Magical. Mischievous. Mondays.

Milo and Lord Monti at The Jefferson Hotel (on a Monday night :)

Milo and Lord Monti at The Jefferson Hotel (on a Monday night 🙂

Okay, so I recently posted a picture of my kiddos in a cab heading home from a totally wonderful adventure on a {gasp} school night.  We went to The Jefferson Hotel to attend the Leash Party with Lord Monti and the crew.  It was a blast!  We took the metro after school and while we were on the train I said to the kids,”WHAT IF WE DID THIS EVERY MONDAY? Just get on the train to somewhere new like a museum or a park or just a new neighborhood to walk around?” They loved the idea and from there our new idea was born!

But in many ways, it’s a long time coming.

If you have physically been near me AT ALL in the past few months  you keep hearing me say the same thing… “I  don’t think I want to be in DC anymore.  It’s not where my heart is, my values are not aligned with the values here.  I can’t take all the stress put on adults (and children) to work, strive, compete, and overachieve.  I’m SAD about all the people in my world who think WORK IS LIFE AND LIFE IS WORK. I want more joy, freedom, and LIFE in every day and yes, I know we still have to pay bills, go to appointments and be grown ups here BUT I believe in my heart of hearts that there is another way.

I know many North American families are living this way, but I truly see DC as a vast land of super smart, super “successful” people who are burning each other out with the competitive “I work more than you do. I sleep less than you do. I do more than you do” kind of attitude.  I’m SLOWLY and MINDFULLY starting a “NOT ANYMORE” revolution within our community.  I’m working each day to support women to SIMPLIFY their lives; to go back to the basics of personal values and missions in order to identify what areas TRULY serve them and which drain them.

We do this in REALLY accessible ways, like adding in healthy foods, making time for journaling and meditation practices into our daily lives, etc.  And yes, it’s not always easy– sometimes there is discomfort and fear when we LET GO of the “way it has to be” or “the way it SHOULD be.”

Okay, in all honesty there is actually LOTS of discomfort and fear but we know that going in.  We are strong and brave and we don’t let that stop us from truly living our own lives, NOT the ones our parents wanted for us, not the ones we are so afraid to let go of, and -I think this is HUGE- we hit pause in forcing our kiddos into the same patterns.  We wake up and realize that the world DOES not look, feel, act one way and we start to stand in our own truth, strength and meaning for our own lives.   By doing so we allow our children to be their own unique, beautiful, magical beings and we say goodbye to what school they MUST go to, what sport they MUST play, or the delusion that we know what their path will be. Yep, hard, I know.

Back to the cab story…

So meanwhile the past few months I keep saying, “I think I want to leave DC.  It’s not working for me.” And since I am doing LOADS of work on mindset and limiting beliefs these days last night it was like “AGH! DUH! Change it up!”

Here is what I asked myself… “why do you keep saying that?  What is it that you don’t like?  Is that TRUE? Is that REALLY true?  How would you feel if you did not have that thought anymore? And how can you turn it around?” These questions are all all based on thework.com– thank you Byron Katie!

And thus, our Magical Mischievous Mondays were born out of a need for THIS mama to push back a bit on HOW life HAS to be.  I know that many folks in my area have a set weekly routine (and yes I do believe in structure) and the kids are very busy with after school activities, but I also know that we are SO LUCKY to live in this great town, in a great area with a metro RIGHT next to school!  And I realize that if I am feeling trapped, it’s my own fault.  It’s my own self-limiting belief.

Since I run my family calendar and make most of the plans, it’s up to ME to show them how great DC is. It’s up to me to lead our family and to take advantage for what is right around town.  There are only so many years left with these kiddos and I want to feel every one of them.  And yes, some weeks might be hard and yep- I’m sure Milo will have a tantrum somewhere and it will suck BUT I also know that the inspiration and motivation that I FEEL to try something new is FOR SURE going to rub off on them..

This morning Milo said, “Mama, when we go on our next adventure can we go check out a skate park or a bowling alley?”

“SURE!” I said.  “We can make a list of places and ideas!”

Want to start your own magical adventure?  Here are my tips.

  1. For our family, we HAVE to do it early in the week. My kids are WIPED out by Thursday/ Friday so Monday is perfect for US.
  2. Be consistent! Show up for your family, yourself and go consistently. Obviously, if someone is sick, then skip a week!  Otherwise, no excuses.
  3. Pack a bag with everything you might need for your trip: bandaids, extra $, protein snack, water, and maybe a journal and colored pencils to document your travels!
  4. Make sure your stuff is DONE before you go.  This means don’t have something else on your mind or be all tied up mentally with something.  Take that time OFF from stress and work and life and just BE present with your kiddos. HAVE an adventurous spirit! And yes, this means you need to be hydrated, well rested and nourished in order to do this. ( See our thrive class if you need support!)

