No Dad Left Behind
I’ve seen it happen time after time after time. Boy meets girl, boy marries girl, boy and girl have baby, boy gets left out. It seems that after a woman’s dream of having a baby comes true, she sometimes forgets how she got that baby and who happened to be in the picture first!
At some point in time when these ladies realized they had met the man of their dreams, ‘the one’, this man was all they could think of and all the attention was on him and his attention on her. It’s truly a beautiful thing to watch love blossom, plant roots and mature. Soon the attention turns to one of procreation and the couple decide to have a baby. The pair dance in excitement at the anticipation of their child created through love coming in to their world.
When the baby is born, the overwhelming sense of joy and love have the couple riding high for awhile until the days and nights are consumed with feedings, diapering, cuddling, cooing and the like. However the care giving is divided, both the new mom and dad are likely to feel very tired. Sleep becomes a much needed and sought after commodity!
New dad’s are generally pretty patient for the first couple of months, realizing and understanding that their wife is healing from delivery and often times the only one on demand for feedings, not to mention getting used to her new role as mommy. However, sometimes the new mom forgets that the new dad is still eager for her attention and some form of intimacy with her. It’s natural for even the most understanding men to feel a little neglected when a new baby arrives! Most of the time he won’t even say anything because he would feel guilty doing so, and sometimes he will act out in a way to demand her attention.
I’m here to remind the moms out there to set aside time for your sweetheart. It’s time to stop using kids as an excuse for not connecting with your partner. The foundation of a family is built on the solid ground of the relationship between the parents. If that relationship crumbles, so does the family. When we show our kids that a healthy and loving relationship between mom and dad is important we give them something great to model. Let them see you kissing, dancing, being silly and setting aside time away from them for connecting, a.k.a. date night! As a mom of four, I understand those days (or years) feeling like I just need to have a moment where no one is touching me, crying for me or expecting anything from me! The last thing you want is someone, groping you! But when I changed my perspective on it, I saw it as a beautiful opportunity for my man to show up as my knight in shining armor and help me remember that I’m a treasured woman with needs of my own and that it is through our love that I have the privilege of being a mother.
At the end of the day, when we sit on the couch together to watch TV, my place is right next to my sweetie. The kids know it, and if they don’t move on their own, I remind them that I get to sit next to daddy! We all end up piled together with kids on laps and all, and they clearly understand that my husband and I are a closely bonded and united team and nothing comes between us. They never play us against each other and they have a great sense of comfort in their home life that allows them to feel stable, secure and safe.
We should remember here that we are not married to our children, we are here to raise them in to adulthood so that they can go out in to the world and discover their passions, live their dreams, experience love and eventually if they choose, get married. If as a mom we’ve only shown them that they are the most important people in our life, and continually choose them and their needs over our husbands, what message does that send them? What have they learned about marriage from the example we’ve set? Where does that leave us as a couple when the nest is empty?
I am not suggesting that the responsibility of fostering a solid marital foundation is solely on the woman, I am merely bringing one situation to light in which women can step up and take ownership of their part in the disconnect of their marriage. And for the dad’s out there, ask yourself how you can be of support to your wife rather than focusing on the fact that she’s too busy to pay attention to you! There are many different circumstances and behavior from men and women alike that could create imbalance in a relationship. I’m just addressing one. Obviously men and women should share equally the responsibility in finding and maintaining the delicate balance it takes to create a relationship that is built to last through all the ups and downs, ins and outs and years beyond raising children.
I invite every mom and dad to recognize aspects in their relationship they may be neglecting and to make the effort in building a strong and stable foundation for their family. Kids feel the tension from their parents when things are off balance in any way. Because we want the best for our kids in all aspects of life, we should also want to show them an example of a healthy marriage and provide an environment that allows them to feel emotionally safe and comfortable.
I stand in gratitude each day for my husband Charlie. He is an amazing person, husband, friend and father. My prayer today is that people stop taking their partners for granted and remember, for every overlooked husband or wife, there is a man or woman out there wishing they had a husband or wife to cherish.
Note: In this article I used the word marriage, and the example of husband and wife. However, I believe the message applies for all couple relationships, whether married or not, two moms or two dads. With love and peace to all, Michelle.
In addition to my passion for assisting others through NLP and Hypnosis, I have a desire to share knowledge and to inspire others through my writing. My journey in life has taken me down many paths, and from each trial, heartbreak, triumph and mistake, I've learned something profound. Following are some articles I have written inspired by my life experiences including parenting, relationships, self healing and realization, authenticity, community consciousness and whatever else I feel guided to share. I encourage you to check out the other writings from these two sites by other insightful and knowledgeable authors; www.livethroughtheheart.com and www.stilettosontheglassceiling.com.
Know when to leave your pants at the office.
