Motherhood as a Spiritual Journey

October 16th, 2009

Motherhood as a Spiritual Journey

As I was walking today, I felt something speak to me that said that I needed to reflect and share about motherhood being a truly spiritual journey.Where did this all come from? My guess is it’s because I have been questioning and exploring my own spiritual journey and how that plays out in my daily life…

Over the past few years, I have been doing a lot of personal growth work and focusing on figuring out my purpose and how to live that on a daily basis. I have read many books and listened to a load of seminars on personal growth topics and have become very interested in spirituality and what it means to me.

What is spirituality anyway?

I found a definition that says “spirituality is that which relates to or affects the human spirit or soul. Spirituality touches that part of you that is not dependant on material things or physical comforts.

For me, it is how I relate to my day to day life and the connection I feel to the greater universe. It is knowing that there is something much bigger that I am a part of and discovering ways to access that source whenever I want or need to. It is about finding my own uniqueness and authenticity, finding a deeper meaning in the busyness of life and recognizing that my only real purpose on earth is to experience joy and help spread that joy to others.

Spirituality to me also means looking at the challenges of my life and using them as part of my spiritual learning. It is about releasing attachment to “how I think things should go”- a real challenge in itself!

What my spirit has been telling me is this…There are many other moms out there who are struggling with finding the meaning and purpose in their role as a mother and are surviving, not thriving in this role because it has become all consuming and overwhelming. So as I go through my own spiritual quest within motherhood, I am being asked by my inner wisdom to share this journey with all of you.

So, over the next while I will be journaling and posting my journey of how that plays out in my life. I hope this may inspire some of you to look within your own lives and discover how this “mom role” really is THE MOTHER of all spiritual journeys!

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Tidbits on Time Management for the Busy Mom

September 14th, 2009

Are you finding there is not enough time in the day to complete all you need to do?

Do you have a To Do list that has enough items on it to last a life time?

In today’s society, we are overwhelmed with daily demands. We think having a few more hours in our day would solve our problems. Being more efficient and managing our time better, we believe would allow us time to ourselves.

Personally, I see the opposite happening. The female species are excellent multi-taskers and always looking for ways to do more things in less time.

What do we do with that extra time? You guessed it, more things. So, instead of being tired at the end of the day, we are exhausted.

Time management tips are useful and necessary for some people. For others, it can be counterproductive. More stress can be present attempting to get extra done in the same amount of time.

Have you ever asked yourself the question, why you don’t have enough time in your day to finish all that needs to be done? Maybe, because you’re doing too much!

Reflect on that question. Procrastinating and not completing all your tasks is one thing. Going full steam ahead all day and still having unfinished work may mean you need to let something go.

Experiment this week with doing one thing at a time and be present while doing it. Have you ever completed a task or driven somewhere and not remembered. That is a sign of not being fully present. Our thoughts are not on the task at hand, but instead they are on what else needs to get done.

If multitasking is a must for you, add a task that will benefit your wellness. For example, listen to a relaxation tape while you cook supper, run on the treadmill while you watch T.V., use commercials to do some deep breathing after putting sound on mute, and listen to motivational CD’s as you drive.

Use time management tips wisely. Focus on making more time for you. Use that time for your own self-care.

Do less of what you SHOULD be doing and more of what you WANT to be doing.

That’s the best time management tip I can give you!!

Balance, Wellness

What Are You Tolerating in Your Life?

September 11th, 2009

As a coach, one of the processes that I use with clients is an exercise called What Are You Tolerating. This means, what is there in your life that you are putting up with, settling for or procrastinating about? It can be something as simple as a leaky faucet, half completed work or home project, cluttered and disorganized space or be a larger toleration such as a dead end job, rocky relationship or unwanted weight gain.

Whatever it is, tolerations are something we rarely give any thought as to what effect they are having in our lives. Tolerations, big or small, are huge energy drains.

Every time you go to the kitchen sink and see that leaky faucet, it is taking up space in your mind because it is something that you are putting up with. If you were to get it fixed as soon as the leak starts it would be dealt with and no longer an energy drain every time you looked at it. Now, if you’re the type that could care less if you ever got it fixed then that particular situation would not be a toleration for you.

