mindful living

Divine Mother Amy { Motherhood Photo+Interviews } Advocate

Divine-Mothering Photo+Interviews

{ Divine Mothers of July Session 1 }

{ Amy }

Advocate

“It’s been a wild ride. I started with twins. They were born 8 weeks premature, emergency C-section, preeclampsia, I almost died… It was crazy. And then they were fine!

I breastfed them. No one believed I could do it until I did it.

Then I had my next son. That was also a wild ride. It was a very traumatic birth and we thought we were done.  And then my big surprise!”

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“At that point we discovered that I had a bleeding disorder. It was a very high risk pregnancy. But he ended up being my easiest delivery. A picture perfect birth. He came so fast we didn’t have time to get in the water. But of course he has been the hardest child… but he was my fourth so I knew we were going to get through it.

I’m trying to live day to day. It’s belly laughs, dirty hands and feet, water balloons, ninjas…

The more kids you have the faster they grow up.”

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“I was so determined with my first. They were going to be fine, they were going to be great. I wanted them to reach their milestones early; roockie mom mistake. With this one I didn’t even want to put him on the ground…

It’s seeing them become people.

It’s also that you grow up faster. You’ve been there. You have matured as a mother and it’s not your first rodeo.”

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I have a sense of responsibility. Knowing that I have this knowledge. I have a responsibility to share it.

After the twins were born I was doing my masters degree and got involved with Mom2mom. It was actually something that happened with my mentor that made me really angry and I had to write a letter. That’s how I started advocating for other women. I thought, if I have to advocate for myself, I will do it for other women too.

I’m now the executive director of Mom2Mom Global. We have so many people wanting to start new chapters.

Everyone is uncertain. You just never know. You think you got it. With my fourth I thought, preemie twins…I got this! Then he had colic, dairy issues, all kinds of stuff. My husband and I were like, wow, this is worse than twins.”

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Amy also followed up with an incredible article she’s written to be published in Return to Mago blog in August 2015.

Something we touched upon via email but not during our interview is the loss of her womb. Amy recently had a hysterectomy, due to medical reasons. “It’s a journey for me to find my new center.  This has been a time of tremendous growth and accepting of new responsibility in completing the life cycle of Maiden, Mother, Crone.”

I wanted to share an except of her work, and can’t wait to see her complete article published soon. Pure poetry, Amy.

For four days more, as the days begin to shorten in the thirty-fifth year of my life, I will bleed my last moon blood. I will wonder at the mystery of it, of our bodies, of the moon, of the Great Mother and the cycles that constantly regenerate our lives and our world. I will meditate. I will engage in rituals of caring for myself. I will enjoy the gifts of my relationships, of the beauty around me, of the permeability between energetic planes. I will do the work laid out for me on my new path with renewed vigor and the confidence that comes from being a Crone and knowing that somehow, all the resources I need are already there, I only need to call them.

-Amy Smolinski. Excerpt from a personal essay to be published in Return To Mago in August, 2015

Thank you so much Amy for participating and being a part of this project. Thank you for sharing yourself and your beautiful energy with fellow women.

Repeat after me,

I am an amazing woman.

I am beautiful.

I am strong.

The light within me is divine.

If you are looking for breastfeeding support in the local KMC area, please check out the Mom2mom website and FB. If you are not local, as Amy mentioned, new chapters are starting up, more info here.

Amy participated in Divine-Mothering Photo+Interviews of July Session 1, check out this blog post for more images of that session.

If you are interested in this series please consider subscribing to our blog and following our FB page.

If you are interested in participating in this project, please check out the Divine Mothering Community on FB and click Events.

Photography by Liliana Beatriz Fotografia

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Divine Mother Natallie { Motherhood Photo+Interviews } Self Love for the Next Generation

Divine-Mothering Photo+Interviews

{ Divine Mothers of June Session 1 }

{ Natallie }

Self Love for the Next Generation

“I’ve always had issues with my self image.”

Natallie is a beautiful mother of two girls who is now intent on making sure they are well on their way down the path of self love and self respect.

