The Painful Part of Slowing Down

He screams out. ” GET AWAY FROM ME!” I can feel the knot in my belly. My jaw clenches. I have learned how to get low, and grab the oils. I have learned to move my body to the cozy chair. I have learned to put everything else down. Turn off the stove, take a big sip of water and settle in. As his anger erupts all over the room, I sit and wait for him to crawl in my lap and melt. His emotions are so big for his body. I was and am the same way. I can’t resist him. I have to embrace him. When this happens, NOW- I’m more skillful at being the parent, mama, human I want to be.

I do this more often than I used to, and that feels good.. especially since it’s all quite intentional.  Daily, I make choices that keep me at home more than I’m away. Choices that allow me to make dinner and read bed time stories over teaching classes, leading workshops or supporting other families.

And lately I have been talking about this thing I noticed-

The days are not “flying by.”

I told someone recently that I’m not watching my kids grow up at a speed or pace I can’t keep up with. And that in this current cray busy culture, saying that out loud feels so weird. Pretty much every where I go people are talking about “how big” they are and “how fast” it has gone.

But, I don’t really agree. This happens a lot to me where the general public says something that “everyone else” is saying and I just kind of stand there, feeling all awkward and uncomfortable b/c I’m REALLY BAD at small talk, lying or saying things just b/c other people say/ think them. So, there’s usually a pause. a nod. a smile.

But I’m really nervous about being self righteous when my own experience does not match up with the group…. I don’t want to be the one who’s like ” oh, no, not me, not my kids, not my life” in a baggy or boastful way. But the truth is, my days are long. I have morning and evening rituals that rock my soul b/c EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I feel the preciousness of it all.

I mean, I UNDERSTAND why people say these things. I understand that in their experience IT IS flying by.  B/c when you are rushing and racing and mindless and chasing a life, it can totally feel that way. I have been there. I was someone who never slowed down, EVER.

Now, in our family, we make choices based on our deepest values.  What I mean by this is that right now, in our lives, Mel and I aren’t into fancy clothes or bags, boats or cars. We have stripped so much away and now it’s like, SO SIMPLE. The food, the life, the stuff, the flow. We are super into health and while are income is probably right on par with “normal” DC.. we spend a lot on our well being.

There are so few chapters of these past 20 years with Mel were I can remember actually having time to just BE together. I mean, maybe in the early days when I was in college and I would do my school reading why he would watch movies on the weekends. That was sweet. But then.. oh man, My addiction to busy took over my life. So little time for him, for us, for just hanging out. To be honest, I have NEVER been great at just hanging out.. but now I practice relaxation daily…

Years ago the real estate market was booming and while I was head down teaching in SE DC Public schools, Mel was making a lot of $. I was spending a lot of money.  There was no real awareness or grounding or reality. Just doing whatever I felt like, at whatever whim. Partly immaturity, partly just b/c I was so involved with my work that I spent and bought what I wanted when I wanted, and my salary paid for it. And Mel paid for it.

Many years later, when the realities of 2 kids, 2 homes, changing real estate market hit…ALL while my studying of minimalism, mindfulness, buddhism and yoga increased.. it sort of made the perfect storm for what we now.. awareness. health. conversations. clarity. spaciousness. creativity. This feels so good.

Choosing intentionality, choosing mindful living, choosing to do less means….and 18 months ago, drowning in debt from running the studio and closing it, I vowed to stop using my credit card until I got the $$ relationship under control, until I learned how to  use it in a way that was healthy, intentional and based in reality.

I have not used it since.

So, now that I have made the commitment to live in my means, live in reality with my $ and my relationships, I also declared to get on the other side of this time debt culture we live in, and choose abundance, in all areas. There is no scarcity over here.  I find what I need in each day and I stand with that intention that I believe I will be cared for in all areas. And I see it come to life, daily.

I did not think or know that aligning my life in this way would lead to all this emotion.

Would lead to just walking right into it all. Every day, with clarity and awareness, I see her get older. I see the physical changes on her body and I step into each day painfully aware of all that lies ahead… the unknowns and the inevitable challenges and joys of life. I only have this moment.

 

I see more. I feel more. I absorb more. The past few years, I wake up and feel it.