I know that I will meet some resistance with what I’m about to say here, and I respect each and every perspective on the topic I’m writing on today. So here it goes…
In a world filled with powerful, smart and independent women climbing their way to the top of corporate ladders, has anyone stopped to think about how bringing this very masculine energy in to an intimate relationship might affect things? If we are always calling the shots, making the decisions, handling everything from travel arrangements to taking out the trash, how does our man get a chance to show up and ‘be the man’? Last time I checked, men love us because of our femininity, our ability to feel things and express ourselves at a level that is unfamiliar to them. Our feminine nature is intoxicating to men when we are in our true ‘goddess’ form. Just like they love the soft curves of our bodies, they love our softness that comes from the inside as well.
Most men also love a strong and independent woman, one that is not needy and clingy, one that is successful and has opinions. However, they also have an innate desire to be our ‘knight in shining amour’ at times and when we bring our strong and powerful selves that has provided us great success in the business world in to our home, it tends to demasculize our guy. As fun as it is to joke about having our own sexy ‘boy toy’, it can quickly get old for a man to only be providing our most primal needs so to speak. So where do we find the balance without giving up our voice in the relationship? It’s all about how we communicate.
This may be a foreign concept for many women and can feel a little scary. I invite you to try a new communicating style and see how fast your relationship shifts and your guy starts seeing you and treating you as the goddess that you are. In allowing ourselves to be vulnerable with our guy, is when he connects at a heart level. He can wrap his strong arms around us and be our comforter. A loving relationship should be non-competitive and should be free from power struggles.
Here is what communication can look like with both people being heard and respected:
Her: I was thinking we could go to the cabin next weekend. I’m feeling burned out with work and could really use some time in nature. What do you think?
Him: I’d rather stay here and get some work done.
Her: (leaning back, not towards him so as not to be aggressive) I completely understand, you have a lot to get done but it would mean so much to me to have you there with me. Maybe you can bring some of it with us to the cabin and knock some of it out. I’d hate to have to go by myself…What do you think?
Him: Hmmmm, well it would be nice to get away. I guess if I can get some work done there too it would be good.
Her: Yay!!! (throws her arms around him and gives him a big smooch) This means so much to me, thank you! (always beneficial to show appreciation)
It could have easily gone like this:
Her: Let’s go to the cabin next weekend. I need a break.
Him: Nah, I’ve got too much work to do here.
Her: (leaning in) You never want to do what I want to do! Fine then, I’ll just go by myself!
Him: Fine, go!
When we engage our man in the conversation by going beyond ‘yes’ and ‘no’ questions and asking “What do you think?”, it opens up the communication and tells him that we value what he has to say. It doesn’t mean that we have to give in to it! It’s more about giving respect in order to get respect. Having a discussion or disagreement can be more peaceful than you think. Pay attention to accusatory language and non-verbal cues. Having your hands in a fist versus palms open, leaning in versus leaning back, name calling and accusing versus talking about how you are feeling about something.
Her: You’re late! You are so inconsiderate! Is your phone broken? Next time I’ll just leave without you!
Her: It really makes me feel unimportant when you show up late and don’t call. Would it be possible to call me if you are going to be late next time? I just want to be on the same page about this, what do you think?
Notice how different those felt. We don’t have to be a bad ass or a kiss ass to get our point across! It’s about empowering yourself with a new way of communicating that doesn’t leave each other feeling unheard, hurt or attacked.
Old habits die hard, and it takes time for this style of communication to become natural. What I love about it is that it fosters a more loving and mutually respectful relationship and allows us as women to step out of our business woman mindset and in to our softness, our heart. I’m not talking about gender roles here, I’m talking about a way of being.
In an intimate relationship, one must be the masculine and the other the feminine. It doesn’t matter who plays which role but there must be a balance. Most women (not all) prefer to be the feminine and most men the masculine. Many of us fluctuate between both and that is completely normal as well. If you sense that your guy is more in the feminine energy one day, then by all means shift in to your masculine! It’s all about knowing when to leave your pants at the office!
How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were?
On the eve of my birthday this year I reflect on yet another year of life. Surprisingly I realize that tomorrow I will be right smack in the middle of my 40’s…I’ll no longer be in my ‘early forties’ and not yet considered ‘late forties’. So what the heck does that mean to me anyway? Since the time I turned 25, I can’t remember how old I am from year to year! I still feel like I’m in my early 20’s, so why does it matter what number I associate with my age? As cheesy as it sounds, in my heart I will be forever young!
To quote Yoko Ono, “Some people are old at 18 and some are young at 90…time is a concept that humans created.” We all know people in our lives that this statement rings true for. It’s interesting to me to see how differently people deal with aging. I feel that women in our society have an exceptionally hard time dealing with this natural occurrence of life. I am no exception to this, I have my freak out moments when I think ‘I’m nearly half a century old!’, but it seems to be more a feeling of awe than a worry about my fading youth and health. Don’t get me wrong, I do choose to age gracefully; therefore I eat well, sleep my 7-8 hours, and take good care of my skin. However, I believe that since I feel half my age, I tend to be more amazed at how old I am in years! Age is a mindset, and we can choose to be old or young, it’s really what you think, speak and feel that will determine ‘your age’ and not necessarily the amount of years you’ve lived.