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When I asked her why she wanted to participate in this project, she replied that she wanted women to feel proud of themselves. These photo sessions are about “Being proud of who you are as a mom.”

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Being a mother of two girls, specially, Natallie wants her girls to learn to love themselves as they are. “I vowed to never say anything negative about myself in front of them. Nothing. I don’t want them to learn that from me.”

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“I don’t want them to think… that their mother, the person that to them is so wonderful and special… that if she thinks something is wrong with her, then what’s wrong with me?”

Natallie, you are an incredible mother. The seed of self love that you are trying to instill on your daughters will surely take root. And hopefully, it will take root in all those who read this. Because the truth is that we learn this self hate. As we talked about this subject I myself remember the time of my life when I began to understand the narrow construct  of what is considered beautiful in our society.

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The only way to combat this narrow view of beauty is to challenge it. And that is what we are doing here. Challenging what is considered womanly, what is considered feminine, what is considered appropriate, what is considered sexual, what is considered natural, what is considered beautiful.

Natallie, you are so incredibly beautiful. Thank you for participating in this photo series and sharing yourself with us. I hope that you continue practicing self love toward yourself not just for the sake of your girls who admire and emulate you, but also to show yourself the kindness and love you deserve.

May we all remember to be kind to ourselves.

Natallie, you are amazing!

You are beautiful!

You are truly divine!

Danielle participated in Divine-Mothering Photo+Interviews of June Session 1, check out this blog post for more images of that session.

If you are interested in participating in this project, please check out the Divine Mothering Community on FB and click Events.

Photography by Liliana Beatriz Fotografia

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Women in the Wild { Divine-Mothering } Normalize Breastfeeding

Inspired by the incredibly positive reaction to her epic breast feeding photo, my good friend Erin White, from Erin White Photography, decided she wanted to do more. Trying to harness the energy from the first image she is now planning a series of images for breastfeeding mothers all over the word! Not only that, but the out cry from bottle feeding mothers to want to join in has compelled her to include them in future photos, promoting love, health, and nourishment for all babies! I can’t wait to see the results.

If you are interested in participating in a Women in the Wild group photo, contact Erin White Photography here.

 

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Today I’m sharing with you some action images from the photo session in Baumholder, Germany. The location was an hours drive for many participants and the excitement was exponential as we were planning a water photo. What was chosen was a lovely hiking trail winding at the side of a picturesque creek. Some participants came with family or friends to watch their older children. I myself brought my husband, he and my daughters, as well as other spouses, went on a hiking excursion as we worked on the photos.

 

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It was truly a remarkable sight to see all these lovely women and children frolicking through the forest trails to the sound of swooshing water and song birds as we hurried to beat sun down. The joy and euphoria is truly palpable once we were all in the water shooting. The water was crisp, the air warm, a perfect summer evening.

 

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Erin, you are amazing.

 

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The joy that you are bringing to these women is incredible. The attention you are getting from this project will surely bring you positive energy and more incredible opportunities. I want to thank you for reaching out to me to assist with the event and the photos. I truly love this craziness and I couldn’t be happier to be part of it!

 

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I had the great pleasure of shooting individual photos for the participants at this event, and the results were just jaw dropping. So much beauty and warmth. It was difficult to keep myself composed while I edited the photos. The pure love, the location, the stories of the women, and the sound of the river still ringing in my ears. Pure perfection.

If you would like to see some of the images captured, check out this blog post “River Goddesses“.

If you would like to read Krista Zurn’s incredible blog post about the first breastfeeding photo, check out this blog post “The Shame Game“.

If you are interested in participating in the Women in the Wild project, contact Erin White here.

If you are interested in the photography in this post, visit www.lilianabeatriz.com

If you are interested in following the Divine Mothering Community, like our FB page and check out our Events.

Blessings ladies, you are amazing.

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River Goddesses { Divine-Mothering }

These are the individual photos captured during Erin White Photography’s second epic Breastfeeding photo to normalize breastfeeding.