P.S.  When I was a kiddo my dad and grandfather took me hiking.  I HATED it.  I complained the WHOLE time. I cried. I fussed. I did NOT want to go, ever!  But they did not really care. They continued to put me in the car and encouraged me to get in the woods. They did not change their minds or say we did not have to go just because I did not want to go.  They were not afraid of my tantrums or my demands.  Now, as an adult WHENEVER I feel lost or flustered or distracted or not grounded, where do I go? INTO THE WOODS.  I go and I feel them.  I sometimes think my grandfather is right there with me and I sense him.  I see the slow steady pace of my dad and I feel comforted and supported by all those childhood walks.  Why is this important?  We have no idea how our choices and actions as parents are going to effect our kiddos.  We have no idea what we will give them as tools for their future BUT I do know that my dad and grandfather were not taking those walks to teach me anything or to improve my skills in any way- they just honestly loved walking in the woods.  They did it for their own health, their own well being.  So in many ways, just knowing that I needed a bit of a break from the norm is what will make the memories for them.  I am not really doing this for them although I’m SUPER excited to share it with them. I’m doing it for me!

 

And You Will

my dear, you will figure it out.

you always do.

you are strong and brave and soft and loving.

there is no better combination.

my dear, you will figure it out.

Because this whole life thing is all about the solving, the problems, the goods and the bads.

My dear, you have all you need.

When will you know and trust that as time passes, you age, things grow, things fall, things age, things flourish, things die.

That you too- will watch time pass and contemplate it all and wonder WHY was time wasted worrying.

My dear, with my heart know that your gifts are seen and heard and while some days are hard and you are bruised by words or actions – you are not broken.

My dear, you are ALIVE and with strength and grace and courage that ONLY you have.

Please keep this close. 

And use as necessary. 

{tonight I wanted to write for myself, my daughter & my friends who suffer with ALL the wonder-worry-fear-and uncertainty that life brings… we are SO in this together} 

Family Meetings

 

After being away for 7 weeks,  our transition home was {kinda} smooth. Mostly because mama did everything she could to clean and organize and declutter the house BEFORE school starts this week……

I was able to do most stuff and get the kids involved in the donating projects and organizing books. We STILL have a lot of stuff- that’s for sure but I’m working on it slowly. It takes time, and I know that since it’s a priority to me- that I am going to be the one who is  motivated to actually work on the clearing out of our “STUFF”, especially with growing kiddos where there seems to ALWAYS be something we can get rid of.

BUT after all that cleaning and clearing – I was still feeling a bit unsettled and I realized that we are not on the same page. As the CEO and leader of the Silicki crew- it was my job to pull together our family meeting notes & values, and to get us on track for a weekly family meeting. We have done meetings before- sort of here and there with the kids, mostly b/c Milo was too young to get it. Mel and I had our own planning time on our weekly date nights but now with Saylor going into 3rd grade and Milo starting Kindergarten- it’s the PERFECT time to set up a weekly family meeting.

Also, I could tell that we need a regular consistent date to talk about what is working well for us – each member of the family and what needs some attention. Who is feeling heard and supported in the family and who is feeling frustrated or irritated about something (this time, it was me!) We needed a safe, calm regular space to communicate around how we live together.

So I put together a super quick check in sheet for us to use each week and I set the time to be the same each week- SUNDAYS at 5pm- FAMILY MEETING. Now, we like to go out to dinner on Sunday nights so I told everyone we could have the meeting at the restaurant and I brought the check in papers and everything we need. Currently, we are working on pulling together our values to create our family mission statement, but this process is taking time- everyone wants more time to think about what we value as a family.

Also, so that I don’t overwhelm them I try to have just 1 thing I want to do at the meeting, one thing to discuss. So for example, we always go over the check in sheet ( see questions below) and then I usually bring 1 other topic.. this week it will be FALL schedule b/c over the weekend I finished mapping out the after school activities and the weekends I am working, etc so that we can discuss if we have enough down time, alone time, family time, etc.

