What’s blocking your flow?

 

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The other day I went outside to rinse out the kitchen garbage can with the garden hose. I pulled the open end out of the coiled decorative hose box, and pulled out a few feet and turned the water spicket on. I sat there holding it waiting, and watching, and only a few drips were coming out of this 50 foot long hose. I continued to stand there, getting more and more annoyed that just this little bit was dribbling out. As if my annoyance and impatience was going to make it come out faster and harder. I’m sure even my neighbor, a few houses away, could see my eyes roll and as I tugged at the hose, and shook it…honestly like that was really going to help the situation. I was so annoyed! I now know that there is a kink in the hose and I now I need to unroll this entire thing to find it or go and wash this can in the sink, YUCK!

Have you ever felt like this? Knowing exactly what needs to be done and not having the patience to fix the actual problem, and make things work easier for the next time. But rather sit there and stew over the fact that this is annoying, you don’t feel like doing the work, and immediately start to blame whoever may have done this to the “hose” to cause you such an inconvenience. Sound familiar?!?

Why is something so simple yet so hard to bring yourself to do sometimes? And why does that kink have to be what feels like 800 spins around this coil to get to a place where I can undo it? And why can’t i just do it already, it could’ve been done if I just started right away. But noooooo, I just had to sit here and tug on it, shake the hose, and walk in cirlces and mumble curse words to myself.  Well folks, if you haven’t met your ego yet, this voice in your head causing all of this frustration is it. Yupp, that voice that is convincing you that you don’t need to do it, or try harder, or do something different. It will throw all of this at you in an instant to test you and see if it can keep you in your comfort zone. I know, what does this have to do with the hose? Hang on, we’ll get there.

Neal Donald Walsch, author of Conversations with God says, “What you resist persists. What you look at disappears.” Makes total sense. If you actually address the problem the problem goes away. If you keep pretending it isn’t there….you got it, it will stay there. This became so apparent to me as I slowly started unwinding the hose. I have had some creative blocks, money blocks, and to be quite honest, a lot other blocks. But if I can take the time to go back and dig through habits and patterns I just might figure out where the kink is that is blocking my flow. Because situations and lesson keep happening until you finally do something different to move past it. So if you feel like you keep finding yourself in the same situation, this is your ego trying to keep you there, by throwing that same bullshit lesson at you to see how you react.

Do you leave the hose the way it is, knowing full well this frustrating thing will happen next time you go to use it? Or know you didn’t want to take care of it and it could happen to someone else and frustrate them, and not care if it does? Or do you shift your perspective and see the lesson, address it head on and move past it. GO back and fix the kink. Figure out how to wind it back up without creating another one to have to fix later. Im a super creative person, and when i sat and tried to come up with a new great idea I was totally stuck. And seriously went for days just occupying my time with so many other things, and convincing myself that i was just too busy for this new creative thing I wanted to do. I was ignoring my kink and allowing the flow to dribble. But I really wanted my flow back, and decided as hard as it was to figure out what was keeping me stuck. I was looping in old patterns of unnecessary “busy”, to look occupied and feel that same way. When I needed to sit down, answer a few question to myself about what I really wanted. Did I want this new project? What step would I need to take to make it happen? Can I do a few things each day to help me towards my goal? Is this my goal or is it someone else’s? I guarantee you will try so much harder for yourself than for anyone else. When you want something different or bigger than you are used to, that sneaky ego will pop up and play tricks on you. It entire job is to keep you in your comfort zone. And when you start to push that boundary, it tries to pull you back. It likes to keep you stuck and spinning.