When people identify their tolerations and then make progress towards eliminating them from their list, they immediately feel a sense of freedom and increase in energy. For example, have you ever cleaned out your closet and felt really energized after or finally made a big decision such as changing jobs and immediately felt a weight being lifted off your shoulders. Well that’s because you have just eliminated a toleration from your life.

Tolerations weigh us down; they keep us stuck and prevent us from getting on with our life and moving forward. Tolerations can take the joy out of our day and deny us peace of mind. Our minds are racing some days with things we don’t want in our lives. The good news is, we can take control and do something about it.

What can you do to free yourself from the weight of these energy drains? First, you can’t fix what you don’t recognize so start with making a list. Write down 10 items that you are putting up with that are causing you stress or frustration. It could be related to home or work and may even be in the area of relationships. The simple step of writing down these things on paper and acknowledging them can alone bring you a sense of relief.

Next, make a commitment to working on eliminating each and every one in whatever way that might be. Keep in mind that depending on the nature or complexity of the toleration some will be easier and quicker to strike off your list. For example, if your junk drawer is overflowing, obviously that will take much less time and effort than leaving a job you hate or ending a loveless relationship.

I suggest to my clients that they start with the simple things. It is important to make progress initially so that it increases the chances of continuing to address areas in life that is dragging you down. Think of yourself moving through life and these tolerations as weights on your legs. It takes longer and more effort to go through it however each weight can make you stronger as long as they don’t pile up and prevent you from making any progress. The more tolerations you have, the heavier the load and the more exhausted you feel.

Life is meant to be lived, not tolerated. If you have things in your life that are preventing you from engaging and receiving the gifts that it has to offer, take some time and look for what’s holding you back. Then, take one step at a time, ask for help when needed and feel the spring in your step as you continue on this wonderful journey, without the weights!!!!

Wellness

Tips to Increase Your Energy Level

September 4th, 2009

On a scale of 1 to 10, how high would you rate your energy level on a daily basis?

For many mothers, because of their multiple roles, energy levels can often fall leaving them irritable, exhausted and overwhelmed. If you are feeling drained and exhausted, it only stands to reason that your coping abilities will also be affected. When we are feeling at our best it is much easier to meet and deal with the challenges of our day.

So how do we find time in our already full day to keep our energy level up and our coping abilities at a maximum?

Here are 5 simple tips that will take your level up a notch or two:

1. Fill your tank with optimum fuel. - Nutrition plays a huge role in your energy yet many people continue to make unhealthy choices on a regular basis. Eating frequent, smaller nutritional meals are the best way to keep energy levels high and your mood stable. Eat every 2-3 hours starting with a nutritious breakfast. It can jumpstart your day. Increase your fruit, vegetables, and fiber choices while decreasing foods high in sugar and fat. Stay well hydrated, increasing your water intake to 6-8 glasses a day.
2. Get enough sleep. Easier said than done you might be thinking. For Moms, depending on the ages of their kids, sleep can be unpredictable and inconsistent. Proper sleep is needed however in order for you to meet your daily demands. To do this, take short naps(less than 30 minutes) if necessary to catch up on your required sleep. If you wake up in the morning feeling exhausted, really make a commitment to getting to bed earlier at night. Turn off the TV and go to sleep instead. Develop a relaxing ritual prior to bedtime that will help relax and induce sleep. For example, a warm bath, herbal tea in your favorite mug or 15 minutes from your favorite book. If you are operating on less that 6-8 hours on a consistent basis, your moods and health can be affected.
3. Exercise. I cannot address energy levels without talking about exercise. As you may have read before in many of my articles, I am a huge advocate of exercise. If you are not doing some form of it, you are missing out on one of the best ways to dramatically improve your health and well-being. Start small with something manageable like 15-20 minute walks on your lunch or break. Exercise can improve your mood and increase your energy level immediately. Don’t however exercise right before bedtime as it can affect your ability to be able to get to sleep. If you make a habit of doing it in the day or earlier in the evening though, it will actually improve your sleep at night.
4. Decrease daily demands if possible. Ask yourself if there are any demands on your time that you may be able to eliminate or decrease. Often we get involved in activities that end up increasing our stress level resulting in draining our energy at the same time. Is their something you can eliminate? Do you need to start saying NO to more demands on your time? Can you cut back on any of your present responsibilities at work or home? Can you ask someone else to help? Ask yourself what is the affect that these demands are having on your present lifestyle? If it is bringing you more pain than pleasure, it may be time to make some changes.
5. Time for relaxation. Because of the busyness of our lives, it is more important than ever to make time for relaxation and rejuvenation. That can be anything from a 10 minute chat with a friend who energizes you, a 30 minute walk in the park or some deep breathing exercises before you start your day. You know by the way you feel what activities rejuvenate and revive you. Make time for these things on a regular basis.

