Loving Yourself + Life

Today is Mother’s Day here in the United States, which I think is a great excuse for me to tell you some things that I think you should know…

You are smart.

And funny.

And incredibly brilliant most all of the time (we all have our moments).

You create magic everyday. 

Sometimes it’s small magic, like when you play along inside your little one’s imaginary world.

Sometimes it’s big magic, like when you move mountains to get shit done, or you take away the sadness from those that you love, or when you allow yourself to dream impossible things.

Your kiddos are watching you.. all the time.

And they see you as a superhero (because you are one).

You are up to big things and that takes courage, which is so incredibly inspiring.

You’ve got guts.   And sass.  And gumption.   (which is such a freakin’ great word, we should use it more).

I know you want to make a difference, to contribute to this world in some way.

And that is such a HUGE gift.

Really, YOU are a gift.

And I thank you for that.

I know you don’t always see yourself how I see you, or how your kiddos see you (as a superhero), but it doesn’t matter.

Because you are the shit.

And I love you.

Thanks for being the kind of mom that the world needs.

xo, Lisa

 

There is much talk right now about self care amongst the women I know.   So much focus on taking better care of ourselves and classes popping up all over the place to help bring about more self care.

Well, I think that self care is the wrong thing to focus on!

Which might make you mad, me saying that, but stick with me here.  I’ve been thinking about this alot and I think it’s important for us to talk about.

I know, for me, that I tend to focus on self care when I’m not feeling so great – physically or mentally.  Either really sluggish and tired or not connected and overwhelmed.

I’ll get worried that I’m not taking care of myself and because I’m not, that is why things aren’t working in my life.   So I start to put more attention on things like eating well, getting outside, having alone time, etc.

And it sort of helps.  Sort of.  Sometimes.

Sometimes I do start to feel better.  More grounded and focused and energetic.

But, sometimes I get so super focused on getting self care stuff “in” that it makes me feel worse. 

I’m sure this has happened to you – you convince yourself that when you start that yoga practice back up, or if you go to bed early, or if you drink a green smoothie everyday that you will feel good again – happy and fulfilled.

But, being happy is conditional on you getting that self care stuff in, which is easier said than done.  It’s so easy to FAIL, especially if it’s a brand new habit you’re trying to begin.

And that pressure to get it right, to get the new habit in, to be perfect with your self care can actually do damage to our well being.  One more thing to be perfect at…  GAH!

I have come to the conclusion that focusing on self care is not what makes the biggest difference in us being happy, fulfilled, energetic and feeling good about ourselves and our lives.

What does make the biggest difference?

Having a big, inspiring VISION for your life and working hard to make that vision a reality.

Don’t get me wrong, we still need to take care of ourselves.  But FOCUSING on self care, as if doing so is what’s going to make a difference is a mistake.

Instead, focus on the difference you want to make, the impact your life will have on the world, how you can help make life better for everyone around you.

Focus on your VISION and what you want your life to be about – the big picture stuff. 

That is what will make you come alive, feel empowered, want to get up out of bed and get stuff done.

And, working on a powerful vision for your life will probably help you to take better care of yourself.

When I am engrossed in making big stuff happen, when my life is about vision and purpose and I’m working on making an impact, I instinctually take better care of myself.  I have to.  My vision depends on it.  I can’t make the difference I want to make if I’m tired and dragging my feet.

But, I don’t FOCUS on self care.  It just is.  Like brushing my teeth. It’s just what I do so that I can be as awesome as I want to be!

My focus is on my VISION! 

And yes, sometimes I stay up too late, or drink a few too many beers or eat bad food or whatever.  But, doing so doesn’t send me down a spiral of “I should be taking better care of myself, if only I did then I could do so much, what is wrong with me.. .etc..”

I really believe that if all you have to worry about is your self care then you aren’t playing a big enough game with your life.   Have your self care be in service of something BIGGER.  Have it matter and make an impact in the world.

That is what will make you feel happy and fulfilled.  Focusing on your vision.  Doing so will probably help you take care better care of yourself, too.  :)

 

 

Here in the US, we celebrated Thanksgiving last week and that pretty much blasts us off into full on holiday mode.

The holidays can bring out the crazy in all of us really quick: from just being so busy we could scream, to seeing family that brings up disappointment and frustration, to just trying to fight the pull into the commercial buy-buy-buy mentality.

I think this time of year just naturally stirs the pot and shakes up the status quo. Alot is expected from us. And alot of that expectation is pressure we put on ourselves to create the “perfect holiday” for our kiddos.

But, this time of year can also be very magical ~ getting us in touch with how much we love our families and feeling the goodness happening all around.

