trustyourjourney

 

When I first started putting words on mugs, I needed some inspiration so I posted on facebook asking people what some of their favorite sayings were. I got a great response and this one, in particular, has always stuck with me. I have probably styled it 20 different ways because nothing seems to do it justice.

Recently, I have struggled with this kind of trust. Everything seems to weigh down and there is no light at the end of the tunnel and it feels like everything is falling apart.

As it may seem that way, I still wake up every day. I still go thru the motions of what I need to do, want to do, am expected to do. Day in and day out. The amazing thing is that nothing is permanent. So what seems like the end of the world today, in 3 weeks or 3 months or 3 years, will be resolved.

The calm that comes over me when I think about things that have happened and that I have already gone thru, how happy I am that those things are over, that is the calm I wish I had while the shit is happening. Trusting your journey means that the bad times will not last forever, but at the same time, nor will the good.

I truly believe in appreciating the good for however long it lasts but knowing that it will not last forever, and trying to endure the bad knowing in my heart that I will grow from this and it too will not last forever.

Once we get thru an obstacle, it is the biggest relief and we want to bury it, be done with it.

But remembering how good it felt to get thru that thing, might help us trust and have faith that whatever the current thing is, will end too and we will eventually feel that way again.

 

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Warning: Feeling Sappy!

Hello, hello Hey-lloh.

Things have been slow on the blog, there goes a tumbleweed.

But things have been picking up in life!

I opened an Etsy shop, my son started school a couple weeks ago, 5 days a week! Crazy. So now I drop him off at 9:15, run to the post office, come home make an order and pick him up at 12pm! And do it all over again.

He LOVES school you guys. The way home, all I hear, is More School, More School.. over and over and over. Until we watch and finish the Dinosaur movie and then it is More Dinosaur movie, More Dinosaur movie…

Anyways, with him starting school and loving it and I am feeling about the Etsy shop, I am really hoping this becomes a substantial endeavor. But it also makes me think that I do not have very long before Ben really is in school full time and that he is growing up. He already doesn’t need me to rock him while we sing songs before bed. He just jumps right up, hugs his stuffed turtle and Grover and listens to me sing, probably thinking, why are you still singing, Mom?

Tonight we watched the Avengers. We had to fast forward all the times the Hulk was not shown because my son was just saying More Hulk More Hulk. Which was fine because we had to fast forward a lot of the violent stuff too.

I say all this because I do not want to forget. When we first moved to GA and Ben was sleeping in his crib in his own room, struggled with bedtime a little bit. But when we started to read books and sing songs things got better. But then I introduced a “wind down conversation” if you will. We just talk about everything we did that day, what we ate, who we saw, where we went, what we watched, played etc.

And then one day, I made up a poem. Right off the fly and no sleep probably. But I have not skipped saying one day since. And now, at 2.5, my son says it with me. Now that I am not holding him while singing or talking, I see in his face how he immediately started to calm down and long blink his little eyes as soon as he hears the first line.

We all make-up shit for our kids. Songs, dances, poems, whatever. I just don’t want to forget it, or, he forgets it because I love him and it’s our thing and I will probably incorporate into a speech at his wedding! I’m not crying!

I typed it up and here it is. Maybe your baby might like it!

Who knows, babies are so weird.

bensgoodnightpoem

My bedtime poem to my son every night.

A Simple Exercise on Gratitude by Ana V. Ramirez

There are many benefits to practicing gratitude on a daily basis. You shift your focus to positive things, you become mindful (and bring about) more of the good stuff happening in your life, you reduce stress and anxiety, etc. It’s easy when things are going well to be grateful. But what about when things go wrong? Is that when we throw gratitude out the window and complain about everything?
Being grateful when things are not all sunshine and puppy dogs is challenging, but that’s when it’s most needed. In moments of crisis focusing on the negative will only bring about more negativity—and who needs that?
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So I will share a simple exercise in being grateful that I use when it would be easier to complain. The backstory: I have chronic back pain and last summer it got worse. I have been in and out of physical therapy and it’s likely my doctor will be recommending more drastic measures, such as epidurals, soon. Today my back hurts and there’s pain going down the side of my leg. It frustrates me to no end because it makes it hard to work. And I like my work. But rather than focusing on the pain, I choose to focus on what I can be grateful right here and right now.

Here’s a list of seven things I’m grateful for in no particular order:
I work from home so I can pause and stretch my back often during the day
It’s a beautiful day today—blue skies, a light breeze and a perfect 70 degrees
I had grilled cheese for lunch
My dog is nearby and I can go snuggle him whenever I want (although sometimes he huffs like I’m torturing him) 🙂
My office is looking almost as Pinterest-worthy as I would like
I have time to write a blog post in the middle of the day
A client mentioned additional work I can do for her

I could go on, but will leave it to you for now. What can you be grateful for right now?

 

More from Guest Writer Ana V. Ramirez 

Not only is she a writer, her website is
filled with beautiful decorative imagery!

Stopping the Cycles of Unhappiness

Happiness.

I want people to become happy. Not just my family, friends, so on, I want strangers to be happy. I am unhappy that so many people are unhappy.