It way easier said than done, believe me, I know. But a quick trick I just learned will help a ton. And also seem so easy you will doubt it. But try it, and you will quickly, literally quickly be able to tell the difference between what you really want to do, and what you ego wants to talk you out of.   It’s called the 5-4-3-2-1 method. This comes from author and therapist, Mel Robbins. She actually wrote and entire book on this, called the 5 Second Rule. And it’s GREAT! When you come upon a decision you need to make, use this rule.. For example, “Should I take this new job?” Within 5 seconds your mind will give you the answer you really want, and it will do this by the time you count backwards from 5 and get to 1. At 1, take some kind of action to help achieve what it is you really want. When you get to the number 1, you mind is ready for the next step and wants to take action. If you don’t do anything, the hesitation will kick in and your ego will start talking and you will begin to hear all of the reason why, and excuses needed to stay stuck. It is in these moments of hesitation that your are surrounded in your comfort zone again. Remember when I was standing there cursing at the hose, walking around finding reasons not to unwind it. Yupp….I hesitated and my ego began talking, well yelling actually. It was finding someone to blame, and was convincing me why I, don’t have time to do it and how hard it going to be.. See how easy it is to get stuck and stay there. But now also realize in those first 5 seconds you can change everything, and by everything…. I mean EVERYTHING.

15 Self Care Tips to Keep MoM Sane

 

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As moms we encounter so many things on a daily basis. The meals, snacks, timeouts, rest times, homework helping, bath times, and all of the other in between moments of a day. And yes, I said, a day, meaning 1. Which some days feels like there are 879,462 other moments that need to be addressed, handled, or acknowledged. And we wonder sometimes why we are so exhausted. And that is just taking care of who and what happens to be in our own homes.

In my home today, I just couldn’t handle one more thing. I needed a day to go smoothly without a fight, major complaint, or complete crying meltdown. Well, today is not going to be that day. We had a little carryover from last night’s fit, and the unsavory attitude of a very stubborn 5yr old and an equally stubborn mother. Now I thought we talked this out a few times last night, but apparently that wasn’t enough. Like I said, I couldn’t take one more second of this fit, so I went turbo on him. Yupp, turbo cleaning mom. I strolled through his room and throughout the house to find all of his favorite things, minus his beloved stuffed cat Mittens. He was gonna need her for comfort when he comes to the realization that all the coveted Nerf stuff was getting locked up. And the movies, Nintento DS, and Power Ranger ninja gear. That bedroom looked pretty bare when I was done huffing around in there. And I felt a bit proud that I took control and was trying to teach him, that that kind of attitude doesn’t deserve to have fun things. And that they would all have to be earned back by having a good attitude and a healthy dose of chores.

And then it started to happen…the dreaded MOM GUILT. Did I go too far? Did I overreact? Oh, I bet he hates me now. Am I emotionally scarring this kid? My stomach hurts….ugh…I feel so uncomfortable now. I don’t want to back down, because that will only teach him that mom is a pushover, and not to take me seriously. And if I give it all back right away, then I’m not even taking myself seriously.

Luckily I’m an oily mom, and I have an arsenal of things I can use in this exact moment. Will I feel completely better? Not totally until our struggle today has been resolved with a hug and an apology. But it will take the edge off for now, allow me time to calm down, and sit with my decision instead of throwing myself on the floor in a heap of tears just like he did. I turned to the oils and grabbed Peace (The Reassuring Blend) to calm myself, and then Forgive (Renewing Blend) over my heart so I don’t feel such a sting of guilt about if what I’m doing is a good thing or a rotten thing or if I scared him with what I’m sure was a crazed mom face that lasted a long time.

Funny, we worry so much as mothers as to how our kids feel and what will impact them as they get older. But how much do we take care of our needs in that same way? Am I emotionally in a good place to have this kid battle today? Have I done the self care I need to keep myself from “losing it”? When I first became a mother, I didn’t know how important this last step was. And to be quite honest, I didn’t even know what actual self care was then. It pretty much meant that I showered that day, which we moms know that is a huge accomplishment in the beginning.