Totally engaged in my life. I have dissolved so much of the numbing.

First it was the smokes, then the boys, then the drinks, then the drugs, then the TV, then the shopping…

I have let most of that go as part of my “regular” life. And well, sometimes I return to these things, but I’m not ashamed of the “being human” part.

But something I did not realize would happen is that it takes a whole lot of extra brave to see your kids for who they are. To see yourself for you who are. to see your life for what it is.

No matter if it’s grand or super simple. In my experience the slowing down has brought on a lot more sweetness for sure, but this does not come without it’s own shadow.

The pain of sitting with a child erupting in anger, the awareness of your spouse deeply disappointed by something at work, the aging of your dog right in front of your face.

I’m not running way from it. In this moment in time, we are together. We live and laugh and cry and love in this home. And at some point that will change. Do you know how painful that reality can be?

This is what I see now, all the time. I see them. I feel them and I know I want to be here for this, I don’t want to miss it.

XOXOXO, P

In our home, may we live with open hearts and minds.

May we honor this season and cycle of our lives.

May we cherish this time together, however difficult or beautiful, in order to embrace this human experience and to live fully with all the feels as they come and go.

 

I’m back…..

In February, I stopped writing here.

“It makes sense to put everything on the lil omm website” I thought.

When working on updating  biz websites, branding and offerings  there are a lot of SHOULDS.

And truth be told, the past year I was writing less & less about my personal life and more and more about “what coaches should write”

How to…

Top 5 ways to…

The REAL reason….

Do you get the point? Writing.. just for my soul, was not really on the to- do list.

Writing, to just share behind the scenes of parenting with intention, growing, raising a family and a biz, and just being plain old me- was not really on the agenda anymore.

So.. I stopped the deeply personal stuff, and I went down the road of what I “should ” be doing.

Now, let me say this. It’s been GREAT. I am very happy to have the skills and strengths to be able to do that kind of writing and to TRULY help people through tips and tricks and coaching experiments that help our students.

AND.. I miss sharing my life. I miss writing to just write- to just wake up and say- oh man, this GREAT thing happened or this totally shitty thing happened.

And my whole mind and body started spinning on this, WHAT CAN I DO?

another book? another biz? another blog?

And then, I just decided. I’m coming home to lilommlife.com THIS IS WHERE I shared about my babies, my mama, my meditation practice, my heart.

And I know, I know these blogs SHOULD NOT be like your diary ( FYI, I have one of those too, but I call it my “journal” of course) Yet, at the same time..

I am a sharer. Just ask my mom. As a kid I would talk to everyone, asking them about their lives and sharing about mine. I am a writer. As a kid, I kept journals and wrote stories and made them up in my head. As a kid, I was a reader. And I would get LOST and I mean LOST in the stories. I am so empathic and sensitive that I would cry about and grieve the loss of the characters when the book was over, b/c I would get so wrapped up in the stories that I lost touch with my own reality.

But, I’m not doing this for you- I’m doing this for me.

I want to wake up, land here and be able to talk about the big and little moments of life NOT TO SELL ANYONE ANYTHING. Not so that you will hire me to work with you or mentor you- not to teach anything or DO anything. JUST TO BE. Just to write.

Oh man, it feels good to be back.

Oh and I don’t have these go through editing, etc. so please, be patient with me.

I write so fast, thoughts flying that I go back as much as I can to try to clean it up.. but I’m human and I miss stuff, so there’s that.

I’m doing this for my own stories, our own life so that one day, Saylor and Milo can look back and read this and KNOW what this was like. And I know that stories can heal us all. That sharing can unite us and there are so many ways, we are so alike. Common Human Experience.

I went through the pictures on the blog this morning and man, my babies are so little- so cute- so happy, just a moment in time…

Today, I write this and Milo turned 6, 2 days ago and Saylor is 9.5.

We are in a whole new world, a whole new phase AND it’s magical too.

I LITERALLY have said this EVERY SINGLE STAGE since they were born…

” I think this is my favorite” b/c the truth is, LIFE is my favorite.

