Loving Yourself + Life

I have been super duper focused on this idea of “self care” ~ and taking care of the mama.

My thoughts about taking care of ourselves have way less to do with traditional being healthy stuff, and way more to do with doing what you love.

I find that the more I focus on ME, what makes me happy, what do I want to contribute, what inspires me.. what’s FUN?  The more my life is juicy and yummy and rich.

Which then has me feeling AWESOME!!!

I think, as mamas, we focus so much on self care (or the LACK of it) because we want to feel good.  So we try to eat the right foods and get to bed at a decent hour.  But, do you ever notice how you can do all the “right stuff” and still feel blah?

My cure for that?

Do what you love.

Pure and simple.  The more your life is filled with fantastic stuff that totally makes you happy, the better you will feel.

I know this for a fact!

Vitality, feeling healthy, having energy, being happy….  that’s a function of engaging with life…  diving in and soaking it up.

In this video, I’m talking more about this idea by sharing a little about what ENGAGING in life is looking like for me these days.  I hope it inspires you to do less of the trying to get it right stuff and more of the having fun and seeking your own bliss stuff.

(if you are reading this via email, click here to watch the video).

So, what can you do, right now, this very instant to be more engaged?  To really go for it.  To live boldly and to seek the joy in everything you do?

 

 

 

 

I recently wrote this in my journal:

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“I want a nice house to live in, not an apartment, that has space for me to be creative, a yard, a place for a garden.  A darkroom. A place that feels like family and is a real home.”

Guess what?  In a few short weeks I will be moving into that exact space.

For those of you who are new around here, I’ve been living with my mom for the past year or so since I got divorced.  My mom is super duper supportive and we get along great, but well, you know.. it’s still living with MOM:)

I’ve been creating in my mind what I want, where I want to live and wishing for the perfect place to call home for me and my kiddos.

Then, a few weeks ago both my aunt and my mom had this flash of brilliance at the same time:  “Why not have Lisa and the kids move into Granny’s house?”

My gran has been living in a nursing home for the past year and her house is empty.

The problem is that it was a mess!  She was a bit of a hoarder and smoked inside for 50 years, plus the past several years she has not been well, so housekeeping was.. optional.  If you can imagine….  (then imagine it way worse!)

With this brilliant idea of having us move in, my family has gotten motivated to tackle the mess.

But, it hasn’t been easy.

My goal is to have us moved in before school starts for all of us in August.  So, we’ve had to hustle.

And sweat.  And get covered in paint.  And work through sheer exhaustion, sore muscles, and feeling 100% worn out.

If you’re friends with me on facebook, you’ve probably read the updates.

HARD. WORK.

And that, is sometimes what it takes to make your dreams happen.

But, we tend to resist that.

Jumping into something and committing to work my ass off is not always what I want to do.

My guess is that, you too, avoid taking on too much, procrastinate big projects, and push off getting started for “someday.”

But, your dreams are just not going to happen if you don’t dive on in and make them happen.

You have to work for them.  And sometimes that work is going to be hard.

But, I can tell you that it’s so worth it.

When I stand inside my granny’s house – the house that I grew up in and my mom grew up in – when I watch my kids play in the back yard, the same way I did as a child…  When I realize that I can build a darkroom in the basement bathroom, or imagine where the garden will go next summer, or plot out where I’m going to make my art…. when I realize that the perfect space that I imagined for me to live in with my kids is happening

The sweat and the sore muscles are so worth it.

My dreams are coming true, they are happening, and they are happening NOW.

 
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So what about you… what’s a dream that you want bad enough to work hard for?

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Do you dream about working for yourself?

I’m not going to lie, it’s not always easy.   It does take hard work and commitment and pushing through the fear and the doubt.  And, there can be alot of fear and doubt!

But, there is something so juicy and yummy about being your own boss.

Here are my favorite reasons why it’s so worth taking the plunge….

 

1.   I get to be home with my kids when they’re home. I am right here – listening to them play, learn and grow.  I get to be part of it.  Yes, they can interrupt and sometimes I don’t get all the stuff done that I want to, but the tradeoff for that is we get to be together, which is really important to me.

2.  I can work when I want to work. Sometimes I get up early and get rockin’ ~ sometimes I stay up late and work under the light of the moon.  That kind of flexibility makes doing things (like taking art classes at my community college) workable.

3.  I get to work on what inspires me! I am someone that doesn’t like to spend my time doing junk that doesn’t matter.   Because I work for myself, I get to pick what projects I work on and what type of work I want to do.  If something has lost it’s spark, I’m not stuck with it.   I’m constantly exploring new ideas, and what’s even better, I get to execute and make those ideas happen!