The photography is done by Liliana Taboas, from Liliana Beatriz Fotografia, who assisted with the photo shoot and helped documented the event.

There is no way to describe how powerfully beautiful these images are. Shooting them was one of the most thrilling experiences I’ve ever had. As I shuffled through the water I called out to all the mothers “Please! Don’t move! We’re doing individual photos!” As a look of uncertainty crossed some faces I added. “Trust me, you are NEVER doing this again! You need these photos.” With that a ripple of laughter spread through the group and we set up the photo as everyone made their way safely out of their water with their children. It was truly a magical experience. Thank you, again Erin, for including me in your project.

I give you, what I can only describe as a collection of River Goddesses.

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If you would like to see some action shoots of this session, check out this blog post “Women in the Wild”.

If you would like to read Krista Zurn’s incredible blog post about the first breastfeeding photo, check out this blog post “The Shame Game“.

If you are interested in the photography in this post, visit www.lilianabeatriz.com

If you are interested in following the Divine Mothering Community, like our FB page and check out our Events.

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Taking the Good Along with the Bad: Build up your Positive Karma and let go of the Negativy in your day

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Let’s talk about the one thing that keeps coming up over and over and over. Moms are stressed, cranky, sleep deprived, just battling their way through the days. It’s no surprise that many mothers just kind of let the negative energy flow, and one moment of frustration keeps rolling into the next, and into the next, and before you know it, it’s been a really bad day, a bad week, month? But all this negative energy we are harvesting is truly like taking small sips of poison during our days. Overwhelmed with frustration we lash out at our children, our spouses, and ourselves. We might snap at our toddlers for something totally insignificant, or be distant and short with our spouses even when they are trying to show you much needed affection, or we may succumb to our weaknesses be it binge eating, that extra-extra glass of wine, smoking, ignoring your proposed workouts, etc. etc. This negative energy can be built up in the same way one builds up positive energy, but when we are stuck in that stressed out, frustrated mind set, it can be difficult to switch gears and turn an unpleasant experience into one that can help build up our positive energy instead of our negative. Remember, once you start building up positive, or negative energy, it will start growing almost immediately on it’s own. So how do we turn negative, stressful, and frustrating experiences into opportunities to build up positive energy instead of negative?

It is definitely not an easy task to readjust your mind set when our instinctive reaction to something unexpected can be quite defensive. But we must try to practice taking the good along with the bad with as much openness, love, joy and grace as we can muster. Life is filled with great joys and great pains, and many many many surprises. As soon as we learn to accept all of these moments as one unified experience of life, and not separate instances in life, we will be able to let our love, joy and happiness flow into every aspect of our lives, not just the joyous moments.

Reacting to surprising or unexpected events with openness and love can help up build up our positive energy and karma.

So how do we accomplish this?

First we must start to recognize that negative energy rearing it’s ugly head into our day. Despite our instincts to think other wise, it is not the dog’s fault you are having a bad day because they saw something cool on the other side of your yard’s fence. You are not having a bad day because your toddler is over tired/frustrated/screaming bloody murder. You are not having a bad day because your spouse taking too long getting home after that long day. It turns out that we are having bad days because we choose to engage, build up, and even help grow our negative karma/energy. One wrong turn and we willingly lock ourselves into that negative mindset that only brings more negativity our way. When we are having a moment of frustration, we have to stop for a moment to recognize these feelings. Yes, my dog jumping the fence, again, is quite inconvenient. But lets face it, she just needs a walk today, and quite likely, so do I. My child screaming, however dramatic, is usually remedied more quickly with a calm and loving attitude than a frustrated and angry one. And so it goes, that in handling one not so convenient situation with a little more grace, we start to feel that positive karma building up. Didn’t it feel good to reverse gears and not give in to that negativity. All of a sudden what could have triggered a series of frustrations is instead giving you feelings of vindication and success. Not only did you remedy the situation with grace, you also showed yourself how incredibly awesome you are as a human being. Keeping your cool under pressure is never easy!

