Full of Adventure and Wearing A Lot of Hats

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I think this photo really sums up my 34th trip around the sun. Full of adventure and wearing a lot of hats. (Maybe lugging some baggage too but I’m gonna stick with the first two. 🙄)

I’m spending this week, in between changing diapers and solo parenting, reflecting on what worked and what didn’t this past year as I turn 35 on Sunday.

I’m inviting in more simplicity this coming year. Even if it’s not occurring circumstantially (hello foster care!) simplifying what I can and moving toward what feels good and supportive, physically, mentally and energetically.

Us Virgos love reflection and my soul is asking for more of it. Less focus on pleasing others or getting “gold stars” and way more focus on simplicity, nourishment and, dare I say it, EASE.

I truly love getting older. Bring on the laugh lines and the expanded heart and all the lessons.

In Gratitude

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For my upcoming trip to the Rocky Mountains. (I picked this photo because I'm dreaming of cold weather.)
For my new shiny gold birthday Birkenstocks.
For almost (!) Virgo season. My planning and visioning has been at an all-time high.
For Ella Mai and Cautious Clay. In major rotation right now.
For miracles. There have been a lot of them in our life as of late.
For little beach getaways with my family.
For dreaming about the future and where we are headed.

It's Not my job to manage your perception of me

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"It’s not my job to manage your perception of me.”

When I heard these words on a podcast with Brooke Castillo I stopped in my tracks. I wrote it down. I meditated on it. And honestly come back to this simple phrase every single day.

I explain myself a lot. I notice myself framing parts of my life, namely foster care, sobriety and marriage, as a way to “figure” it all out. I like things to be tidy and to make sense but in all honestly I’ve never said “I don’t know” more.

We are meant to evolve. We are absolutely allowed to change our minds. It is not our job to manage (nor is it even slightly possible) what others think of us.

My job is live authentically and wholeheartedly and as present as possible. And stay in my lane. That’s your job too.

On Ritual: Yoga, Meditation and Scribbling to Bliss ​

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I used to have a lot of free time.

This was completely lost one me of course. I cringe now thinking of the many, many times I complained about travel or my to-do list. The irony is that my life is much more "full" these days but I'm also way more grateful and fulfilled. 

Before baby boy came I took the month of November to ground in my rituals. I remember saying to my best friend that I was going to meditate every single day and not drink coffee so that I continued that when our little kiddo arrived from foster care. “Sounds good,” she said. I have no doubt there was a major eyebrow raise on the other end of the phone.

And then he came, seven days old and so much younger we expected. Just like that my morning rituals flew out the window. For a few months there I could hardly differentiate morning from mid-day. "Groundhogs day" my husband would call it, pulling us out the door for a midday walk.

It has taken several months to recalibrate, to meet myself where I'm at. Between sleep deprivation and living with this high level of uncertainty, I wasn’t exactly feeling like myself, (In fact I taught a yoga class about five weeks in and taught the same side three times in a row.. Microphone and all. My friend Allyson finally pulled me aside and said, “Are you okay!?" Ah, to be human..)

And now about seven months into mamahood and a very new version of myself I’m remembering what’s absolutely imperative, and non-negotiable, for my self care. Here's what is feeling like nourishment.

Less Phone: I use an app called Freedom. Ironic that I'd use an app to cut my phone time but it has helped so much. Every night my phone goes on "lock mode" at 8 pm and doesn't unlock until 7 am. I can text or take phone calls in an emergency but I can't look at apps, web browser, etc. It's been beyond helpful and you truly can't unlock it so it helps if you're like me and your willpower in the phone department is ... lacking.

Meditation: I’m working with an amazing life coach and she has me committed to meditating every single day. Today is Day 39 and I sit every morning, sometimes again in the afternoon as well. I want to do this for the rest of my life. Whether I'm in complete silence or the little guy is crawling all over me I sit. It's a non-negotiable now and has created space for me to feel much clearer, more trusting and "held."

Movement: I'm finally getting back into a movement practice. I try to work out 3-4 days a week whether that's a long hike, a sweaty yoga practice, Pilates, spin, etc. It's been awhile and it feels so good to be back in my body and feel some endorphins.

Reading: I recently got a library card and downloaded the app "Libby" on my iPad. Currently loving YA and mystery novels. Send any rec's my way!

Coffee Shop Days: Every Monday I pack up my laptop, my headphones and my English bulldog Rosy and we head to a coffee shop to sit outside and get a whole lotta work done. I spend a good amount of time writing and scribbling and getting clear on my intention for the week. Giving myself Mondays to ease into the week has been so rewarding and something I truly look forward to.

What are your favorite rituals? What's feeling good to you as of late?

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Boundaries: The Beauty of Saying No and Making Space

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As a mama I have about a quarter of the time I used to have. And it’s made me so much more clear on what I need in that time. Having a busy social life isn’t super high on my list of needs these days.

What is? Taking time to write, to be outside, to connect wholeheartedly when I’m with someone, to nap when I can, to breathe deeply, to spend time on my yoga mat, to dream and scheme about the future with my partner.

When I was younger I used to feel that I had two personalities - quiet and inwardly connected me and super social and “will do anything for a laugh” me. I could never see how these two parts of me could coexist. So I ignored my more introverted self and used booze and really any distraction as a way to ignore my boundaries and personal needs.

I love what Alex Elle says about boundaries : Boundaries and barriers are not synonymous. Boundaries leave room for growth, adjusting, shifting, and learning. Barriers prevent, keep out, insinuate indestructibility, and aren't easy to move through.

As a recovering people pleaser I know how hard it can be to ask for what you need. Then to follow through and make it happen. To let people and things go that no longer serve you. But it’s the most necessary work you can do. There’s no reason to be ashamed of your nature or your needs or the season you are in. It’s all unfolding as it should.

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In Gratitude: Sunday mornings, sunny afternoons, good books

For airplanes and time to write, meditate and unplug.
For Sunday mornings in bed with my family.
For Shelli, my newly found coach and confidant, and her wisdom and grace.
For deep breaths and remembering to take them.
For the super sweet gifts from my friend Tracy Keough.
For this book
For the ability to travel and teach and learn.
For sunny afternoons in Echo Park Lake.
For Lacy Phillips and her teachings.
For this tea infusion that is making my hair grow so freaking fast and full.
For my library card and the eight zillion YA novels I’ve read in the past two months.

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