I know unhappiness. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was miserable, angry and did things to make others unhappy. Because well, misery loves company.

You know who loves company even more? Happiness.

I was raised by my mother who did the very best she could! She also happened to be an alcoholic. For years I didn’t know what made her the way she was sometimes. I didn’t know why she would tell me “Shut up, God, your voice goes right through me.” I didn’t know why she was violent toward my step dad or not warm and fuzzy or affectionate. It wasn’t until freshman year of high school that I realized I was being raised by an alcoholic. I swore up and down I would never touch a drop of alcohol because I didn’t want that to be me.

Unfortunately, those years of not knowing and too few years of knowing that did make her do it and that I saw my mother drunk more than I saw her sober, all made me exactly who she was drunk, while I was sober. My nature had become my mothers drunk nature. I didn’t need a substance, I just had that anger and misery in my heart at all times.

And it reared it’s ugly head at every single situation in my life. I do not know how anyone hired me, kept me, dated me, loved me or even liked me. I found the worst in everything, everyone. All day. I became abusive, emotionally and physically.

At 22 years old, moved out of my mother’s house for 5 years, I realized I had become what I didn’t want to be, which led to self hate and depression because I didn’t want to be this way but didn’t know how to stop. Should I go to AA? But I wasn’t drinking. I wasn’t doing anything.

There were no meetings for “I wake up like this.”

Now, at 27, I am happy! Like stupid happy. I married the man of my dreams. I have a wonderful little boy who I just love to watch grow up and learn and explore. We just moved into the perfect house for our little family. I am lucky enough to stay home with my son. And just started a new business that landed a pretty big account two weeks ago!

What happened?

I woke up to the fact that I was the problem. I had let my whole person become a victim of my environment. I was sucked into believing that this is just the way things are, the way they will continue to be. I now know the truth, and I wouldn’t wish that stuck, unhappy mentality on anyone.

I found Buddhism. I learned about cause and effect. I learned about karma, human and family revolution. I learned that I could stop the seemingly never ending cycle of unhappy marriages, horrible parent-child relationships and substance abuse in my family. I have the power to stop years of unhappiness.

I am about spreading happiness. I am about enlightening people to the fact that their happiness is theirs to take control of.

The power that moves the universe, is also the power that is inside of you.

Use it for good.

 

Thank you Universe!

It is 8:02 pm. I am waiting for 8:30 to roll around so I can jump on a conference call.

A conference call, I am stay at home mom, what on earth am I talking about?

Well I am a stay at home mom but I am also a member of the SGI (Soka Gakkai International). It is a Buddhist organization and a few days ago, I was asked to become a leader in my area. I said YES.

Holy crap I said Yes.

I did. And I am excited and nervous. But it is also impeccable timing. My little sister who lives 800 miles away from just became a member and is doing a wonderful job at maintaining her own practice- so good that she just got a new job. A little background here, she had been unemployed for almost a year. So that is pretty big!

Also, I have started to actually get serious about fitness and doing good stuff for my body.

Now, I am hesitant to say that because my past experience is very wishy washy. On again, off again, great for 2 days and then a rest day becomes 3 months.

The difference this go around is I know I will not see results in a week. Or maybe even two weeks, or three. Hopefully by four, I mean c’mon. But knowing that I am doing this to feel better, knowing that I am doing something to be better feels incredible.

Yesterday, I had all the energy in the world and I think it was because I did my yoga in the morning, today, I focused on photographing some items in the morning, kinda was feeling sluggish. So I made myself do it in the afternoon! Three days in a row! And now here I am, writing my 500 words before the conference call.

I have also recently seen the absolute protection from my practice.

Have you ever had a car accident? Its panic right? Was it your fault? That is even more panic! In January, I did and it was totally my fault. I knew it, they knew it, I told the cop so he knew it.

Once the panic subsided, I was scared my husband would be mad, how will we get everything taken care of, how will I take my son anywhere to do things?? Our families live 800 miles away.

Except, when I had the accident my mother in law and aunt were both here to watch my son while my husband and I got a rental car, made sure the car got to the collision place, and talked to our insurance company a million times. Which, while we were in the rental car place, we were laughing! Joking with each other about how the car needed maintenance and this was its plea for help. The young lady who helped us said we were “her favorite couple because of how we were handling this situation.” It was a good day. It was a good day getting a rental, a rental we needed because I crashed the car.

When our family left, everything was pretty much taken care of.

Fast forward a few weeks, still have the rental car. My mother and sister come to visit. We got a call from the rental place saying we needed to return the car because it was reported to them that our car was fixed and ready to go. Our car insurance was maxed for rental so we had to drop it off. Luckily, my mother had driven her car from Baltimore so we were able to use her car to take my husband to work.

Miscommunication was handled, we pick up the car, get a warning message that we need to pull the car over right now. Clearly, this was the last thing we were expecting as it had just spent a month in the shop. Again, luckily my mother was here so we had a car to use while we re-dropped the car off to get the insides checked out. It was no biggie, and now she is really all better.