I can’t believe how much I love being alive, TRULY. EVEN WHEN it’s SUPER DUPER HARD. Even when I have to answer a million emails, even when I have to cook dinner, ever. single. day-

* please note, this was NOT always the case. I’m ready to write more about the dark times too. I’m ready to share about the depression and the lost and lonely days. *

I love life. I love the beauty and the pain, the sun AND the rain. When you step back- you notice, “wow, it’s all truly a miracle” I’m only going to be here a hot minute, and then I’ll be magical stardust floating about.. I’ll be in another body, shape, time..

This glorious morning when I woke up, felt my breath and my body and had the gift to rise. To plug in my tiny, beautiful flower lights so that I could sit and meditate for just a few minutes, b/c my whole body wanted to come here and WRITE.

TO FIND A WAY TO WRITE here again.

and I felt edgy, and heavy and dull.. and then with some green juice and coffee and walking the dog, I started to feel better. The closer I got to releasing the creative energy that had been building and building and building.. until my mind was racing and I was going to explode- they say this about writers.. YOU CAN’T NOT WRITE. You just can’t.

And if you do.. you go crazy. that’s how I felt, like I was starting to lose it.

And now, I have THE BIGGEST SMILE ON MY FACE, ear to ear really- feels good to be home.

“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.” Anne Lamott

Time for a detox….

Nope, not food.  There will not be any green juice recipes here.

It’s time to step WAY back and detox, declutter your technology, your life to make space, to find calm and peace and to handle whatever stress is currently brewing. Many of you have reached out and said that you are not okay, that you’re having trouble sleeping, that you’re REALLY suffering from the pain of the world, you feel anxious, on edge, and overwhelmed by ALL The things.

In order to create clean systems and simplicity to have MORE SPACE for joy, we have to energetically CLEAR IT ALL OUT!

We have to wipe the slate clean. Time to PURGE. In order to evolve and flow with what 2017 is going to bring us, we have to do some massive energy clearing to make space for WHATEVER is about to come into our lives. WE CANNOT KEEP ADDING IT ON.

We cannot keep over scheduling, overeating, and overindulging in media and distractions.

Well, I mean, you can- but tell me how that’s working for you?

And in our modern lives it means. . .

  1. APPS on your phone. Time to clean out all the apps you DO NOT USE.
  2. Repeat above on ALL your devices.
  3. Clean out your drawers. Yep. 1 a week. Clean a drawer. Then do your closets. Don’t wait for Spring cleaning. Don’t live in extremes (cleaning 1 room for 8 hours in one day, anyone else do that?). Make tidying and clearing PART of your regular life so that you always have space for new things, ideas, creations, WHATEVER it is that life brings. I find TREMENDOUS mental clarity from doing 1 little clearing project a week, 1 hour a day or 1 project at a time. That is how I inevitably cleaned out my STORAGE basement and turned it into the beautiful yoga studio it is now.
  4. Don’t know where to fit this in? Add your 1 hour or 1 project a week to your model calendar as a way to MAKE SURE you remember to work on it! Oh. . . and I ALWAYS add joy to my project time. . . wine or music or a new show I’m watching. How is your model calendar these days? Is it working? email me, pleasance@lilomm.com, if not, let’s talk about how we can get you on track.
  5. UNSUBSCRIBE from everything that is no longer SERVING you, as many things as possible. (You get to define this for your current season of life)
  6. If you need media limits, give them to yourself. If you are VERY sensitive about what you hear on the news, don’t watch the news before bed. Be intentional with when you consume. Consume things that may possibly upset you, with tea, oils, candles – something that is also relaxing. I subscribed to the Washington Post and I read the newspaper in my comfy chair with my coffee in the mornings. I have recently given myself a Facebook detox and I’m taking a break from scrolling on Facebook. I want to have a bit more integration of what I read and consume and this was the best way for me to do that, right now- to trade my digital subscriptions for the old fashioned papers. I feel MUCH more in touch with my own emotions and actions during the day and I don’t feel like a rubber band of highs and lows throughout my days. I have also found that I have more specific time for action when I consume mindfully and do not overindulge.
  7. Just like anything, NOT TOO TIGHT, NOT TOO LOOSE.
  8. I think of media and “STUFF” and noise not as bad but manageable in moderation. When I take a good, clear look at how I’m living, I can see where I’m overindulging and I’m WAY more in tune as to why something feels draining or depleting. A regular energy check in helps with all of this. Do you feel tight? Nervous? Fearful? Have headaches, stomach aches, jaw clenches? These are all the PHYSICAL signs that out bodies are saying- LISTEN! LISTEN! LISTEN! It’s too much! Your body MAY be craving quiet, rest, or silence. You are NOT your thoughts or your head, alone- SO PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE pay attention to your body’s whispers. It has so much intelligence. And like I keep saying. . . WE NEED YOU FOR THE LONG HAUL.

