Raising Visionary Kids

Happy New Year!!

It’s here, isn’t it?  Already just about a week into a brand new year.

Are you still plotting and planning, thinking about your plans for 2012?

If so, be sure to grab yourself a FREE New Year Strategy Session with me to look at exactly what you want to accomplish and HOW you’re going to go about making your big ideas happen this year.

Also.. last year, I did a whole big, long series about Intentions.. how to create them, how to keep them, and how to use them to empower you to make stuff happen in your life.  You can check out that series here. 


So, what do you want 2012 to be about?

This is the thing that I’m going to be working on in this new year  (and I’m going to be super focused on training and working with anyone who also wants this in her life)… it’s this:

Living a Visionary Life

And here’s what I mean by that…

You know those moments when all is clear.. anything is possible.. you know that you can BE anyone you want.. you can ACCOMPLISH anything you desire, you can love with all your heart and zero fear, courage comes easy, and in that moment you are 100% satisfied, ridiculously happy and without question fulfilled?  I call those magic moments.

In those magic moments, your VISION for life is also very, very clear.  The essence, or flavor, of what truly inspires you is right there, present and filling you up.

It’s giving you life.

When you can take that vision and infuse it into all areas of your life:  your parenting, your work, your home, your friendships, your art, and everything else that you do (even folding the laundry).  When your vision is the backbone of your entire life.. that is Visionary Living.

When you live this way it makes an impact. 

It effects everything and everyone you come into contact with.  The world becomes a better place because YOUR vision is out there making a difference.

So that’s what I’m focusing on this year..  Living MY life in a visionary way and helping as many moms as I can to also live Visionary Lives.

Because, can you imagine that?

Us moms totally inspired, in contact with our own magnificent inspirations and living in a way that has our biggest, boldest visions fully out there, alive in the world?

Imagine the impact of that on our kiddos?   And who they will become because of us livng true to what we believe and invision for the world? (yeah, awesome, huh?)

Ok, I know I am doing some grandiose thinking here.. but really.. why not?

Why not live life to make an impact?

Why not be connected to that powerfully aliveness?

Why not spread joy and happiness and fulfillment with everything we do?

Why freakin not?

I think I’ll grab that as my mantra for the year.. WHY FREAKIN’ NOT??

I love you guys!

Thanks for being here and spreading the magic of Visionary Living with me.    So excited to see what impact each and every one of you make in the world throughout this sparkly brand new year.

xo, Lisa

 

 

 

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.

 

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You are not supermom.

So stop trying to be.  You are who you are, you do what you do and all the big imperfect mess of that is exactly how life should be going.

Because it is your life.  It’s not anyone else’s life.  It’s yours.

I know that I struggle with and I hear from you guys that you struggle with this too:  Trying to be/do/have all of it.  Comparing ourselves to others, trying to do what they do, feeling bad if we are not there 100% all the time making the exact right decision for our kids. (or for ourselves)

Also the guilt.  For wanting something other than what we have decided is the best thing for our kids.

Ever notice how what YOU want and need sometimes conflicts with what our kids want and need.  Or what we THINK they want and need?

Case in point: I love, love love the whole vision/idea behind unschooling.  So for it.  I thought for sure that was the path we were on and what was best for my kiddos.  There was no way in heck I was EVER going to send my kids to school.

And, well, both my kids are in school right now.  Life happened and some choices had to be made and I chose to send my kids to school.

It is what I need right now.

I am getting divorced and decided to go back to school myself.  I need the break from them.  I am taking on alot (this business, school, being a single mom) and the little bits of time I get to myself – to think, work through my stuff, and figure out this new space of life – they are so needed right now.

Yes, I could have kept them home, and found ways to make that work.  But, that’s just not what I need to do right now.  Is this the best choice for them?  Who knows?  But it is the best choice for me and one thing I know is that I always have to put my own oxygen mask on first, or I’ll end up with nothing left to give my kiddos.  So, for now, this is the right choice for us.  It is my oxygen mask.

And, without that, there is no way I could be the mom I want to be for my children.  At some point down the road will we go back to homeschooling?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  Part of me hopes we do and part of me likes this little break that we get from each other.

Do I feel guilty about changing my mind?  You bet I do.  Every now and then the guilt monsters creep in and make me feel like the worst mom on the planet.  I have some pretty fierce opinions about sending kids to school and now I’ve gone against that.

Which brings me to my point…

We all – each and every one of us – have ideas for how best to raise our children.  And we don’t always stick to that.  Which can lead us down the road of guilt and feeling bad.

