Thursday, September 30, 2010

Knowing when to stop

I’ve been thinking about the title to this post for a while now. I went to the Broadmoor with three fabulous women this past weekend for a tennis camp. This weekend was a gift from my husband for Mother’s Day. We drove down there early Friday morning, had tennis drills from 9 am – 12 pm and then had a round-robin from 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm. We woke up the next day to have drills from 9 am – 12 pm again. When it got to the last hour of the drills on the second day, I was toast. I was so exhausted that I opted out of that last hour. That is what made me start to think about this post.

Identifying your limitations

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day about the concept of homeschooling. While I admire those people who do it, that is something that I know is beyond my capabilities. I told her that for me, a huge part of parenting, is knowing your limitations and that is certainly one of them for me.

While some things such as homeschooling are easy for me to identify, others such as how much volunteer time I spend on something I enjoy is not. I love volunteering at our school. I love getting the opportunity to drive my kids to the Berry Patch Farm, or kite-flying with them for Michaelmas, or going on their hiking field trip and so on. The things that we enjoy the most are the ones we tend to have a hard time finding the balance with.

“I love me some ____.”

Zack’s new favorite phrase is, “I love me some ____.” I truly think it’s adorable and was totally taught to him by my husband. So, I’m going to use it to say, “I love me some great wine, I love me some fabulous cheese cake, I love me some tennis.” These are the ones that are a little harder to identify as to when we need to say “no” too. Part of me is so relieved that the tennis season is over, I don't even have to make the choice of whether to play or not.

I love writing this blog. I’ve said to myself that I will write at least two posts a week. I have not been able to do that this week. If I look back on the week, I’d say I spent it mostly at school, on kids’ sports activities, grocery shopping, laundry, and I cleaned two fridges and freezers among all the other household chores I did. I actually went to be at 7:30 pm on Tuesday night because I was so exhausted.

Just say no!

I wrote a blog a while back about moderation but this is more about when to say no. My friend Casey says, “No, is a full sentence.” Isn’t that fantastic! I use that all the time to people who are having a hard time saying no. There’s no need to justify or explain why you say “no” to something. When it feels like it’s too much the just say no.

If it feels like you’re already tipsy, don’t pour yourself another drink, it will only lead to a bad hangover. It is plenty to have a few bites of a rich dessert, more than that will make you sick. Let someone else volunteer for some things even though you may love doing them, it’ll allow you to have more time for others things that you also love doing.

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Feeling awesome that I got to write a post this morning!

Monday, September 20, 2010

What if?

I was contemplating the “what if” idea this morning. I wonder how many people shy away from doing something they would love to do because of the “what if something went wrong” statement.

How many things have we held ourselves back from because we are afraid that the outcome is not what we’d like it to be? Instead of asking, “What if I don’t get what I want?” maybe ask, “Well, what if I do?” The Wright brothers would have never flown an airplane with failure in mind.

Tackling your fears

I took a few years of classes with a spiritual teacher in Denver. One of the exercises she had her students do was something that was outside of one’s comfort zone or something that is a fear thing for them. So for instance, a fear thing for me would be to go up to the top of a three-story building and look down. I don’t have any problem looking down from an airplane or the Empire State Building, which I have been to the top of, but I do have fear of heights when there is depth perception. Some of my friends, who were challenged with this exercise, went skydiving.

I have been skydiving and paraponting. Paraponting is where you are attached to a parachute that is laid out open on the side of the mountain, when the wind is just right, you start running, the wind picks up the chute and then it’s just a matter of gliding down to the bottom. What a fantastic experience they both were! The scariest thing about skydiving was riding up in that dinky little airplane. I thought that thing was going to fall out of the sky at any moment.

Are we wiser?

The question is, “Would I engage in any of these activities now or would the ‘what if something went wrong’ statement get me?”

Certainly, things change when we get older. We are wiser and more mature so therefore don’t engage in some of the crazy activities any longer. I wonder if some of the joy of life gets sucked out that way.

My husband wants Louie to play tackle football. I’m pretty sure that Louie would love the opportunity to play but he can’t even imagine it because I am so against it. Am I being fair to him by imposing my fears on him? What if he totally enjoys it and has a blast?

The return policy does not apply to life experiences

I have a hard time buying something that’s a final sale because I love the return policy. I love buying something and trying it out at home to see if it truly fits. Life, fortunately, does not come with that same return policy. The only way to see if something truly fits is to try it out. The only way to experience something is to actually engage in the activity.