We’ve all heard someone say “I’m getting too old for this!”, or “Your not a spring chicken anymore you know!” I believe that by shifting these limiting beliefs as a society we would benefit everyone. Sometimes we sort of inherit our mindset from our parents, and other times it is developed over the years. Our culture has been determining our ‘timeline’ for decades! Get married by 30, have kids by 34, retire at 55, etc....not only is this limited thinking, it only promotes anxiety! Let’s live in the moment, embrace our uniqueness and celebrate the milestones of our choice if and when they come along.
Growing up my parents didn’t make a big deal about aging and my dad climbed Mt. Whitney at 70! I suppose I adopted their perception to a point, I just never really thought of age, just sort of forgot about it! (Unless of course it was a good excuse to have a great big party to celebrate my number!) Granted, everyone has the choice to disregard age as a number and instead celebrate their life or to label and/or limit themselves with it in all aspects of their lives. I for one choose to ignore the number and embrace the wisdom I gain with each year on this earth, live out loud and on purpose, earning each gray hair and wrinkle along the way. If I so choose to cover the gray and spackle the wrinkles…it’s only because the image in the mirror doesn’t quite match what’s in my heart!
I am so happy and grateful to be alive and healthy after 45 years on this planet, and look forward to many more serving others doing what I love! We all have a purpose in our lives and I encourage you all to discover this purpose and pursue all that you wish no matter what your ‘age’!
“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” —Mark Twain
I’d love to hear from you! Go to www.livethroughtheheart.com and please leave a comment about how you deal with (or not) getting a year older. Whether in your 20’s or 90’s what’s your take? What limiting beliefs have you held about aging? What are you teaching or going to teach your kids about ‘getting old’?
Cutting the cord…my process of letting go.
I’ve been a mom for more than half my life, and nearly all of my adult life. As a mother of four children varying greatly in age, I find myself emotionally torn and tormented by the milestone’s in my children’s lives. At one point I had a newborn, a 14 month old, a pre-adolescent and a teenager! Trying to shift my mindset from cooing at a newborn to dealing with teenage drama and everything in between had me thinking I was going crazy on some days. Those days seemed so long at the time. I remember a few years ago feeling so sentimental when my oldest child was graduating from high school and my youngest graduating from pre-school…they were growing up too fast and I wasn’t ready for them to go.
Funny how fast things change, just last year I was considering having another baby (call me crazy), and now I have a daughter that is getting married in 4 months! My 17- year-old son is on a mission trip to Uganda this summer and then will be off to college a year later and my little ones are 9 and 10 years old already. I remember the little steps of letting go along the way, the first day of school, letting them cross the street without holding my hand, the first sleep over at a friends house and the first time they stayed home alone for an hour without a sitter. I thought that by taking these little steps along the way, that when the time came I would be prepared for the day when my little birds wanted to spread their wings and fly! Afterall, I had always wanted so much for my children. I encouraged them to move away and experience life, travel to foreign lands, have fun, make (little) mistakes and learn and grow in the process. I had no idea how difficult it would be to actually watch them go, especially when I’m still in the midst of mothering little ones! In a way it’s a blessing that I still have young ones at home, it keeps me busy and my mind from (constant) worry.
I am so proud of my daughter, her convictions, her accomplishments, her choice in a husband and of how she’s grown in to such a beautiful woman from the inside out. My son that’s in Uganda fills my heart with joy that he has the compassion and love for Christ to serve others in this way. My heart is overflowing with love, memories and happiness for them as these two set off to take flight following their own hearts and dreams! In the meantime, I still have my two snuggle-bugs at home for a while and I find myself hugging them a little longer, laughing with them a little louder and wanting to make the most of each and every moment with them! I’ve realized that just because we can let go of our attachment to our children, does not lessen the amount of love we have for them. In doing this, it frees us all to be our unique selves able to fully express our talents and gifts and share them with the world without feeling stifled!
Through my tears I am smiling at thoughts of bright futures and great adventures ahead for my kids. I’ve always known that they weren’t really mine to keep, they were a gift from God for me to love, nurture, teach and learn from and then set free to become all they were meant to be…my realization of this has been truly bittersweet.
Creating Conscious Kids
Recently many of us have sent our kids back to school, preparing our children with their new shoes, clothes, backpacks, lunch boxes and school supplies. But have we prepared them for the sometimes very cruel world they may encounter? Is there any way we can shelter our precious children from the insensitive nature of others? Do we have to sit idle with worry and fret in wait of the day they come home with hurt feelings or worse? How are your children ‘showing up’ in the world?
