A lil omm goes a long way… literally!

MidDrift Movement Swag

MidDrift Movement Swag… Get Yours.

Last week I was invited to a very special event. The Mid-Drift Movement was coming to DC to do some filming for a documentary they are making about motherhood and postpartum bodies. When it was my turn to speak I had NO idea what I was going to say. I just got up and started telling the story of lil omm, and something magical happened…
As I began to speak our story to share the path of why and how we started and what the state of motherhood, natural birth, and holistic options were available to mamas 9 years ago I reflected back on how isolating the prenatal and postpartum period felt.  When lil omm started there were so few resources and communities for women and families, even in this big, highly educated city.  I started LO as a way to surround myself with like-minded women and families who wanted MORE OUT OF THEIR LIVES and THEIR PRACTICES, especially as it pertained to raising children. Fast forward to last fall when I decided to close the studio- and you know what? I do not feel this way anymore! Now, Washington DC has many more options for prenatal information, classes on parenting, natural birth options and while it’s not perfect, I closed our doors feeling like women and families were more supported in this city now than they were when we opened.  I’m so proud of us!
It feels so good to know that this city has made progress- from the beautiful midwifery program at George Washington University that integrates with the OB-GYN program, to the opening of the new Maternity Center at Sibley Hospital to the increase in home births of my students. I also feel so grateful that our country is in a “mindfulness and yoga” boom right now where people everywhere can find classes online and in their local libraries and communities. These practices that I hold so dear have been able to expand a bit to reach a broader audience and while nothing is the same as the heart, soul and spirit that was our LO studio, I feel SO GOOD to know that our city (and beyond) has access to more information and quality support than ever before.
This past year I have been approached to do some really interesting projects as a way to keep the lil omm community and spirit alive: coaching new yoga & wellness teachers and professionals in their business, Skype training for Itsy Bitsy/ Mom & Me Yoga so that we can spread these amazing offerings to more locations, supporting women on the phone to start their own meditation/ yoga practice, having fun teaching how essential oils can help with our physical and emotional health, and finally creating online classes (and a virtual book club!) so that lil omm can continue to reach women who really want a community, a home to feel supported and seen and loved on this spectacular journey of life.
I left the MidDrift event just feeling so grateful for what lil omm was AND what it is becoming. Memories of students and their babies scrolled through my mind, but I really honored the fact that there was a point in time when I needed lil omm studio in order to Thrive.  I needed a physical place to put my energy and time into, and to bring my children, and to teach and share yoga. And like everything, that time has passed.  My interests have shifted. I have grown and evolved and while the core of lil omm remains the same, I’m proud of us for riding the waves, going with the flow, and being super curious about our lives as they are NOW… stepping into new offerings, programs, connections in new ways while always remembering that one of the keys to long term wellness and contentment is connection (and that can happen live, online, on the phone, with our thoughts and our memories).
Are you new to lil omm?  Start Here to find ways to connect online!
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Let’s Get Together!  Upcoming Local Events:

And don’t miss our very first Omm @ Home: Virtual Book Club for Inspired Women meeting on Zoom this Wednesday!  Haven’t read the book yet?  No problem.  You’ll still get something great from it!

Interested personal wellness or biz coaching?  Let’s Chat! Set up your complimentary intro consult.

