Taking The Self Out Of Self-Love

Self-love seems to be the craze these days; the newest buzz word. I’m not undermining it in the least, yes of course we should all be loving ourselves. It isn’t a bad thing. It comes off of the heels of decades of not loving ourselves so it is a complete step in the right direction. But, what happens when the focus is too much on SELF? We already are love, it’s what we are made of. It’s more about what we are all trying so hard to uncover. That’s the real self-love we are looking for. But as humans usually do we confuse it because we are so clouded and insecure that we cling to our Ego’s and we search desperately for so much outside validation. And then? This whole beautiful message of loving yourself becomes all about loving our appearances. Along with our confusion comes the need to order and organize and so we like to label and objectify, and somewhere along the lines we confused the LOVE OF SELF with “self-love” and we confused being creatures of love with making sure we first love the way we look.

YESSSSSS. Love the shit out of how you look. There is nothing wrong with taking care of your outward appearance, but where do we truly want the majority of our energy to go? I know it sounds ridiculously cliché, but we must first focus on getting the inside right. And believe it or not, in the most miraculous and ironic way, when you truly like who you ARE, you begin to like how you look because it becomes less important. It becomes a secondary focus and a natural acceptance of yourself. You also begin to care less and less about making sure everyone knows how much you like how you look or that they like the way you look too. That sentence just sounds exhausting doesn’t ? Let’s just stop doing it. If every selfie and bikini shot, every angle and filter we obsess over is shared in the hopes of acceptance and approval we have a little dusting off to do on those insides. Don’t we?

How do we achieve the internal “self-love” that the external one will NEVER substitute for? Well, it’s kind of simple. We love and we love hard. We forgive. We accept. We seek to understand. We have compassion and empathy. We are inclusive. We serve. We simplify. We give. We LISTEN. We connect. We follow our purpose and our dreams. We share our hearts and our creativity with the world. We become less self-involved and more involved, period.

Love your bodies, love your faces, love your booties, your cleavage, your make-up, your gym bod, your clothes and shoes and whatever else you use on the outside to express yourself. Love all of it. Share it with the world. But try to remember that NONE of it will ever mean anything, so it doesn’t mean anything right now. It will never help you to fulfill that sense of seeking we all feel. That little nudging on the inside that always leaves you feeling a little dissatisfied. You all know the feeling I’m describing, and all of that outside seeking of approval aims to satisfy it. That fulfillment will only ever come from one thing. That comes by fulfilling your true purpose…and your sole purpose (and your soul purpose) is to love. Take all of that SELF out of self-love and what are we left with? That way our love is real, it’s not fictional, it’s not obsessive, it’s not feigned for social media and it’s not shallow or meaningless. It has less to do with how we feel about ourselves and more to do with how we feel period. It’s more about what we can give away than what we can give to ourselves.

Please know that I am not immune to any of this. It is so deeply conditioned in us that it becomes a process of undoing. The truth becomes clearer to see the further I get in my journey and I so badly want to instill it in my kids. Love yourself. But don’t confuse that message with all of the things that simply don’t matter. Our bodies are merely the vessel we use to take us through this human journey. Respect them and love them and treat them well, but you can do all of that and they will never transition with us to the next place. Utilize your outward appearance as a way to radiate the love you have on the inside and self-love no longer become something we strive for, it becomes who we are. Who we have always been.

This entry was posted on April 23, 2017. 2 Comments

Connection

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Yesterday my family and I were on our way back from a little weekend get away when we stopped at a fast food place. We were just pulling up to the window to get our food when someone directly in front of us puts their car in reverse, flies backwards and almost hits us. A woman got out of the car and angrily stomps over to the window to scream at a young kid that they forgot to put something in her child’s happy meal. All while the child sat in the car and watched her…and my kids saw too. She was ANGRY, or maybe hangry, but either way it was an absurd way to treat someone over something so unimportant. My husband said something about how this is what’s wrong with the world and parenting and made sure to tell the kid at the window that people are allowed to make mistakes. We talked to the kids about how this wasn’t a REAL problem and that even if it were a real problem you can’t communicate with people that way. When you are rude the other person shuts down and your message gets lost anyway and that a response like that says a lot more about the character of that woman than it does about the person who made a slight mistake.

It made me think something that has been so very, very clear to me for some time now. I couldn’t stop thinking about it so I thought maybe I needed to write about it and share it. I want to shout it from the rooftops and wish everyone could understand this. It would solve so many conflicts on this precious planet. Every single issue we have amongst one another is due to the fact that we see each other as separate. We forget where we come from and that we are all connected by the same universal energy. We are CONNECTED. All of us. Don’t want to have a connection to someone in particular? Well there’s that pesky little Ego.