My question for all of us is this – who says that doing x, y, or z will guarantee that our kids grow up to be happy, healthy and fulfilled?

The answers is – YOU do!

You are the one that decided it would be better to do one thing over another.  YOU are the one who thinks it.   But, I have news for you – that “right” thing is not “the truth.”  For every single thing that you think is best, someone else out there thinks that it’s a bad idea.  Who is right?

Making the best parenting choices is tricky.  And sometimes we don’t always do what we think is best.  Sometimes we make compromises or we change our mind.

Often, we just do what needs to be done.  Which is all we can really expect of ourselves.  There are SO MANY choices out there (too many, me thinks) and none of them are the “right” choice.

One thing that I know and am learning as I navigate my own parenting waters is this:  If I am not taking care of me, what I need and doing the things that have me be the best person I can possiblty be, then how can I ever expect to be an amazing mama to my kids?

I have to put my own mask on first.

And sometimes, that means going against what I have decided is “best” – but is it really?  Is the best thing the thing that has mama frustrated, exhausted, annoyed and burnt out?  Is the best thing the thing I have to force myself to do even though it wears me out?  Is that really what is best for my kiddos?

So many of us try to fit a square peg in a round hole.  Sure, you might read about something and think it so beautiful and inspiring and you are going to do that for your kids (or for yourself).  But, then when you sit down and do it, it just doesn’t feel right, it feels forced.   But we forge ahead anyway, because “it is going to be so great!!”

There is enough pressure out there to be the perfect parent, so stop beating yourself up when you fall short of your own expectations.  Remember that they are YOUR expectations.  You set the bar.

I think it is time that we start practicing more kindness with ourselves about how we parent.  We are doing the best we can do in any given moment.  If we could do better, we would.  You would, wouldn’t you?  And if you stop and take a moment and just be with your kids, they are doing pretty great.  Watch them, they are! They are awesome and you are doing a great job, mama.  You are.

So, be kind to yourself.  Forgive yourself.  Be gentle.  Yes, sure, I suppose we can all improve.  But, really, things are fine.  We are all doing the best we can.  It’s okay if sometimes you have to go against what you “think is best” to take care of yourself first.  Don’t you think your kids want mama to be well and nurtured too?  They do.

I am not perfect, and neither are you.  So, stop trying to be.  And remember to put your own oxygen mask on first.  The rest will take care of itself.

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Since you are mom, I am sure you think about your kids and how they are doing, what you can provide for them, and how you can make their lives better.

All this month, I have been talking about creating intentions for YOU, but what about your kids?

Really, this can be applied to ANY area of you life, but since being a mom is super important to all of us, let’s explore creating intentions specifically focused on us as mothers and who we are for our children.

Hopefully, by now, you have created an intention for your own personal dreams and wishes for the coming year (which I would love to hear what it is you created).  You can, absolutely apply that to who you are as a mom.

From the Intention Wall ~

  • My Intention is to Experience Love
  • or My Intention is to Emanate Peace

Both of those would be make such a difference in any difficult parenting day.

But, if the intention that you created is more for you and what YOU want in the coming year, you might also want to create something for your kiddos and how you want to be as a parent.

Then, you can have both of those guiding you as you live through the day to day moments of making your dreams come true.

The Best Way to Create an Intention for Your Kiddos

  1. Grab a quite moment, just a few minutes is enough.
  2. Immerse yourself in the quiet moment.
  3. Think about your child – if you have more than one little person, you could create individual intentions for each of them, or just one for the pack.  :)
  4. Envision your child(ren) fully expressed, happy, fulfilled, they know they are loved and you are completely connected to them.  Savor that moment.
  5. Then, look to see what is present, what is happening in that moment?  Are they joyful?  Do they know they are loved?  Are the being creative?  Are they celebrating the moment?
  6. What is an intention you could create that captures this moment?
  7. Then, get it up in front of you, dwell in it and experience those magical moments being an awesome mamas lots and lots. :)

This whole business of creating intentions is about growing, learning and discovering who you (and your kiddos) really are.  It is about expressing what is in your heart and living it.  So, don’t forget to include intention creating in your role as a mama.    And if you want a mama intention badge for your blog and the intention wall, I’d be happy to make one for you. Here is mine:

What is Your Mama Intention for the Coming Year?