4.  How successful I am is entirely up to me. This can be terrifying, but it’s also incredibly fulfilling.  I know that the big wins are mine.  I can also own and take responsibility for the stuff that’s not working.  This gives me great sense of power and accomplishment – and pride!

5.  I get to seek out the people that I want to work with. I love that I have so much in common with the moms I work with.  Often it feels like I’m just hanging out with good friends and that makes work not feel like work!

6.  My kids get to see my dreams unfolding. They watch me work and know that dreams don’t just fall off trees – you have to work hard to make them happen.  But, when you do, you get to live life on your own terms, a life that is deeply rewarding and FUN!   As a mom, it’s important to me that I teach my kids these life lessons.  I love knowing that I am.

7.  I can work wherever I want. Outside, at the coffee shop, on the couch, in the mountains, at the beach!   My office moves with me and even though I’ve not (yet!) fully experienced this awesome perk, I LOVE knowing that it’s there and that I can take advantage whenever I want!

8.  Making a difference is one of my core values, it’s part of my big vision for life.  My business is an expression of that.  Because I’ve designed it that way. One of the biggest perks to working for yourself is that your business can be part of your big vision and you can go to sleep every night knowing that what you do matters and is 100% aligned with who you are and what your life is about.

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So what about you…..  why do you work for yourself, or why do you dream about it?

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A letter from the woman I long to be, from that future “me” that all of us strive for, that woman living in a future life that I hope to someday be living….

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Dear beautiful mama,

Slow down.  Life goes so fast and I know that you have big plans and dreams.  But don’t rush.

You will arrive where you want to be when you do.

You’ll experience life the way you want it to be, you will.

But I have this advise for you:  Enjoy the ride getting there.

Connect to the moment you’re in.  Savour it.

Your kids will be grown before you know it.  So, enjoy them.  Right here.  Right now.

The journey is sweet.  So, yes, keep your eye on the target, keep moving forward, but check out the scenery along the way.

Love yourself for who you are today.

To get where you want to be, that takes knowing how to get there.  You can’t discover the route if you aren’t willing to look at your life, how it is, today.

What if what you’re doing right now is exactly what you’re supposed to be doing, because it is what you’re doing?

What if all the steps along the way are tiny little perfect moments of your life?

If all you can think about is the future, you won’t enjoy the now.

And the now is your life.

Each little moment is moving past and if your attention is on something else, you’ll miss the beautiful sweetness of your own life.

You’ll miss out on your life!  Your one precious life.

Down the road, when you “arrive” at where you want to be, when those big plans happen, if you’re not well practiced at enjoying your life – in the moment – if you don’t know how to do that,  the big arrival will slip away, just like these moments.  Experiencing the joy and fulfillment of living a created life will be missed.

Likely, you will have your attention on the next big project, never getting to settle in the life that you’ve made happen!

So slow down.  Enjoy this moment.

Yes, keep creating and dreaming and wanting more for your life.  That’s healthy.

But pay attention to the road you’re on, that’s taking you into the life you’re dreaming about.  At some point.. the road you are on – right now – will be that future life.  So learn to experience it today.   Practice being in your life, vs. just dreaming about it.

Love your life right now, today, in this moment.

 

 

There is so much pressure out there to be perfect.

To be the most unflawed mothers and women we can possibly be.

It’s crazy really.  I actually think it’s crippling our ability to be good moms.  We are so dang focused on getting everything just right in fear that if we don’t – we’ll mess up our kids.   And that hyper attention to being perfect has us fail to be in the moment and pay attention to what our kids really need.

I know I do this.  I stress about the food I am feeding them, what kind of school they should go to, should they even go to school?  Are the clothes they’re wearing made from natural materials?  What about their toys?  What’s in that sun tan lotion?  How do I discipline them so I don’t squash who they are?

MUST.GET.IT.ALL.CORRECT.

Everywhere we look we are bombarded with messages that we are not doing enough.

Even at playgroups.  We try to put on our happy faces and share about how amazing our kids are.  We don’t talk about our problems, the real struggles we are having behind the scenes.  Our flaws.

Our fears.

We just don’t talk about that stuff!  We want the people around us to see that we are doing a good job.  We want to feel like we aren’t messing things up.

Lately, I have been talking with so many moms, who’ve been opening up about the problems they have in their marriage.   I think that now that I am divorced, it’s “safe” to talk to me about these things.  But, before, I just never heard about what was really happening behind closed doors with my friends.  I know I never talked about the problems my ex and I were having.

There is so much shame and so much fear that people will discover we aren’t perfect, that we don’t have it all together, that things are broken.

It’s terrible!