As you can see, many of the things that can be done to improve your health and well-being are all about choices and decisions we make on a daily basis. Make a decision TODAY to live your best life. Our lives are not somewhere out there in the future. Everything can not always wait until tomorrow or when the kids get bigger or when I have more free time or when I get a new job. Our lives are made up of this moment. Choose wisely. It is choices we make in these moments that will write the script of our lives.

Balance, Wellness

7 Self Care Strategies to Pamper the Busy Working Mom.

September 2nd, 2009

As a way of honoring yourself as a mother and a woman, I encourage you to practice some of these self care strategies that have been helpful for me and my clients:

Give yourself permission to add self care to your life. It’s OK for it to be all about you sometimes. Think of self care as any act of nurturing, meaning anything that enhances your level of health, wellness and happiness. Look at all areas such as physical, mental, social, spiritual and financial. Paying an overdue bill can do just as much for your level of wellness sometimes as a warm bath.

Recognize and blast the barriers. Ask yourself: what is preventing you from making self care an everyday occurrence? Some of my clients’ barriers that we often work through are feelings of guilt, lack of time, finances, lack of support or the need for perfectionism. If any of these ring true for you, take some time to determine a plan as to how you can overcome them. As Dr. Phil says..”You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge”.
Ditch the Superwoman Syndrome. This syndrome is adding unnecessary stress and sickness to our lives. We place such unrealistic expectations on ourselves. The guilt we feel as mothers often fuels this Superwoman Syndrome. Start letting go of your mental chatter; practice saying No and remember no one’s life is perfect. As mothers we need to take Superwoman off the pedestal and start putting a more realistic, imperfect, yet happier Mom up there.
Practice acts of self care on a daily basis. Start creating a daily habit routine.
Remember that small acts can have big pay offs. It is the small yet consistent acts that really pay the biggest dividends toward your health. Instead of working out one hour every fourth day, try 25 min on daily basis. The smaller acts are more likely to become a routine.

Allow yourself to dream. Moms can and deserve a life beyond motherhood. If you are craving something new in your life, ask yourself what are some of the dreams you have been putting off. I support Moms in making their dreams come true. Coaching moms in winning the game of life fulfillment while thriving in motherhood is what I do best. I see mothers come alive. I see their pursuit of passion finally realized. I see their ability to thrive in motherhood increase because they are following their dreams. A personally fulfilled woman makes an amazing mother.

Get yourself a pair of rose colored glasses. Having a healthy perception of life and a positive attitude is one of the best self care strategies you can practice. It is a universal law that what you focus on expands so what are you focusing on? Is your glass always half empty? Do you complain about everything and everybody? Take some time to see what your inner chatter is saying. Then consciously take steps to changing your thoughts and seeing the glass as half full. A daily reflection of gratitude and appreciation goes along way toward improving your self care, your self worth, and your whole life.
I acknowledge all mothers out there who on a daily basis participate in one of the most challenging, yet rewarding roles any woman can have in her life time. Take an opportunity to acknowledge yourself for the many big and little things you do. Honor yourself from a place of kindness and gentleness. We do what we know to be the best at the time. Forgive yourself when needed and celebrate yourself whether you think you need it or not. We all deserve to be celebrated. Here’s to you…Cheers!!!
Article written by Peggy Porter-Helping you master motherhood. 

All Rights Reserved. Article may be reprinted in its entirety with resource box included.

Peggy Porter is a coach, author and speaker. Peggy is known as The Success Coach for Mom Entrepreneurs and helps them plan, prioritize and be more productive so they can make more money in their business, spend more quality time with family and bring more energy and less stress to their own lives. In her fr*ee report The 3 Essential Keys to Mom Entrepreneur Success found at www.peggyporter.com , Peggy shows Mom Entrepreneurs what is needed to have a successful family and successful business, at the same time!

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