I LOVE doing this. I feel so empowered by our unit when we have these conversations and GET ON THE SAME PAGE!  It helps my husband and I be able to move a bit more easily through the week – when we know generally who is responsible for what and when, what nights will be late for work or early for exercise, etc. And I can honestly feel that our intentionality in this method DEEPLY helps Milo who has trouble with transition and change – so being able to connect each week about what’s ahead is really helping him adjust as well. And Saylor LOVES to know what’s going on which day, she LOVES being part of a FAMILY and this routine has been really helpful for all of our relationships. I also know I have a place each week to bring up something that might have happened the week before ( like both children sleeping in our bed) and there is WAY less drama or frustration b/c we all sit down together and express how we are – within a safe boundary.

Here are the questions on our Weekly Meeting Form..

Each person gets a turn to share..

What went well this week for you..

at school/work/camp

at home/personal/family

with health/fitness/care

What did not get well for you…..

at school/work/camp

at home/personal/family

with health/fitness/care

What did you learn this week? 

could be something you tried that did not work out- or something you learned at school or at work or about yourself!

Do you need any support right now from the family or outside the family?

If you want some guidelines for creating a Family Mission Statement- email me and I’ll send them over to pleasance@lilomm.com

Also, I just finished the outline for our FIRST FAMILY THRIVE Intensive workshop- to be held later this fall- stay tuned!! Topics will cover things like- planning,healthy eating, movement and meditation for the whole family.

You can find loads of resources online for family charters, family mission statements, family meeting outlines- HONESTLY, I keep it simple and I just create my own template.

My friend Lori, from Mindful Return also wrote these posts about her planning- these might also give you some ideas!

Annual Planning Day: The Saturday Basket on Steroids

Saturday Secrets: Tips on Living a Calmer Life as a Working Mama

Daily Practice.. Don’t miss your life.

As we transitioned back to life in DC, I noticed that some of my daily practices had been becoming a bit wacky. I find that I was waking up at 5am and doing some of my morning practices but that something was not quite right… I felt like something was missing.

One morning last week, I was moving slowly, making coffee and petting my dog and I realized- SADHNA. I miss my Sadhna. The daily art of listening to your life. of bringing to life the sacredness of life. Of dedicating your practices to something BEYOND you- to blessing the morning- the day – to making offerings to my teachers and to becoming connected to all things bigger than my little life. Agh- okay- I got it.  I was DOING all the things but I was not DOING them with a purpose- a reminder- an awareness of all the connections of WHY we do all of this…

There are many definitions of Sadhna. So for my purposes- here is what I mean…doing something regularly that deepens my practice and awareness and doing it with intention. Consistent, regular practices that you commit to with thoughts of gratitude for life, for teachings..I like this definition as well- “regular spiritual practice, your personal individual effort and it is the main tool you use to work on yourself to achieve the purpose of life” { which, FYI I am still trying to figure out }  In some traditions, it’s chanting or mantra and in others it’s offerings and blessings with meditation and yoga. Since I like to build on the wisdom traditions INTO my modern life – here is what it ACTUALLY looks like.

5:03am WAKE UP- Milo is in the bed ( he arrived at 4:46am) I pause and notice him. I breathe a little bit with him, just seeing him. Today is his first day of kindergarten so I acknowledge him for where he is, right now in this moment.  When me eyes open at 5:03 I think SADHNA. and this automatically puts me into gratitude and awake mode- I REMEMBER that I am taking this early morning time as my sacred way to start the day and it changes my mindset. This intention is what keeps me away from my phone and computer for at least an hour.

NEXT, I spend a few moments just breathing into my body. I put my feet in bound angle pose. One hand on the heart and one hand on the belly and breathe a bit here.

Now I’m ready to get up- and I drink the full glass of water next to bed. I rub 1 drop of balance oil on my feet. I start to breathe a bit deeper. I tip toe out of the bedroom. And downstairs where I fill up my water- add 1 drop of grapefruit oil and head to the basement. One of my sacred spaces. Here I light a candle. I take in the alter. I turn on the twinkle lights.