These are common feelings we have as loving parents, wanting to protect our children from any and all harm. The fact is that we cannot be with them 24/7 and therefore need to equip them with the tools to deal with many types of situations. It is our responsibility to also teach them compassion, kindness, tolerance and all the things that aren’t primarily taught in school. In teaching our children that they have a choice in how to respond to others, we can empower them with different options for different circumstances.
My two youngest boys are 9 and 10 years old, and are in fourth and fifth grade. When they get home from school, they like to share the happenings at school for that day. I’ve created a safe place for them to share their experiences and observations. Even if something they tell me is shocking or strikes a nerve in me, I remain calm, listen and ask some questions so I can see the big picture. We discuss how they handle situations and in some cases we explore how it could’ve been handled differently or with a better outcome. By taking this time with my children to empower them with new responses, options and ideas, I feel more confident that they can handle many different scenarios with grace. Of course they have their moments of overwhelm and sometimes don’t handle things in a thoughtful manner, but those are the sweet opportunities for growth and learning!
As important as it is for our kids to learn how to deal with bullies, it’s equally important that we teach them and show them how to be compassionate and kind. Teach them that when they see a child getting bullied, teased or sitting alone at lunch to reach out to them, stick up for them or go find help. Our children are smart and sensitive enough to recognize the feeling they get in the pit of their tummy or the ache in their heart when they see another child feeling lonely or sad. We need to let them know that when they feel that feeling for another child, that it is a signal to do something! And being that kind of kid is awesome!
It’s so sad to see our children being influenced by sassy kids on TV networks, and raised by parents that have forgotten the influence they have over their kids! Like the old saying “Monkey see, monkey do!”, our kids are watching our every move, they see the way you treat the waiter at the restaurant, the checker at the grocery store, the principal at the school, your parents and siblings and your friends. Do you treat everyone equally? Are you showing love, compassion and kindness to everyone? Do you gossip and put others down for what they wear or what they look like? Our kids are watching our every move…what are you showing them? Do you see them acting like you at times? What are your children’s actions telling you about yourself? In some cases it can be hard to see our kids picking up on our bad habits and manners, the good news is we can change that!
I realize none of us are perfect, so how about we strive for progress rather than perfection. Each and every little thing you do to move toward living and parenting from the heart will show up in how your children engage in relationships. When they see you treating people, animals and our planet with love and respect they will follow in your highly conscious footsteps! There is no one they would rather be like than YOU! What a special gift to give to our children and someday our children’s children as well as a gift to human kind.
“We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share. This is a precious moment, but it is transient. It is a little parenthesis in eternity. If we share with caring, lightheartedness and love, we will create abundance and joy for each other. And then this moment will have been worthwhile." —Deepak Chopra
United We Stand
“I thought you were so stuck up when I first met you! But you’re SO nice!” Those words ring in my ears to this day. A double entendré of sorts or a backwards compliment, whatever you call it, it kinda sucked to hear and I had heard that on more than one occasion throughout my life. You see, I saw myself as a ‘sweet girl’, the girl-next-door type, someone with a kind and gentle nature who was also somewhat shy. How could anyone possibly think that ‘I’ was stuck up?!
Comments such as that one have led me to do a combination of soul searching and life observing. We’ve all been in a similar situation (I hope): You are in a group environment with a bunch of women you don’t know, the energy in the room is intense! Each woman is sizing the other up, forming judgments, feeling envious, giving the stink eye, etc. The cocktails start kicking in (always helps to break the ice) and the girls begin to relax and let their guard down (it is particularly helpful if men are not present). It is only then that we are able to connect on a different level and realize, we really do have things in common, we don’t need to compete and we can admit that we love ‘her shoes’, or say openly we wished we had beautiful wavy hair like ‘that girl’, and a sort of love fest happens! When I observe these types of scenarios, it’s obvious that we really have the natural instinct to want to bond together, not to be separate and alone. That when we let our guard down, we can see each other as we see ourselves. (Hello ‘sweet girl’!)
Women are so complex! We are the perfect blend of compassion, drive, love, tenacity, gentleness, courage, humor, sweetness, etc. Each to a different degree than the next, and all for the evolution of our souls. I propose that we band together as a ‘sisterhood’ and strive to see the strengths in each other, and that we teach our daughters, sisters, nieces, cousins from a young age to do so as well. I say that it’s high time we unite and uplift each other rather than tear each other apart. We don’t have to be best friends with every woman we meet, we only need to be at our best. They will see the best in you, recognize it in themselves, and then give their best in return.
As a Life Coach and Hypnotherapist, I am drawn to inspiring others and guiding them to discover the best and most beautiful parts of themselves. My passion for the unity and empowerment of women has drawn me to promote this ‘sisterhood’ mentality through the development of clubs, workshops and conferences. These avenues will not be an ‘in your face, preach it from the pulpit’ approach, but rather have an underlying tone and message at their core as well as to communicate other useful and relevant insights. My dream is to capture girls from pre-teen through college age, working women and stay-at-home moms alike! I’m hoping that by addressing this issue of unity at all ages and phases of life, the message will spread cross-generational and will ultimately be the mindset of our nation, and dare I hope and pray eventually of the world.
