Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Today Radical Self-Care Looks Like....


**slow morning
** no early morning writing
** deciding to cancel today's plans 
** (trying to) practice patience
** lots of cuddles
** watching a movie
** letting go of expectations
** doing the bare minimum around the house
** allowing myself to simply be

Allergies have hit all three of us girls hard today. It's not horrible and if we wanted to we could push through. But we all are sleepy and a tad bit cranky. So I decided to cancel our plans for today and allow Marie-Therese to watch a movie and relax on the couch. I decided to allow myself to not worry about laundry or errands. The baby is doing her usual....making a mess of everything she comes in contact with. A little tornado she is these days, leaving destruction in her path!

But for today I am trying to just let it all go. Allergies are not the end of the world, thankful that's *all* we have, I am taking a little bit extra care of us. Thankful for the opportunity to be able to do that. To baby us all a little more than usual. 

There is a bit of guilt, the thoughts of "We could have done our usual stuff. I should be cleaning. I should be doing some project. I should......" so the radical self-care needs to also be "Allowing myself to simply be in the moment of not feeling 100% and going with what my body says it needs.

How are you practicing radical self-care today? 


Cultivating Creativity begins this coming Monday! For a chance to win a spot in the course share in the comments how you are practicing radical self-care today. I will pick a winner on Friday!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Get outside

IMG_3633 IMG_3651

The siren call of new bubbles called her. All through lunch she repeated, as if she was afraid that I would forget, "We can go outside for a few minutes before rest time, right? Remember you said we can blow bubbles for just a few minutes?"

These weren't just any bubbles though....they were PINK bubbles. And to my pink loving, bubble loving girl these were the most magnificent things in the world. She was disappointed at first that they didn't look too pink, until they landed on the grass and she could get up close and personal with them. "Momma!! They are REALLY pink. This is the best day ever!"

(They most decidedly are pink too, as the pink streak of bubble solution in her hair proved).

As usually happens she got tired quickly of blowing and asked me to take over so that she could chase them down to pop them. 

As I stood in the middle of the lawn blowing bubbles I was transported back to childhood. THIS is what it is all about. Bare feet in the grass, uncontrollable giggles from little girls who have the best of times running from one end of the yard to the other chasing and popping bubbles. 

My heart about overflowed as I stood there and blew & blew bubbles until I couldn't anymore. This is  the childhood I want for my girls. One of slow summer days, blowing bubbles, time outside to do what they wish, sidewalk chalk, swings, barefoot and giggles and playing tag. Less time inside, less time in front of screens. More time in imagination and the world of little girls. 

These lessons are for me too. Slow down and enjoy the summer days. I can enter childhood again right alongside of them. There is nothing to say that just because I am a "grown-up" I can't enjoy blowing bubbles and running barefoot through the grass. 

(And then taking advil for that one time that I tripped on a rock and fell. All to the sound of my little girls giggling as they both ran over to pig pile on top of me).

Monday, May 18, 2015

Radical Self Care Week Three



I have been thinking quite a bit about connection these days. Connection between myself and others, both in the real world and the on-line world. Connection between myself and myself.

Yesterday was the start day of at least four different e-courses that all caught my eye. For the past week I have been bombarded in my Instagram feed and in my e-mail with beautiful images and words: sign up! There will be beauty and magic happening. And I was tempted, oh so tempted to sign up for them all. I have no doubt there will be beautiful prompts, beautiful words sent each day. I have no doubt that I would get much from each one, much to think about, to contemplate, inspiration to draw from to add to my own collection of creative ideas.

But I didn't sign up for any of them. Aside from the fact that if I had I would be broke financially, I think I would also have broken my mental bank. 

Because the fact is, right now my inner well is overwhelmed, over stimulated, bubbling over. All with beautiful images and ideas and thoughts and beautiful women sharing all the gifts and talents that they have. I am honored to know so many beautiful ladies who share what they have with others. 

For now, I need to retreat a bit from the ideas and talents and words from others and instead focus that attention inside myself.

The truth is: I have beautiful ideas and talents and words bubbling up inside of me too. Getting louder & louder each day and I am finding myself hushing them in order to hear the outside voices. The more I hush myself the more unsettled I become. 

This is where Radical Self-Care becomes real to me. Right here, right now. When I turn off the outside inspiration and instead retreat inside of myself. Where I learn to trust myself, to believe in myself. To stop and finally listen to the voice inside of me that is saying I am worthy, I have talents and gifts to give too. Stop and listen to them, use them, believe in them.