When faced with this kind of shame and fear, most of us hide.  We stuff those problems down and work extra hard to get all that other stuff just right.

We get sucked into a cycle of trying to be super-mom, super-spouse, super-woman.

And the harder you try to get things “just right” the more you question yourself, the more you feel like you are failing, the more inadequate you feel.     The more you doubt yourself and feel like you are falling short, the more detached you become, the more hidden, the more inauthentic and so, totally not YOU!

This leads to trying to be someone we aren’t.   Trying to be that “super mom”  – which is not who you really are!

Being a great mom and a great person – involves one simple thing:

Being yourself.

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Fully sharing who you are, loving the way that you love, taking care of your home in a way that make you happy, spending time with your kids in an authentic way vs. how you think you “should” be doing things.  Doing things that work for YOU.

I know that’s not always easy.  But that’s what it is to be a Visionary Mom.

  • A Visionary Mom is someone who is totally in love with her kids, but doesn’t sacrifice her own identity in service of them.
  • A Visionary Mom is someone who has dreams and courageously chases those dreams.
  • A Visionary Mom stands for things that truly matter to her, even if it is not what everyone else thinks is the right path.
  • A Visionary Mom embraces her imperfections and is not afraid to talk about the down and dirty challenges she faces in her life.
  • A Visionary Mom does not strive to be perfect, instead she works hard to be herself.

It’s time to stop working so dang hard to get things right.

It’s time to get real – about who YOU are, what YOU stand for, and what matters to YOU.  If you are struggling with things, maybe those things are not what REALLY matter to you.

Here’s an example.  Say you obsess about feeding your kids perfectly.  You want them to be healthy and you worry about it.  But, you find yourself NOT doing the things you say you’re going to do.  Maybe, just maybe – eating a 100% clean perfect diet is not what is REALLY important to you.  Yes, we should feed our kids good food and, of course, we want them to be healthy.  But, trying to be perfect about it?  NOTHING is healthy about that!

For some people eating really well and having a hyper focus on food is their passion – it takes no effort, it is just what they love and implementing good eating habits and always serving “perfect” food is as easy as breathing for them. But, for you, you struggle.  So maybe it is time to cut yourself some slack and get real.  Yes, you will try to feed your kids healthy eats, but making yourself crazy about it is not really serving you – or your kids!

Look at this with anything in your life.  If it is hard and an effort and you spend an insane amount of time beating yourself up for “not getting it right” – maybe your attention is on being supermom vs. being a Visionary Mom.

A Visionary Mom works hard to live an inspired life, which has nothing to do with getting it right.

If eating perfectly inspires you – do it.  If it’s sucking the fun out of life, let it go.    Focus instead on nurturing your kids in other ways that work for you, that inspire you, and that leave you feeling awesome about who you are!

That is the biggest difference between being a Visionary Mom and a Super Mom.  “Super moms” make themselves crazy trying to be perfect.

Visionary Moms are true to themselves and let things go, in service of being happy and fulfilled.

 

I think we have all experienced that feeling of loosing touch with our dreams.

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When your motivation, your passion, the joy and enthusiasm disappears and the only thing you’re left with is frustration, disappointment, doubt and questioning yourself.

No fun!

Well here are few easy things you can do to keep your dreams alive.

1.  Create a Vision Board that you have up in front of you, reminding you and pulling you back into the yumminess of your dreams.

2.  Talk about and share your dreams often, with people who get it.  It is VERY hard for your dreams to live only inside of you.  To help them grow, you have to water them and the best way to do that is to talk about what you love with people who will get excited right along with you.

3.  Make a plan to fulfill your dreams so the path to get there is clear and feels doable.  Not knowing where you’re going is a sure fire way to leave you feeling overwhelmed and unsure.

4.  Find someone that will help you stay accountable.  Someone who wants you to win and will keep you pointed in the right direction.  Stop trying to do this alone!  There is something really powerful about reaching out and asking for help.

5.  Get back on the horse.  Things will likely happen that throw you off course, that challenge you and that make you feel like throwing in the towel.  But, you have to keep moving forward.  Giving up will get you nowhere.

6.  Believe in yourself and your dreams.  They matter.  YOU matter.  What you want to make happen in the world matters.  Remind yourself of this often.

7.  Be gentle with yourself.  Starting something new, diving into your dreams, going for it.  That is scary!  It’s risky.  So love on yourself as much as possible, be kind when you make mistakes, forgive yourself.  It takes real courage to live a passionate life and the rest of the world won’t always be behind you.  Be proud that you are doing – that your trying.  And be kind when that fear shows up to slow you down.

What are your dreams?  What are you truly passionate about?  What mark do you want to make on the world?