Still stuck?  Here are my go-to tips for handing the overindulgence of anything. (Thanks for the inspiration Michael Hyatt). From money, to body, to schedule, to movement, to cooking….

  1. Accept responsibility
  2. Confront your fears
  3. Drop the drama
  4. Keep it all in perspective
  5. Triage your calendar (most important and urgent things only!)
  6. REST
  7. Do next important task/thing
  8. Decide to change your mindset and wake up to limiting beliefs

From here, I am able to handle the reality of what is happening.

I personally think BURN OUT SUCKS. It leads me to be.. cranky, tired, irritable, unmotivated, unhealthy, negative and resentful. So, the MOMENT I notice these attitudes popping up- I check myself… hmmm.. is this burn out? Is there something I need to shift so that my natural state (generous, calm, peaceful, loving, open) has room to breathe?!?!?!  I’m NOT saying that we should EVER push away emotions that we have or that we ever want to STRIVE to be a certain way all the time. It’s more like a curious investigation into self when something arises to say. What’s the truth here, really?

Quiet.

It started so fast and with such an intensity and then between the baby noise and the life noise and the studio noise… life just got to be too much.

I held the weight of it all in my body. In my racing and running. SCARED to slow it all down.

Years later, confidence and clarity abound.

Freedom and flexibility. Expansion.

I never knew if I just took REALLY good care of the basics, that I would learn to trust myself.

The season has changed. Now my babies are other PEOPLE living in my home. With preferences and moods and demands and smells and messy rooms and unflushed toilets.

And there is no greater, deeper, purer (is that a word?) love.

Sweet spot. Kids at same school, living a charmed life,  they are..and I know this too will pass. They will move on or out. I will get older. I will loose people I love. Things will change.

The simplicity of our lives together, all in the same home. We get along. We fit together. Right now, it works really well.

I have no idea what the future holds. I dream BIG dreams for my life and wonder who they will be, where they will live and how often I will get to see them and hold them…

I don’t drift off to far in the future, the present has too much to offer.

So I get quiet, a lot. I notice that I REALLY want to grow something.. I can feel Spring coming. In some ways, I am not ready to let go of Winter. I’m not ready for the season to change, AGAIN. I want to stay cozy and home and quiet and keep them close and wonder-FULL.

The sweetness of ordinary life, being lived.

 

Take Your Pulse

What does it mean to take your pulse?

Seasonally, CHECK IN.

Here is a SUPER Simple way to do it…

Think of 1-10.

10 being AWESOME and 1 being YIKES

Look over the topics and areas of life below and think about where you fall in that area, right now! In this season of life. Also, if something below is not part of your values or your life, then feel free to say N/A!

Once you KNOW generally where you are, you have a much better foundation from which to plan on what the HIGHEST priority for you to focus your attention and energy on.

Physical Health

Mental Well Being

Environment (work, home)

Finances

Relationships

Careers/ Purpose

Growth/ Intelligence

Pure JOY! /Hobbies

Spirituality

If you want to make slow, steady shifts in your life, it’s super important to take your own pulse regularly to see what areas really need your love. Give yourself permission to let the others go for now, or move to the back of the priority list, AND BE OKAY WITH THAT! Think about it this way, once you establish a habit, routine, and a relationship with one area and it’s SET, then you can ALWAYS bring your attention to a new area. NOT in a beat yourself up, never enough way but more a .. yeah- right now I’m focusing on establishing a meditation practice ( or whatever) so I’m not going to spend a lot of time and energy ALSO trying to start a journaling practice….  Especially since we know, we can’t do ALL the things, ALL the time.

Give yourself room to breathe. Oh, and email me pleasance@lilomm.com  with any insights- I LOVE hearing from you!