The moment you feel separate from someone and you lack a connection you will do one of two things. You will overly inflate yourself to seem better than them or you will feel poorly about yourself and feel less than. Guess what? There’s no such thing as better or less than. And any illusion, whether it be shrinking yourself down or trying to make yourself feel bigger, is hella exhausting to keep up with. Not exhausting? Living your life the way you were designed to and loving people along the way. I understand that this is such a hard concept to grasp especially when there are human beings that do such heinous things, but when you can understand that we are all just at different points on the spiritual journey it helps you to have empathy and it helps you to always see yourself in another. It may be in this lifetime or in the next, but it all comes full circle.

We are all different with different gifts to contribute to the world for various purposes but I think once we become humans we forget so much of our truths and exactly what those purposes are. We need diversity. We need different opinions and ideas. We need them to help us learn the lesson of love. To remember our sameness by coming face to face with our differences. People tend to live in fear and forget love and before you know it we have conflicts, we judge and dislike people, we condemn and ostracize and we think we are separate. Forgetting the connection we all have opens you up to jealousy, judgement, anger, frustration, blame, guilt, hurt and it’s what causes us to be able to so blindly hurt others.

We are given the capacity to love ALL others wholeheartedly. It’s what we’re made of, but being the confused humans that we are we needed examples of how to love. It’s my belief that that’s why we have close relationships with some. So for example the love for our children which we all believe to be the highest and our romantic love and the love for our family and closest friends is the standard to all else. We believe we are only capable of that type of love for a specific group of people, but truth be told it’s within us for a reason and the reason is give it away to ALL. It’s not easy…but what is?

I don’t judge the woman at the drive thru. Maybe she was having a bad day, maybe that’s like the thousandth time they’ve forgotten something at this specific place or maybe she is just full of hate and anger for reasons I’ll never know. What is so clear to me, and what I want my kids to know, is that if she could understand the pure and true connection she had to that server at the window she would’ve never treated him like that. Sure she deserves to get the food she paid for, but she would’ve addressed him lovingly.

Life is designed to test us, it’s not like you grasp a concept and that’s it you’re done, you will continue to be presented with situations that will prompt you to act lovingly or to act in an opposite fashion. Your buttons will be pushed, people will threat you poorly, your jealousy will be triggered and you’ll be hurt along the way. I feel like I really “get it” and I am still continuously tested. It’s going to be up to you how you respond. We lie to ourselves and tell ourselves that people deserve our negative responses, but that’s simply not true. Our purpose in this world will always be love. Choose love every single time and your life will be so peaceful.

With a Heart FULL of Love,
The Enlightened Mama

How Did I Make You Feel?

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I can’t help but think lately about how we make people feel. How people make us feel and why- and when I think of something a lot I need to share…especially at the ass crack of dawn for some reason (it’s currently 4:50 am). It seems to be a very spiritual time period for me, I think the silence clears my head. I’ve realized lately I’ve FINALLY graduated from the prison of caring what people “think” which is more self-involved in nature- do they like ME? What do they think about ME? How does this impact ME?- and moved onto wanting to make sure people FEEL a certain way in my presence. This is very liberating and I’ve always heard it comes with confidence and age and everyone who has told me that is right! For me (mostly… still a work in progress) it’s no longer being worried about others’ impression of me and more concerned with, did I make them feel positively? Am I someone they would choose to be around? Did I impact them in some positive way even if it was simple and seemingly un-important? Did I enrich their lives? And as I’ve discussed before, did I leave them better?

We’ve all been around the people with big egos, the people who say things to make themselves feel big and you feel small, the people who take their insecurities out on you, people who don’t have anything particularly “good” to say, people who are quick to share their judgements and even people who aren’t particularly friendly. For what? Our connection to others is part of our purpose on this planet. What are you trying to gain from making another person feel anything but joy and peace and acceptance and comfort in your presence? What are you winning by making sure others know you’re better than them or your negative opinions about things? These situations leave us feeling drained and icky and wanting to be around that person as little as possible. If you are an empath like me you pick up on peoples’ disposition towards you. This isn’t always a good thing because you might read into everything another person does and says, but hear me when I say it does NOT matter. What matters is what you give. To every person. Every day. And really all of the above labels are really just judgements anyway. Sometimes it’s not about labeling what or why or how someone says and does things. It’s about accepting it for what it is and ending it there. It’s also about being concerned ONLY with what YOU have to give away. This is pure freedom because not one other person will ever have any hold over you, any power or input on your mood or behavior or how your day goes, or most importantly, how you feel about yourself. Being concerned with how what you do and say makes another human being feel, means that you have complete power over your purpose. It means you are living intentionally and from a place of love.

