Archive Monthly Archives: February 2018

Quick Steps to Find Balance when You’re a Mom

Some days we have it all together. The house seems to be magically in order and you’ve showered, brushed your teeth, gotten dressed and had a tea all at in the same day! And then there are those days where it seems the world is on off its axis, it looks like a tornado has hit the inside of your home and your kids have been at each other’s throats for hours.
These are the days when you should prioritize taking a step back. I know what you’re thinking, this girl has gone and lost her mind. I don’t have time for that, who has time for that? I know, I know, but these are the moments when you need it the most. These are the moments when you need to breathe, take a timeout, go for a walk or let’s be real lock yourself in a closet to cry.
It’s in these moments that it matters the most. 15 minutes can go a long way. Take a 15 minute break to breathe, relax or like I said cry. Allow yourself those 15 minutes and do your best to keep them uninterrupted. I realize when you’re with your kids they don’t need you and as soon as you disappear for even a second they’re on the hunt, trying to find where you are. So you have two choices here you can either sneak away, knowing they are going to come looking for you or you tell them you need just a few minutes by yourself. If this is new to your kids they won’t understand it at first and you may only get 5 minutes, but with consistency they will begin to understand and soon you will be up to your 15 minutes.
After you’ve most likely cried it out, wipe up those tears and choose the most pressing task at hand. What is it that needs to get done right now to help you feel good and accomplished? Maybe it’s the 4 baskets of laundry that are sitting in the middle of your laundry room that need to be folded and put away or maybe it’s the dishes or making the kids lunch. Once again take 15 to 30 minutes and dedicate it to that one thing. Maybe it is making the kids a snack or lunch so you can wash the dishes while watching them. Or maybe it’s giving them crayons and paper while you fold the laundry, make your bed or clean the washroom. Whatever it is that is the most important get it done and if you still have time left over, move on to the next task.
Now here is the most important part – Celebrate yourself and what you’ve accomplished. Give yourself a round of applause, pat on the back or dance it out to some music. With only 30 minutes you’ve accomplished two tasks; your very own self-care and whatever task you chose to do.
Not everyday is a walk in the park but that doesn’t mean that those days that aren’t need to break you. Make some time to prioritize
you and the task at hand and things will start looking up!
I hope this serves you well. To recap:
Prioritize you by taking 15 minutes to breathe, relax or cryWipe away those tears and take another 15- 30 minutes to accomplish one task or more if time allows.Celebrate yourself and what you’ve accomplished

Is Self-Love Selfish?

There’s a misconception that self-love or anything self-love related is somehow selfish. To be selfish by definition means being devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one’s own interests, benefits, welfare etc. regardless of others. It’s this idea of self-love that keeps people from pursuing a love of themselves because it somehow feels arrogant or egotistical, when in fact it is neither of those things. It isn’t about feeling or thinking that you are better or more superior than someone else. It’s about knowing who you are and what you deserve to have in your life and relationships.
When you know who you are, you are able to discern and not be distracted by all the things and shiny objects around you. You are able to know and understand what is for you and be happy for, not triggered by others who may have the things you want or desire. Self-love doesn’t mean that you are self-serving or that you only care about or love yourself. In fact, it means the exact opposite, when you love yourself and know how to love yourself you are then able to love others without condition.
Self-love is the best love because it helps you be true to yourself. When you love yourself you are connected to who you are at your core. You stand firm in your beliefs. You do the things that are right for and meaningful to you. You say no or yes when you feel the need to. You please yourself before others. You make time just to be with you. Of course these aren’t all the ways, there’s lots more. These are just a few. We get caught up in wanting to change who we are, so we can be approved of by others. Throughout our lives we are told all the ways we are “too much”, all the things that are wrong with us. As adults, we become distracted and lose ourselves. We think that something is wrong with us, that something needs to be fixed, that we are somehow broken, when in fact, we just don’t love ourselves.
Ideally, self-love should be a daily commitment that we make to ourselves. It takes commitment to learn and uncover all that makes us who we are. In this time, take a few minutes to connect and be with yourself in silence. I know this probably sounds intimidating but it doesn’t have to be. Don’t over complicate it, keep it simple. It doesn’t have to be sitting, laying down or even in a meditative state, if you aren’t comfortable with that. If this is your first time or even if it isn’t but the thought of connecting with yourself makes you overwhelmed or uncomfortable, start where you are! Start while you’re in the shower, washing the dishes or doing something else where you can just be with yourself.
When you become comfortable with connecting with yourself begin to take inventory. Start looking at your life and who you are. Begin to recognize all the ways that you are you, right now – good, bad and ugly. This process is similar to peeling back the layers of an onion, because as we get older, we evolve and change. We go through phases and have life experiences that cause us to change, compromise and adapt who we are. It’s these compromises and adaptations that can become problematic and take us away from who we truly are at our core.
As you take inventory, it’s easy to get caught up in the drama of our thoughts. To judge ourselves for the ways we’ve let others influence, control or manipulate us. This is not what taking inventory is about.
Taking inventory is just about bringing awareness to all these things, so just allow yourself observe without judgment. We can’t become better if we don’t know what exists within us.
I hope this serves you well on your journey to self-love. Here’s a few key takeaways:
Make a daily commitment to love yourselfTake a few moments to connect to yourself in silence – start where you areIdentify ways you have compromised who you are
Photo by Leon Biss on Unsplash

Do you struggle with judgment?