But self care now means something different. It help you to recharge your batteries for all of those moments that you will be up against. It keeps you in a good frame of mind, and really it keeps you sane. We are moms, but we are also us. I know the not mom part of me likes to take baths without toy dinosaurs and cars in it, without and audience of a couple kids and even a cat. The absolute luxury of having the bathroom door closed for a soak in the tub that lasts longer than 4.2 minutes is amazing.
Reading a book that isn’t chewed on is a treat. Getting outside to just BE outside, is a great way to recharge. Here’s a few more ideas of some mom care self care that will keep you in top shape to take on the day or week. And as much as we take care of those around us, be sure to take care of yourself too.

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How Motherhood became my ideal career

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When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? I know I wanted to be all kinds of things like a teacher, an artist, a travel agent, own a store, a lawyer, and pretty sure once I did a speech about wanting to be a private investigator. But most of all I wanted to be a stay at home mom. These days you don’t hear that as a huge goal of many girls or women who are achieving their education, and making plans for future jobs. Motherhood would come after all of that right? Once we get finished with school, and internships, and settled into our jobs for a few years, then focus on a family, because that was the plan right? Do this first, and then do that.

Well, I did the schooling, and lots of it. But never quite found the right fit for a “career”. I had plenty of jobs that I did while attending these various schools. State school, tech school, business school, beauty school, and even recently online school. Which I have to admit, is amazing, but that’s for another story. So I continued on working here and there until I found my thing. Well, in all honesty that “thing” found me. Nine months later, I was full-time, round the clock, no training, thrown into the deep end of my new career called motherhood.

Now, keep in mind, I had maybe held a baby twice in my adult life. So this was gonna get real interesting, really fast. The first week or two was going actually pretty good considering I had a C-section and had extra help. But eventually I was on my own. It was just me and her in a daily showdown of who’s more exhausted, impatient, crabby, and counting down the minutes until Dad got home, to rescue us BOTH. No lie, after about a month of this I wondered why I didn’t stick to the plan years ago of having that amazing career so I could go back to now that it has been a few months. Because the thought of having to do this day in and day out for the next several years was probably gonna break me.

I know. I know, this sounds like motherhood and I don’t get along. But on the contrary, motherhood was exactly what I had been looking for all of those years for, and also very much-needed in my life. It is hard…..like crazy hard. It is tiring, to the point of crying like the baby yourself. It is emotional, like being tossed around in a blender of emojis, never knowing when it is gonna start or stop. Sometimes the hardest things are the things you need the most. And the things that you resist doing are exactly what you should be doing.

If I did have that long-awaited and worked for career, I would try my very best to succeed in my work. To do things that made me proud of the path I chose. So why should my at home career be any different. I should do my best at the tasks I have at hand, just like I would for another boss. So by the time I had baby number 2, I was WAY better at my job. No kidding, it took a while to break some long habits of my pre-mom life. Even though I wasn’t a morning person, well now I needed to be an anytime of day or night person. I used to only do laundry once a week, now I do laundry a couple of times a day. I think you get where I’m going with this.

But after a few years of pretty much having the hang of things, I fell into boredom. The day in and day out routine felt like groundhogs day everyday. I can’t tell you how many times I looked in the mirror and didn’t quite know who was staring back at me. I had become a momaholic, and my “career” was everything. I realized I was just going through the motions each day, and I had to find the joy in it, or it would leave me in a place of resentment. So I embarked on a journey to find a new perspective. This sounds quick and easy, but it’s not. It takes some very trusting friends you can talk to, and some time spent willing to dive deep within yourself and face some hard truths. I didn’t need a new career or flee from this one, I needed to change my mind and my feelings about what it really was I did everyday. A great coach of mine, Ryan Yokome says to, “Find the message in the mess”. And to stop focusing on what you don’t have and be grateful for what you do have. And you will start to see the shifts.