It means being soft instead of hard. It means being peaceful instead of right. It means showing acceptance instead of judgement. It means staying silent when you want to correct (except of course if correcting is genuinely helping with the well-being of another person, then by all means, correct away. I wouldn’t want you to refrain from something like, oh I don’t know, “no sir CPR is done THIS way.”). You feel me? It means forgiveness instead of resentment. It means smiling instead of looking away. It’s asking ALL about someone else instead of making it about you. It’s genuine interest. It’s listening. Its understanding. It’s care and it’s concern. You won’t always get it in return. But that’s ok. When you take your sights off of the end result you magically get all of the same good feels back that you put out. Being kind for some reason other than JUST BEING KIND isn’t kind. It’s manipulative and it serves your Ego. Serve your heart, serve your purpose, serve others.

I’m sure I fall short from time to time, never intentionally, I’m human and make mistakes, but it is honestly one of my main goals with all of my encounters. How did I make that person feel? How did my energy and what I gave to the conversation or encounter better their lives and their outlook on the world? Trust me it isn’t always my first impulse. I have negative thoughts and feelings like most of us, but I’ve learned to figure out where they come from, understand them, accept them, let them go and never to have them negatively impact others. I make sure to talk about this with my kids, but most importantly I hope they see who I am. And I hope, more than anyone, I make them feel in a way that makes them always want to be around me. And not now….right now we’re good, they are all up in my grill 24/7….but later, ya know, when they have other choices 😉

With Love,
The Enlightened Mama

This entry was posted on January 17, 2017. 2 Comments

Peace Out Mom Guilt

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To be honest, in my 8 years of being a mom, “mom guilt” was never quite my thing. I’ve always felt pretty confident in my abilities to be a mom (namely taking care of babies) and I always felt bad for people that did the mom guilt thing. Those that felt guilty that they weren’t home enough, or those that were home so much they felt guilty that maybe they weren’t giving their children an example of a strong, dynamic woman. Those that get a healthy dose of “me” time but in some strange way feel selfish for it. Or even those that get little or no time to themselves so in some way feel the guilt of not being more of an independent person. For me I honestly felt confident in my choices. I know that I’m intelligent and strong and I know I have a career that I will some day dive right back into, so I never had that kind of guilt. And I’m always here with my children so I never had the guilt that I wasn’t with my kids enough. Oh and by the way please know that I am not “bragging” in the slightest way….there are a lot of things I am terrible at, trust me, I just never felt that being a mom was one of them.

That brings me to now, or lately. I have 4 children of varying ages and varying needs. They are becoming more involved in activities and life is not slowing down. And guess what? That mom guilt is a real thing. And it’s a real bitch too. I am just spread SO thin. There are so many needs to meet. So many hands and hearts that need me and so many eyes that watch me. My younger 2 “need” me more and so I feel guilt that I am not as engaged with my older 2 some days. And my older ones are so involved that I am constantly dragging the little ones around. Skipping naps, putting them to bed too late and more. When I feel icky I like to explore. It’s so easy to either dismiss our feelings or become overwhelmed and incapacitated by them. I try to examine what’s going on, why it’s going on and try to fix it and grow. I’ve had this creeping guilt for numerous reasons and it seems to have increased slowly after the birth of my 4th child and has taken up more space in my mind recently. I’m sure it’s a combination of a growing family, growing schedules and my growing need to be and do more things for myself. It’s not my true nature to feel guilt and shame or to get hard on myself, so in doing my best to work through it I’ve realized the one thing I’m doing that I KNOW is a peace thief (but I’m human so I’m doing it anyway). It’s all of those pesky little shoulds. I think it was when I was reading “The Power of Now” by Eckhart Tolle that I had this epiphany of how often we don’t enjoy the moment because we are internally telling ourselves we should be doing something else. Even something as simple as relaxing which is in my opinion necessary for survival. Breathing, Drinking, Eating, Netflixing….in no particular order. What kind of life is that? Is that living? What an awful way to live that even when you are doing things you want and need to that you can’t even enjoy THAT because that annoying space in our brain gives you the guilt of all the other things that you really “should” be doing.

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If you ever listen to anything I say listen to me now. You are an amazing person, you are dynamic, you are important and you are doing everything you can. You are living a full and vibrant life and you have a lot of balls in the air. Never in the history of, well ever, have more demands been placed specifically on women. We have to be so many things to so many people and we get burned out. And if you’ve given birth to a human (and if you’re a parent by any other means) then you know deep within your heart and straight down to the depths of your female DNA that, that relationship is THE most important one, and so the guilt floods in when you’re busy doing all of those other life things. That mom guilt. It steals your joy. If there is anything that literally robs you of joy it is denial of the present moment. Of what’s in front of you and what you’re currently emerged in. It’s basically a denial of life and it will lead to sadness, despair and frustration. There isn’t anything you shouldn’t be doing. Because what you’re doing is just that. It’s what you are doing. And it needs no other explanation and no other defensiveness and no other GUILT.