a lil omm everyday + #yogaineverydamnway

#yogaeverydamnday is a very popular movement challenge, when you look at the hashtag collection it is more than half pictures of people in very difficult postures that most of us don’t practice regularly. For some people, these photos are very inspiring. For others, they are very discouraging and turning people away from yoga because they believe they won’t ever be able to achieve or accomplish these “advanced” arm balances and inversions.
This morning I woke up thinking… What if it was #yogaineverydamnway, and instead of people doing headstands, handstands, and arm balances they were meditating, sitting in stillness.  Not striving, not perfecting, not competing as we get to be more “advanced” practitioners.  Pssst… I’m going to let you in on a little secret Gentle Is The New Advanced
and J is coming to The Underground Yogi, in VA in October!!
Yoga’s Ethical Guide to Living:the Yamas and Niyamas are here to keep us on track … to stay focused on how I only really want to do this whole “life thing” as a student of yoga, not because it gives me “yoga booty” but because it helps me realize my strength, my flexibility, and my potential (not to mention the shift of perspective, mindset, and clearing of the internal cobwebs so that I am able to live these days awake, alive, and in tune with my life).  That to me is the gift of a lifetime. Thank you, Yoga.
I’m going to share with you our outline for the Mom’s Up themed workshops (plus poses) featured in our upcoming retreat… these are not just for our mamas, but for ALL humans to explore. How do these themes show up in your life and in your relationships every day?  What happens when you invite yourself into a pose with a theme and reflect up on the theme?  How does it feel when you breathe into the pose, come out, and Pause.
This type of practice is extremely efficient… you don’t need 90 minutes, fancy yoga pants, or even to leave your home. It’s just a lil omm every day, plus #yogaineverydamnway.
Try it and let me know what you think.
Mom’s Up Workshop Themes & Supporting Poses
Energetic strength (plank)
Energy and time feel like scarce resources for moms. Be reminded of your inner strength and tap into your vital energies.Find the power to manage your energy sustainably, and to be yourSELF with authentic conviction. 
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Balance (tree pose)
A balanced lifestyle is simply a state of being in which one has time and energy for obligations and pleasures that are in ALIGNMENT with one’s values. Balance is  dynamic and that you “achieve” when all of the most precious aspects of your life and self are in harmony.  Only you can determine what balance means to you, what alignment looks and feels like to YOU, in this season. How do you embrace equilibrium in your heart and mind?
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Self love (mudra)
What does your love affair with you look like? Realize the value of caring for yourself.  Learn to recognize and celebrate what is wonderful about you. With hands on your heart, breathe into the center of your own being. The real, beautiful, loving kind soul that I believe exists in all of us. Tap into her as often as possible. Befriend her. Embrace and Empower her to help you make decisions for your life. 
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Trust (half moon)
Self doubt, guilt, not-enoughitis are all too common symptoms of motherhood, ( adulthood?). Reconcile with the voices and habits that support the re-occurence of these symptoms and learn to connect with your intuition so you can feel confident in your choices as a mother, as a woman. Begin living a life based on trusting yourSELF and the Universe that supports you. 
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Creativity (side twists)
Busy-ness, overwhelm, stress and lack of self-confidence can all be barriers to a mothers’ powerful creative flow.  Learn how to overcome these barriers and connect with and nourish you creative spirit. It is time to settle into your authentic self and let your imagination roam free.
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Want to learn more about Mom’s Up?  We were just featured on Mindful Healthy Life! 
If you’re a mama who lovingly does EVERYTHING for your family and somewhere along the way have lost track of your own needs, priorities, and self-care then you’re invited to a complimentary group coaching call with me and my retreat co-host, Alex Hughes this Thursday, October 6th @ 11am.
Want in?  Sign up here.  Recordings will be available to everyone registered.
Registration for our weekend retreat in Middleburg, Virginia ends on October 10th!  Only a handful of spots are available.

3 Tips for Dealing with Tantrums (Child or Adult)

 

 

img_6312He comes walking out smiling, laughing, totally fine. I relax a bit, since I’m never really sure what type of kiddo I will be picking up these days. “ Hi mama. I had a great day. I played with J.  I ate all my lunch and we had science.”
“Awesome, bud” I reply as he takes my hand to go pick up his sister.
Just a few short minutes later, he’s starting to fall apart. I can tell it’s about to happen and before I let it go full blown, I scoop him up. I start my practice. I get grounded in my body. I relax MORE than usual… in an attempt to be ready, to be present for the storm that’s about to come.
As he starts to boom and rage, I slow my walking down.  I slow my breathing down. I let him go through it all. The whole range of emotion, the whole spectrum of anger, exhaustion, and hunger. Fighting me, I’m able to buckle him in. He’s kicking the back of my chair. I lengthen my spine, I exhale through the mouth relaxing the tension that’s building in my jaw.
“MOM! Let’s GO!” She yells from the back- hoping if we drive away quickly he will stop screaming. I whisper to her,“one minute” and I grab my purse, take my “balance blend” put 1 drop in my hand,  breathe deeply 3 times and as he keeps screaming and yelling and kicking I begin to drive away. I have an awareness of my whole body, I wiggle my toes to make sure I don’t start getting too into my head, too reactive to him. I’m used to this by now.
We pull up.  I let her out and give her the keys.  I tell her to go inside and we’ll be right there.  And I linger outside of his door, I open it when I feel ready and able. I unbuckle him. I catch his gaze. He reaches out his arms and wraps them tightly around my reck, his legs around my back. He is wet in the face and his breath is fast. He melts in my arms.
I’m sure many of you have been through similar scenarios. It’s part of parenting.
Whether YOU or your kiddo is freaking out, I hope these tips help you…
1. BREATHE. Okay, I know we have all heard TAKE A DEEP BREATH but what I mean is for you to actually stop and breathe into your own body. Start to do this often enough that when you feel stress coming on you are able to trigger the response to BREATHE and  experience your own sensations in the belly, in the chest, in the shoulders, in the jaw. Breathe deep, wiggle your toes, ground your sitting bones, take some rhythmic movements. DROP IN to the present moment so you can see a bit more clearly as to what is actually happening and so that you can pay attention to what you (or your kiddo) needs.
2.  ALLOW. Keep your life spacious, rested, and energized by simple practices. I cannot stress enough how important it is to take care of yourself. If you don’t, you will have a super tough time being able to gain any clarity or perspective in these tough situations. ONLY with sustainable, regular care are we able to handle the big emotions, remember to breathe into our own bodies, and mindfully assist our kiddos. When we are in fight or flight mode and our kiddos are too- man, it’s a recipe for disaster. We are setting ourselves up for tension, anger, and frustration. This relaxed and open state of mind DOES NOT come from one night of good rest in months OR from one mani/ pedi treatment. This shift starts to happen when we put nourishing practices into our life DAILY as a way to flow with the challenges that come our way. It’s not selfish to take care of yourself. I repeat, it’s not selfish to take care of yourself. 
3. OILS. I use essential oils daily for mood and health. I made this video for you to show a few ways you can add these to your life.

