings with.

i rocked and i rocked and i looked for what the intention was. i wasn’t getting any information when i was coming at the question from a place of disrespect for myself. similar to the idea that shifting my eating needs to come from adding health not condemning myself for eating too much – the spirits stayed quiet when i asked what i was doing wrong. i sat with the quiet. i puzzled it over a bit. i wasn’t sitting alone, i was sitting with my guides and they were holding me. they just hadn’t given me insight yet. as we sat i shifted the intention to seeking something that might add to what i already had. i felt love for myself and my life and i also felt like it was ok to ask for a bit more. i am worthy of an even more brilliant life.

then my inner world split open with a crack and the light shone in with such force the fog burned right off the waters. the light. divine light. life force. love. truth. peace.

we may all use different names, titles or images to describe or imagine this power/energy/force but it matters so little. words are nothing in the light. my guides whispered to me, “you work so nicely with us all the time but you forget to recognize your ultimate connection to the divine.” they whispered with love and affection and they basked in the light of the divine with me.

my windows opened and the air blew through and the screen bloomed with color and light and clarity. it was so simple to enjoy and i felt my energy rising up to meet the divine with ease and grace. i felt cleansed and invigorated and full of lazy joyful peace. i felt each layer of my self, my mind my spirit my physical body spread into a smile. i rocked my child and i was lifted up by divine spirit rocking me.

this morning flash took the kids out for a bit and i spent some time cleaning my home. i opened some windows and used a nicely scented cloth to wipe down every surface i could reach. i caught myself trying to hurry up and get the whole house done and i asked those thoughts to quiet down. i didn’t just want to rush through things. i wanted to clean out the dust around the edges and fill in the space with love and tenderness. i wanted to wipe off the grime and welcome the sparkling light. i wanted to add something to our space here not just to take things away.

i wanted the cleaning to to touch my home with the same spirit that my own inner cleaning had received the night before.

i feel the light still coursing through me today. it is such a magical gift and i am thankful deep in my bones. i hope that as you connect with my words today it reaches out and touches you too. i hope the light jumps into you with whatever strength is right for you in this moment. that it adds joy and peace to your life in the magnitude you may need. that it blows open the windows in your spirit and lets your own blessed fresh air rush in.

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i want to take a moment to dig a little deeper into the joy of so what?ing. i think there is a distinction to be made between blowing off things that are important to you and freeing yourself from the bondage of negative self talk. the version of so what?ing i am going for here is the one where you forgive yourself for not always living up to the standards you hold for yourself.  forgive yourself for not always achieving things that are important to you. love yourself despite the moments when you slip into patterns that do not match your true potential for greatness.

the voices in your head that are screaming at you, or whispering at you, “why bother trying since you are already failing?” are the ones i am aiming to silence. for me, this is powerfully freeing work.  i tend to freeze up when i feel like i am not doing everything i want to. then, instead of chugging along slow and steady i sit on the couch feeling terrible about myself. the books i want to read pile up, the tv stays on too long, it becomes more than one glass of wine. once i can realize i am upset with myself and then forgive myself i suddenly have space again. the space to breath, the space to feel ok, the space to actually do something.

saying “so what?” doesn’t mean that i am no longer aiming for my goals. it just means that i am saying, “don’t worry that you aren’t there yet – just keep trying.” that is what makes me breathe again.

the other side of the power of so what?ing is finding ways to make peace with things out of your control. things that are making you so upset, that are stressing you out, that are bringing you down, that are sucking your energy right out of you and making you crabby as all get out and wondering what is going on with your life. you know those things? in this case so what?ing is kind of like putting the wide angle lens back on. it is zooming back out to the bigger picture so you can reconnect with the powerful essence of life.

i will give you a simple example, my kids woke up at 5:45 this morning. i was tired, it was pitch black out, i have gotten up with them every day for the last three weeks.  i wanted to go to sleep.  i was irritated, then annoyed, then angry. it took me a few hours before i could truly find the ability to feel my so what. so my kids woke up and it is not ideal for me but i will survive.  it is not the end of my world, they just woke up.  so what?   when i realize, truly realize to the point of feeling it that it doesn’t matter – that i am ok – that is the power of so what.