With our innate power, ingenuity, and ambition coupled with our ‘softer aspects’, we as women are so amazingly capable! Even in a ‘man’s world’ we can accomplish more as women if we band together than if we remain separate. Can you imagine the difference we can make in our world, our community, our company, our schools if we focused on supporting and uplifting one another instead of tearing each other down? We succeed when we stop viewing each other as competition, unite and recognize that we are all unique and no two of us can ever be exactly alike! That we are each here to share our special and distinctive talents with the world. Let’s celebrate our individuality and cheer each other on. There really is room at the top for all of us!
In these crazy times, it’s important to remember that we cannot be at odds with each other in any way, shape or form and expect to be successful! This statement proves true whether you’re a couple, family, corporation, gender or country…the truth is… United we stand, divided we fall.
Have you ever been initially impressed with someone by listening to their beliefs and philosophies, only to be very confused after spending more time with them and discovering that their actions didn’t come close to what they represented themselves to be? It can be so disheartening when you find out that a person you held in high regard wasn’t quite who you thought they were. These people are out of alignment to some degree in what they present to the world. Either their true authentic self is in their core beliefs, and doesn’t come through in their actions, or it is in their actions and they don’t speak their truth.
There have been different times in my life when I’ve been out of alignment or not “walking my talk” or speaking my truth, leaving me feeling very out of sync, frustrated and emotionally drained. When I think back to my words vs. actions, I see that I was a walking contradiction! Not only was I feeling the repercussions of my misalignment, everyone around me was too! These kinds of situations breed mistrust and misunderstandings and can only be remedied through becoming clear of your core beliefs and ideals and then living them. It is in the action that we take day after day to reflect our ideals that will bring us back in to alignment.
One of my very favorite people of inspiration and knowledge is Edgar Cayce. He spoke often of the importance in setting an “ideal.” Following are a couple of quotes that speak to this.
“… the most important experience of this or any individual entity is to first know what is the ideal—spiritually.”
“First, know thy ideal—spiritually, mentally, materially. Not so much as to what you would like others to be, but what may be your ideal relationship to others!”
It is my hope that every person becomes more authentically aligned in all aspects of life so that they can live a life that is more fulfilling and joyful. Setting an “ideal” is a great place to start. In the simplest terms an ideal is the motivating influence of our lives. It is like a guide that allows us to stay focused on the direction we intend to go. Whereas a “goal” is something attainable, in Edgar Cayce’s terminology an “ideal” always keeps challenging and stretching us, keeping us within the confines of what we deem as our personal ideal.
In setting an ideal, as either a pattern of living like one of our ascended masters, or as a distinct quality such as love, kindness or forgiveness, we start seeing a progressive manifestation of these qualities in our lives. We start living our life on all levels, personally, professionally, spiritually etc., in alignment with our ideal. This chosen ideal then becomes the undercurrent of our thoughts, words and actions. By using our personal ideal as a gauge in all aspects of our life, we can more easily decipher when something or someone is not in alignment with our ideal. Whether it be a job or relationship, we can sense when something is off balance and then make the necessary changes to bring ourselves and our life back in to alignment.
I invite you to become aware of what you are building within yourselves. As you work with a conscious ideal, not only is your direction made more clear, but you are showing up in the world in a purely authentic and mindful way which allows you to shine more brightly!
I knew from the time I was five years old that I wanted to be a mother. I knew it from the depths of my soul, it was engraved in my DNA, there was no way I was NOT going to be a mom! I frequently daydreamed of the day I would bring a child in to the world and sometimes even pretended to be my little sisters mother. It seemed to be the only thing I was sure of as I was growing up because it was really the only thing I knew that I wanted to be. I had no idea what I wanted to do as a career but I knew being a mom was a definite must!
Nine days shy of twenty-three years old, I gave birth to the first of four children. I chose not to find out what gender I was having believing that it would be like a Christmas surprise the day she was born, and in reality realized it gave me great ‘pushing power’! Eleven days late, nineteen hours of labor and three hours of pushing later, I laid eyes on my beautiful baby girl, Monet Lee! My dream had come true and I felt a sense of ‘completion’ that I had never felt before. Nothing could have prepared me for the overwhelming love that I felt when I held her and looked in to her eyes.