Do I just have laundry to wash? NO. I have an abundant pile of clothes that I am blessed to own and wear that make me feel good. I have enough clothes for my kids to wear so will never be cold. I have water freely flowing into my house, into a machine, that actually washes it for me. Before I only saw the laundry as another chore, like the cooking, the cleaning, the feedings, and the seemingly endless diaper changes. I just couldn’t see beyond what I felt were giant daily messes to receive the wonderful and positive messages.

And now, thinking back to all of the things I wanted to be when I grew up, I actually got them all in one amazing career and didn’t even know it.

  • A teacher to my kids for all kind of subjects, but my favorite one being life lessons.
  • An artist with many crafting projects, drawing, and painting together with them.
  • A travel agent, ok, it’s not quite the same, but who else coordinates their rides and activities?
  • A store owner. Yupp got that covered, thank goodness for the flexibility of e-commerce.
  • A lawyer often sorting through evidence on the popular case of tattletail vs. tattletail
  • And my personal favorite is the private investigator. Looking for, and finding clues that lead to the next, only to reveal another. The messages really are in the mess, and one will always lead to another. It all depends on if you are willing to look.

Funny, this career of mine is entangled with all kinds of my favorite things, not mention people who I love so much. And that is a hard thing to come by in most professions. So I guess I did grow up to be everything I wanted to be. Even though in the beginning I was pretty much convinced this motherhood thing was going to completely wreck me…. it actually came to correct me.

 

 

7 Ways Competition Builds Confidence in Kids

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The other day my kids decided to play their own version of the Food Network’s Chopped. When you watch the tv show, the contestants have one hour, a few key ingredients, and need to WOW you with their masterpiece. They each get judged, receive criticism both positive and negative, then await the decision on the winner.

So, both kids got started getting all of their ingredients, meaning the only colors of play dough we had, and started plotting out their culinary works of art. Contestant A was so focused and deliberate with colors, shapes, and design, and used the entire hour on a quest for perfection. But was also convinced that victory was theirs just because of age and experience.

The other, Contestant B, more into the feeling of how the dough squished between the fingers, and the cool tools to cut, roll, and smash with. Using only about 15 minutes to complete the task, confident and pleased with the work done and left the competition area, only to enter the real kitchen to make an actual sandwich and proudly walk off eating it. Each contestant had different approaches, great results, and entirely different experiences doing the exact same challenge.

We posted the final dishes on Facebook, and asked social media land to judge and choose the winner. With so many great responses and a day long tally of votes. The verdict was in. We had a winner, but we also had some great lessons on competition, criticism, and confidence. And seriously, kids these days definitely need this kind of experience. It may seem harsh to have others judge my kids, but really let’s think about this. Are they judging my kid? Or are they judging the end product, by two people, they don’t know, and aren’t partial to the the participant’s feelings about it? It wasn’t an emotional play dough competition. It wasn’t a competition of who mom loves more. It wasn’t a lesson in making exceptions for the wishes of those involved. It was a straight up game of who the audience felt won them over. Yupp, it really can be just that simple sometimes.

After announcing the results, both contestants have very interesting reactions. Contestant B had won over the crowd, threw his hands up in the air and declared his awesomeness! Contestant A, stricken with shock, shook her head in disbelief. “But I used the entire time, and made all of these little details, and he barely made a taco,” she said. He responds with, “So….it doesn’t take that long to make a taco.” Ahhh, as I sit and listen to this exchange I can’t help but realize what a great lesson this really was, and not even just for kids.

When working on a project or idea:

  • Having passion for the project will help you create it with ease
  • Don’t focus so much on your competition, focus more on doing YOUR best
  • Age or experience isn’t always going to win
  • Know your audience
  • Not winning does not mean you didn’t do a great job
  • There will be a winner, and it might not be you. But there will always be another project and another chance to try
  • Not winning isn’t losing! It’s how you learn a new way to win.

So there will always be another contest, another idea, and a new audience to share it with. Competition is a good thing, and so is confidence. The more opportunities you give yourself to try, the better you will get at both. Oh, and as for this contest, we found out there are a ton of people that LOVE a good taco, even if it is playdough.

