Archives for January 2012

How to Begin Again

I’ve been unapologetically absent here in 2011. Since November/December of 2010, when I was challenged to examine the way I work and live in the world, it’s been a process of letting go of old patterns of behavior. The way I was engaging here was clearly off — not in the outcome because I truly believe in the community we are creating and supporting — but my process.

Let me tell you how it was… like many bloggers I know, I was burning the candle at both ends. We had way too many commitments for the number of hours in the day: TV appearances, guest columns/posts, events… and as much as we loved creating content and providing resources for our moms and partners, I came to the realization that regardless of how successful we are, I just could not maintain this pace.

I actually had to “walk the walk” and listen to my intuition, which was saying that I had to put this down and allow the Universe to guide me to a new way of “doing,” one that is actually sustainable.

That’s where I’ve been for 2011. Learning a lot about boundaries, about grace, about relationships, and about humility. That is a big lesson: humility — that I can’t do it all, that whether or not I work an extra five hours that day or work at all that day makes not one iota of difference in the grand game of life on this planet, that if I hang on stubbornly to the belief that the only way that things get done is if I DO IT MYSELF, I am limited by the capacity of my own effort — which is not all that much.

That ego-driven thought is a tough cookie. It was born out of my need to survive my childhood but I know in my heart that to achieve my life purpose, it’s a way of being that has to end.

I’d love to say that here I am, a brand-new me in 2012. But in truth, it’s with tentative steps that I dip my toe back in, knowing more than ever how little I know about life and mothering but with a much more open heart to receive guidance from that still, small voice.

I hope you’ll join me on what I hesitate to call a “journey” as much as a stroll… to rediscover an honest and humble place in the family of things.

~ Ria

How to Set Powerful Resolutions this New Year

“Where love is, so is transformation.

…because love is transformation, moment to moment.”

-J. Krishnamurti

We are now well into the second week of 2012. How’s your New Year’s resolution going? If you’ve all but given up on resolutions, you are not alone. Zen Mommy talks about why most resolutions leave us feeling guilty and looks at the difference between “change” and “transformation” with Carol on Great Day St. Louis.

Maybe you set a New Year’s resolution and are still rocking it; eating better, exercising more, clearing out the clutter that has somehow successfully taken over most every nook and cranny of one’s car, home and office since it was reined in, January of last year.

Maybe you set a resolution for 2012 and have already broken it. If that is the case you now get to decide, is it worth reviving?

Or maybe you resist the idea of resolutions all together. You’ve watched them come and go in years gone by, each time largely failing to truly help you reshape an area of your life that you hoped to change, alter or in some way improve, and this year you’ve just chosen out.

If you are in any one of the three above categories, I invite you to join me in setting an empowering resolution for yourself and your life for 2012. What will make it powerful? One simple word. Love. Creating our resolutions from a place of self love and acceptance verse change, i.e. wanting to make something better, more or different (which is where most resolutions come from) makes all the difference in the world.

Let’s look a bit closer at how this works.

Setting Powerful  Resolutions in Four Steps:

1) Write down your resolution.

It can relate to any area of life or be specific to parenting:

EXAMPLES:

  • “I’m going to get more organized at home and/or work…”
  • “I’m going to start exercising more”
  • “I’m going to be more patient with my kids”

2) Now, take a moment and reread your resolution.

As you reread it, look for any negative beliefs you may hold that might be driving your resolution. What is behind your desire to change this area in your life? Many times, our desire for changes comes from an underlying feeling of not being enough.

EXAMPLES:

  • “I’m going to get more organized at home and/or work…” (I am so unorganized – life is out of control – there are not enough hours in the day)
  • “I’m going to start exercising more” (I am out of shape – I’m fat – I hate my body)
  • “I’m going to be more patient” (I am a bad mom – I wish I was more like so-and-so – I’ve probably permanently screwed-up my kids)

3) Next, write down and re-read the negative belief(s) behind your resolution.

Realize that any resolution born from guilt, pain or fear will most certainly set you on a course for failure, leading to more guilt for eventually breaking your resolution. This step is very important.

Before you go to “change” any area of your self or your life, spend some time with it as it is. Breathe and see if you can let go of the story you’ve made it mean… the drama… and just be with the facts of the story. (Ex: The fact behind the negative belief “I’m fat and ugly” could be “I am 20 pounds over weight) Breathe.

Sit a moment with things exactly as they are without judgment. Accept them. Accept yourself exactly as you are right now. See if you can hold love present even as you think about this area of your life exactly as it is.

From this place, where love is present, you can create your life, not just react to it. From this place, where love is present, so too is transformation. If you feel this shift to love, move to step four. If you have any difficulty here and want to move deeper in transforming the negative belief you hold, there are some wonderful tools for forgiveness on this site by Dr. Michael Ryce that will assist you including his forgiveness worksheet that I invite you to check out.

4) Begin again.

Think about your resolution in new words, declaring what you would like to create in any area of your life by completing this sentence:

“The possibility I am creating for myself and in my life is _____________.

After going through this final step, the EXAMPLES from above might read instead like this:

  • “The possibility I am creating for myself and in my life is structure and order.”
  • “The possibility I am creating for myself and in my life is time for myself.
  • “The possibility I am creating for myself and in my life is peace.”

Make sure to write what you are creating, not what you want to avoid, like “to not yell, to not eat bad foods…” If you are still saying what you DON’T want — that is exactly what you are going to get.

Use positive, creative words. Write them down. Post your new resolution all around you on sticky notes to remind you of it throughout the day. Say your resolution to yourself each morning you wake up and every night before you go to bed. The possibility you hold for yourself and your new year WILL begin showing up in your life.

Happy New Year!!! May 2012 be filled with joy, self-love and acceptance for you and your family.

I hope you will share this exercise with your kids. What a BEAUTIFUL gift for we as parents to give our children.

Transformation.

——————

Suzanne Tucker, aka Zen Mommy
In addition to mommying to two magical girls born in 2000 and 2003 and twins born in February of 2010, Suzanne co-owns a holistic health center with her husband Shawn in St. Louis, Missouri  where she practices as Certified Educator of  Infant Massage and health education teacher. Certified in a number of healing and life education approaches, Suzanne offers parent coaching and is the co-creator of the Yoga Parenting approach to positive parenting.