I find that when I take the time – it doesn’t have to be a LONG period of time, just a few minutes does the trick – when I take time to set an intention for the holidays, it makes a BIG difference in what I experience, what happens and how everyone around me feels about the holiday season.

Last year, I didn’t do this. I was kinda depressed about Christmas. It was the first year of not being with my kids and I turned into a big bah humbug! I wasn’t even going to get a tree – I was so anti-Christmas. My sister helped me though, she gave me a figurative slap on the face, basically saying I needed to wake up and get in the spirit. And I did, sort of. But I know my efforts were half-assed.

I’m not sharing that with you to make myself feel guilty about how things went down, but to illustrate the difference that setting an intention can make. I know, without a doubt, that if I HAD created an intention for the holidays last year, they would have been very different.

I always take the time to do this, I have for many many years and even when things are “good” in life, it just makes celebrating so much better. That’s how I know that when things are not so good, creating an intention can make a big impact and shift how things go.

So, how do you create an intention for your holidays?

It’s actually pretty simple:

  1. Take a moment to be still.  Take a breath and get present to your life.
  2. Think about your family and those that you love and how much they matter to you.
  3. Imagine what the most magical, special, memorable holiday season would be like for you this year.
  4. What will your kids, you and those around you remember about this year?
  5. Then, jot down a few words that capture the essence of what you just imagined.
    For me, I wrote:  magic, awe and love.
  6. Next is to pull that together into a sentence that is easy to remember and captures what it is you want to experience over the holidays.
    This is mine:  This year I am going to bring magic into everything I do such that we get to live in awe and feel deeply loved.  
  7. Write out your intention and put it up where you will see it often.  Say it out loud to yourself, share it with your mate and other family members.  Talking about your intention is the best way to keep it alive and have it impact how things go.

I promise you that if you do this it will make such a huge difference in how you experience the holiday season.  You will create awesome memories, feel less stress and just enjoy things more.    Try it and let me know how it works for you!

Peace and love,

I know not everyone is celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow, but I truly believe that taking a moment to stop and be grateful, to look at our lives and celebrate the things that make our lives awesome is one of the most important things we can do to cultivate a happy, fulfilled life.

At midnight last night, I was lying in bed, thinking about what’s making me happy right now and I couldn’t go to sleep until I dragged myself out of bed to write this list of gratitude:

**I’m thankful for ideas that keep me up at night and gentle reminders that come from surprising places to keep on going.

**I’m thankful for connecting with people, seeing who they are and what they dream about and feeling my own soul get inspired and say to them: YES!

**I’m thankful for the role I get to play as witness to the delightful imagination of my kids.  I love to discover more about what makes them tick.

**I’m thankful for the chance to chat with other mothers, to share our stories and our fears and to know that I have found sisters that I never knew I needed beyond the one amazing sister I already have.

**I’m thankful for kindness and watching others reach out and be interested in other people.  It makes me know without question that there is good happening in the world.

**I’m thankful for the sun and the wind and waiting for snow while enjoying some warmth.

**I’m thankful for family – both the blood kind who I know are always there backing me up, no matter what — but also for the family of friends and dreamers and do-gooders that I get to know and celebrate the joys of living with.

**I’m thankful that I have this moment to make a difference and to share and inspire people to live their lives in magical ways.

**I’m thankful that there are people in the world who care about living life in a powerful way and aren’t willing to settle or live life asleep.

**I’m thankful for motherhood in all it’s forms – whether we’re birthing our children or our ideas, it’s a very cool moment that every person on the planet should get to experience.

**I’m thankful for a heart full of love and the courage to experience and feel it shaping every moment of my life.

And I’m thankful for you.  For letting me in to share my dreams and letting me help you to realize yours.

Life is a pretty groovy thing and we are all very lucky to get to be here, right now.

Much, much love to you, your children and your families, may this moment fill you up with goodness.

xo, Lisa

 

 

 

Your voice is that message inside that has something important to say. 

It’s the part of you that wants to make a difference and needs to celebrate all that matters.

It’s also the part of you that can’t look away and ignore the junk of life.  That stuff that doesn’t feel right, the lies that go against what you know in your heart to be true.

Your voice is all about love, beauty, truth, inspiration, courage, joy, and passion.  It wants nothing to do with hiding, telling lies, silence, and cruelty.

 

On behalf of Your Voice (because we’ve been chatting), here are some things she wants you to know:

1.  It’s okay to be afraid.
Who knows what will happen when you share your truth?  How will people react?  You can’t know that.  That’s okay.  Let the fear be there as an indicator that what you’ve got to say matters.  It’s important.  The fear is there because you care.