Judgment is a tough one because it’s so ingrained in our lives. Early in life, we learn to judge and that judgment can be OK, because it helps us survive. For instance, we are taught to judge scenarios and situations as to whether or not they are safe, We are taught not to speak to strangers. We are told which people to trust and which ones not to. These are all safe judgments and most likely have kept us alive.
It’s the judgment of ourselves and others as individuals that tends to become an issue. It’s easy to judge others, but it’s even easier to judge ourselves. And it’s often that loop of judgment of ourselves that goes unnoticed, stays unchecked and is the most damaging.
So the question then becomes a matter of how do you release the judgment of yourself? And that is through compassion.
It’s easy to fall victim and become prisoner to those negative thoughts of self-judgment. It takes a lot more effort to learn to observe and become aware of them, without further judgment. "Don’t get upset by your negative self-talk, just observe it without judgment. Like birds passing it will fly on by. – Lolita Guarin" We are our own judge, jury and executioner and we know how to justify the guilt and shame as it arises from those judgments.
An important factor is learning to become your own best friend and treating yourself as such. If your best friend came to you hurting, in tears and pain you wouldn’t be mean, call them names, or kick them while they were down. You would lift them up, encourage, support and love them. You would listen and tell them what a fool they were being for thinking such negative thoughts about themselves. We change these formed habits of self judgment by being compassionate towards ourselves.
Looking back on your past from your present isn’t helpful. You have evolved and grown from the person you used to be, so looking back with the skills, experience and knowledge that you have today doesn’t serve you. "Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment."- Rita Mae Brown You did the best you could with the skills you had, if you had better skills you would have made better decisions. Don’t be so hard on yourself. If you knew better, you would of course – have done better. Affirming this to yourself can help to stop the blame game, release the burden and support you in feeling better about yourself and your past.
"Love is the absence of judgment." – Dalai Lama It takes love to heal judgment, which means in order for you to heal the judgment of yourself you must love yourself. I hope this serves you well on your journey to healing judgment.
Here are some key takeaways for you below.
1. Observe and become aware of your judgments
2. Once you are aware of your judgments be gentle with yourself.
3. Treat yourself like you would your own best friend.
4. Affirm to yourself that you did the best you could with the skills that you had

Is forgiveness actually important?

Short answer… Yes, it is important but not only is it important it’s necessary,
The truth is people are afraid to forgive. But it doesn’t have to be something we fear. When I was going through my healing journey and learned of the areas and people I needed to forgive, myself included, I didn’t want to. In truth, I would have probably done anything else but forgive.
You’ve probably heard the saying "Forgiveness isn’t something you do for someone else, it’s something you do for you." Jodi Picoult.
Forgiveness is about releasing the emotional bonds you have and taking your power back. It’s removing the hold they had over you and standing firm in the belief that this person can no longer hurt you, have power over you, control you and/or manipulate you. It’s about placing an invisible boundary of what you are no longer willing to tolerate in your life.
For me, I was afraid to forgive because I thought that by forgiving a person for what they had done to me meant that I would be giving them permission to hurt me again. I thought it made me soft, vulnerable, weak and defenseless. In my mind forgiveness equaled doormat. And that was what I actually feared, being a doormat.
I had been a doormat for so long, in my life and relationships that when I had become aware of it, I refused to ever be taken advantage of again. Which is where my own forgiveness came in. I had to learn to forgive myself. I had to release the anger that I had towards myself, for making poor decisions, trusting, putting my faith in and loving the wrong people. To be honest it was harder to forgive myself than it was the other people. I judged myself and had tremendous amounts of guilt and shame that I had held on to. And all the pain I had turned into shields of armour, so that I didn’t get hurt again, if I even let them in. Forgiveness took me learning compassion – compassion towards myself and others .
Once I learned that "Hurt people, hurt people" Sandra D. Wilson

it somehow made it easier for me to understand. People didn’t hurt people purposely. They did it because they didn’t know better. They didn’t have the skills to do better. We are all just doing the best we can with the skills we have and if we aren’t continuing to work on ourselves and heal our wounds we are going to continue to hurt people.

Now I’m not making excuses for anyone’s behaviour and these statements aren’t a cop out. If your parents never gave you love, it’s likely because they never received it themselves and weren’t taught how to give love. If people didn’t understand you growing up, it because they weren’t shown or taught understanding.
Forgiveness after all, is a choice and one that everyone has the ability to make. Maybe you aren’t ready yet, and that’s OK. But if you know this is only causing you pain and making you angry and frustrated, then I hope this serves you as a great reference to begin the journey.
Forgiveness is for you, not them.Forgiveness doesn’t make you a doormat, excuse any behaviour or mean that you will be taken advantage of again.Be compassionate with yourself and others.Forgiveness takes time so be gentle with yourself.