What’s holding you back from running a marathon, taking a month vacation in Indonesia, applying for a job that is not your specialty, starting your own business, surfing, skydiving, and the list goes on? Why wait until these become part of your bucket list? Go for it now!

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Maybe I will go skydiving again!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wisdom from a seven year old!

Zack, my five year old, has been having a rough go of it at school these past few weeks. He talks about hating school and never wanting to go back. As a mother, when I hear things like this, it certainly is a flag for me to get to the bottom of what’s going on. Of course, I started asking questions and trying to understand the source of my little guy’s anxiety.

A trouble maker in my son’s class

One of the reasons was that one of the little boys in his class has been bugging him lately. Louie, my oldest, used to be in the same classroom a couple of years ago and had the same little boy in his class. Louie remembers that little boy spitting on him and causing all sorts of trouble. I guess this same little boy hit another child with a shovel as well. I find that behavior outrageous and was very upset to hear that to be allowed at our school. Our school's kindergarten is play-based and all I'm asking is that my son go to school and be allowed the opportunity to play peacefully.

Louie and the Law of Attraction

I had to keep Zack out of school for a couple for a couple of days. I wanted his senses to calm down and make the school experience a good one again. While on our way back to school today, Louie was explaining to his brother how he needs to think to make his day better. His words went something along the lines of, “Zack, if you think you’re going to have a bad day then God will send you a bad day. If you think that someone is going to mess with you and make you miserable then that’s what God hears and for sure you will have someone mess with you and make you miserable.” He went on to say, “Zack, what I think you should do is say to yourself that you’re going to have a fantastic day and then that’s what God will definitely send to you.” He also gave me credit for being happy all the time and he thought it was because my thoughts were about being happy and so therefore, I was.

I was speechless. I couldn’t believe that a seven year old innately knew the Law of Attraction and was able to articulate it so amazingly. Jerry and Esther Hicks were in Denver this past weekend, I am sure that the attendance in that conference was a few hundred people who were all trying to learn, understand and apply the Law of Attraction.

Remembering the power within

I really do feel that the answers to anything that we are seeking are all within. Somewhere along our journey we forget to ask for what we want and truly believe that we can get it. If we can go back to that conviction that my seven year old has and truly believe that God, the Universe, Spirit, whatever name resonates with you is here for you and for your happiness, then I’ll bet life becomes a whole lot simpler. Sure we are often faced with situations that allow us to doubt that we can get what we want, but that is life; keeping the faith while facing life is huge.

The conversation with my boys today served to remind me of the power we have within. Whatever our “want” may be, nothing is too big for the Universe to deliver. Allow yourself to meditate daily so that the thoughts you put out there are the purest and truly reflect what it is you’d like to attract.

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Meditating on Zack having a fantastic kindergarten experience!


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Going back to the basics

What a day with my kiddos today! They were both super cranky after school. My oldest son, Louie, hasn’t been eating enough at school and that is always a sure recipe for disaster. My youngest son, Zack, has been complaining about everything lately. He doesn’t want to go to school because he doesn’t like going on a morning walk, or his neck hurts, or he didn’t get a bagel in the morning and that means he can’t go to school and the list goes on.

Back to the basics

Rather than getting aggravated with them this evening, I decided to go back to the basics. My mom made them their favorite spaghetti and meat sauce dinner, Lebanese style. Louie’s exact words were, “Zack, how often does Teta (grandma in Arabic) make us American food. It may look disgusting, but it’s delicious.” He gobbled a whole plate full and his brother did the same. When bellies are full, life is good in my household.

A soak and a magazine?

They were starting to ask for popsicles and football after dinner but calmly told them we weren't going to do that tonight. I told them I was going to let them soak in my bathtub with their favorite bath toys. They love the idea of a bubble bath, so they were all into that. Louie asked me to turn the lights off and light all the candles. I turned on the jets and just let them soak away. At one point, they were laying side-by-side all relaxed in the tub. I felt all their tension from the day melting away.

After the bath, we went back to their room and read the latest “Humpty Dumpty.” They sat there mesmerized by stories of corn mazes and autumn moons. They asked me to read a few more books to them to which I answered, “Of course!” They chose books that I used to read to them when they were two and four. I must’ve read these books over fifty times to them, yet they both sat there listening as if it were the first time. It was time for our nightly prayers and lights out. No one of them fussed about anything and having been sleeping soundly since.

