Monday, October 25, 2010

The balance of giving and receiving

My birthday was this past Saturday. I got to sleep in without any interruptions from my two adorable, but very rambunctious boys. Had the day ended right then, it would have been enough. Those of you with kids, “Do you remember the last time you really got to sleep in?” It is fabulous!

Allowing myself to receive!

I was going down the stairs to eat breakfast when I saw my brand new bike with a huge bow on it right in the middle of the living room. I squealed with joy! It was exactly what I wanted. I was tired of riding my mountain bike around town, I wanted a cruiser and I got one that was incredibly cute!

My husband made an incredibly delicious breakfast (have I mentioned that he is a fantastic cook) and then we went out for a bike ride with the kids. We cruised all around the neighborhood. We went to two of my girlfriends’ houses to say hi and show them my new wheels. It was so fun just to cruise around and spend a relaxed morning. We ended up taking the kids out to dinner and for dessert, we had a great cake that my husband had ordered from my favorite bakery.

Love from my friends

We belong to dinner club in the neighborhood. It is a fantastic group of people and we look forward to this awesome evening. It just so happened that the dinner club this month fell on my birthday. I opted to go out with my kids and mom instead of going to the dinner club.

Our friends called us on our way home from dinner and asked us to stop by for a drink. It turns out that one of my friends had baked me a delicious chocolate cake with caramel filling. They sang happy birthday, we had a piece of cake, great wine and awesome company.

Allowing myself to receive

It was truly an incredible day for me. I felt loved and appreciated all around. Ever since Saturday, I have been thinking about the concept of receiving. I allowed myself to receive that day and it was fantastic. People love to make others feel good and do nice things for them. The key is to allow people that opportunity.

I used to be horrible at receiving. If someone gave me a compliment, I’d squirm, gifts were not received well and so on. I’ve learned to allow that to go away and just enjoy it. What goes around comes around. I’ll have my chance to return the favor, but in the meantime, why not enjoy it.

The opportunity to give came today

It’s my mom’s birthday today so I spent the whole day giving. We had a wonderful day together where I got to spoil my mother and let her know how much I loved and appreciated her. It was great to give today. The balance of giving and receiving is much healthier than it’s ever been with me.

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Enjoying the birthday gifts and wishes I have received!

Thursday, October 21, 2010


I went to see Kim John Payne speak at The Shining Mountain Waldorf School in Boulder last night. It was the first time I had heard him speak and it was a fantastic experience. The topic last night was about simplicity parenting. It was centered on creating a safe-haven for kids to grow up in where they weren’t inundated with hundreds of toys, tons of books, loads of clothes, too many extra-curricular activities and so on. It was really about allowing kids to have the room to imagine and create.

I had been purging for a couple of weeks

On Monday night, my husband and I had taken out three garden size trash bags full of toys to go to Goodwill. At one point, we looked at each other to say that we were embarrassed to have these many toys and we still have a whole closet full!

My friend came to visit a few weeks ago and I was shocked that the guest closet was full of stuff. I can’t even tell you what was in there. The day after she left, I went in there and got rid of everything that we didn’t use anymore. I did the same for another closet that was just storage space. I actually started to go into those rooms just to look at the closets because they made me feel so good.

I told my husband the other night that the house is slowly but surely getting lighter. I would walk into certain parts of our house and feel suffocated. I’ve purged the basement mostly, the garage and now I’m going to tackle my closet and my boys’ closets.

Realizing when we need to stop

I thought about what Payne was saying as to how it also ought to apply to adults. It’s amazing how instinctively we know what’s best for everyone around us but not ourselves. If my husband is coming down with something, I know it’s because he’s been working too hard and his body needs a break.

How come I can’t see that for myself? I feel it’s partly due to what we have come to accept as social norm. It is perfectly acceptable for someone to go to work from 7:30 in the morning until 5:30 at night, go workout, go grocery shopping, go meet friends for drinks, come home watch a little TV, go to bed right before midnight and get up the next morning to repeat the whole process over again.

Why did we ever eliminate the siesta anyway? I have to say, if you do have the ability to take a 30 minute nap in the middle of the day, it may be the best thing you can do for yourself.

Simplify to allow your genius to shine through!

Kim John Payne said, “Simplify to allow your child’s genius to come through.” I immediately thought about my pantry and freezer, both of which feel like they are going to explode from being overstuffed. I realized that I haven’t had the desire to cook anything in about a month. My cooking genius was stifled with too many choices!

He also talked about the fact that we give kids way too many choices that they don’t want to be bothered with. Here’s a typical conversation I might have with my kids at 7:15 in the morning, “Would you like ham or eggs for breakfast? Should I can make you French toast? or waffles? How about a bowl of cereal? Why won’t you answer me?” and I proceed to get frustrated. Whereas the day I make something for breakfast without asking my kids, they eat it without complaint and the house is peaceful.

I can’t say that I heard anything new last night. It was just great to be reminded. I have to say that I purge my closet and the house every few months now. I used to purge once a year if that and now once it gets to be a little chaotic, I know it’s time for a spring cleaning. I always remember not to overload my children with activities. I don’t allow play-dates during the week, I let them play only one sport and never say yes to video games or TV. I just don’t feel it’s healthy for their soul. I have given in to football though. I have to maintain the peace with the biggest JETS fan in the world; he is my husband after all.

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Even more excited to purge now!

Monday, October 18, 2010


I've been thinking about fate a lot lately. I’m wondering if our lives are somewhat mapped out before we come to Earth? Do we have a game plan prior to incarnating? When something doesn’t go our way, we usually hear the phrase, “It just wasn’t meant to be” or “It just wasn’t in the cards.”