Once you start applying this mindset on a consistent basis you will start to realize that you are very much in control of your mood. Turning small moments of frustration into moments of success and vindication can make you feel like the super human/mom you are. And that positive energy will really start to flow.

So to sum things up, lets recap in 3 easy to remember steps.

1- Recognize you are feeling frustrated by the given situation.

2- If there is anything you can do to remedy the situation, do so with grace.

3- Think about ways in which this situation is actually helpful to you. Perhaps you need to practice patience, thoughtfulness, kindness, understanding, respect of differences, love, or gentleness. How else could we practice these virtues without opportunities to do so?

By being mindful of your attitude as well as your reaction you can help create positive energy and karma in your day. Don’t let yourself indulge in the negative reaction, this is the easy and natural reaction. Try to take control of your day and your mood by steering towards the positive and let that energy flow.

What are the common triggers in your life that turn a perfectly lovely day into a bad one? Have you noticed a pattern? When does your mindset switch to a negative state?

I hope this article helps you remember that we truly are in control.

#divine mothering, mindful living, spirituality, uplift

 

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Overturning the Chaos and Creating Balance in Your Home by Practicing Being Fully Present in Your Day

Who’s ready for some fun yoga words? :) I am currently reading The Secret Power of Yoga by Nischala Joy Devi and I am deeply enjoying learning more about the Yoga Sutras, so I thought I might share.

One aspect described in the Yoga Sutras are the three attributes of nature or gunas. These gunas are sort of like a little dance between inactivity (Tamas), overactivity (Rajas), and balance (Sattwa). All elements in nature are in a constant dance between the gunas. There is a time for rest, and a time for activity, and the smooth rhythmic back and forth between the two creates a state of balance. It is within this balance that we find that we are at peace with ourselves and better able to manage stress, listen to our inner voice, and can easily enjoy the present moment.

As mothers with homes filled with the chaos of children it can be very difficult to find that balance. Times of too much action (playing, chasing, dancing, singing, cooking, cleaning) and times of too much inaction (a few hours gone watching movies/tv or browsing on the web). When we are feeling out of balance we find that we feel as if we don’t have enough energy for the times of action, and a sense of “I’m wasting time” on the times of inaction, which should be a time for relaxation. We have to help ourselves gracefully move from action to inaction to regain that sense of balance that helps us feel both energized as well as rested. To do this, you must find your own rhythms and stick to it.

For many mothers, specially new mothers, finding this balance and rhythm is extremely difficult. We struggle sleeping, relaxing, and resting, struggle keeping up with house shores, struggle finding actives to do with our children and having more quality time, struggle making time for our spouses, family and friends. We can find ourselves in a constant state of imbalance that fills us with overwhelming stress. So how on earth do we remedy this?

Be present in each moment.

Often things that stress us out are in the past or in the future. We are unable to to dwell within what is happening right now. But being observant and mentally present in your day can help you alleviate stress.

Here are 5 ways in which practicing being present can help you find balance and rid yourself of worry, stress, and help you getting into your own rhythm of the day.

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1- Be present in your living space.

Often we ignore our dirty dishes, the cluttery toys, the overflowing laundry baskets. We choose to instead focus on other things… Perhaps try and enjoy few moments of quiet by browsing the web, or maybe play with your children. But the mess is loud, it keeps calling your attention, your space is not balanced, and you can feel it.

If there is something in your space that is calling your attention, do not ignore it. It is calling you for a reason, and that reason is that you are feeling out of balance. To restore that balance you must hear the call, and attend to it. If your child also is in need of attention, most young children are able to “help” with chores (for really young toddlers, by help, I mean unhelp, but they still enjoy the activity, and that’s good).

Surprisingly (or maybe not so haha), most task of this nature only take 10-20 minutes. And once it is done, that sense of balance is restored and you can now rest peacefully without the nagging dishes or laundry staring you down. A time for action, and a time for inaction.

2- Be present with your child.