Essential oils for Mama Moods from lil omm yoga on Vimeo.

Also, here’s the brain science behind aromatherapy and mood.  And during these tough times, I reach for Balance or Serenity blends to help my mood so that I can handle the stress around me. I also always keep a journal near me, and once I‘m able to drop into the body, see what’s going, I can quickly jot down a few thoughts or emotions so that I’m able to look back and reflect, learn something about myself or those around me, or just have a place to VENT my emotions.
Have you ever wondered where the Yogic philosophy intersects with real motherhood?  Over the years so many mamas have asked me how can they apply what they’ve learned on the mat or in our classes to real life.  So, starting THIS Sunday. Sept 25  we begin our 4-part Yoga & Motherhood course.  This intimate circle gives us a place to reflect, share, and integrate Yogic Wisdom (the 8 limb path)  into the role of Motherhood. Through practice, gathering, and learning together we will share in the journey of being mama. REGISTER NOW- only 2 spots left.
For mamas in need of some extra TLC the Mom’s Up Retreat co-hosted by Alexandra Hughes is coming up!  Treat yourself to a mommy re-boot and meaningful, inspiring connection with like-minded moms at our weekend retreat in Meadowkirk.  Only a few spots left, and registration ends 10/10.

In the meantime, I leave you with this mantra…

and a collection of great reads that have truly helped and supported myself and other mamas in the lil omm community.

 and finally this short, sweet at-home practice I made just for my mamas…

Yoga for Moms from lil omm yoga on Vimeo.

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

Mid Summer Update

Hi lil ommies,

Well, it’s been quite a summer.

We left DC the day the kiddos got out of school and made our way up to CT to spend a bit of time with my family before we headed over to Nantucket to celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary with some of our wedding party. When we come back in August we will have been gone 7.5 weeks!

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We felt so lucky to have folks come back to the Island and celebrate with us. Nantucket is a very special to me because my grandparents had a house there when I was little and I spent many childhood days alone walking the trails, going to the beach, and riding bikes mostly by myself.  I love sharing the beauty of the island with people I love, and this year was extra awesome because Saylor organized and led our renewal ceremony on the beach.  It was definitely a night we won’t forget!

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In early July we relocated to Hartford, CT where my grandmother lives.  This is the same house that has been in our family for 96 years!  Talk about memories!  The kids have been in various camps, having so many interesting New England adventures. We went to Maine last weekend and now we are preparing for a quick weekend visit to Vermont to see our dear friend (and former LO teacher, Kate)!   It’s truly been a wonderful, interesting summer.

One thing I LOVE about social media is seeing all my friends and family on their travels, with the growing kids and the big smiles and the ice creamy faces. BUT I also know that some of that can cause us to feel a bit “less than” or F.O.M.O (fear of missing out) or negative sad feelings around social media. Listen, get real with yourself and if you DON’T feel good when you are scrolling – GET OFF THE PHONE or COMPUTER- and do something that DOES  make you feel good!  Put the technology down and take 5 deep breaths. Go for a walk, pet your dog or cat, HUG a real HUMAN! Reach out on the phone to someone you love.  I have been calling people this summer to catch up on the phone, just like old times!  It’s been a wonderful way to connect to the people in my life.

I also have had some really nice work time when my kids are at camp. While I am not working TOO much right now (mostly taking long  walks and reading),  I have enjoyed studying and learning more about doTerra essential oils and using them this summer as much as possible, selling them to students, and introducing the benefits of aromatherapy to people. I’ve even had time to map our my fall schedule and offerings!