Today I want to practice to music so I put on my Yoga Yummy Playlist and let it shuffle-

The next 30 minutes is dedicated to intuitive movement and breathing practices. I do this with the help of Krishna Das, Wah, and others who inspire my movements. Today I pause between standing poses and relax. notice. feel all the feelings that are inside this morning, this first day of K and 3rd grade. The feelings that reside from yesterday that were hanging on- I process the emotions from the dreams I had last night. In standing poses, I use a very relaxed open mouth exhale to let go of what is stuck. And this goes on for a bit until I sit quietly. My practice is over. Not too long, not too short- just right for me. for today. A way to honor my life JUST AS IT IS right in this moment. Over the weekend, someone that I respected passed away and this morning I just spent some time thinking of her parents. Thinking of all her first days of school- you see this person was only 33 years old. It was not so long ago that her parents were packing her backpack & her lunches. Not so long ago that she was fixing up her hair and picking out which dress to wear. You see- as a mama, these are the moments I think of when someone dies. THE  LIFE MOMENTS that you don’t see on social media or in pictures. They are the actual tiny tiny moments of our lives- that only we see behind closed doors. The moments of childhood. Of growing and of loss. I think those are the most precious, the most intimate and the ways in which we actually connect as humans.

This morning I want to honor her family, in my own way by just bringing to mind all their little moments. By sending out whatever love and thoughts and acknowledgment I can to ALL The families who have kiddos not going to school today for whatever reason that is. I think of my friend Annie Lou’s kiddos who start school today without their mama. The first school year where she won’t be there with them. And I think of my friend Whitney who lost her beloved daughter this Spring who won’t get to have a “first day of kindergarten” with Eliana.

And as I sit here, it’s dawn now. The dog is snoring next to me. The coffee is getting cold. ANY moment they will come down to greet me and in no time at all- we will be on our way..and how incredibly wonderful and magical it is that these 2 beings will head out with us this morning. healthy and strong, alive and nervous- representing the mysterious wonder of life.  I have NO CLUE what this year will bring. The only thing I know is that we will face challenge and celebrate joys.

And I know my Sadhna practice will be the anchor and the guide for me, in how to be with and feel the reality of my life.

Start Your own Sadhna

  1. Choose a space. make it sacred ( candles, pictures, something inspirational)
  2. Commit to a day and time ( preferably the SAME day and time each day) and know that you can always have a Sadhna practice when you need it- but to get started as a habit- go ahead and commit. ( oh and show up for yourself!)
  3. If you know some yoga poses, do them- some dance moves- do them, some workout moves- do them! Don’t let the movement freak you out- LET the breath guide you. When you feel like pausing and just sitting or standing still- do that.
  4. Sometimes I write in my journal while I am in practice or right after- so if you are processing a lot of emotions or changes you might want to keep one near by.
  5. During the whole practice- just allow your self to be. GET quiet enough to let intuition guide- so many of us have NOT been practicing listening to our life- that this might take a few rounds.
  6. Bring in some gratitude, some intentions, some acknowledgments to joy or sorrow that you or someone you love has.
  7. Repeat as much as possible.

xoxoxox P

I would love to help you create your own Sadhna practice-

email me @ pleasance@lilomm.com to get some support.

 

Why Retreat

retreatWhy Retreat?

