Wednesday, August 31, 2011

No. 26 - Remove What Makes You Unhappy

In my 50 Ways for a Mom to Connect with her Authentic Self, number 26 is all about getting rid of the stuff that causes unhappiness!

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And today, I made another step toward just that!  I have always despised cleaning.  But yet, I truly value living in a clean house...and have always tried to maintain such a home.  I believe I do a decent job (although my overly-orderly husband might think differently), but I am never happy about doing it.  Often the thought of tackling it hangs over my head like a dark cloud of dread.

After much discussion, and negotiating, Jeff and I agreed to find someone to clean our house monthly and today is the first day!  I am THRILLED!

Yes, I am OH, SO pleased that I did not have to take the time to clean.  Furthermore, during the time it took her to clean our house, I completed two large projects.  Plus, over the weekend, I didn't have to take the time to clean the house and was able to spend more quality time with my boys and Jeff.

But, just as important (and perhaps more so), not having the DREAD of cleaning is incredibly freeing!  I am happier and incredibly appreciative!  And now, sitting in my uber clean house (which, btw, smells amazing) after having a wonderfully productive morning is better than I ever expected! ...I even did a little happy dance!!!!!

It is clear to me, that the happiness and time that I have received is SO worth it!
I am SO worth it!

What have you gotten rid of to honor your happiness, time, and ultimately, YOURSELF?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

No. 18 - Take Time to Play with your Kids

In my 50 Ways for a Mom to Connect with her Authentic Self, number 43 is all about PLAY!
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"And I don’t mean playing with your kids simply in the spirit of pacifying them. I mean, full out, completely involved, playtime! Find a game or activity that both you and your children enjoy and dive in!"

Since the summer is winding down and school is starting this week, during this past weekend, I made it a priority to spend some quality time to simply  P L A Y  with my boys.  Currently, they are into Lego's and since I loved playing with those blocks as a child I decided to hang out in the playroom with my boys and build!  It was a blast!  Time flew by and before I knew it, two hours + had past.  The boys made wonderful creations - a tanker truck, a front end loader, a police car, plus more!  I, on the other hand put together a simple, old-school, skyscraper.  So much fun!

During those wonderful hours, I realized that too often I get caught up in all the doings (laundry, cleaning, filling out school paperwork, making sure they brush their teeth and eat mostly healthy meals, and teaching letters and numbers, manner, and...) of being a mom, that I sometimes forget about being the mom that I intend to be.

What is your fondest memory of a time that you really played with your kids?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

No. 43 - Spend Time in Nature

In my 50 Ways for a Mom to Connect with her Authentic Self, number 43 is all about the outdoors!
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I have found that I become more grounded, centered, and all around happier after I spend time in nature.  Today, Jeff and I and our boys spent the afternoon at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, one of the best zoos in the world!

It was a beautiful day and it was hard not to smile when the sun was shining, the boys were happy, and Jeff was taking the afternoon off to enjoy time with us.  Plus, how could I not feel wonderful when we were surrounded by...

Gigantic Gorgeous Giraffes

Enormous Elegant Elephants

Proud Polar Bear

 and Meerkat Mayhem!

But, my most favorite part of the day, were the moments we spent in the Butterfly Habitat!  After seeing mammoth elephants and long-necked giraffes, watching the butterflies was a delightful change-of-pace.  Each and every butterfly was stunning and beautiful!  (And, since I brought my camera with my new zoom lens...I was in CREATIVITY nirvana!)

It was a wonderful day!  And, for me, a huge reminder about how important spending time experiencing nature is for my happiness and well-being!

When was the last time you took time to notice the butterflies?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

No. 25 - Define What Your "Happiness Is..."

In my 50 Ways for a Mom to Connect with her Authentic Self, number 25 is all about HAPPINESS! 
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Do you remember “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” when the Peanuts gang sang about what Happiness is...?  Why not start your own Happiness is... List?

For me, Happiness is...
walking on the beach.
when my one of my sons reaches out to hold my hand.
moments of silence coupled with realizations.
giggles and full-out belly-aching laughter.
feeling an authentic connection with a new friend.
being a part of my child's Aha moment.
tears and difficult emotions that I know are leading me to the right path.
reading a good book.
building a sandcastle.
believing in the possibilities - even the ones that are fear-filled, and at times may seem impossible.
listening to my sons playing nicely with each other.
unexpected beautiful nature.
weaving words.
believing that I can and that I will.

What's on your Happiness is... List?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Moment to Savor

My husband Jeff and I spent a fantastic long weekend at Martha's Vineyard!  The time there was so special that I kept wishing I could bottle up the entire experience.  So that, on a gloomy, stormy, rainy day (whether internally or externally) I could pull it out and, if only a little, experience it all over again.  It was one of those rare magical experiences and I drank it all in. 

As the ferry pulled away from the island dock, I consciously replayed the wonderful moments on the theatre in my mind.  I closed my eyes, squeezed Jeff's hand, and watched the movie.  A huge grin took over my face, as my giddiness exploded and my heart swelled!  I realized that I wanted - no, needed - to fully experience everything so that I could solidly adhere the moment to my heart.  And I did!

Now, four day later, I have done some reflection and realize that I rarely take the time to savor the significant moments of my life.  Instead, I have let them happen to me, and then, if I am lucky, I later realize how impactful the experiences were.  In fact, I had never comprehended doing anything different, until now.

My experience on Martha's Vineyard, was different.  And, I can't help but think that by consciously savoring the moment, I made this experience a gazillion times better!

Do you savor the moments of your life?