Sometimes we are trying to take a moment of rest just just as our child comes up to us and asks to play a game, dance, read, bring them as snack or drink, etc. We resist, trying to cling to whatever it is that we were just about to do. But how many times are these things seldom important. Replying a text message, watching a movie/show, finishing the last pages in a chapter, or browsing the web. Your young child may still not understand why an object seems to be taking priority over their perceived needs.

After asking your child to wait a moment, sometimes we really do need to finish a task, or if anything ,a moment to readjust our thinking. Engage your child fully. Take a few minutes to play, talk, and listen to your child. If they want to do an activity, go ahead. If it is a time confusing activity maybe offer something that you do have time for. But most importantly take this time and be fully present and engaged. Once you have had this together time you (and your child) will find it much easier to take a “mommy rest” and continue enjoying a moment of relaxation however you choose to use it.

3- Be present with your family and friends.

It is very easy to neglect your spouse, family and friends when you are a mother. Taking care of more than one human being is a lot of responsibility, between that and all those other obligations we may have, we can get a little short on time. But often we neglect small moments than can help us connect. If you receive a call from someone you haven’t spoken to in a long time, take it, if it’s a bad time make a point to call back. If you start chatting with someone who you really miss talking to, soak it all in and take a moment to really listen and communicate. If your spouse, or significant other, shows some unexpected affection, take it. Stop what you are doing and take a moment, even just a few seconds, to really enjoy that feeling of closeness. If you notice a small moment of quiet where perhaps you are the one who can show affection, do so.

Enjoying your loved ones gives you a sense of love, joy and relaxation. Take these moments in, your soul needs them.

4- Be present in your rest.

Resting your mind and body is important. But it can be difficult if your mind is racing. This can happen when you don’t have enough moments of action during your day. To truly enjoy your rest, you must feel like you have accomplished enough throughout the day. Practicing fully present in your day will help with this. Once you decide it is time for a rest, take it. You have attended to your space, your child, your family, you deserve small moments of personal rest. Read a few pages of your current book, or catch up on a fun blog. Go ahead, enjoy facebook, youtube, or whatever social media tickles your fancy. Tv? A movie? You’ve got it. You won’t feel that sense of guilt over “wasting time” because you practicing being fully present. You have already played or picked up a few things, it is ok to ask for a mommy rest.

But don’t let yourself sink too far into to your chair, after some time, other aspects will start calling your attention. And being fully present, you will listen to their call, and attend to these matters.

5- Be present for yourself. 

We have taken care of the home, the children, the loved ones, and enjoyed some rest, but we have neglected ourselves! We should have moments of action dedicated to ourselves. No matter what you enjoy, find some time for it as well. Take a run, a walk, spend time crafting, do some yoga. It often seems like there is no time in the day for such things, but try to find it. If you can bring your child along, bring them (I’m a big fan of jogging strollers!). Walking and running is such an accessible physical activity that can help clear your mind and you can have your child tag along. Make use of double strollers and if you have even more kids, have the older children ride a bike. Being outside can be refreshing for everyone. If crafting is more your thing, try and set up a space that is both child friendly and suitable for your craft. It can take practice, but your child will get used to this type of activity and will slowly be more accepting of this time.

Once again, these times of activity can be followed more deeply enjoyed small moments of rests. You will feel accomplished, relaxed, and motivated to keep going.

Once you have achieved a good rhythm of times of action and inaction, you will start to feel balanced. This will give you sense of peace that relieves stress. You will be able to more fully enjoy both being busy and resting as you will soon realize there is enough time in your day for both. Once we learn to pay attention to ourselves and our surroundings to know when it is time for each, we will be better able to find balance.

 

#divine mothering, mindful living, practicing being fully present, motherhood, uplift

 

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Meditating with a Toddler – Can it be done?

Just a short while ago, I would have admitted that finding time to meditate with a toddler in toe was impossible. But this year I decided to start a new habit of finding time for 15-30 minutes of yoga and meditation every day, first thing in the morning.

It’s now been 3 weeks since I started doing this and I wanted to share what I have learned so far.