It was a decision I’d made years earlier, to raise confident and strong children, as I had always felt like I was too timid and meek and wanted so much more for my own children. So I encouraged my little girl telling her that she was more than just a pretty face, she was smart, funny and strong! It is quite possible that it was a combination of my encouragement and her genes but as she grew, I noticed and admired her independent nature and her ‘small yet mighty’ disposition. She was a breath of fresh air, smart and feisty, never letting anyone push her around, and sometimes a bit of a challenge…
As my little girl grew, I saw that she and I were very different people. I was somewhat perplexed by this (why, I do not know), I had never before given thought to how I was going to raise a child that was the complete opposite of myself even though that was what I had envisioned. I found myself in a bit of a conundrum. Some days I would wonder if I had done the right thing by encouraging her strong will and independence. Yes, those days would be the ones she was challenging me!!! The odds were stacked against me now that she was nearing thirteen with raging hormones, Aaron Carter music and boys on the scene. By this time I also had three more children of varying ages with their own needs to be met and with their own distinct personalities.
I remember thinking how difficult it was to raise a child that is so different from me, and at the same time I was so happy that she was different than me! We had such a difficult time understanding where each other was coming from and just couldn’t easily relate. In this experience I began to see the strengths in myself through my daughters challenges and thus recognized how we could learn from one another.
Such a beautiful dance we danced on the stage of life. Sometimes a waltz, other times a passionate tango, some fun hip-hop here and there, and even entered some serious mosh pits from time to time! Throughout her teen years we continued our dance, me learning from her and her from me, loving and learning year-by-year, tears and laughter, little by little we grew…together.
My little girl has blossomed now in to a beautiful young woman who is soon to be married next month. Smart, sensitive, determined, loving, strong, compassionate and so much more! She is now nearly the age I was when I had her. It’s interesting to see that she is more like me than I ever thought before, or could it be that I have become more as she is? I have such respect for her and the life she is creating for herself and feel so much love and respect from her as well. Having been a parent for over twenty-two years, I don’t claim to have it all figured out and I am no expert, just experienced and still learning as I go, here a little there a little from each child. And I will always be proud to say that Monet is still (and always will be) my ‘small yet mighty’ girl.
It was so important for me to understand as a parent that I was not only there to teach my children, but to learn from them as well. I invite all parents to recognize what their kids are here to teach them and then just DANCE!!!
Live and let live.
Our brains are designed to label and categorize… it’s part of being human, and a part of how we evolve. The subconscious is filled with a lifetime of memories experienced as both positive and negative. It is how we perceive whether something we experience matches up as good or bad, pain or pleasure; i.e., touch a hot pan = burn your fingers!
So, our mind wants to label, categorize, and file everything away for future reference, but that does not mean we have to resort to the judgment and criticism that is often accompanied in the process. Perhaps we should allow ourselves to use discernment and refrain from being judgmental. I’m speaking of the innocent, every day observations we make of others like the way they dress, parent, eat, speak, behave, what they buy, etc.
Let’s break this down a bit, and look at some definitions.
discern (verb) - to distinguish mentally; recognize as distinct or different
judge (verb) - to form a judgment or opinion of; decide upon critically
When we choose to discern, we are looking at the person, place, thing or behavior and distinguishing how it is the same or different from us and whether it is something or someone that is in alignment with our morals and beliefs. In using discernment we are free to make our choice without becoming critical and negative. We can say “That’s just not for me.” and let it go, without directing negative energy towards the thing that we discern. Resulting in a free to be me, free to be you mutual recognition.
If we choose to place judgment on a person, place, thing or behavior, it starts to look and feel much differently! Suddenly, there is a lot of negativity involved in the process which taints both parties energetically and results in a narrow mindedness that feels very constrictive and can lead to personal attacks on another’s character and lend to a ‘holier than though’ mentality.
Think a moment about this quote from Edgar Cayce:
“. . . each soul has a mission in the earth, and is in expression a manifestation of the thought of God, of the First Cause. Thus all stand upon an equal basis before Him. Then, ye have no right to condemn self or to judge others. Let all be done rather, then, as an appreciation of the love, the thought as may be expressed in appreciation to that Creative Force called God. And the greater lessons may be learned from His manifested activity in the earth through Christ Jesus.” Wow! I think that pretty much sums it up! We are all on the same level, none higher than the next, we are encouraged to avoid condemning and judging others OR ourselves and we can learn from the examples that Jesus showed us how to treat each other.
In being confident of your own decisions in life, whatever they may be, you stand in your truth and allow nothing to shake that foundation! If people choose to be judgmental and critical of you, it is only showing you that they are uncomfortable in some way with themselves which in turn will not allow them to be comfortable with your choices. They may feel out of control in a certain aspect of their life so they try to control the lives of others by insisting that they adopt their way of doing things. It could be a lack of self esteem so in tearing others down it temporarily makes them feel better. There may be a hundred reasons people act in that manner but the bottom line is, it’s their issue and not yours. Judgment and criticism of others stems from fear not love.
