The Crazy Busy Life: How to slow down when you can’t slow it down.

Ylkphotography
 Life is truly going by in a hurry lately. I started back to work last week, which of course was bitter sweet, but surprisingly much more sweet than bitter. I’m beyond grateful to be able to stay home most days with my sweet baby #3 and still squeeze in the luxury of human interaction a few work days a week. Not a bad deal. But, none the less adding work into the mix has made my busy life busier.

I’m not one to like being busy. I’d much prefer a lot of boredom than action. Busy tends to equal stress in my experience. But, the thing is I don’t have much choice anymore. Taking care of 5 people, myself included, means there’s a lot going on most of the time. Sitting down is a vacation I embark on at 9:00 at night, 30 minutes before bed. All the rest is just a lot of “doing”.

The funny thing is that I’m actually enjoying  this crazy new lifestyle… For the most part anyway. To be honest I’m surprised by how much I like it. Knowing myself as the introvert that I am, in regular need of quiet down time, I’m perplexed as to why I haven’t imploded with anxiety yet…. what exactly is keeping me sane in the midst of this insane life of taking care of 3 kids, 1 husband, 1 job, 1 self, family, and friendships? That’s the question of the night…

To be honest – I don’t really know. But if I had to take a guess it would be this –

1) Stay in the moment.

It is so incredibly easy to get caught up in what’s NEXT. The next thing on the list, the next task to be done, the next place to go, the next thing to do, the next, the next, the next. There is always something next. When I’m focused on what’s coming next, I find myself uber stressed, irritable, frustrated, angry even. It’s like I’m resentful of everything going on because I just can’t get to a quiet calm place. The “next” is getting in the way of that. Or! If I can be present to the “busy” as it’s happening I find that I do enjoy it more, even when it’s hectic, loud, and hurried.

2) Embrace the interruption.

My day, and night (hello, I have a newborn), is one big interruption. I can’t have even one thought without someone, say a 5 or 3 year old, butting in with a question that could most reasonably be answered by anyone else but, of course mama mama mama is the name of the hour. Every hour. If I get annoyed by this, and believe me I often do, then I’d be setting myself up for a lifetime of frustration. The interruption and disruption isn’t going to stop any time soon, so I may as well accept it. Embrace it. It won’t last forever. The kids will grow and when they do I will definitely miss it.
 
I’ve been surprised that with each addition of a child into our home I’ve found myself chilling out a little more. I still freak out, like a lot, in a different way. I just can’t take myself too seriously. I’m a mess most days. I make bad mom choices, I forget things constantly, and I’m late to pretty much everything. If you knew me before kids, you’d know this would have sent me straight to anxiety hell. But now I’ll just text you a warning ahead of time – I’ll be there but, most likely I won’t be on time. Deal with it.

The lesson that I’m learning is that peace and calm aren’t found by doing less, they’re found by paying attention more to what is happening right here, right now. It all goes by so fast; I know I don’t want to miss it.


Photo credit belongs to YLK Photography

Going With The Flow: Accepting Change & Finding Peace

Www.happymindhappyhome.com

My mind feels quieter lately, less disturbed, and much more calm these past couple of weeks. I have gone through a lot of ups and downs this pregnancy and I feel that I’m finally coming to a place of peace, which is somewhat ironic given that soon I won’t be pregnant at all, but instead will have the change of my new baby to grapple with. At which time I’m sure I’ll have a lot of newness to contend with, but for now, I feel calm, quiet, serene even as I enjoy these last few weeks of holding my baby inside.

Continue reading

Free Your Mind: 5 Steps to Cleaning Out the Mental Clutter

I’ve been experiencing some type of writers block here recently. It’s like my brain, after a long hard summer, has powered down into hibernation mode. It’s not ready to gear back up until it has fully recharged and that moment is currently unforeseen. I’m just here patiently, or impatiently, awaiting its return.

While I sit here twiddling my thumbs, I am curious if this mental silence has anything to do with the actual sharing that’s taken place here in the past two months. When we first launched the blog the words couldn’t seem to come out fast enough. My mind was in overdrive. The thoughts were just begging to break out. As if they’d been shoved into a confined space for so long that at the first sight of light they took the opportunity to dive headfirst onto the page. They knew if they didn’t seize the moment, they might be trapped inside forever! Well, take a chill pill, guys. You’re free to dance across whatever page you wish now. This is the internet, after all.