At first, I would try to get up a little bit earlier than usual. I wanted to have enough time alone before my daughter woke up. I have a pretty late riser on my hands so this really wasn’t much of a bother, and it just seemed logical to try and do this while she was still asleep.

This worked out well at first, particularly because it was still the holiday season and my husband was home as well as some visiting family. If my daughter woke up, she was kept busy by others. But as the family left and my husband went back to work, I had to start figuring out what to do in the case in which my daughter woke up before I was finished.

Instead of meditating in a different room as I had been, I decided to meditate in our bedroom close to where my daughter sleeps. I had been meditating downstairs by our larger window, but this felt too far away in case my daughter woke. The window in my bedroom has a much less pleasing view than that of the downstairs, but I figured some sunlight is better than none.

At first this change worked well, my daughter continued to sleep peacefully while I quietly did a simple sun salutation routine as well as a few minutes of meditation. See my earlier post for an example of my morning meditation. But eventually, after one particularly long night, I slept in, and barely snuck out of bed with enough time for my little routine.

I could hear my daughter moving around in bed as I tried to focus my attention and finish my morning routine. But as I sat down to meditate the jig was up. I was no longer alone. But instead of feeling defeated, I found I was already in a peaceful state of mind. My meditation time is usually about creating more awareness of the blessings in my life, particularly my family, so this morning, when my daughter came to embrace me while I was having my “quite time” I sudden appreciation for her unexpected presence.

She came up to from behind me and hugged my neck and I just soaked in the embrace and focused on how great it felt as opposed to thinking about how my “me time” had been cut short and interrupted.

This reaction came as a surprise to me. I had been dreading the thought of my daughter interrupting me since I had started meditating in the same room as she slept, but on that day I realized how silly this was! I was trying to be in tune with my blessings, and here she is, filled with joy and love, coming to greet me first thing in the morning.

Ever since that morning, I no longer feel stress over my daughter waking before I am finished. While I usually have to cut things a little short if she wakes, and my quiet time is a little less quiet, the energy she brings can be incredibly uplifting and more than makes up for a shorter session. If anything, they become more powerful.

So I realize now that when you mediate in the presence of young children it is important to harbor their positive energy instead of our instinctive negative reaction. Focus on the love you feel between yourself and your child and embrace it. Hug your child if they approach you. Welcome them into your space and invite them into your meditation. Perhaps they may want to join, or maybe they will simply observe. Sometimes your child may just wonder around the room entertaining themselves for a few moments as you finishing things up, they are still benefiting from the positive energy you are creating. Whatever works out, make use of your child’s energy in the room. Just as they feel your calm energy, embrace their loving attention and use it to expand your sense of joy and peace.

I wanted to share this experience in the hopes that it inspires others to give meditation a try, even with little ones in the home. It can bring much needed calm to the mind and heart and help you regain some sense of balance in our often messy days.

I would love to hear of other moms who meditate with their children. And if you have never tried it, I invite you to do so and share your experiences.

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#divine mothering, mindful living, motherhood, spirituality, uplift, meditating with children

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Let Mothering Heal Your Soul – Alleviate Motherhood Stress by Amplifying Your Positive Energy

Let’s be real here. Motherhood can be a very stressful time for women. Caring for young children in the selfless manner in which mothers do can leave you ragged and overwhelmed. Somedays are spent in “survival” mode where we can just barely put one foot in front of the other to get through to the next nap time or bed time. Even on these hard days there are small burst of light that have the potential to turn your mood around.

There are many ways to harness positive energy during your day, today I want to discuss how to begin your day on the highest possible note. This is simply one way to alleviate these negative feelings and stress.

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Starting your day on a positive note.

Didn’t get to sleep? Your child(ren) kept waking up crying, asking for milk, maybe a flue, or worse, perhaps they slept fine but you found yourself unable to get proper rest, rolling around in bed half the night. It’s quite natural to wake up not so happy on nights such as these, but it’s important to try and shift your focus before you start building up that negative vibe.