Can we change our fate?

Maybe this is where the Law of Attraction comes into play. Maybe at one point, something wasn’t meant to be, but if we believe it enough, then we do change the outcome. It would be hard to think that the Law of Attraction doesn’t work. Are all the philosophers and spiritual teachers who have preached the Law of Attraction wrong? I believe if nothing else, the Law of Attraction helps us stay positive.

We also talk about “contracts” or “life lessons” that we’ve come to Earth to master. Examples of contracts are, setting boundaries, having joy, practicing patience, trusting, relationships, abandonment and so on. Let’s say our heart’s desire is to get married and have kids, but what if remaining single allows us greater spiritual growth? Do contracts and the Law of Attraction contradict each other at that point? Do contracts come before the Law of Attraction?

Law of Attraction versus contracts

It’s interesting to debate both sides of the story. The thing that makes the most sense to me is remaining positive and asking God, Spirit, The Universe (whatever resonates with you as a higher power) for what you want. I believe though that if it doesn’t go your way, then maybe that was for your best anyway.

This is life at the end of the day, people are going to die, tragedies are going to happen, earth quakes are going to hit and so on. Maybe the whole point is to lighten up some and just enjoy every day for what it is. If it’s a day that something sad happened, then be sad and if it’s a day to be happy, then be happy.

Is it meant to be?

I was at the Jets-Broncos game yesterday. The half-time show was dedicated to breast cancer survivors. They had truly wonderful stories of women who overcame such a tough event in their lives. One woman said that she is thankful for cancer because it has changed her for the better. Another survived breast cancer but now is battling terminal liver cancer. I wondered about her and fate. Can she change the outcome of what seems to be her destiny? It can be done, that I do know. I do pray that in her case, "It is meant to be that she is cancer free!"

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In thought about this!


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Your brand

I’ve been thinking about being authentic lately. I’m reading a book called, “If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You” by Kelly Cutrone. It’s a really interesting read. I wouldn’t say it’s one of my favorite books, but I have found certain parts of it to be thought-provoking.

I’m at a part of the book where she talks about “your brand” and what it is you’d like that to be. I like to think of that as the question I ask my clients all the time, “Who are you?” She describes someone’s brand as pertaining to business and how they’d like to be viewed, but I’m taking it one step further to say, “What’s your brand in life?” If you’re authentic to your core values, then that brand carries with you in every aspect of your life.

Honesty … in everything!

I believe that honesty is the best policy and especially with yourself. If you can admit to yourself who you are and what it is you’d like to achieve in life, then it becomes easy to carry that torch into the world. Most of the time, the issue is that we don’t know what it is we really want and therefore, have a hard time “branding” ourselves.

Is there such a thing as too much support?

This author mentions in the book that she feels kids come into the business world with too much confidence due to their parents sheltering them and making them feel like they can accomplish anything. She feels that kids then get into the real world and are shocked. I totally disagree with that. I believe that was her reality and not necessarily the general rule. Support is necessary in life. If you feel supported, I think you’re more apt to accomplish.

I tell my kids that they can accomplish anything they’d like but most importantly they ought to love what they are doing. If you are doing something you love, then branding yourself is easy. It’s only a struggle when you’re struggling yourself. The easiest way to figure out what it is we really want is to spend some time in silence contemplating. Anytime you feel the downward spiral heading your way, take a break and meditate. You’re not doing anyone any favors by not figuring out what it is you’d like to accomplish in life.

Who do you want to be?

I find such inspiration from movies such as The Blind Side. I thought that was an amazing movie. I love the part where Michael Oher’s mother tells him that he can do with his life what he wants. She says to him, “It’s your decision, it’s your life” but she also says that she will support his decisions whatever they may be. That is support!

Support is allowing others to be what they really want to be without judgment. Now, do that for yourself as well. Really allow yourself to be the brand that you’d like to be.

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Have I mentioned I love writing this blog!

Monday, October 4, 2010

It was nice to see that ...

The other day, I observed an older gentleman holding the door open for his wife and her friend while they got in their car. First, he held the back door open until the friend got in and then he moved to his wife’s side and held her door open. I’m sure this man has opened the door for his wife every day of their lives together.

I grew up in Lebanon and men always opened the door for the ladies and never called shotgun. When I moved here at the age of 19, I remember not understanding what that was. I was naturally going to ride in the front seat as I was accustomed to. I also was shocked that none of the guys around would offer to carry something heavy.

My feminist phase

After living here for a certain amount of time, I didn’t expect it anymore and then I went to the other end of the spectrum where I did not want to be treated that way.

I totally take the blame for my husband not opening the door for me in our household. I went through a phase of being a feminist to a certain degree. He would open the door for me all the time and although it made me feel special, I remember rebelling somewhat against it. If he offered to carry a heavy for me, I’d get offended. It became my job to clean the garage because I could do it and it wasn’t only a man’s job.

I’ve softened my stance tremendously

It’s a total bummer for me that I went through that ridiculous phase, not to mention how confused I keep my husband. One year, he can’t open the door, the next he’s totally expected to. Who can keep up?

After seeing that older man treat his wife with such kindness and respect, I’ve realized that I crave that too. My husband is the ultimate romantic and I’ve always said that it was wasted on me, but not anymore! I feel it’s especially essential for him to treat me this way in front of our boys. Only if they see their dad treating their mom that way will they understand how to treat their wife later on.

My husband reads all my posts and I’m sure he’s rolling his eyes after this one, but I’m also sure that he will gladly start opening my door again. I feel that’s something that is part of his being and would gladly bring it back.

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Waiting for my hubby to get home so that he can lift the heavy boxes in our garage!