Now that my mind is emptied of all its old “friends” I feel… what’s the word… Empty?  No, that’s not it. Clear? Possibly. Content? Perhaps. At ease? Yes, that one seems to fit. At ease. It may be best described as having room to move around more fluidly without bumping into sensitive spaces at every turn. Calm. Content. Clear. At ease. With room to fill.
 
I don’t exactly want to fill up the space again, however. I don’t want to re-clutter my space only to have to clean it out again. What’s the sense in that? A light dusting now and then? Perhaps. That’s just practical maintenance right there. Got to maintain the space to keep it tidy. How do I do this, though? If I’ve been accustomed to storing my shit to the bursting brim, how do I become accustomed to upholding a standard of shit free living?
Well, here’s what I’ve got figured so far…

Tips on how to shit proof your brain:


1) Pay careful attention to what you feel at each and every moment. Sound tedious and annoying? You’ll get used to it. The feelings may be unpleasant, they may be irritating, uncomfortable, scary, whatever. Just freaking feel it. Notice it.

2) Speak up when necessary (it’s always necessary). Now that you know how you’re feeling, Get It Out. Out of your brain and out of your mouth. This might mean sharing your totally uncomfortable feelings with someone/ anyone who will listen (and support – key word here). It might mean sharing silently through art, music, a blank page, or whatever other creative outlet you are drawn towards. It might mean blasting your thoughts to the world wide web or through social media (try not to be one of those social media folks, though. But, if you must, you must). Point is, however you need to SHARE your thoughts, do it. Share. Speak up.

3) Expect NOTHING in return. “Huh? What do I mean, expect nothing in return? I’m putting it all out there, aren’t I due some support, comfort, or care of some kind?” Well, I can’t answer to what you are due or not due, but I can contest to the fact that if you are waiting for this type of feedback to validate your new found openness you will soon find yourself surrounded by the mental shit once again. Seeking the feedback is probably what got you crammed back there in the first place.

4) Which brings me to number four. Applaud yourself. Get your pom poms out and be ready to be your very own cheerleader. This is where the prize money is, folks. Now that you are here it is prime time to learn that you’ve got all the support, care, and comfort built right into your very own soul. You own it. Depending on your significant other,  your bestie, your mother, father, sister, brother, whomever to rally you through isn’t going to cut it. Why not? Because it’s not their job and it’s not consistent. Of course if you get the cozy comfort you’re looking for then squeeze it, kiss it, thank it, and wave to it gracefully as it leaves. Because it will. It always does.

5) Allow your own sense of confidence, comfort, and satisfaction to be fickle. The nature of feelings is that they change. Constantly. Which is pretty refreshing actually. This means you don’t have to be married to any one feeling. And if you’re not married to it, you don’t have to be mad at it when it goes away. Don’t worry, it will be back. It’s not leaving you, nor you leaving it. You are supporting your self here, not your feelings. Your self is stable, or it can be, once you realize your feelings are not attached. Let them come, let them go.

Keeping your mental space free and clear takes effort. That’s for damn sure. Noticing takes effort. Acknowledging takes effort. Supporting takes effort. But so does fighting. Fighting off feelings. Fighting for feedback. Fighting is a long arduous draining path down shit creek.

You choose where you place your effort: Towards creating and maintaining a peaceful, open, grounded space? Or one wrought with tension, barbed wire, and armor? I know my choice. I can probably guess yours, too.

			

YOGA? Y.ou O.nly G.ott A.

Breathe. 

It is more than a little ironic that Yoga is the activity I turn to on a daily basis to cope with the ups and downs of being a parent.  The more I think about it, the more I realize YOGA is the perfect metaphor for parenting.

I can almost hear each reader’s audible ugh as I type this post. YOGA….

Ya either love it, hate it, OR BOTH. Some of you haven’t tried it yet. Some of you never will. Kind of sums up having children does it?

 I can’t recall exactly when my love affair with yoga began, but let me assure you; it definitely was NOT love at first sight. Truth be told, my first date with yoga TOTALLY sucked.

First of all, before the date even started, Yoga wanted me to be quiet-STRIKE 1- I like to talk. Correction: I LOOOVE talking. Besides, how are we going to know if we like each other if we don’t talk?

Our love connection was off to a very rocky start.

Next,  YOGA proceeded to tell me to “be still”Seriously? Who the hell does this YOGA think he is? Doesn’t he realize I’m a mom & dishes don’t wash themselves? I’ve got things to do.  Furthermore, when I am still…I start thinking. I think too much…waay toooo much.  Strike 2.