We all find ourselves falling back on old patterns from time to time, so if you find yourself being critical and judgmental of someone or something, take a step back and check in with yourself. What is being reflected back to you that is something that you may need to address inside of yourself? Why are you feeling such a strong resistance towards this person or behavior? Is that trait something in you or someone you know that you struggle with? Where does the negative association stem from? In doing the inside work on yourself, you will find freedom for yourself which in turn frees others on an energetic level at the very least. Seek help if you need guidance in clearing these old limiting beliefs, there are many great modalities available that are highly effective and provide results quickly.
We are all on our own journeys in life, and I believe that people will awaken to the non-judgmental mindset when the time is appropriate for them. So let’s be gentle with each other knowing that each has their own story. We each have our personal preferences/opinions, so live them, love them and teach them to those that will listen! However, I invite you to keep them sacred as your own and to let those that choose differently to live their choices in peace and without criticism. Do your things in a way that you desire and let others do things their way! It’s in the small steps we each take to live more mindfully, with tolerance and more brotherly love that will create a better, lighter and more peaceful world. “Be curious, not judgmental.”— Walt Whitman
Positivity (is that really a word?…YES!)
Hello SOTGC readers, I am so honored to be a part of the team here and look forward to connecting with you all and bringing little “nuggets” of wisdom on how we can live more mindfully in all aspects of our lives.
I’m going to kick-start my posts with positivity. In the book The Law of Divine Compensation, Marianne Williamson describes it as follows: “Positivity is more than the absence of the negative; it is the presence—through thought, word, and action—of the positive. In other words, simply not being negative is not enough. If we’re interested in creating miracles, in invoking the most powerful creative manifestation, we must proactively be positive. There are three types of positive attitude that make all the difference: positivity about other people, positivity about possibility, and positivity about ourselves.”
When we take a look at how these three types of positive attitudes fit in to our lives we can also see where we need to make adjustments. Let’s take our work for example. We often times separate our work or ‘job’ from who we are spiritually. It’s only when we merge our spiritual selves with our work that the magic begins to happen. We no longer see it as a race of who gets to the top first, we can reside in a space of knowing that there is enough room for each of us. It’s also in recognizing that there are a myriad of people involved in your daily business lives; employers, employees, colleagues, associates, customers and so on, each of whom is a key player in terms of your overall success.
When we think positively about those we work with and choose to live from our hearts expressing love, compassion, and kindness we tend to receive the highest expression of that person’s self in return. Which then gives you the opportunity to respond at the highest spiritual level of your own self, inviting opportunity for synergy and creativity between you both. Imagine the successes you will bring to yourself as well as elevating all those around you when you live in love rather than fear!
“Separating our thoughts of work from our thoughts of spiritual devotion
is thus personally disempowering, because it throws us out of the spirit mind
and into fear. In fear, we forget who we really are. Forgetting who we are,
we forget Who lives within us. And in forgetting Who lives within us,
we lose conscious connection to our power.”
The Law of Divine Compensation, by Marianne Williamson
A workplace can be filled with ego or be a place of love and creativity. We often see disrespect, entitlement, arrogance, laziness, exploitation, disloyalty and greed. But if we choose, it can be a sanctuary for positivity. Rather than pointing fingers in blame, we can willingly understand the process of transformation, which gives us positivity about possibility.
What does it look like to have positivity about ourselves? When you adopt the mindset that we are all one and come from the same Divine oneness/God/Creator, it’s easy to see that because we are of the Divine, we are each of the same loving light and that we are not separate.. When you buy in to the fact that it’s your talent, your abilities that make you special, it creates a huge rift in our unity. When you see that in separating ourselves from each other is really separating us from our Creator, you see the importance of being in the mindset that we are all one and we all have the brilliance of the Divine within us. We recognize our greatness and our genius as an expression of the Divine coming through us, and realize that everyone has the same potential. It is with the humble recognition that we are each really ‘no big deal’ but that you and everyone else are here to act as a conduit of our Creator in co-creating the greatest good in every situation.
We can be the change in the world AND our workplace! When you shift in to positivity, everyone shifts around you!
I’m not bragging or anything, but…
Everything always works out perfectly for me! That has been my mantra for the past 2 ½ months and it has worked miracles in my life!
I’ve always been a very positive minded person and especially in the past couple of years have been more mindful of my thoughts throughout the day and keeping them in alignment with a higher order. Even in doing so, I found myself struggling from time to time with thoughts of worry and uncertainty. As soon as I would push those thoughts out of my mind, they would circle around and come right back in! Then I would find myself very frustrated because I was having such difficulty controlling my thoughts, which then perpetuated the entire uneasy and anxious feelings.
I reached out to some of my very wise and inspiring friends explaining what I was going through and among all the love and support, one friend came back with this very simple yet profound advice:
“The mantra that has served me amazingly well over the years is this:
Things always work out perfectly for me.
There is no struggle....only breaking through ego to the place where all is recognized as Divine order.”
Forever grateful I will be to my friend for these words! I want to share this gift with everyone on LTTH, because it brings me such peace in the midst of chaos, comfort in the times of uncertainty and faith that all works out for the greatest good.
