Friday Family Affirmation

The last day of the work week is here. Set your sights high on that long laundry-list of whatever it is… paperwork, housecleaning that was overlooked during the week, the three defrosted chicken breasts in the fridge that you never had time to bake… today throw out what you don’t need & move on. Literally, let go of the chicken =) … Figuratively…. leave your work at work today. Let your weekend be for you, your family, your kids, your spouse, & that book you bought 6 months ago & haven’t ‘found the time’ to crack open yet, or the bath tub you scrub but can’t remember the last time you laid in…

Not sure how the weekend always slips away while you have the best intentions to fulfill it? Try this:

Set aside 1 hour for each member of your family. Just that person. 1 for your spouse, 1 for you, 1 for each child, etc… & of course mix in some family time but don’t double dip, the one-on-one they will each appreciate & the kids will likely hold onto that little memory for a very long time. I know that my one-o-one time with my mom was very precious since she was a single mom who worked to support us and so was very often busy.

If one child comes in to interrupt your time with the other, simply say, ‘this is …..’s time, give us (x amount of time, put on a movie/go play outside) & I’ll come find you in a little while.’ By saying you will come get them this should help them get the idea that until you come they’ll play on their own, instead of them continuing to check in, ‘is it my turn yet?’ This is how I help my little girl stay in bed through the night ‘mommy will wake you up in the morning.’ So she knows unless she has to go potty, if mommy hasn’t woken her up yet (aka if it’s 4am & she’s waking up for 20 seconds.. it’s not time to start her day).

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Aftermath Resolutions

You must look into other people as well as at them.

– Lord Chesterfield

I know that during and after Super Storm Sandy we were all getting cabin fever here on the East Coast. Tensions were high, especially for those out of power for two weeks or those whose homes were washed away and ended up packing whole families into relative’s living rooms. Needless to say, nerves can fray and tensions can rise so high they remain palpable at the neck line.

So now that the power is back on, now that hopefully the temporary housing has opened up now that the workmen have gone back to their homes? How do you repair your family if you’ve lost your tempter or have just not been the best parent, spouse, aunt, uncle, son or daughter… you could be?

First. Let it go. Try letting it go in their court though. That is, apologize if it’s applicable to what you’re holding on to. Maybe not because you were to blame, it’s not about blame. It’s about responsibility, love, and respect. If you played a part, apologize for your part, and do NOT mention theirs. They will come to that on their own, in their own time. Or maybe, they were more hurt than you realized and hurt and resentment locks them up from admitting their part. This too is probable. So what do you do? Let it go. You’ve only got one consciousness, one mouth, one body that’s under your control so don’t try and manipulate theirs (even if you think you have the best intentions on repairing something; one person cannot fix it for the other).

The key to Letting Go is to respect yourself and say, I don’t want all that negative stuff brewing inside me anymore, I’m going to let it go. For others, it’s about looking at them and seeing their vulnerabilities, their pains, their mistakes, and their beauty. We are imperfect and that’s what makes us human, so don’t set the bar at perfection or else they and you will always be found lacking.

You’ve probably been reading this by now and thinking that this has 10% to do with Sandy and 90% to do with ourselves, our families, and how to healthily resolve problems. Well, you’re right. So if you’re a west-coast family unperturbed by Sandy, God Bless you too. You too can benefit from considering problem resolving and the key to family happiness (for me) of Letting Go of control, resentment, jealousy, blame, …… the  problem list goes on and on; isn’t it nice to know this one solution fits all?

Tuesday Troubles

Today try writing a list of 10 things that trouble you. Then write a list of 10 things that you are grateful for. Compare… & smile =)

I think you’ll find that like me your list of troubles are out of your control, & so for me, that brought the smile on–knowing that I had to let go of those things because they were only causing me harm.

Here’s my list to get you going:

Troubles:

1. It’s hard to breathe: my nose is so very congested after we got rained out of our booth at an October Fest.

2. That NY is so expensive to live.

3. That I spend $150 on gas per week.

4. That I, and I quote from a mock argument with my partner, “I am a good cook; I just can’t boil.” Yes, I’m serious, I always seem to multi-task & boil over onto the new stove top.

5. That there are not enough hours in the day to get through my ‘to-do’ lists.

6. Alright, I’ll say it, I let “war in the middle east” take up space in my head. I know I have no control, & I sound like a beauty queen asking the audience for world peace, but it still scares me when I think about the fear of bombings in the street.

7. That I did not get out to the zoo or on vacation this summer although we had ‘every intention’ the days just got away from us.