If you are at work whether by choice and passion or because you must pay the bills, BE at work. Life is about being. Wanting to be any where other than where you are is a buzz kill. If you are at home either because it’s what you’ve always wanted or because it makes the most sense for the betterment of your family, BE at home. There are seasons for everything. You will not be wiping tushes and noses all day long forever. And I know there are situations you just really don’t want to be in, but if you can’t change them then you have to train your mind to be there and accept it. And not just accept it but erase any and all feelings of guilt.

Can we be in this together? Saying peace out to the mom guilt? No matter how put together any of of us appears to be we are the hardest on ourselves. We all know that to be true. So let’s be delicate with one another. We have the universal energy of being parents and we need each other to lift one another up. Own your choices and your actions and truly LIVE by being ever present in all that you do. Things are much more enjoyable that way. I needed this reminder, I hope it’s helped you today too.

Presently and fully writing this blog,
The Enlightened Mama

It’s Not About Us

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There are so many ways that other people can hurt us. I’m sure as you read that sentence you could list a hundred off the top of your head based on situations in your life. They can ignore us, betray our trust, dismiss our feelings, dismiss our efforts, not give us enough validation and a lot more. Every now and then when I’m feeling all Ego-y and forget who I am to the core of my soul, I get annoyed with others. When you try your best to be a giving, loving person you must understand that you won’t always get the same in return. Sometimes you will be met with resistance, typically for reasons that have nothing to do with you and that you may never understand. Not all of your friends and family will be the same type of person you are. Not all of the strangers you meet will be as pleasant to you as you are to them. You know what? Something I KNOW but often times forget….NONE of that matters. It really, really doesn’t. No one’s response to your heart bears any weight at all. It’s not about you. Or you. Or me. It’s not about any of us. It’s all about what we have to give. And if you change who you are and what you have to give because of the response of another, well then that seems counterproductive. Tell this to yourself every single day, “I will not stop the way I approach others in my life based on the response I get.” And more than that, any labeling of a behavior as not as good as yours or “wrong” is actually just more separation and will keep you trapped in your Egoic mind. I’m learning this every day.

Saying that “nothing is about you” can sound conflicting when I’m constantly giving and living by the messages of doing what makes you happy and finding your passion. When I’m constantly spewing uplifting quotes to anyone who will listen “don’t die with your music still in you” “find your passion and give it away” “follow your heart” blah blah blabbity blah. And trust me those are all really great words to live by, but the real magic happens when you do all of the things to make you your best self in order to THEN find all of the ways to use that to make each and every person in your presence better, happier and more inspired. And most importantly, when you have zero expectation of what the response will be. And not only zero expectation but, zero JUDGEMENT of the response or what you get in return.

How many times do you go through life completely insulted and offended by others? There was definitely a time in my life that I did. I’m a sensitive person and I’m an open person so that can be a recipe for being hurt. There are times I still do. I constantly look for connections with other people, and like real connections not all that surface bull shit, and when you choose to be so open your feelings can get hurt. Like any other human being, I want to close myself off when I feel like someone is hurting me. I don’t though. Well I usually don’t. I have the feeling, the thought, but then I know that it’s not from my heart and I let it go. I don’t attach to it and I try my damnedest not to give that negative energy out to the world. I try to be “unoffendable”. It goes against what your mind tells you, but I truly believe that regardless of what you “do” to make yourself happy our PRIME purpose is ALL about what we can give to others. It may be as grand as giving money or things or it might be as simple as just being a good friend. A listening ear. An uplifting word. A loving partner. A smile to a stranger. And that’s it. It’s not about what we get in return. And you know what’s funny? When you stop attaching to the outcome, to the validation, to the appreciation, to the pat on your back… mysteriously you begin to receive all of those things anyway. But they won’t matter to you.

