What Fuels You?

whatfuelsyou

Aside from caffeine, right? Of course, that is going thru your veins.

But what gets you out of bed and even head to said coffee? For me, it is my son. I became a SAHM one month before my son was born. I wanted to get ready to be at home and nest and get everything ready. Flash forward to having to buy a bassinet 2 weeks into Ben being born haha.

I knew I wanted to stay home with him. What I didn’t know, was how lonely I was going to be. My husband worked long hours, my own mom lived 100 miles away at the time and my mother in law had a job and my sister in law had her own two kids. So I was starting this very new life and I felt really disconnected.
I worked in retail for a LONG time where every single day I was interacting with people, that said more often than not, they were assholes but still, I was interacting.
Humans are social. I am loud, but shy, but social. I am also the random person who may muster the courage to compliment a stranger. And seeing that stranger LIGHT UP, after a small honest compliment, lights me up! Is there a job where I can compliment people all day? If there isn’t, there should be.

Ok, so how could I interact with people from home with a baby? Grocery store? Sure where I look like a zombie and trying not to scream at screaming baby. Eh? maybe not.

Life and the universe has indeed given me the resources to do just what I wanted. I am connecting to people through designing fun, inappropriate and encouraging decals for mugs.
So here is my struggle this week, be careful what you ask for right? So I have this way to connect to people but I have also attached a financial burden to this because it is a shop and takes money to run. But the root of that is this fear that if  I am not making money, I am not doing it right or like I am failing.
But REALLY, every post, every like on IG except the bots, those people are connecting with something. Maybe they are even smiling at something I have posted.
THAT is what fuels me. That is what I was yearning for when I was so alone.

The financial stuff is me having to have self-discipline and being smart with my money because here I am at 28 and
still am an idiot with my money.

Connecting with people and making people feel good, that is what fuels me. I do it easily every day with my husband and my son. I am a nurturer first, a profit-er last. I put this pressure on myself and it gets so bad that I feel like everyone else is putting that pressure on too which is Bullshit.
If you are stuck, I suggest going back to what fuels you? What keeps you going? How do remind yourself of that when shit gets tough? Please tell me in the comments!

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.

 

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.

Confessions

Let’s talk Scary Mommy Confessions. First of all, if you are reading this and do not have kids yet, thinking about having kids, not sure about having kids.. I would go with not reading Scary Mommy Confessions.

I started reading them when I stumbled across them while nursing my son probably a year ago. There are some funny ones. Some positive ones. But mostly, they are scary sad confessions.

I get why they are anonymous and it makes me wish I could HUG every single sad mom out there! And just listen to her. I just want to listen, and let her cry and nod sympathetically and let her get it out of her system, in real life, with real eyes looking back with compassion.

It is said, that mothers are like the sun. The sun of the family. No matter what, her attitude should be the brightest to help brighten the lives of everyone she loves.

Sometimes, the confessions are on the comparing ends of things. Other peoples partners, other peoples kids, other peoples days, job, no job etc. Comparing is evil. It is self destructive.

If mothers are the sun, comparing is a literally a giant rain cloud that everyone notices, everyone picks up on it, everyone feels it, everyone reflects it and the cycle continues. Please stop comparing.

You are loving your kids the best you can and that looks so different for every single mom and parent, no matter how similar some situations may look at first glance.

It can be the most difficult thing to accept our own individual circumstance. Not only accept it, but then to also be happy about it!

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I love this quote from SGI President Daisaku Ikeda. “The plum is happiest when it blooms as itself in full glory.” Right where the plum is, it grows into the best version of itself. That is all it can do. To even think of being something else, would only cause it suffering.

You are who you are where you are when you are.

By embracing all that is around you, all that makes up your life right now, only opens you up for opportunity to grow and be happy.

Once that happens, it is amazing to look back and see how everything happened for a reason, even the times that you were at your lowest and unhappiest.

For a long time, I was that miserable person. After I graduated from Art school, I stayed working in my retail job, I was promoted and once your promoted, you are often stuck, seemingly. I spent a lot of time thinking I had nothing and everything I did have was crap.

I didn’t appreciate anything, and now I deeply appreciate everything. Everything I once considered a waste, I now cherish as part of my history in this life. Looking back on it, I don’t really recognize that person.

I hope that for the people who are “stuck” right now, they do come to a place in their lives where they look back and see that everything happened for a reason. It is the most incredible warm and fuzzy feeling I have ever experienced. Like deja vu but on a cloud.

Find something to be grateful for everyday, kids and parents both should get in on that, together! Teach them early to appreciate anything and everything, no matter how small. Especially the small things!

A forest isn’t built up of one tree. It is several, numerous trees that makes it so!

 

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!