2.  Speak out more often.
About all the stuff you don’t talk about often enough.  Your dreams, what inspires you, the difference you want to make.   Share your heart, your passion, your fears.  Talk about the stuff that makes no sense and the stuff that makes you angry.  Fight for what’s right by opening your mouth.  And do it often.

3.  Pay attention.
Every time you knock yourself down with words, you cheat the world of who you really are.  You are not all that nasty garbage you tell yourself.  You aren’t.  So stop giving voice to that stuff.  Instead, speak about who you really are, what you care about, what you dream about.  Tell us what you love about your life and what you love about yourself.  The world likes to be reminded of how special you are.

4.  Ask for what you want.
People aren’t mind readers.  I know you know that, but it’s so easy to forget.  If you want something you aren’t getting, ask for it.  Having to do so doesn’t mean you aren’t loved, by the way.  Stop punishing the people around you because they don’t read your mind, automatically giving you what you want.  People just don’t know.  You have to ask.

5.  Fight to be heard.
Sometimes that means pushing your way to the front of the line to guarantee you get a turn.  Sometimes that means fighting with your own fear.  Those holding back habits will die hard.  At the beginning, it might be difficult.  There will be times when you’ll have to fight to get what you have to say OUT.  But, it’s a battle worth fighting.

6.  You can’t mess this up.
Sharing what you love, what inspires you, your passions is a beautiful thing.  Speaking your own truth is glorious.   Standing for good and honor and respect is heroic.  You might fumble the words, or not say it quite like you imagined.   That’s okay.  The very act of speaking is so awesome, people will forgive.  You might offend or push someone away or make someone angry.  Yup, that might happen, but withholding is a far greater expense.  Tiny deaths happen inside of ourselves every time we don’t speak our truth.  So, the only way to mess up is by keeping silent.

 

Truth telling and giving voice to all that matters is not an easy thing.  It takes practice and courage and a willingness to rock the boat.  But, there is nothing more powerful, nothing more inspiring, nothing more awesome than living life being 100% who you are, with no holding back.

 

 

The month of December is CRAZY !!!

I see it in people’s facebook updates and spending time with friends.  There is so much to do right now and the wonkers is starting to kick in.

There are people to see, there is joy to spread, and little people to make happy.   We have our attention on cultivation memories and making this time of year special.

But, there is a ton of stuff to do. Which can leave even the best of us frazzled and worn out.

It is times like this that I think it’s super, duper important to take care of ourselves.  I know I don’t want to get wiped out, do you?

Heck no!

So my thought is that each and every one of us needs to take some time this December to do at least one thing that is totally, 100% just for us.

What fills up your giving batteries?

What would have you stop and just reconnect?

What would inspire you and motivate you to live life a little fuller?

What are you craving more of that you could give to yourself?

What would just be ridiculously FUN?

one thing i love: a pile of prints i've created in the darkroom.

 

I challenge and encourage you to take a little time during this month to do something that is entirely YOURS!

[box] Sooooo? What are you going to do?[/box]

Spreading Joy. I think that’s important, don’t you?

my kiddos playing football on thanksgiving - JOY!

Really, can there ever be too much joy in the world?

Well, here is a really easy, super simple way to spread some joy around. And, I think because this is such a busy, crazy, often stressful time of the year, all the people that you do this with will be even more impacted.

It’s super simple.

You ready?

All there is to do just listen.

Don’t you love it when you get a chance to talk about your life, your dreams, your experiences? When someone is genuinely interested in YOU.. doesn’t that make you feel great?  Important?  Loved?  Cared about?  When someone really pays attention to you, doesn’t it help you get present to your own life, to your journey and to where you want to go?

Here’s what you do:

When you’re with someone.. a friend, a co-worker, another parent. You stop and get present to them. Without saying a word, shift your attention to them. Who is this person?  Open your heart up to them and give them permission to totally be themselves.

Doing just that will be amazing.  Trust me, try it.

But then, you can ask a question if you want. “How was Thanksgiving?” “What do you wish for this Christmas?” “What was your favorite thing as a kid?” “What do you want to accomplish by the end of the year?”

And then listen. Listen for their dreams, for what they love. Listen for who they really are (not all the stressed out, going through the motions junk).

Listen for their spark.

Give them some space to just share. To talk about themselves and to feel like what they have to say matters. Make them feel important by paying attention.

Easy enough, yes?

I’d love to hear what happens when you try this.  Drop me note, or leave a comment.  Lets you and me, together, spread some joy in the world!