We had family visiting from the start of the accident, and then again at the conclusion. Family just so happened to be here and go above and beyond for us, they live 800 miles away. These dates were set in stone and planned weeks in advance, before the accident even happened!

THAT is protection from the universe, my friends. And it is just one of the many reasons I practice with SGI. I am honored to be asked to fill a position of leadership. I hope to continue growing and developing. And now the call is in 7 minutes.

Wish me luck, good night!

Do Something for You First!

I am writing this as my son starts to wake up from a nap. I see him on the monitor rolling around either trying to get comfortable again or deciding he isn’t tired anymore.

My days revolve around that little guy. I have managed to get yoga in 2 days in a row and read some.

I just started the Fire Starter Sessions from Danielle Laporte. I read the Desire Map last summer and it made a lot of sense to me but I have not quite applied it to my life.

The Fire Starter Sessions is aimed for people who have a business. I technically started a business in January this year. It is called Mamabird Studio. So far it has been a way for me to photograph products and share them with the world. I have done some work for 2 friends of mine who have their own Etsy shops and that has been spiritually rewarding. They are happy! It makes me happy to see them light up at images of their items they have put so much into.

Even better, they have gotten more sales and more views! So that is awesome. And that is what I hope to do for many other people as well. I love product photography. I am completely inspired by people who think, design, create and make wonderful things AND have the courage to share them with the world.

I am excited to use the Fire Starter Sessions as a tool to hone in on how to brand, how to share, how to network. I look forward to a summer full of festivals and shows and hopefully connecting with people.

This business is close to my heart because I think that imagery is very important when selling stuff. I know what they are selling is close to their hearts as well. I genuinely want to give them the best images of their items. I love to photograph the stuff they have made with love.

Also, I have really enjoyed having something for me. When my son goes down for a nap, I have something to do that makes me feel good. Of course there is other stuff to do, dishes (like right now) laundry, dusting, sweeping, vacuuming (not that I can do that while he is sleeping, that would be rude).

Here’s the interesting thing, I feel better doing the stuff I need to do after I have done what I want to do. After what I want to do is done, the stuff I need to do is happily done! I am not rushing through it to get to my personal stuff.

That makes me happy, stuff gets done happily, I am happy, my husband is happy, my son is happy! Everything is connected!

I am about to say I was unhappy but when I say I was unhappy, I mean I was unhappy when my son wasn’t awake or my husband wasn’t here or he is here, but he was working in the shed. Please do not get me wrong, life is so good, I think I will wake up and it might all be a dream.

But, not having something that wasn’t connected to being a mom or being a wife left feeling aloof and frustrated. Sometimes, I would get angry and take it out on my husband. That is not fair. And my husband, Mr. Honesty, told me, “look I need to do something for me. I feel accomplished working in the shed. It isn’t my fault you do not have something.”

And he sure was right. I didn’t. I had books to read, sure. I had laundry to do, yeah, but nothing I really felt good about. So now here I am, doing something for me! It feels amazing.

Do what you want to do first. I am not saying ignore the stuff that has to get done, but once you do what makes you happy, the other stuff isn’t so doom and gloom!

Happy Wednesday!

Motherhood

I am a mom. I am a mother of one, and unless the universe decides otherwise, that is how it will stay. Yes, we are “one and done.” This usually befuddles people and they do not hesitate to go into why we should have another baby.

He needs a sibling.

He will be so lonely.

You just HAVE to have another one.

No he doesn’t, no he will not, and No I do not have to have another baby. We have quite a ways to go before we know if we are raising this one right.

I love children! I love babies, I loved being pregnant. I love loving one child. I am already split into mom and wife. And they are very different roles with very different responsibilities.

I would rather be the best mom to one, and the best wife to one, and the best me for me, than keep having babies. Do I miss the baby stage? Sometimes. More often, no. I truly enjoy watching my son learn how climb, even if he does almost give me a heart attack.

But you know what? If he were to have a fall, like a bad and needs me right now fall, I can go to him. What if I have a newborn to nurse and my son takes a fall? Then I hope for the best that he is ok? Or I rip the baby off my nipple abruptly and piss him off?

Some moms, I am sure, say Yes! It will be ok! You will love them both equally. Yes of course I would love multiple children. I would know that I love them, but would they know that? Would I accidentally pick one over the other more often than I think I do? Would tending to ones needs more affect the other? Uh yeah.

I have seen it in my own relationship with my sister. She says our mom raised us differently and yes I think that is true. My mom will say, you two were so different. Yes I believe that is true too.

I guess, I just don’t want to risk it. It is too big a risk. The future of an entire human being hangs in the balance of how I raise him. How I love him, how I teach him. Adding another for what? My selfish desire to hold another baby for 6 months before it starts crawling, standing, walking away from me.

I didn’t have a baby to have a baby. I had a baby to be a mother, to nurture and love and raise a little human life.

I am so glad I wrote that out. That is probably going to be my statement to people when they ask me questions about it. Because they do. In line at the grocery store, or at the mall, at the playground, or most recently, a work Christmas party.

And now, I am a mom. And a wife. And I try to be the best of those very different things every single day.