 

 

 

 

5 Business Lessons I Learned While Shoveling Snow

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So we here in Minnesota got hit hard with a blizzard last night and I did what any Minnesotan would do, and got all dressed up and went out to shovel. Dragging my boots a bit, knowing that this task is not much fun, but necessary. Feeling a little defeated because its March and spring is so close. I was becoming more and more thrilled with the sight of some dry dead grass, because that even gave me hope that the season is changing and the warmer weather is on its way. But nope, here I stand on my front steps, bundled up like Ralphy from the Christmas Story, shovel in hand, staring at what seems like and a never ending walkway of snow.
I quickly get through the top thin layer on the steps, and think, “hey, this isn’t so bad.” Then I move down the the actual sidewalk and it begins. I’m in the deep super wet snow that you can only push like a foot at a time before getting stuck. Sigh! Yeah, this is gonna suck, but i have to do it. It’s just me and my shovel against this heavy annoying snow. As I slowly pace myself and go what feels like inch by inch, my mind begins to wander. And WOW, did I hear my ego screaming at me. I realize I’m in the middle of a lesson. A business lesson no less.

I’ve been working on a network marketing business for about 8 months now. And I’m doing it in a way this a bit unconventional. But it feels more authentic to me, but its a huge learning process everyday. There are days where you have so many ideas, days where you have none. Days where you need to learn a new skill ( and that can take a few weeks to get the hang of), and days where you need to really sit and think about why you are struggling doing something that may seem simple to someone else, but it is a block of yours and you alone have to break it down to get past it (and that too can take weeks…and help from a few other people and books).

So as I shovel, I start to get tired and I can hear the excuses in my head of why I could stop and come back later to finish, and maybe if I only get to the edge of the walk I could take a break, seriously?!?!? Part of me is convincing me that it’s too hard and just not worth it, and the other part of me is like, “Bitch keep going because it needs to get done”. I actually took a second and laughed out loud, looked up at the sky and said, “I hear ya, I get what you are trying to tell me!”
As many times as you want to stop, as hard as you think it is, as much as you want someone else to come do it for you…it’s up to you! Find a way to keep going.

It was deep, heavy, wet snow. I started shovelling off layers at a time to make it less heavy, so I could keep making progress. That helped. But I got to the dreaded section where the snowplow from the street piles it up in big clumps and is higher and heavier than the rest. Yeah…that part is always the worst. And I almost left that a few times, but started laughing again. How could I stop now, I’m so close. So I began chipping away at the big pieces of packed snow, and taking them down what felt like one by one. I’m starting to feel like I’m actually going to do this. I struggle to keep pulling this pile apart, then jump over the top of it to the other side, and thought ,”HA, maybe if I come at it from the other side it will be easier to bust through.” And walla….I had shoveled through the mountain of snow and got a path all of the way to the street. Now my sidewalk is not all that big, but my ego tried to talk me out of finishing a half dozen times. No wonder people struggle with their businesses if this kind of “talk” happens all day long when faced with tasks that aren’t our favorite things to do or even have never done before.

Seems like a weird experience shoveling and business, but I got a few great business building lessons and maybe you will too. So if you start to hear that voice, remember:

  1. You have made a goal for yourself, and there are several ways to go about it. What works for others may not work for you. Be authentic and follow what lights you up.
  2. When that task seems overwhelming, break it down into smaller more manageable parts. Achieving small accomplishments creates momentum, toward bigger ones.
  3. Sometimes a shift in perspective or scenery can change how you approach the problem and even solve it.
  4. When you feel like you want to quit, that’s when you really need to push harder. There is a breakdown right before a breakthrough, so just keep going. A great coach
    (Kris Britton) once told me, that when you think you’re done you really have 40%
    left….that’s a lot!
  5. Now that a big goal has been accomplished, go and make another one. Always keep yourself moving forward by having something to work towards.