On paper it all seems so simple, for the most part we think we are good people, and we are, but think of all of the daily frustrations you have with others. Your family and your friends. I’m willing to bet it is almost always because your Ego tells you that this other person is not meeting some need of yours. They aren’t fulfilling an expectation that you have secretly given them. Try this approach from now on. It’s something I figured out about 10 years ago and although I, like most of you am still a work in progress, it’s typically how I lead my life and it’s one of my biggest secrets to peace and happiness. Approach every single person you interact with, with this one thing in mind. What can I do FOR this person? How can I make them better? How can I make their day better? How can I improve their outlook on the world? How can I inspire them? How can I give them peace? Trust me your humanness is going to test you on this one (I’m sure because I’m writing about conquering this and sending it out into the universe I will most likely be tested in this area soon, spiritual growth is funny thing). If you’re kind to someone and don’t get it in return or if you reach out to others and they are closed off to you, your Ego is going to tell you to be offended. How dare this person disrespect you? After all you’ve done for them? Your Ego will want you to be tit for tat. It will want you to see life with an “eye for an eye attitude”. You can try that approach too if you choose, you probably will sometimes and this approach may seem like a good one. Your Ego loves to feel hurt. It loves to be the victim and it loves to make others wrong. It loves to remind you of all of the ways that you are separate from those around you. But this approach will not bring about the peace and happiness that your soul knows is so easily found. We are not separate. We are connected and every little thing you can do to strengthen that connection with another will lead you to the most fulfilling life you can imagine.

And because of my calling right now, parent, what good is any of this if I don’t teach it to my children? Mostly living by example, but also reminding them of their true purpose. Of their divinity. I’ve made it my new phrase (among a million others that annoy the shit out of my kids)- did what you just say make the world a better place? Did you just make your brother/sister a better person? No? Ok great, zip it. I intend to remind them that they must approach all others with an attempt to improve their lives, always.

Xo,
The Enlightened Mama

This entry was posted on November 3, 2016. 2 Comments

Leave Them Better Than How You Found Them

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When we were finished up our week away at the shore I was cleaning our rented place like a mad woman. As I was vacuuming under the couch in a weird contorted position that undoubtedly left me with a pulled muscle, my son said to me, “Mommy I don’t think you have to do all of that.” As I find myself saying frequently to my kids (because you all know kids can ruin some shit) I responded with, “we always leave things better than how we found them.” Even though I have made this statement many times, in that moment something struck me. Almost like a little message in my head alerting me just how important this simple idea is. Not for things (or places in this case) but MOST importantly people. We should always leave people better than how we found them.

Life can be so rough. It’s obviously rough because of the big things that occur naturally that we can’t control like death and trauma and illness but it’s also rough because people can have such disregard for one another. That roughness trickles down and slowly affects the world. Even the most well-intentioned and biggest hearted of us have moments when we let our Egos get in the way and we want to be right, get ahead of the next guy or give someone a piece of our minds. I’m forever trying to give love to everyone and always teaching my children to do the same, but I think that this one simple saying may be my new mantra. My new lesson to impart on my children. It can take on so many forms and work in all situations. My dear, sweet children I hope that you always look for a way to leave someone better than how you found them.

It’s healing the broken-hearted, forgiving someone your mind says you shouldn’t, being a friend to one who may have once seemed like an enemy, it’s backing down in an argument, it’s a kind word in a heated moment, it’s smiling at a stranger, sharing your strength with the ill and the weak, it’s teaching the unaware, accepting the different, giving hope to the hopeless, it’s bringing light to the dark. To my 4 children that I have to send out into this big, overwhelming world, THIS is the impact I want you to have.

You might not see the ripple effect in the moment. So many times our love and kindness seem dismissed. Don’t stop. Things aren’t always as they seem and sometimes the results are never to be seen. It doesn’t matter. Regardless of the response you receive you never know how much of an impact you can have on another. Continue to leave them better.

Love,
The Enlightened Mama

This entry was posted on August 28, 2016. 1 Comment

Changing The World, One Heart At A Time

Fellow parents, we’re scared aren’t we? The condition of the world around us is painful, infuriating and instills a fear within us that only those with the responsibility of raising the next generation could feel. I have been filled with emotion and almost can’t look at my kids without tearing up these days. They deserve more. We deserve more. It’s almost too much to bear, but we must not back down. We can not become crippled by the negativity and fear. I know it all seems so overwhelming. How can one person possibly tackle the massive problems of the world? The answer might be simpler than it seems. It starts within us. It happens in our hearts and when we choose to focus our energy on the good the entire universe will be affected by it. You know the whole “think globally, act locally” thing. Every moment we feel pain, fear or anger is a gift. It’s a gift because in these moments we get to choose who and how we want to be. We get to rise up to the occasion and every choice made in love reveals our purpose on this planet.

It’s the law of attraction, “like attracts like.” The energy we choose to put out has the ability to change the frequency of the entire universe. We can choose high frequency energies (love and peace) or low frequencies (hatred and fear). What we want for our children should be what we want for the entire human race. Since I have had children I am so much more aware of how we are all connected; all from the same source. If my belief is true then changing the ways you interact with those around you has the ability to soften the hearts of every single person on this planet. Bleeding heart? Maybe. But for now it’s working for me so I feel compelled to share what’s in my heart. I believe if we can all do the following then a chain reaction is inevitable.