A quiet evening goes a long way

I think my boys needed a little quiet and normalcy. Transitioning back to school is tougher than we allow it to be for our kids. After a few months of summer with no schedule, having to get up and be “on” all day is tough. I think I’m on to something though. Louie asked me if they could have another bubble bath tomorrow night.

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Maybe, I ought to go sit in the massage chair right now and allow myself a little quiet time too!


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

He can't possibly be in that box

For those of you that don’t know, my dog, Bones, died June 1st at the age of 17. My husband and I decided to have him cremated. It just didn’t feel right not to bring his remains home. I picked up his ashes a few weeks back. They put his ashes in a box that I have on a shelf in my room. Every once in a while, I look up and see them.

The other night I thought to myself, that’s not Bonesy in there. Bonesy is so much more than just ashes at this point. He is a spirit who has moved on to the afterlife and still in a huge way takes care of his family. I still see a yellow butterfly every now and again, a sure sign that my Bonesy is very much alive.

Do they really care what happens with their bodies?

I started thinking about all the rituals we’ve created around death as humans and the true significance of them. I’m wondering if Bonesy really cares about his remains and where they are?

I think it’s significant for us, those left behind, to do something for our loved ones who have moved on. It feels good to me to have Bonesy’s ashes in our home.

Friends of ours, who lost their dog this past year, planted a dogwood in their yard in memory of their pup. I thought this was a great idea and I think we’ll do the same for our Bonesy Bear.

The spiritual experience on Earth

I have always loved the expression, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience” by Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. I totally believe that to be true. We are so much more than this lifetime that we are currently experiencing.

I feel like we come in and out of lifetimes on Earth to experience all that Earth has to offer us. In one lifetime, we may tackle the idea of learning how to have healthy relationships, in another, we may decide to learn how to trust, and in another, we may learn how to have balance and so on. I believe the overall theme for our experiences in every lifetime is joy.

We are here to experience life to its fullest with all of its richness. So why waste any time doing anything else? Let your desires be your guide in life and just do what it is you’d like to do. You’ve all heard the Nike slogan, “Just do it!”

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I’d love to get a workout in right now, I’m going to, “Just do it!”


Thursday, September 2, 2010

There's something to be said about paper ...

A while back, I switched to a paper calendar rather than the calendar on my phone. I blogged about how I felt about that switch at the time. There’s a whole other aspect to this that I hadn’t even realized until recently. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always had a fantastic memory. I never needed a calendar for anything; I would just remember everything that was coming up for me. For the longest time, I couldn’t remember a thing. I thought it was because I had kids and I was keeping track of more than one schedule. I have to say that ever since I’ve been writing things down, I remember everything again. There’s something to be said about using a pen and paper and how that gets imprinted on the brain.

A pen and paper …

I’ve always thought that there are great benefits to technology. I feel things like writing essays or books may actually be easier if written on a computer because of spell and grammar checks. However, there is something to be said about using your hand to pen something that is heartfelt. I love journaling as a guide to my inner thoughts. When I journal, I always hand write what it is that I’m feeling. I notice that if I’m feeling blue, then even my handwriting has a different look to it than when I am feeling bubbly and great.

I love Mandalas as a tool for meditation as well. Mandalas are beautiful drawings that are colored with coloring pencils. They are in the shape of a circle and while you are coloring, you are also going within. They are fantastic. It’s amazing when people color them in my meditation classes how much they get out of the exercise of coloring for 20 minutes. Now, after my calendar experience, I feel that the benefits of mandalas are also due to the contact with paper.

Handwritten notes

I love getting handwritten thank you notes. I will sometimes keep them to read over and over if the message was a heart-warming one. I will always praise the person who emails holiday cards or thank you notes if they are doing that to be eco-friendly, but I still love getting a handwritten note. I feel that contact with paper is tremendous for me. I always handwrite my thank you notes. I make myself a great cup of tea and truly enjoy the process. When I’m done with the stack, I have such a great feeling of accomplishment.

Wrapping paper

We are in the process of launching a Sally Foster fundraising campaign at school. There are so many debates going on as to whether that’s a true representation of our school and whether it’s eco-friendly and so on. I am extremely eco-friendly, but I have to say that I love wrapping paper. I especially love pretty wrapping paper. I love wrapping a gift for someone; it’s like my little stamp of love on it.

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Off to fill my new calendar that just came in the mail. It’s so pretty with beach images on every page!