8. That I feel constantly pulled by work, parenting, the illustrious ‘me’ time, & maintaining a home. I suppose I am just yet learning the give & take of balance.

9. That people I loved have passed without warning, without reason, so young.

10. That my basement apartment in the winter is a little depressing, less light everywhere & such.

Gratitude: 

1. My daughter is healthy.

2. I only have a little cold today, not the flu.

3. My fridge is full of pre-made food so I don’t need to cook again for a few days. That means I get 2 extra hours to relax with a cup of tea & play puzzles on the floor with the little one.

4. That I have inherited my mother’s beloved truck after she passed & I smile each time I drive it & think of happy memories driving together.

5. That I have such a loving partner who supports me in what I choose to endeavor into, brings me coffee in the morning, & makes me laugh all day long.

6. That I have such a thoughtful daughter who is truly coming into her own at 4 & I’m so happy with who she is becoming.

7. Blue skies & cool air that carries the crispness of autumn & the warmness of families with the smell of burning wood in fireplaces.

8. Grateful that I continue to try a little more each day, to read an extra story, to plan an extra movie night, to do just a little more to try & bring family, work, & play all together in balance. Although I certainly am not great at it yet, I am grateful that I keep going, never taking the easy way out.

9. That my mother, before she passed, met my daughter.

10. That I have an roof over my head, even if it is just an apartment, I know that in time & it’ll be that nice house I day dream about.

Mother’s Day, now that I’m the only one

For me, I don’t think I miss my mother any more on holidays than I do when I can’t sleep & I reach to call her because I think she’s working the night shift and fiddling with her phone, or when I’m hurting & I just want to lay in bed next to her and watch a funny movie, or when I drive my truck (which was hers) and I remember her singing off key while she drove wildly.

I can tell you I am certainly not over my mother’s death, even now years later. But really, how long does it take to forget your mother? I hope never.

But I am content with the loss of her, I am grateful to have had the 19 amazing years with her I had & grateful still to have today even without her because I am with myself, my daughter, my partner, & everyone who makes up my family & community.

While my mother was alive she taught me how to survive, as a mother should. With her death my mother taught me to live well and live now.

For those of you who’ve lost your mother or any loved one: I know it hurts, believe me I do, but the pain lessens over memories and the joy increases. I wish you the best in your process, and wish you all a happy and joyful Mother’s Day.

For me, meditation allows me answers, peace, & acceptance of the change that sometime seems unyielding. This is a great post (which I read like a poem) on the process of meditation, this quote sums it up for me: “Meditation has taught me to measure release, and accept my fate. I am my pen, for existence has the magic to pause itself in moments of stillness and grasp you, the single evidence.” Evidence of what? Of itself? I love the open ending. This too is meditation for me, when I listen I hear the answers I need, for what I’m seeking to resolve, but they’re never concrete, they change as circumstance does, as I do, as the wind changes through the tree I’m rooted in, a moment passes & when it does so the world has changed again.

Spirit Shivers

Every time you don’t follow your inner guidance, you feel a loss of energy, loss of power, a sense of spiritual deadness.
-Shakti Gawain

My spirit is directly associated with my consciousness. This quote from Shakti Gawain above talks about that feeling of disappointing yourself, or acting against your better judgement.

When I do something against my better judgement or morality, ignoring my conscious, I can feel my spirit quiver. It becomes disturbed, uncomfortable. And as cold bodies shiver in order to create body heat, so my spirit shivers. As it shakes, so it loses shards of itself- like small icicles falling off of tree branches when the wind sets in between the frosted cedars. And so I loose a little of myself each time my spirit shakes, each time telling me: something’s wrong. Should I choose to listen, I’d hear it say: stop, think about it in its entirety before you act.

Share an Exchange of Gratitude in Response to Pain

There’s  a moment of empathetic energetic exchange between two people when they share a moment of gratitude that is without parallel.

After recent loss, disappointment, or heartbreak I tend to get more introspective & honest. Why? Maybe because through the crying & the pain- my emotions are brought even closer to the surface than they usually are; & let’s just say I’m empathetic on a good day & over-sensitive on a bad one, 0=)

But somehow, I’ve learn to twist heartbreak into something usable. There’s so much energy there, it’s got to be good for something. So today I did MORE, that is, listened more, played more with my daughter, went out of my way to help a stranger who dropped something while I was out, etc.

Why? Because giving feels good, & that moment of empathetic energetic exchange between two people who share a moment of gratitude is without parallel.

Have you experienced a difficult breakup or loss of a loved one? How did you handle it? What worked for you?