The final strike came when Yoga wanted me to set an intention.  An intention for what? Staying alive? Fine. My intention was pretty much to try  super hard not to throw up or pass out OR die a heaping hot sweaty mess in the middle of all of these toned and tan & oddly serene strangers.

Ok…you win YOGA. I intend to survive this class.

As it turns out, I not only survived the first date; I  came back for more. 

YOGA and I  proceeded to “date” on and off for the next  few years. We even broke up a few times (my decision), before I realized that I really missed it..and loved it….and NEEEEEEEEEEEDED IT.

So now we are back together…at least for the time being. 

 

Anyway, I digress. My point was to tell you how lessons learned in YOGA mirror that of my experience in parenting.

YOGA ASKS THAT WE: 

  • Show up. Most days, making it onto your mat is the hardest part.
  • Set an intention to guide your practice.  Intentions are unique and change on a daily basis depending on your child’s sugar intake & the amount of caffeine you have ingested.
    OOOOMMM…Why is this so hard?

    Today, I want my children to be responsible, compassionate, passionate about learning, and kind. Tomorrow I intend to not screw them up too much. By Wednesday, my intention is usually not to throw up, pass out or die trying.

  • Focus inward…. How does the vision I have of myself, others and the world shape my choices as a parent.  How am I reacting to their successes & failures?  What parts of my own childhood am I replicating or running from and why?
  • Rest. It is a sign of strength. I repeat..RESTING IS ALWAYS A SIGN OF STRENGTH, never a sign of weakness.
  • Be flexible. The more rigid you are, the more it’s gonna hurt.
  • Focus on small daily progress.  The practice doesn’t change. You do.
  • Don’t look around. When you do, you give your energy away. This is not a competition & comparisons are a not helpful.
  • Be present.  Looking behind or ahead only distracts you from making the most each moment.
  • BREATHE…You Only Gott A Breathe…When you feel like giving up (& you will want to), you only gotta breathe.  As long as you are breathing and staying present, you are doing it right.

Other lessons from “Yoga”…

  • You will never do it perfectly no matter how hard you try. In fact, you will often fall. You will  look super weird and awkward…crazy even.  The good news is, so does everybody else!
  • It sometimes feels like it will never end.
  • It’s crowded & sweaty….Everyone else is working hard too.
  • Everyone has an opinion about how to do it & people are really quick to point out that you are doing it wrong. Tell them to shut the * up and get back on their own mat. 
  • You mostly go it alone-unless you count the other awkward, hot sweaty messes around you.
  • You may or may not have a teacher. If you do, you are lucky. But keep in mind, he or she is just a guide. …She/He doesn’t have all the answers either.

Namaste…the sweaty hot mess in me honors the sweaty hot mess in you.

 

some days i just need a few more hours

The last few weeks have felt like a race.

life is not a race

End of school projects, events and parties. Wrapping up sports…I am not sure why I broke my one sport each rule. Wait, yes I do, so they can find their favorite. A packed work schedule, plus travel for a 3 day conference. Not to mention Mother’s day festivities and a staycation weekend with my hubby. I did not get to make it to dinner with my tribe one night because both kids had to be on separate parts of town at the same time. I did not finish the craft project for sister’s nursery. I haven’t seen my BFF in months and I need some guacamole! I have not been eating as healthy as I’d like and I sure have not been making it to yoga. My house looks very lived in and we are expecting a letter from the HOA any day about the weeds in the flower bed. Some days I just need more hours in the day.

I laid in bed last night with my mind racing of the many to-dos I need and want to do. I laid in bed last night feeling guilty I have not been present enough for those I cherish the most. I laid in bed wondering if I should just get up and get to work. I laid in bed wishing I had a maid and lawn service on call. I laid in bed wishing I just had more help. I laid in bed wondering if my priorities are off. I laid in bed wishing there were more hours to the day so I can just catch up.

This is all very convicting because if you have been following me I am all about showing up, not glorifying being busy and setting priorities. Okay, so my dilemma is ALL this is a priority. My marriage, being a mom, being a good therapist, being a good sister, being a good friend, growing my business, staying mentally health, staying physically healthy. With all this comes being real, honest, and authentic. This is all convicting because even though these are my priorities and I preach this all the time to others, it is hard. This is a day I could use just a few more hours.

Today I am feeling a bit defeated.

Today I am feeling sad.

Today I am feeling overwhelmed.

Today I am feeling like a failure.

Today I am feeling tired.