Forgive- find someone in your life that you don’t think is worthy of your forgiveness. One who has instilled anger in you for far too long. Forgive them. It’s not about them, it’s about you and clearing your heart. A pure heart will have pure intentions and want the best for those around them. If we can look at the outside world and forgive others for their sins but can’t find it in our heart to forgive a family member or a friend then we might have some work to do.

Accept- take an entire day and accept each and every person you encounter for exactly who and what they are. Don’t judge, don’t change, don’t criticize. Choose to see that we are all here for a purpose; all following different paths. We can’t know what someone else’s experiences in this world should be. Maybe that one day will turn into weeks and months and eventually our way of life. If we have acceptance in our hearts right here and now we can begin to empathize with the masses.

Love- this sounds simple, right? Not always. I’m not talking about the people in your life like your partners and children that you are already “in love” with and therefore are easy to love. But love the shit out of everyone and everything. Seriously try it. Love is not only an action but a state of being. BE LOVE. To the mailman, to the cashier, to your coworker, your neighbor- act lovingly in all of your interactions. Act lovingly when our minds tell us the other person doesn’t deserve it. Act lovingly when we are scared and uneasy. Be love when you have so much pain you want to hate. Watch how those around you will begin to shift.

Understand- There are reasons why people do what they do. Why they are who they are. Let’s stop being personally insulted by them and seek first to UNDERSTAND. When we choose to understand another person we strengthen the connection we have. We can begin to see ourselves in them and can begin to see how we are truly all one. Of course this isn’t always easy, we are human beings, but try to make it your automatic response when you feel wronged to try to understand where it came from. This doesn’t mean we don’t get to have boundaries, it just means that we have so much peace within that we are above taking things personally and we only have empathy to give. Can you imagine is world where every person felt empathy? How could you ever hurt another?

Appreciate- When you can be grateful for every person and experience in your life you automatically take away your mind’s desire to label and judge. Who are we to say what things are good vs. bad and who and what are deserving of our appreciation? Practice appreciating all people and situations today. Appreciate them for revealing your life’s purpose. When people knock us down OR lift us up they are giving us an opportunity to become better. During the good times AND the hardships we are given an opportunity to choose the type of reaction we want to have and the type of person we will be. Appreciate it all. It’s all meant for our growth if we choose to see it that way. A grateful and appreciative heart will then naturally love and accept their fellow human being as if we are all part of a bigger plan.

Listen- we all want to be heard. To be seen for who we are. The problem is we are all so busy and caught up in our own nonsense that we rarely listen (like actually listen) to what others are trying to tell us. I guarantee if you look for it you will see how there are many times throughout the day that a person you encounter is trying to share their heart with you. Try to open you ears and your heart and don’t dismiss these people. If we can be a genuine and understanding shoulder to cry on we will instill HOPE. Just one person with renewed hope will inevitably pay it forward.

Pray- prayer is not inaction. It also does not have to be faith-based. Whether you believe you are asking for assistance from an actual entity or not, prayer can absolutely be a proactive way to change the climate of the emotional world around you. I believe that because the universe is made up of energy we have the power to make it give us what we want. But we have to believe that we deserve it. You can choose good thoughts or bad and the world will mirror back reflective circumstances. What could it hurt to try to use your mental energy to ask the universe for what you want?

Help- I believe the majority of us are still good and are most likely helping others on a daily basis. Don’t stop and do it even when it is an inconvenience for you. Do not let this harsh world give you a hardened heart and make you closed off to others. Look for ways to help every day. That person you returned the shopping cart for or the one who you helped change a flat tire might have been that one person who recently lost hope in the world and with one single action you can help to change their outlook. A changed outlook will slowly change the world.

I must do something. Anything. Maybe I can’t change the minds and hearts of the world but if I can do it within myself, within my own home, within the hearts of my children, within the heart of my husband and anyone else who is in my life, then just maybe the ripple effect will be far greater than I could dream possible. We have more power than we realize and we can utilize it here and now. Set your intention to do the same, we are all in this together.

Love to ALL,
The Enlightened Mama

This entry was posted on July 12, 2016. 7 Comments

The Bittersweetness of 8

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My oldest child, my only son, just recently turned 8. I know we say it and think it frequently, “they grow so fast” and yes they do; each year passing us by is a reminder of the limited time we have to mold them. But 8, it’s different. Something aches a little bit more than it has in the past. 8 gives me bitter reminders that he’s inching away from my grasp, but 8 also sweetly reminds me that he’s still my baby and that he’s still under my influence…for now.