Day 10 of Creating Intentions

About Passion and Enthusiasm…

For the 4th of July, I put my 2 year old daughter to bed and left her with Grandma so that my 5 year old and I could go watch the fireworks.  We headed to the cute little neighboring town to walk around and find a good spot to check out the show.

While we were waiting, I was totally fascinated by the exuberance spilling out of my son.  He was so thrilled to be there, right in that moment, taking it all in.  It was contagious and ended up being one of my most favorite experiences with my son.

I think Enrique (and probably your own children) have quite a bit to teach us about living a passionate life…

1.  When all else fails ~ Sing and Dance! While we were waiting, he just started belting out “It is the 4th of July – yeah, yeah, yeah!” and dancing and grooving to his own tune. What could have been an agonizingly long wait turned out to be super fun.  I loved how he just embraced the moment and turned it into magic.

2.  Who cares if no one is paying attention ~ do your own thing anyway. As he was singing and dancing and waving the sign he made to let everyone know it was the 4th of July ~ many, many people walked on by without even acknowledging him.  I noticed myself being annoyed with them.. “hey you mean people-check out my son- he is hilarious and oh so cute!”  But, he didn’t care.  He just kept on celebrating.  It didn’t matter at all that people weren’t approving of what he was doing and letting him know it.  He was happy and having fun and that’s all that mattered.  How often do we let our adult selves stop playing and having fun doing the things we love because no one is giving us the thumbs up, letting us know we are awesome for doing what we do?

3.  Don’t wait for the other guy to make the first move. Say hello, smile, be kind.  All through the night, he walked up to strangers, told them his story, shared is passion and enthusiasm.  He didn’t wait for them – he made that first move and made lots of friends because of it.  Not to mention that he shared his joy and his love and his experience of life and all those people that made a connection with him were encouraged to experience a little bit of joy for themselves.  This makes the world a better place.

4.  Celebrate the little things. My boy was far more thrilled with all the little, mysterious fire crackers than the big showy ones.  Every little pop and boom we heard, we went hunting to find it’s source.  “Did you hear that?  Where did it come from?  This is SO cool!”  Sometimes the little things, the smaller details can be far more exciting than the big life events if you let yourself be thrilled by them.

5.  The prize is not at the end of the tunnel.  It’s the experience that counts. Once the big fireworks started, he was ready to go home.  No big person obligatory thinking that said we had to stay until the end because, this is why we came in the first place.  Nope.  The experience of waiting and exploring ~ the anticipation was far more fulfilling than sticking it out until the end.  He knows that and when he was full up, he was ready to go home.  Do you know when you are full up?  Or do you keep pushing toward the prize ~ not realizing that the prize doesn’t even really matter?

What have YOU learned from your little one lately?
Let me know in the comments.

I’m a big believer in teaching our kids by walking our talk. They are watching and paying attention to everything we do. Everything!

If you have doubts about this, all you have to do is spend a day with my 2 year old. She mimics everything, trying it out for herself, seeing how it feels, making it her own.

All through life kids do this.. When they are teenagers they do it by testing the waters of adult behavior and activities. When they are in middle school, they wax and wane between pretending they are all grown up and spending time in the familiar space of childhood. And we have all seen our 2 year olds trying to sweep the floor or put on makeup or help with the dishes.  They are watching us all the time!

So, what can we do to foster creativity, living with passion and living a life of purpose with our children? We can model for them, each and every day.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. Share your dreams with your kids and do so often.

Talk about the things you love, why you love them, what it means to you to paint or write or travel, or do whatever it is that is YOUR thing.

2. Spend time working on your dream.

I loved this post from Meredith Winn about watching her father work on his passions.  When our children see us immersed, happy, feeling our bliss, they will look for ways to find their own.

3.  Talk to them about their passions and dreams.

Encourage the things they love, even if those things doesn’t make sense to you.  Remember, always, that these are their dreams.

4.  Seek out and find other grown ups who are living their dreams.

Spend time with them and let your kids spend time with them.  You never know when someone will spark an idea or open up new possibilities for  your little ones.  Tara talks about this and it is a good lesson for all of us.

5.  Give your kiddos opportunities to discover and explore.

You don’t have to be a painter to offer up paints to your 5 year old… give it them and see what happens.  Turn on some funky African drumming music and watch how your 10 year old responds.  Go explore the local art museum with your teenager – let them wander, give them space to see what they see.