It's hard--to step back from so much goodness, but it is necessary. It is time to stop to listen to my own words, to trust that I have all that I need inside of me--all that I need to create, to grow, to flourish. It is time for me to go inside and get in touch with my own words, my own ideas, my own dreams & adventures. 

I look at all the offerings that are available right now, I see the beauty that others share, and I know that I need to step back a bit, not for a lack of inspiration but so that I can use what I have already gathered, so I can hear the voice inside of me. I am getting overwhelmed by the outside noise and the inside noise too, it is getting louder every day, a sign that it is time to pay attention.

If I continue on with the leaning into other people's words and work I will never tap into what I am capable of and I don't want that. I know I have it deep inside of me to create great things so it is now time to dive deep to see what's there. 

There won't be a total stepping back, I still want the connection between myself and the beauty that people share. That is one way I fill my well, but it cannot be the only way. So the hard work of checking in on social media only a few times a day rather then constantly begins. To find other things to fill those few moments of quiet rather then picking up my phone and clicking onto Instagram. Even if it is just being quiet. Sitting with my own thoughts. Sitting in silence and seeing what comes. Trust that great things can come from the silence. There is no need to bombard all my senses with outside sensations, there is plenty of beauty and inspiration inside of me.

So this week I will be leaning into the silence, turning off some of the outside noise so that I will be better able to hear my own voice speaking. Connecting to myself in order to create my own beauty in the world. Because the world is waiting for my own brand of creativity. I first need to be able to tap into it before I can fully share it.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Radical Self-Care Week Two

As I mentioned in last week's post, Radical Self-Care to me means going above and beyond the usual things I do to care for myself and a huge thing for me this month is to change the way I look at myself. Inside and outside. To speak to myself in a more positive way, to look in the mirror more often and actually LOOK at myself.

To that end I have been taking a selfie each day. Sometimes I post them on Instagram, other times I just keep them on my phone. Most days I take a picture of myself with one or both of the girls. I am noticing a difference in myself between my alone pictures or with them. 

When I am turning the phone on just me I am more self conscious about how I look, how is my head tilted? Am I looking in the phone or not? Do I look crazy? When I take a picture with the girls I am looking at them and the pictures come out more relaxed and I can tell! 

I am not taking selfies as a way to say "Hey! Look at me!" (the reason why I'm not sharing them ALL on Instagram) but rather as a way to practice self-love. As a way to get to know myself and feel comfortable being me. 

Last week I came across a post on Facebook containing a link to a blog post about selfies. I nodded my head as I read it, most especially at these lines: 

Selfies are a way of saying, “I love myself, and I will fight anyone who tries to change that fact.”

Selfies are not a question. They’re not asking “Do you think I’m pretty?”

Selfies are a statement: “I am here.”

I see you.

I love you.

You matter.     

That is why I am taking them this month. 

It's helping too, this whole Radical Self-Care thing! I can feel a shift happening in the way I talk to myself and how I give myself encouragement with the different creative ideas I have. I am beginning to trust in my abilities to carry through on my thoughts and dreams. And it is freeing and liberating and I am much more content going through my days. 

It feels very weird to pick up the phone and snap a picture of myself. But I am doing it more. When I feel happy, content, joyful, at peace, stressed out, anxious, unsettled. It feels good to take a picture of myself and look at it and think, "She's good. She is worthy of time and respect. She has value as a person and as a woman. She looks tired and anxious, give her space and time to be."

I am practicing talking to myself the way I would talk to a friend who needs lifting up and encouragement. Taking selfies is a weird for me way to go about it, but it is working so I will continue!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Full Moon Rising

Look up. Almost full. 🌔🌝 #projectblessed Last nights full moon. Yesterday's 30 minutes of writing for #mymaychallenge2015 was all about going outside to capture the moon with the camera. A blog post with that will be up later this week! 3/31

The other night (Saturday night actually. The night before the full moon) I was rushing around trying to get the night time rituals done—a cranky tired baby and 5 year old were making me cranky too and I wanted everything picked up, pajamas on and girls in bed NOW!

As I went to quickly close the curtains I spotted it beckoning to me through the tree branches that had tiny buds on them---the full moon. It pulled me. This happens each time I catch a glimpse of it, my breath catches and a feeling of awe overcomes me. That night it was almost overwhelming—probably because of my mood.

Without really knowing what I was doing I grabbed the camera and slipped barefoot out the door. It was chilly but I needed those few moments of awe and wonder, the reminder to slow down and notice the majesty that is outside my window just waiting to be taken in. I couldn’t get a good shot from the deck so I stepped onto the grass—it was cold and damp and grounded me. It sent a shiver up my body as I walked to where the trees cleared a bit. And there it was in all it’s glory—almost full—so much so that it looked full. Big and bright against the deep blue of an almost dark sky.