as soon as i was over feeling sorry for myself about being up so early and being tired and being a single parent for the last few weeks and feeling burned out, as soon i realized that was all i was feeling and i was able to so what it away the voices crept in. while, if we are not angry about it all then we better start to feel guilty about what a crab we were with our kids. so the exercise continued with forgiving myself for being in a funk for a few hours and for the ways that surely affected my children.

be nice to yourself, do your so what?ing, let loose your ships, keep working on being grateful for the worst parts of your day.

forgive yourself for the moments you don’t get quite right, love yourself despite your flaws and weaknesses, and keep seeking your path, your road, your best actions and best version of your self. let go of doing it all and embrace where you are now so that your heart and spirit can vibrate with the joy needed for you to put the work in and get to where you can be.

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on allowing

this morning i got to go to the local yoga studio with my mom for a restorative yoga class while flash hung out with the kids. the studio is really lovely and i was in the mood for some stretching after pushing myself to do the harder version of the level two shred yesterday.

the instructor walked in and immediately i balked. she was dressed in jeans, a black belt, and a zebra print tight fitting top. she was wearing full make-up, her hair was curled, and she had on about twenty rings and bracelets. this was the yoga instructor?

i caught myself in the act of prejudging and set my intention to just experience the class and see what happened. within a few moments i was won over. so many times in my life i have learned a certain practice or skill and then taken out of it what works for me and incorporated it into my life. this instructor (and also the owner of the studio it turns out) had done just that. she had brought her personality to her yoga. who says a yoga instructor must have bare skin and stretchy pants on to be worthy of learning from?

several times during the class she encourage us to “open up and let the goodness flow in.” i loved the simplicity of how she spoke this phrase. let the goodness in. it seems so clear that if we want to feel good then we need to let the good in. often i am looking for the work involved in finding some peace and joy but this was a reminder that it is already right there. the universe is full of good. we are surrounded by loving energy and peace and beauty and calm and strength. we don’t always have to dedicate ourselves to the battle of finding it. sometimes we just have to hold still, open up, and let it flow in. it is that easy.

this morning i stretched a little bit, i breathed a little bit, and i let a lot of goodness in. enough goodness to lift lift lift me out of the pattern of tight jaw stress from change that i was circling in and place in me a state of better flow. none of it was hard work and yet here i am – full of goodness.

can you set aside a few moments for yourself today? can you find a position that is comfortable for you to sit in and that allows the energy in your body to flow easily? you could sit in a chair with both feet flat on the ground and your palms resting face up on your knees. you could lay on the ground on your back with your arms about forty five degrees out from your body, your palms facing the sky, and your knees supported by a pillow. you could sit cross legged on the floor and rest your sky facing palms on your inner thigh or knees. then allow your eyes to close if that feels safe to you, allow your breathing to slow and deepen, and set your intention to let the goodness of the universe flow into you. let the goodness in. let the goodness in. you can even use it as a mantra is you like that.

keep it light and easy. all we are doing today is allowing, letting in, accepting what is already there for us. in this season we all deserve to take a moment of ease and allowing.

peace out from aiken
woowoo mama

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a day of magic

we woke up around 7 (late for bean and the pea).
i turned to the bean and i whispered, “today is christmas.”
he came right back at me, “oh that means it will snow lots and lots and santa is coming with my light up sneakers.”
santa did come with his light up sneakers.
luckily we had made up some reindeer food to give to santa.
and a card for santa. and some carrots for santa (the bean said santa likes carrots).

after santa left there were some presents from family.
though nothing topped the sneakers.
brunch.
a walk with the dogs.
wait, surprise – it stopped raining and we realized santa had left the bean a new bike! magical.

dinner and the sun went down and gramps pulled out his surprise. sparklers.

sweeter magic i never did see.
don’t you think?






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