Archive | November 2016

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