8 gets himself dressed, but 8 still asks me to lay out his clothes the night before

8 brushes his own teeth, but 8 still has me “check the backs”

8 occasionally watches movies that have language and violence (previewed by me of course), but 8 still watches Disney Jr. with his sisters

8 gets up on his own and gets his breakfast, but 8 still comes to snuggle in the morning when he’s feeling particularly needy

8 wants his privacy in the shower, but 8 still has me check his hair for “suds” before getting out

8 doesn’t ask to play with his friends (he’s “hanging out” now), but 8 still comes up with silly games to play with his younger siblings

8 has started to blush at the mention of a few special girls, but 8 still only has eyes for one woman (it’s me don’t you forget it)

8 is able to figure almost anything out on the iPad, but 8 still needs reminders on how to hold his utensils

8 can read chapter books, but 8 still loves to listen in when I read to his sisters

8 thinks he knows everything, but 8 still asks me deep questions about life and keeps me on my toes

8 has begun to give me some tude, and even a few slammed doors, but 8 still tells me I’m pretty and the best mommy “he’s ever had”

8 shows me all the ways he’s finding his own way in the world, but for 8 I’m still his home base.

Oh 8, I’m not going to lie, you pain me a little. But I also thank you for softening that pain. For softening the transition to even more independence and distance. 8 is growing into a young man, but 8 is still my sweet little boy for just a while longer.

This entry was posted on July 5, 2016. 1 Comment

Spiritual Partnerships

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I was inspired to write this last week while I was reflecting on 9 years of marriage (having just celebrated my wedding anniversary). This is not a “my relationship is so marvelous post”- I really get a very icky feeling with bragging and I genuinely do my best not to- think of this as more of a “I’m really proud of my relationship, and while not perfect, we both work really hard at it.” I’m not using my writing for the sole purpose of shedding light on my marriage, but to use what I’ve learned and try to share it with others. I write this today because there is something I have discovered about being in a marriage, or any long term committed relationship really, that I want to share with you. Partially based on my own discoveries and partially based on things I have read by Gary Zukav regarding a “spiritual partnership.” My basic message to you? Any relationship that you are currently in should be meant for your growth. If you are choosing to share your life someone it’s time to asses if they bring out your absolute best.

I was extremely intrigued by something I read in The Seat of the Soul a while back. Basically Zukav was discussing how many years ago the human race NEEDED marriage. It was a survival thing. It was the point in our evolution that we were at. Now? Not so much. Our souls have advanced and not one of us needs to be dependent on another person. Everything we are looking for we hold within the depths of our soul. It’s not necessary, really even to have children it’s not necessary. So if it’s not necessary shouldn’t it at the least be to our benefit? Here comes spiritual partnerships. The only real reason that anyone today would need marriage is to advance their soul’s journey. To fulfill their purpose. We can still honor the tradition of marriage but it’s time to view it as having a purpose much greater than ourselves.

Think about what your purpose may be. The specific (maybe being a mom) or the general (maybe spreading love in all of my actions). Think about your partner. Do they love, support and accept you enough to help you with your life’s purpose? And conversely do they challenge your wrong doing and poor behaviors so you can be the best you? If you can honestly answer yes to that you are engaged in a spiritual partnership and life is more likely to be inspired and joyful for you.

We can obviously learn so much from the negative forces in our life too, especially when those negative forces are so intertwined with our daily lives, such as in a spouse. It’s up to you to figure out when you will learn the lesson and move past your current situation. It is 2016. Divorce is not taboo. Single parenting is not taboo. Second and third marriages are not taboo. If you are not living a life of happiness make the choice to. Happier people make happier children who make a happier and more peaceful world. You do you boo.

I dedicate this to my husband who has shown me with his actions time and time again that his spiritual journey and mine were destined to be and how we both allow and enable each other to be the best versions of ourselves. NOT perfect. Perfect for each other.

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❤️
The Enlightened Mama

Being Real- And Letting Go Of Your Ego

Ego. One simple word, so much weight. If you are on a path to self-discovery, improvement, enlightenment or whatever you want to call it, I am sure you have read tons about what this word means. I too have read so much about the Ego and have discovered that overcoming the Ego or in other words, breaking your attachment to the Ego, is maybe THE most vital part to living a life of peace. There are so many different philosophers that have given their definition of the word but I will just give you my personal understanding of it.

Ego in it of itself is not necessarily a “bad” thing. Some people consider it the mind and your thoughts about life and in a lot of ways it does serve some purpose, but essentially it is an image or ideas of who you are and who others are. It is also what gives you the idea that you are separate from others, on a heart or a soul level we are all connected but the Ego will want to tell us otherwise. In some respects we need it in our human existence to function in all of the roles that we play, man, woman, mother, father, job titles, etc., but all of the biggest problems in the world stem specifically from over identification with the Ego. The second you try to cling to an idea of who you are, an image to uphold so to speak, this is when you have become overly identified with the Ego. My main purpose of writing today is to help even one person learn that when you let go of your Ego you can be who you truly are and you can finally let other people be who they are. This is authenticity…I’m sorry this word is used to absolute death….but being who you are to the core without any ulterior motives and interacting with others based exactly on who they are, is true authenticity.