6.  Don’t do things just because you feel like you “should” be doing them.

We all do this.  Lately I notice myself thinking about how I really should be sewing, something I haven’t done in awhile.   I usually like doing it and it is fun to produce cute and pretty things and I know it teaches my kids that crafting and making things by hand is a good way to connect and be creative.  But, the thing is, I am just not feeling it right now.  That passion buzz is not igniting for me about sewing.  I think that is should, but it’s not.  So, me trying to force myself to do it because the should gremlins are talking, doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea.  I want to teach my kids to follow their passions, not do things because they should.

7.  Don’t be afraid to let passion, enthusiasm and that obsessive wanting to stay up all night working on something take over.

As mamas, we often focus so much on “balance” and not being selfish and focusing all of our energies on our children.  But, if you are inspired and wanting to work on your thing – then do it!!  Danielle LaPorte has a really good take on why balance is a myth.  I couldn’t agree more.  Most successful creative pursuits are the result of dedicated, hard, full on committed working on something.  You can show your kids how to do this by doing it yourself.

The best thing to do is just get started.. work on your thing, find time for you passions, live your dreams.  Remind yourself often that your kids are watching, they’re paying attention, they are learning from you all the time.

How do YOU teach your children about creativity, living with purpose and pursuing their dreams?  Leave a comment below…

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One of the things I have learned from working with people over the years is that, fundamentally…

We are all the same.

  • We all have fears.
  • We all have dreams.
  • We all doubt and question ourselves.
  • We all have regrets about the past.
  • We all have things about ourselves we want to change.
  • We all wish for more than what we currently have.
  • We all want to experience more love and fulfillment.
  • We all wish we could “do more”.
  • We all have made compromises.
  • We all want to be happy.
  • We all love our children.
  • We all want to be liked and loved by others.
  • We all suffer at times from insecurity.
  • We all worry.

This, my friends, is human nature. And, I think many of us try too hard to change our ways. But, we can’t. Because we are all human beings and we all have human being junk to deal with.

Sometimes life is awesome.. we are happy, fulfilled, life is good.

Other times – not so much. We suffer, we worry, we hate what is happening.

And, usually when we are not feeling totally satisfied, we try to change that. We try to change ourselves, other people, our circumstance, something.

Have you ever noticed that the more you try to change something, the more it just stays the same?

In fact, the more attention you give it, the more frustrated, or annoyed, or sad you usually become.  Ever obsessed or worried about something and made a mountain out of it?

That’s because all of this is just plain old human nature. The only way to get over it is to become friends with it.

If you can find a way to just let it be, life will start to feel a little bit easier. Don’t try to change it or fix it. Just let it be. Your human-ness.  Accept it, even love and appreciate it.  The more you can do this, the more freedom you will feel. The more joy. The more satisfaction.

Here is an example..

Ever had one of those days when your kids are just driving you CRAZY?! They are fighting and screaming and being little snots?

I have. Usually those days progressively get worse. I end up loosing my cool and yelling or saying something I don’t mean. The more frustrated and annoyed I get, the crazier my kids become. It’s nuts!

Well, when I notice how much I just want the whole situation to just change. How much I want them to start behaving and acting like good kids. I want myself to be more patient and not so irritated.

When I notice that, here is what I do:

I take a deep breath and instead of trying to change how my kids are acting, I stop everything and just start paying attention.

I bring my awareness to what is happening right now. They are being loud and crazy, okay.. wow-they kind of seem like they are having fun. They are fighting.. hmmm-my daughter is tired and my son could use some alone time. They are whiny.. yeah, I guess I could be spending too much time on the computer and not paying attention to them.

More often than not, when I stop and just start paying attention to what is happening right now (what are their needs, how are they doing?) vs. trying to get them to do something that will make me feel better ~ this amazing thing happens…

We all get aligned again. I feel nothing but love and they are getting their needs met so they start to feel happy. Which makes me calm down and feel so. much. better.

Has this ever happened to you?

The magic ingredient is that instead of trying to change the whole situation, you took a moment to accept it for what it is. Tired kids, not enough attention, etc. And when you stopped trying to get them to behave in a better way and just let them be however they are, then both you and they start to feel better.

You see, all the gobblygook that makes up human nature is just what it is. It is what makes us who we are. And the more you can just allow yourself to feel what you feel and be who you are, the more you will find yourself enjoying life more.

Stop trying to make yourself into a perfect person who doesn’t go through normal human stuff. Embrace it, enjoy it, celebrate it.

None of this stuff is going away any time soon.

What about you (or your life) can you just accept for how it is?  What can you allow to be just the way that it is?

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