First thing in the morning, go to a large window in your home that has lots of sunshine. Make some space on the floor by this window and grab a cushion/pillow/yoga mat. Prepare yourself for a short mediation time by sitting in lotus pose, kneeling, or perhaps just sit in a chair if that feels most comfortable; standing with hands at your side or palms pressed together over the heart is also a nice calming pose. If you don’t have a pleasing view, or your windows simply don’t get much light, find a peaceful area anywhere inside the house (or better yet, outside).

Take in some deep breaths. Breath in deeply through the nose and exhale through the mouth. Feel the calm building up and your mind clearing. Look out your window into the light. Keep breathing. Once you feel you have entered a peaceful state of mind, start thinking about the loved ones in your life you are thankful for. Name each one of your children (out loud, our quietly in your mind) and visualize their faces, their unique personalities, and their love for you. Take a moment to allow the feeling of love for your child fill your heart with peace and joy. Take more deep breaths. Continue on to think abut the blessings of this new day. A roof over your head, the food you will eat, the time you have with your family, and the opportunity to start anew. Remember, each day is unique, yesterday may have been a difficult day, acknowledge that yesterday is in the past and today is a fresh start. Forgive your children, and, more importantly, yourself for any upsets that might still be bothering you. It’s not worth it to start the day with that weighing on your mind.

Personally, I like to finish this type of meditation with a small bow. I place my hands on the floor touching the tips of my fingers in a triangle or diamond shape and touch my head to the floor. As I do this I reaffirm my gratefulness for a new beautiful day.

Now, some of you may be wondering how on earth this is possible with a little one who wakes long before you do and there is no such thing as “morning quiet time”. If this is the case in your home, don’t worry, you can still do this meditation. If your child(ren) insist on being with you first thing in the morning (of course they do! they love you so dearly!) have them meditate with you. This may be intriguing for them and they might happily follow your lead. Ask them to sit facing you and take a few deep breaths. Keep them engaged by having them tilt their heads from one side to the other relaxing the shoulders and neck muscles. Now, out loud, list the names of your family members saying “Thank you for ____” including yourself. Next continue with “Thank you for our home. Thank you for our food. I am loved. Thank you for this day.” Pausing between each sentence and taking a deep breath to really feel the words you are saying. Finish up with a few more deep breaths. Very young children may not last the entire meditation session, that’s fine. Finish it on your own.

Now you are ready to start your day filled with peace, love, and positive energy. Soak in this small peaceful moment and let it follow you throughout the day.

Try committing to doing this every morning for one week and reflect on it’s effect on your mood. Does this help you feel more connected to your child? Perhaps you are more aware of the specialness of a new day. Do you feel more spiritually aware? More observant of your blessing?

I truly hope this tip helps make a positive difference in your day and I’d love to hear about it!

#divine mothering, mindful living, motherhood, spirituality, meditate

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7 Ways to Practice Divine Mothering and Enhance Your Mental, Physical, and Spiritual Wellbeing

So… Exactly what is “divine mothering”?

I happen to believe, as many others have over the centuries, that the act of raising children can be a sacred task. Children are our future, our next generation, our most innocent, our most wise, our most loved, and our dearest treasure. They inspire a powerful selfless love, demonstrate incredible compassion and understanding, and exhibit joy, curiosity, and wonder. They are simply the very best of us. And since the beginning of time, the vessel by which they arrive on this earth, the nurturer, the first caregiver, and the first teacher, is the mother. This task mothers are given is sacred. There is simply no other way for me to describe such an honor, privilege, and duty.

So, if I am to treat parenting as a sacred task, I would do so with respect, love, and devotion. And if I am to do this, it means that pretty much my entire day is going to be filled with small acts of devotion not only towards my child, but also towards our home, our bodies, our minds, our family, our community.

In essence, our life is transformed. And if you wish to view it this way, mothering (and parenting), can become a means to expand your spiritual consciousness, your inner light and reaffirm your own divine presence within.

divine mothering

7 Ways to Practice Divine Mothering

1. Find and listen to your inner voice.

Let’s call it mother’s intuition for now. There is no denying this secret power. Mothers sometimes just know. Intuition is a powerful tool and can help guide us on the best course of action. Don’t take your mother’s intuition for granted. Find that voice, listen to it, and put your trust in it. When it comes to your child, and your life, there is no voice that is more important than your own. Trust and believe in yourself.