Here are just a few examples of what identifying with your Ego might look like:
Thinking you are superior OR inferior
Basing your worth on your financial status or job title
Being judgemental of the way other people live their lives
Having a hard time giving other people credit for their accomplishments
Taking credit
Making others wrong or always needing to be right
Boasting or bragging
Lying or exaggerating to uphold an image
Constantly looking for sources of outside validation (social media is really, really testing this one)
Being threatened by someone else’s success (jealousy, envy, etc)
Judging yourself or others based on things like the size of your home, the car you drive, how much money you make
Striving for recognition for everything you do
Anger
Resentment
Playing the victim
Basing your worth on how others view you

I could probably go on, but you get the idea. I ASSURE you, I am not being preachy here in the least. We are human and part of the journey to enlightenment is to connect with your soul and disconnect with your Ego. We obviously need something to work on in the first place. If you are living a human life, you are currently faced with these egotistical behaviors daily in order to challenge yourself to grow. Think about it, I can almost guarantee you have constant situations where you can easily do or be one of the above OR you can make the choice in that moment to let it go and choose love instead. It’s always about choosing love. It’s hard. Our Ego is slowly diminishing as the world progresses and more people “get it” and it is clinging on for dear life. It actually just dawned on me recently that when I get annoyed for someone else having a “big Ego” that’s actually MY ego judging and labeling someone else. My true self is only concerned with my journey and being the best person I can be, if I become frustrated by someone else I am just as bad.

I know we see this play out in our children. Part of my goal when sharing these ideas on this blog is to take my teeny tiny corner of the Internet and do my best to make the world a better place. If we can help our children to identify with their heart and soul and not their mind and Ego, we will all find peace and our future will be very bright. Think of your toddler. I had an experience with my son recently that showed me how opportunities to help our kids dis-identify with Ego can reveal themselves. My son is an all around mild and peaceful child. He is good natured and kind. I don’t worry to much about the man he will grow into, which is why every now and then I think I need to be thrown for a loop and shown how my parenting is required all day everyday. He had a baseball game recently where he didn’t play that well. He is typically a good player, gets a lot of recognition from his coaches, the other players and my husband and I. He also has no problem encouraging other children and being happy for their successes, which is why I never think twice to acknowledge him when he plays well. At this specific game he was just off. Struck out at every up to bat, dropped balls in the outfield, throwing lots of balls at the pitchers mound etc. He’s 7, by the way, and all of these things were complete non-issues in the real world. I care way more about how my son is as a human being than how he is at a sport. Which is why I was seriously upset at the behavior I saw. He was not only completely down on himself and in a terrible mood, but as I watched him I noticed he did not once cheer for his team mates or give them recognition for when they played well. It was almost as if he couldn’t be happy for others’ successes if he himself was not experiencing success. OH HELL NO, I needed to cut that crap immediately.

I don’t often get disappointedd in my children, they are children for a reason, but it was very clear to me that the universe was giving me a wonderful opportunity to give my child a lesson in Ego and how attachment to the Ego can lead to a lot of unhappiness. I explained to my son that his mood can not be determined by how well he plays in a game and that his performance can absolutely NOT dictate who he is as a person. This is a naturally friendly kid who let his view of himself in that moment (his Ego) affect how he treated those around him. I also took a moment to explain humility to him and sometimes when we are really good at something we need to be shaken up so we can learn. So we can grow. I think he got it. I also thought how if my husband and I had been overly identified with our own Egos we could have really screwed up in this moment either by being hard on him for his performance (showing him that how well he plays a sport defines him) or we could’ve displayed similar behavior to him which would have modeled that that type of thing is ok.

This is a very small example of the ways in which we can see when our kids are beginning to identify with their Ego and how we can parent from our heart and shut that shit down. When you think of the ways you might overly identify with your own Ego, try to figure out how you can begin to live from your soul, which I promise you will lead to peace. Every time you want to put someone in their place, make someone else feel wrong, feel threatened by someone, try to make yourself seem “better than”, feel envious, feel inclined to boast or brag…take pause and try it a different way. It might feel uncomfortable at first, but that is GROWTH. It’s why we are here and if we don’t figure it out we can never fully live a peaceful happy life. Be your real self, it is so much more comfortable and way less exhausting than clinging to the tings you are not.

Love,
The Enlightened Mama

This entry was posted on May 25, 2016. 2 Comments