Today I must take one step at a time.

be present

Today is a refresher course of being in the fire. Today I gain wisdom about myself, my relationships, my goals, my priorities.

Today I dig for strength to put one step in front of the other. Wake up, get up, put on my makeup, one step in front of the other. I dig for strength to show up, my kids need me as they are a bit run down from all the rush rush lately too. I dig for strength to trust that even my though my marriage is not perfect, we are forgiving of one another for times of disconnection and discontent. I dig for strength to show up for my client’s as they work on their story.

be kind

I am reminded that I must be kind to myself. Another reminder to practice what I preach. Be kind and loving. Kindness comes from a practice of mindfulness to not allow all the self-sabotage talk to soak in. Kindness is reminding myself that perfection is an illusion, perfectly imperfect is the goal. Taking one step at a time is good enough.

Today has been hard.

I pray tomorrow is better.

Right now I will pray, I will rest, I will reset.

Mother May I?

Mother May I…just get through this month!

Those of you who are as old as I am probably played the game Mother May I at least once in your life. The basic gist of the game (for you hot young mamas) is that two teams stand in separate lines and ask for permission to do a certain action…i.e. Mother may I take 4 steps forward?

The “mother ” on the opposing team can grant or deny this request and/or add a modification to the request to suite her liking. Any player who forgets to ask for “Mother’s permission” before taking action has to go back to the starting line.

The irony of this post is that it is officially May (ugh) and as a mother I really want to ask for permission to take 10 steps back, fall into bed,pull the covers over my head and wake up on July 1st!

If you are a mom-you know MAY!! It is that short month squashed between April and June that is chocked full of field trips, award ceremonies, bug spray, field days, and mom “daze.”

May is the reason they invented blood pressure medicine, Xanax and booze.

 May means more than a calendar that is over sharpied. It’s an ending….

And endings are hard for me.

Endings make me feel nostalgic..

So this May, “Mother May I” remember to…

  • Allow my kids to know what it feels like to be “bored”
  • Savor every last drop of that  melting popsicle
  • Kiss the red kool-aid mustache on my son’s face
  • Build a sandcastle or bury my body and my worries in the sand
  • Kitchen dance in bare feet to Brown Eyed Girl
  • Soak in the  sun on my skin
  • Sloooooowwwww down & sleep LATE
  • Breath deeply…and just BE. .
  • Mother May I be mindful that there are only so many summers left before my babies are out on their own!

Angie

 

Feelings, they come and they go. You are what you remain.

Feelings come and go.
I feel oddly calm and at peace today. Not to imply that feeling calm or at peace is odd, these are quite pleasant feelings in fact. It’s just that I am curious as to where these feelings came from and why they are visiting me today. I often spend time reflecting on what seems wrong or seems worth changing, but rarely do I focus in on what is going right. Which, is worth fixing in and of itself, now that I think of it. Doesn’t it make sense to enhance what feels good instead of trying to change what feels bad?

Continue reading

Dear Human,

Dear Human,

You’ve got it all wrong. You didn’t come here to master unconditional love. That is where you came from and where you will return. You came here to learn personal love.

Universal love. Messy Love. Sweaty love. Crazy love. Broken Love. Whole love.

Infused with divinity. Lived through the grace of stumbling. Demonstrated through the beauty of….messing up. Often.

You didn’t come here to be perfect. You already are. You came here to be gorgeously human. Flawed and fabulous. And then to rise again into remembering.

But unconditional love? Stop telling that story. Love, in truth, doesn’t need ANY other adjectives. It doesn’t require modifiers. It doesn’t require the condition of perfection. It only asks that YOU SHOW UP. And do your best.

That you stay present and feel fully. That you shine and fly and laugh and cry and hurt and heal and fall and get back up and play and work and live and die as YOU. It’s enough. It’s plenty.

-Courtney A. Walsh

I needed this today. It spoke to my heart. I hope it speaks to yours too!

Angie Glancy

Mindful Parenting: An Imperfect Mom’s Guide to Raising Kids.

 Mindful Parenting

Have I mentioned yet that I’m currently pregnant with baby #3? Have I told you already that I’m going to have 3 kids? Forgive my redundancy here, I’m still trying to let this sink in…


I always wanted three kids. I told my husband this from the time we first started dating, and I wouldn’t let it go when he tried to convince me I was crazy after our second child was born. And now that the act is under way, I feel pretty close to nuts. I mean, the two kids I have already keep me right on the edge of insanity each and every day. How could I possibly handle three?

Continue reading