Okay, let’s be real for a minute.
Our lives never seem to slow down. The minute we think we will “have some time” to ourselves, a kid gets sick, the sitter does not show up, our boss calls us back into work, the dishwasher breaks. It never ends! It’s just too much. Our daily, busy modern lives do not really ease up and it’s truly up to us to put a big stop sign up and say, “ENOUGH!  I need a break.”
A few years ago when Milo was a year and a half, I had hit that wall. I was running on fumes and was just not able to find any peace or space in my daily life.  I was craving quiet, rest, solitude, and nourishment… and it’s funny because I did not realize that going in.  My nervous system was on OVERDRIVE all the time, and I don’t think I even had a minute to realize what I wanted.  It was a freezing cold night, both kids were crying, and I was sitting on the floor of my house when I saw the description for the retreat come into my inbox and I thought, “THAT’S IT. It’s time.”
You see, before that I had never spent time or money on my self like this.  Sure I had taken “trainings” (and anything having to do with learning always counts as a good investment), but I really struggled with allowing myself– giving permission to myself to actually schedule some serious down time. A weekend that focused solely on meditation and silence, on being and not doing.
And after a few days away from my family, on my own to write in my journal, read my book, be in silence, walk in nature, eat meals on my own slowly and with care, I started to breath deeper, fuller and I could feel my shoulders soften. I started to see my life in a new way, I started to relax a bit into my true nature.  And my life never really looked the same again.
I was able to recognize and prioritize when I needed some alone time. I was able to make it through some very hard times by just knowing that my next retreat was planned and that I was truly giving myself permission to take time away from daily life. I noticed that when I returned my voice was stronger, my heart fuller, my head clearer. I was prepared to make decisions for our family and for my biz, and I was  able to engage with my daily life from a more loving and grounded place.
Yep, just that weekend away had given my body and my mind the much deserved REST it truly needed, and from then on Retreat has been one of the ways I have been able to do hard things, process emotions, and find my way home to ME. What a gift to give my kids and to my husband, when I come home and love them up so much!  My gratitude is overflowing for the gifts that our life is and that can be SO HARD TO SEE when I’m rushing around, DOING, DOING, DOING and living in fight or flight mode.
So.. that was where my love affair with retreats started. I signed up for one, and then another. I planned and mapped out that I really needed and wanted to go once a year, then once a season. Eventually, I  started leading them at the studio and then in new places. One of the things I love to do most in the world is hold space for women to just be: to create, to rest, to walk or stretch with no expectations for outcomes.  Just everyone having their own experience.
So this Fall and Winter I invite you to join me. Each retreat a bit different: a different purpose, a different time of year.
  • MOMS UP!  October 28-30.  GREAT for mamas who want to spend an intimate weekend with other mamas! DELISH food, conversations, mama workshops and movement practices all weekend. We share a big country house and enjoy the beauty of Fall and each other.
  • Pause.  November 13.  Our most popular half-day retreat is back!  Spend your Friday committing yourself to purposeful rest, movement, and connection right in Tenleytown.  No weekend long commitment or stress around arranging childcare-  just a short, sweet opportunity to recharge before the Holidays.
  • Delight.  December 9-11. Designed for women wanting to spend some time in quiet, in contemplation, surrounded by the beautiful VA countryside with plenty of trails to walk, plus time for yoga and meditation. The PERFECT way to approach the Holidays, to set intentions for the new year, and to explore your inner world.  In this retreat, we will dive into some of the principles covered in my book, Delight: 8 Principles for Living with Joy & Ease all while settling into the rhythms of winter. Our accommodations allow for you to share a room & visit with a friend OR to have a private room where you can choose to spend most of your time just resting and relaxing.  I have a few optional workshops also planned for this weekend, including JourneyDance and Mala Bracelet making, and book your own massage.

 

Retreat FAQs

What if I don’t know anyone? You’re already one of us—you seek connection, rest, and nourishment and so do we! It won’t take long to break the ice and feel open and comfortable with the group.

What if I have a food/allergy concern? E-mail us and we’ll find a solution.

What if I’ve never done yoga or meditation? You’re in for a treat! We’ll enjoy all levels practices for all ages, stages, and sizes.

Is it possible to arrive early or stay late? Maybe! Please contact the venue directly.

What if I have to cancel? Your registration is non-refundable, however you are able to transfer registration to someone else (ie. sell you spot).  Keep in mind, this is a gift and investment in yourself.

little acts of {self} kindness

It is 5 pm on Friday.

Saylor is out with friends- Milo is playing in his room.

I have exactly 15 minutes before Mel gets home.

I head to my room and go right for my mat.

It won’t be a long practice. I roll around on my yoga tune up balls.

First I place them under my shoulders and then under my hips. Lifting and lowering my arms and legs feeling the pressure in all the tight places- slowly release.

Full deep breaths in and out. A few new movement patterns.  Forward folds, bent knees, wide stance. Softness around my aging body. Stillness. silence. deep full awareness…


And if even for just a moment, I experience the bliss of being right here. right now.

OF COURSE there are loads of other things I SHOULD be doing.

But I choose me.

I hear the front door close- I stand up.

“get your shoes buddy!” I yell.

And off we go.

Fall Session of Yoga For Women starts in September.

Join us! lil omm.com/classes

Salt Baths

“Help! I have some physical pain that keeps surfacing. I have possible emotional stagnation or congestion. I can’t figure out how to get unstuck. How can I help myself, save money & get some relief?” 

A super easy way to give yourself some ultra self care when you need it is to grab some pure epsom salt and add some natural oils. 

This summer I used Salt Baths to help with a variety of issues thay came up like… stress, emotional confusion, lower back pain, and slow digestion. 

Salt baths are great not only  to help releive aches and pains from daily life but are also to help process emotions, isn’t that awesome?!?

I blended oils as needed depending on what was coming up for me.

Ylang Ylang for emotions and healing.

Frankincense for spiritual connection. 

Deep Blue & Aroma Touch for physical tightness&soreness.

Balance for grounding.

Serenity for peace and relaxation.

Want to learn more about using oils everday?  want to learn more about Daily Self Care?

email me pleasance@lilomm.com

♥️♥️♥️enjoy!