Even when things didn’t work out the way I wanted them to, I started chanting in my head, “Everything always works out perfectly for me!” over and over. By stepping in to that space I am in a positive state of mind thus allowing God/Universe to work in Divine time to bring an even better outcome in to existence. Time and time again I have experienced this to be true! Each and every time I say my mantra, I say it with such certainty because it has really truly worked!
At first it was difficult for me to believe what I was saying 100%. But each time I saw the positive outcomes it strengthened my faith. Now I have no doubt in my mind and I know that “Everything always works out perfectly for me!” I only need to allow the Divine to work out all the details. This does not mean I stay in bed all day waiting for things to be ‘worked out’, I continue to ‘knock on doors’ and when one shuts I know to the depth of my soul that another will open to an even better opportunity at exactly the right time.
My hope for you is that you will incorporate this mindset in to your daily lives and be blessed with results that go far beyond your wildest expectations!
Is ‘something’ missing?
Have you ever woken up one day and discovered that although things look the same from the outside, you feel so different on the inside? That’s how I’ve been feeling lately and it’s awesome and beautiful, and leads me to reflect on what exactly has changed at a deeper level. Upon reflection, I found that I was feeling so much more complete and authentic than I’d ever felt before and that things had in fact changed at the physical level as well, I was surrounded by the most beautiful, amazing and inspiring women I’ve ever known!
Looking back on my life, I saw that I tended to shy away from groups of women and would tend to have one or two close female friends and mostly enjoyed hanging out with the guys. Guys were easy to be friends with, they accepted me for who I was, they didn’t talk about me behind my back, they definitely didn’t view me as competition, and they were supportive and loving through and through. I trusted them, had lots of fun with them and I knew they would always ‘have my back’ in any situation. I also couldn’t deny that there was a lack of ‘something’ in my friendships with guys, and I desperately wanted to feel that ‘something’…
As women, I think many of us have been mistreated in some way by someone we believed to be a friend. I have had too many of these experiences in the past and ended up building up walls around me to protect myself. I wasn’t letting anyone in! Of course I had my husband, he’s my best and most favorite friend ever, but there was still that ‘something’ missing.
About a year and a half ago, I went away for a few weeks for a certification program in San Diego. I was super excited for my training which was in a small group environment with lots of group and one on one practicing. People came from all over the country and the world to go through this program. When I walked in to the classroom and saw that there were sixteen women and one man I was horrified!!! I was going to be with these women for ten to twelve hours a day…I was going to have to connect with them! I was far out of my comfort zone with only one guy to make friends with, I had no choice but to let my walls down, just a little bit. Then something magical happened! These women of all ages and backgrounds were fabulous!!! I actually enjoyed being in their presence, and they genuinely seemed to like me as well. By the end of those few weeks, I didn’t want to leave, we had all bonded and I had made connections with these women and felt so close to them like we had know each other for lifetimes. When I went back to my hometown, I realized that I wanted a friend, one that was like-minded, with a big heart, and that I could trust. Someone that inspires me to be my best and accepts me as I am.
I set the intention of making friends, I prayed for friends, I smiled at strangers and made small talk…I became friendlier, especially towards women. It was scary to put myself out there like that but I faced my fear and continued taking these baby steps. I also knew that I needed to learn to trust myself in a new way. If we trust ourselves not to tolerate sub-par treatment from others, then it frees us up to allow people in to our lives with an open heart and not be so guarded. Soon the big walls started to crumble and break away, and with each brick of my wall that fell, a new woman would enter my life! I understood that the ‘something’ I was looking for (and missing in my life) was the feminine connection that we can only provide to each other as women.
It makes me so sad that women are so often at odds with one another. We are bombarded through the media with images of women being catty and mean to each other on reality shows, movies and even on the kids channels! I have seen mothers gossiping while their young daughters are standing right there…thus perpetuating this mentality. Children learn by example, therefore it’s our job as parents to teach and show our kids how to be kind, gentle, compassionate, forgiving and loving towards others on a daily basis. It’s so important to speak kindly of one another, if you don’t have any kind words for someone, then don’t speak at all. Personally, I can always find something nice to say about anyone. I’m not saying it’s always easy to do so, but it’s always worth it! When we are lifting each other up with our words instead of tearing them down, we elevate our own vibration on an energetic level. We ARE here to love.
Today I feel so blessed to have so many like-minded women in my life! I believe they are here to show me how to open my heart again, encourage me to be exactly as I am, and experience each of them through the gifts they bring in to the world. This is my journey with my soul sisters and I am embracing each moment of it and stand in gratitude for each one of them for their friendship!
How many of you can relate to not trusting women? How did you overcome this? What are your thoughts on how we are raising our daughters these days? How can you make a difference in your circle of friends or community to encourage women and girls to unite and support one another?