I snapped a few pictures before stopping to simply gaze at it. The moon that has cycles, that appears as an almost transparent white in the deep blue of mid-afternoon and at other times, like tonight, as if it is glowing. It captivates me and pulls at my soul in a way that I can’t seem to capture in words.

As I stood there shivering slightly, my bare feet in damp grass, I felt alive. I felt connected, to God, to the universe, to others, to all creation.

The moment didn’t last long before the pull of children needing their bedtime routines beckoned me back inside. I look back now wishing I had made sure to capture it more, to have been even more aware of the moment.

But it is enough that I took that time—that I stopped to notice even for a fleeting moment, that our souls can expand and be ready to soak in even more of the next moment that comes.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Radical Self-Care

At the beginning of each month I come up with a few intentions to follow. Sort of like a mini-new year when the calendar page turns. I find this to be helpful, more so than a huge resolution on January 1st. Some months I follow the intentions well, other months not so much.

For May I am determined though, and only 4 days in I am doing pretty good!! A big intention this month is to practice Radical Self-Care. The idea for this came about through my journaling the past few months and was solidified when the challenge for May in the Mama Scout Laboratory for Creative Living group over on Facebook became Radical Self-Care. (Check out the MamaScout blog. That’s where the group was born. Amy does some awesome work).

I have decided for the month of May to do a blog series on what Radical Self-Care means to me and how I am practicing it. Each Monday I will post a different aspect of and how I am following, self-care. 

To me Radical self-care means going above and beyond the things that I already do each day to take care of myself: waking at least an hour before the girls do in the morning to start my day off with journaling, coffee and prayer. That centers me and prepares me for the day ahead. I also take some time during afternoon rest to sit with a cup of tea and read or knit for a few minutes. That is a centering time for me to prepare for the late day things we do.

I sat to art journal a little bit at the end of April what RADICAL self-care means to me. I had no preconceived ideas what it meant, I just sat down when the five year old was doing her art to do art along with her. It ended up looking like this:


A theme that ended up coming out was that I need to be more positive towards myself. Towards my body and my thoughts. So for this month that’s what Radical means for me: thinking of and viewing myself in a more positive way by talking about, thinking about and seeing myself a lot less negatively. For myself but also for my girls. Marie-Therese has begun telling me that I need to “stop being mean to yourself Momma!” at least once a day. I don’t even realize I am speaking in a not so nice way about myself until she points it out.

So this month I am going to focus on my positives, on what I am doing right, on how I am glowing. By taking care of my body better through more movement, more nourishing foods, more rest when it needs. I have decided to take a selfie each day as a way to be more radical—as a way to really LOOK at myself, not in a “hey this looks wrong”or “hey look at me”but as a way to see who I am. 

What does self-care look like for you right now?


As a special for Mother’s Day I am offering a bring a friend deal for my new e-course Cultivating Creativity that begin June 1st. If you purchase a spot, add your friend’s name and e-mail in the notes to seller section! 

Friday, May 1, 2015

The Creativity Tree

Deb at Inner Compass Designs begins a new project today, The Creativity Tree. A new blog link up to showcase all the branches of creativity. I was so excited to see that she is doing this for a few reasons. First of all she inspires me by her creativity she posts over on Instagram. Each month she chooses a different medium to focus on & I love seeing her progress.

I was also excited to see this because right now I am in the thick of all my ideas based on creativity. So much so that I am writing a new e-course on creative living

I woke up this morning and decided to take a day off from morning pages. 45 minutes later & I couldn't settle, this habit has become such a part of my morning routine that I need it. This was a good lesson to learn today. I am also so thankful for the rai

For this first week of the blog hop I decided to focus on my writing. At the beginning of each month I set a few intentions. For May I have two big ones: Radical Self-Care and all that means for taking care of myself, most especially being more authentically me. I have a blog series in mind with this topic beginning next week!

The second intention is to focus more on my writing. For months now I have been getting up in the morning and immediately sit down to do Morning Pages, stream of conscious writing. Whatever is in my head, just let it out. It is powerful stuff! So many ideas are born here, so many dots are put on the page just waiting for me to go back and connect them into a whole. It is amazing to me all the ideas I have in my head that I most likely wouldn't give thought to if it weren't for this writing.

My plan for May is to take some of those ideas and flesh them out. To spend at least a half hour of time each day doing writing other than morning pages. I want to expand my writing, to take it more serious, to dip into areas of my writing that I keep thinking "someday". All I need to do is sit down with pen and paper and see what comes.

Please take a few minutes to head over to Deb's to see all the branches of creativity that are flourishing!