If you are just now joining us, this past week we’ve been looking at living a passionate life.

First we talked about Passion, Purpose and Vision, then How finding your passion is not as hard as we make it out to be.

Today, let’s chat about Cultivating Passion

The word cultivate is usually used for gardening.  It’s about preparing your soil, creating an environment for growth.  And that is exactly what you need to do if you’re going to live a passionate life.

You have to create an environment that allows for passion to live and grow.

One of the biggest roadblocks to expressing and celebrating whatever it is you’re passionate about is nay-sayers.

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You know those people in your life that like to tell you how hard it’s going to be, what silly ideas you have, how you have to be practical and careful?  How it can’t be done?   Those people.

I know that when I am fired up about an idea, so freaking excited that I can’t settle down, I just want to talk about it.  Except that the person talking to could care less.

But, I am a talker, so I plow forward anyway, hoping that they will get excited.

The more I go on about my brilliant, exciting idea, the more they have to poo-poo my vision.  But, Lisa, “you can’t do that… you have to think about the kids.  How much will that cost?  That sounds great, in theory, but you have to be realistic.”    and on and on they go, telling me why it can’t be done.

And pretty much right away, I’m deflated.   Sound familiar?

It is really, really hard to share our enthusiasm into negativity.

What often happens is instead of creating more excitement and love for your idea, you move into convincing, defending, selling, trying to talk someone into something that they are just not interested in, at all.

There is absolutely no passion in that.  Zero. Ziltch.  Nada.

When you are in big time convincing mode, are you inspired?

No way!

Probably you are annoyed, frustrated, and maybe even a bit angry.  Personally, I have gotten into full on fights with people I really love because they just “don’t get it.”  Stuff like this can actually ruin relationships.

And your dreams.

Because if you are only surrounded by people that “don’t get it” – you never, ever get the opportunity to really share your  passion.  And worse?  You don’t get to be heard.

You don’t get to experience your dreams and your ideas, your inspiration and excitement, uplifted, celebrated and acknowledged as worth going after.

And, that sucks.

So, the first step in cultivating passion in your life is to find people that “get it” – people that will support you, cheer you on, encourage you and say, “yes, you can do this!”

Not everyone in your life is going to be like that, so you want to make sure you have some people who are.  To counter balance the people that want to talk you down.

I’ve heard advice to just get rid of the naysayers, to leave them behind as you move into new possibilities in your life.  Personally, I don’t agree with this advice.  Yes, if you have truly toxic relationships that eat at your soul and leave you feeling unsafe, my advice is 100% walk away.

But, there are people that really love you and only want what’s best for you.  They just aren’t big time dreamers, chasing after possibilities.   Living a passionate life is not their thing.  So they are not going to back you up as you go chasing after your dreams.  But they still matter and are important to you.

So, the best thing to do is just let them be.  Don’t try to change them.  Stop trying to convince them to live the way you live.  And stop trying to get their approval and support for your big ideas.

Instead, go find other people in your life to fill that role.

Give those people a big giant part in helping you achieve your dreams.  Engage with them often, share your ideas, let them share theirs.  Built up these relationships to you can stay afloat when those other people try to bring you down.  Let your community of big time dreamers be your life raft in a sea of “it can’t be done.”   And that, my friends, is the world out there.  It can’t be done is seen and heard everywhere you go.

The best defense?  Find and be a part of an amazing community of people who will cheer you on as you explore and pursue your dreams.

Having trouble finding this kind of community?  I have a solution for you!  :) The Visionary Mom Teams are designed to provide exactly this type of role in your life.    A team of women – of mothers – who get it.  Who want to live extraordinary lives and who want YOU to do the same.  Recently, a mom on one of the teams wrote this about her experience:

“I joined a visionary mom team in the last few months of my Ph.D.  I have a two year old son, and I was feeling exasperated about the amount of stress I was under, all the work I had to do, and the effects that this was having on my relationship with my son.  The problem was there was no one in my life who was really supporting me in my goals of finishing school and being a good mama.  The visionary mom team became a huge part of my support system.  I found the other women on my team so inspiring and I love hearing about their lives.  Even though we were working on totally different things, we also had a lot in common in our drive for self improvement and love of our kids.     I felt like I was really heard and that I was understood and accepted for who I am.”  ~Tatiana

I really do think that having this kind of community in our lives makes THE BIGGEST difference in us being able to do the things we love.

The next Visionary Mom Team starts on July 1st, and we have a few spots still available.  If you are needing/wanting this kind of support to help you fulfill your dreams, please come and play with us!

Details about the team are here.

And then, next up – Part 2 in cultivating your passion – easy steps to keep your dreams alive.

See you tomorrow!