I am so excited to welcome and share this new journey toward saying hello to my soul. After newborn bliss x 3 and years of toddler madness and excitement I have come to realize that in order for me to maintain balance and sanity I need to carve out some “Me” time.
Simply sharing my experience is part of connecting the dots, here are 5 baby steps I have implemented that have helped improve my mindfulness and connection with my soul.
A quick hello from me and how this all came about.
Kiara and I first met working for a fashion wholesale company in Vancouver and instantly became close. We met when she was living in a townhouse on “Tobruck Ave” in North Vancouver. We spent many years hauling bins of clothes across Western Canada, eating, drinking and dancing as you do in your early 20’s. Until she moved to LA to follow her dreams and heart. Over the past 10 years, our friendship has seen many boys come and go, breakups, moves, jobs, new friends, babies and so on. I feel very grateful that through the years apart and all the change in our personal lives we were able to remain so close.
It was not long ago on my birthday dinner my best girlfriends came over with take-out as my husband was away that Kiara and I really started to share on a more spiritual level. That night as we sipped our wine Kiara told us all about a new idea she was having for her blog and all of us got into the conversations about meditating and mindfulness. I remember thinking that conversation was my Birthday gift, a gift from the universe. My spiritual awakening had begun.
When Kiara first asked me to be a contributor to the new section of her Blog I was immediately thrilled at the idea and instantly felt compelled to say yes! And then there it was, just as I agreed all the worry and doubts came pouring into my mind. What will I say, will I be judged, will people like me, is working with one of my best friends a good idea? So that is exactly why I knew I had to do this. It scares the shit out of me, but those are the best adventures, right? Here’s to trying something new.
Like all things in life, change is inevitable, it actually took having my third baby to really understand this and embrace the sweet chaos of a newborn again and trust that nothing last’s forever, just like those very long sleepless nights. (FML) Although the day’s/nights were long, the weeks, months, and seasons go by so fast. Once I settled into the new groove of having a newborn in the house again I found it easy to slow down and be present in each moment soaking up all the goodness that comes along with what I like to call “Newborn heaven” and I probably embraced it more, because I knew he was our last. I have no doubt that any mama out there will agree with me in saying the moment your sweet babe is in your arms the sounds around you fade when your eyes meet, your heart races and the feeling of ultimate true love rushes over you….there is no greater feeling in the world!
But here’s the thing, becoming a mother your first, second or third and so on, it changes you. It is the highest honor there is, but make no mistake…you will be forever changed. Yes, the life you had gets turned inside out and upside down but it doesn’t end. It’s just different. Like now you’ll be lucky if you get a shower in, you’ll maybe wash your hair once a week, 7 am feels like a sleep-in, your curfew will be much earlier on, Girls night out and you’ll totally forget about all the things you said while you were pregnant like, I will never be a stay at home mom or do the co-sleeping thing. Rather you will find your self looking at photos of your baby you just took while they’re having a nap. A complete infatuation am I right?
Between Nursing on demand, wiping noses and asses, picking up toys, dog poop, being climbed on, drooled on, called upon, and just plain needed the reality of me being a stay-at-home mom of 3 littles and my fur baby (dog) has really set in. There are days I feel like an Anna Wintour bad ass mom boss and other days I feel completely overwhelmed, out-of-sorts, depleted and would hide in the laundry room and have my self a little cry. For the past 4 years, I have been so occupied by little peoples needs, I somehow pushed mine to the side. I’m an overall “happy” person day to day and feel very fortunate to be able to be at home with my kids while they are so little but I found myself asking ”so this is it, this is my life now?”.
I was feeling pulled towards something more, something for ME. Almost as if my soul came forward and was like “Oh HELLO wakey wakey!”. It was time to start trusting the magic of new beginnings and change up my daily practice. Clear my mind and “Create space” if you will.
So where did I start? SELF CARE. Seems so simple I know, but I think most of us usually put kids, partners, family and friends before our selves.
I knew I needed to give my mind, body, and spirit what it truly craved so I could live to my fullest potential. I started by writing down the small things I loved and that make me feel Happy. Things that were attainable and even possible to accomplish here in my own home. Ok so the spa, blowouts, or going to get your nails done ( I know these things make me happy too) but those are not what I’m talking about. I am implementing self care rituals that will naturally become healthy habits in my daily life that can be written into my schedule and practiced in an attainable way. Think about the things that bring you joy and even the things that don’t. Here are my 5 baby steps that I have implemented into my life that I feel have impacted me and thus my family so far. If I can do it, so can you.
1. Move your Body:
Get up and walk, run hit the gym whatever you can do to move. Even in the rain, I bundle up the kids and we go on an “adventure”. Sometimes I think to myself…no I can’t be bothered getting all the kids ready the stroller rain cover umbrellas and yada yada but once we are outside and we all have the energy of fresh air flowing, I never regret the extra effort. Moving my body just feels right, it makes my soul happy.
Start your day with some of your favorite music playing. Or Better yet sing a song while you’re in the shower or getting ready. The vibrations in your body will send happy signals to your brain. Ever think about those people who are whistling away? They’re not angry. LOL
My kids never complain about music on, they actually love it and I feel it lights up everyone’s moods. It feels good to have a dance party during the witching hour, I feel like it distracts their minds just as much as mine.
OH MY GOODNESS, why was I not doing this before? I am currently holding myself responsible to meditate 3 times a week but any amount has really made a difference. I will elaborate on how I fit this into my life in more detail in the near future. The key is to not dive right in and try to sit in silence for 30 minutes, I am taking baby steps. I am trying to train myself to be content with doing nothing, to begin with. This is extremely hard for me. I am the type of person that runs full speed once I get going and then my family keeps the fire burning all day long. My suggestion for new comer meditation Moms is The Live Awake Podcast is perfect for a newbie. It’s very easy to listen to, not so much breathe in… breathe out, chakra talk, but easy listening motivational and positive conversation and the episodes are 10-15mins.
I love to read. Pre-kids I use to read all the time before bed and now it’s like “oh i should fold the laundry or clean up the playroom etc, its all crap. Haha. Make time for your self. Set aside a few nights that you are going to do something that you enjoy. Actually make a schedule because I know first hand it’s too easy to forget or push aside. Reading a book helps me escape from the day to day. I find this works best for me the nights that I also schedule the time to meditate as I’m already relaxed and don’t have the TV on or any other distractions.
Journal. It’s so good to get some thoughts out on paper. the good the bad the ugly, just write it and then be done with it. Don’t judge your self for what your thinking.
I am still working on writing a daily gratitude journal, this is in capital letters on my to-do list. From what I hear it has huge benefits to your well being in the long run.
5. Alone Time
Bathing is something I personally love to do. It instantly relaxes me, even in my non-reno’d small bathtub. I light a few candles and depending on my mood have a glass of red or just some hot tea and sit in silence. A quiet house with no interruptions is a must for me to really enjoy a bubble bath, so I usually get the time at night once all the kids are in bed or while my husband has taken them out of the house. I encourage you, fellow Mama’s to do something where there is no thinking no listening just you and silence and just be with your thoughts. Even if its just flopping on your bed for 10 minutes.
Feel free to share any kind of self love rituals you have incorporated into your life and your families. Lets share some Mom secrets.
“This above all: to thine own self be true” –William Shakespeare