2. Treat your body as a temple.

It can be difficult finding and listening to that inner voice when your body isn’t getting what it needs. To tune in better to the messages your heart is trying to deliver you should treat your body with the upmost respect and dignity. It is after all, the dwelling of your soul, spirit and divine spark.

Try to eat as cleanly as possible. This may mean different things for different people (and it should! Every body is unique), but in general more fruits and vegetables. Focus on eating whole foods with the least amount of artificial preservatives, flavors and chemicals. Organic can be expensive, but consider switching some of the foods most relevant to your daily diet. Buy fresh local produce when available.

Drink water, lots of it. Instead of juices or soft drinks, as often as possible, choose water. Our bodies need it much the same way we need oxygen.

3. Practice being fully present.

In a modern era of being on the constant GO, it’s difficult to enjoy any single moment fully. The tv or radio may be in the back ground as you try to have a conversation. Your smart phone incessantly vibrates and beeps while you are attempting to color with your child. Even cuddling up and watching a movie as a family after a long day can turn into a dizzying screen frenzy as the laptops, tablets, and smart phones are kept on your lap or side table.

This is the world we live in. It’s just what we were handed. We must go out of our way to be fully present in our day, in our child’s and our loved one’s lives. Practice purposely leaving your phone in a different room throughout the day. Try starting and finishing small daily tasks without getting distracted. Cook and enjoy the smells and sights, after picking up around the house admire your handy work, sing, dance, play, craft, and read with your child(ren) with the tv off, the phone hidden, and your mind present in what you are doing.

4. Let your child be your teacher.

Often we assume that as parents we must always take the lead and that we are the ones who must teach. But our children come to this world with lessons they are here to teach us. Watch the joy and delight they take in small tasks. Watch how deeply focused they are. Marvel at how young infants savor fruits and vegetables that we would turn up our noses at. Pay attention at the deep focus and determination toddlers have when working on a new skill. Let yourself read more deeply into young children’s gratefulness, their compassion, and their unconditional love.

Your child has much to teach, and we have much to learn.

5. Take time for stillness, meditation and contemplation.

Along the lines of treating your body as a temple, making time for stillness is important to find balance in your day. After running around the kitchen preparing an elaborate meal, take the time to sit and calmly enjoy it. When your child naps, take a moment to relax, meditate, and rest, even if only a few minutes. At the end of the day after everyone has gone to bed, or perhaps in the morning before everyone wakes, take a few minutes to meditate in whatever way you feel is soothing. Even if the only time you have are the few moments you have before you fall asleep, take some deep breaths, quiet your mind, and enjoy the calm.

6. Take time for movement, and activity.

There is something incredibly soothing about movement, for the sake of movement. Taking a long walk, a run, exercising, and doing yoga can have a very cleansing effect on the mind and body. A physical activity helps clear your head, fills you with positive energy, and helps express stress from the body. It can feel difficult to find the time, but commit to 30-60 minutes of physical activity once or twice a week. Your mind, body and heart will thank you.

7. Let your heart be fully exposed.

Most importantly, let the love you feel for your child completely intoxicate you. There is no power on this earth greater than love. And the unconditional love you give and receive as a mother is an uplifting, healing, and contagious kind of love that will bring out the best in you and those around you. Feel this love, focus on it’s immense unexplainable size, and reside in it. Let this love and the joy it brings lay exposed for the world to see. You will glow.

 

In later posts I hope to expand and elaborate in more detail each of these topics, as each one truly encompasses so much more than what has been said. For now, I would love to discuss your first impressions! What do you make of Divine Mothering? Does one of these seven aspects call more your attention than others? Which one resonates with you the most?

#divine mothering, healthful living, mindful living, spirituality, motherhood, uplift

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