I REALLY miss seeing everyone in person, but I’m excited about the Fall!  I’ll be teaching a monthly Family Yoga class at Washington Yoga Center (registration will be available through washingtonyogacenter.com), two Yoga for Women sessions at IMCW, various Retreats, workshops, my 8- week THRIVE online course, private coaching, and NEW holistic healing offerings such as reiki and AromaTouch massage! Our website is regularly updated, so you can learn more there and sign up for our newsletter if you haven’t already!

I have also been reading books that people have suggested to me, mostly subjects around healthy finances, parenting, and writing as well as FINALLY getting into some fiction, which to me is EXACTLY what summer is all about. What are YOU reading this summer? Anything awesome?

Listen, as much as I have found love and joy in these gorgeous summer days, the weight of the world is also creating unrest, there is a deep unsettled, low level anxiety that lies right under the surface. As a yogi, as a compassionate human being, as a woman, as a mama, as me, I deeply care about our future as a country and as a people. And where it gets a bit sticky and challenging is that in spiritual practice when things get complicated we try to simplify. We don’t put out the anger and darkness and fear with anger or violence. We have to keep loving, we have to keep peaceful, we have to listen and hold one another. We have to communicate, donate our time or money to the causes that are near and dear to our heart. I know I have been reaching out to others as a way to help support connection, offering my time and resources to an idea one of our students has that will greatly support families, as well as thinking about the way I personally can impact change in our area!  More on that coming soon!

Below are a few things (links to articles, videos, etc) I have read and listened to over the past few weeks to help me– I hope they help you. I know it’s not changing the world or ending racism or bigotry or going to put an end to gun violence.  Ya know what? It’s not going to guarantee anything because in this world NOTHING is promised to us. NOTHING is permanent. Waking up to the truth of the pain of the world, while serving our families and our communities and  living in love as a choice, every day is powerful. Pay attention to your own suffering and anger  and do what you can to heal yourself. It starts with us!  Then we model for our children, our neighbors, and we stand together in our awareness, even when it’s painful.

 

 

Why I’m a Racist article

Thoughts from dear Katrina. 

“My hope, for all of us, is that we will not shy away from the hard conversations. May we continue to have them with our loved ones and our friends, on our Facebook pages and in public spaces and, especially, with people who see the world through different eyes. May we choose in each of these encounters and communications to heal rather than humiliate, to honor rather than to hurt. May we listen well and respect each other. May we resist the urge to dehumanize others. May we practice the art of empathy, which is to say, may we put ourselves in the shoes of another and willingly walk their mile. May we be living examples of kindness. May we act in accordance with our deepest human values: love, compassion, integrity, fairness, and hope for a better future. May we read more deeply and think more expansively. May we continue to educate and stretch ourselves. May we not retreat from complexity, but embrace it. May we be practical rather than partisan, thoughtful rather than reactive, generous of heart toward all rather than protective of a few. May we seek and find common ground here, in our America.”– Katrina Kennison

I often listen to music and just sit. I journal. I breathe when life feels too big, too heavy, too dark.

I went back to this recently and watched this. 

I don’t have any answers. I don’t know the way or the path of healing the world. As my personal mission- I just share with others perspectives, stories, insights that may be helpful to some. Meanwhile, doing everything I can in my tiny tiny world to be strong and brave and show up every day for myself and my family and our community. I take my life very seriously. I take each day with love and gratitude because I know this time is precious. I know living in love is the right choice for me and that means gathering people, creating, sharing and being a student.

I love you and thank you for being part of my life.

Here is sweet Milo, who turned 5 this summer, sleeping on me. Every night I put him back in his bed, and every night he creeps back in with me.  And a picture of the flowers at our local park which I just love. I document all of this daily here.

PS

I LOVE connecting with people, so email me pleasance@lilomm.com or join our lil omm life facebook group to keep the conversation going and to share with me things that help you during tough times, to connect over ways our community might be able to help, or just introduce yourself.

 

PPS

Join me here!

PAUSE. -Winter is dead.”

It’s almost here…

I am 3 days away from leaving my home, my bed, and my life for over 6 weeks.

On Friday, we pack up and head north for a summer of family and adventures. I will mostly be single parenting as my hubby will be staying in DC.

Since May, I have been planning and making a list of the things I NEED TO DO in order to keep my cool, stay mentally and physically healthy (please note, not making lists of things I need to pack for the kids!)  while care taking and trying to enJOY myself as well. You see, it’s not ALL about them!

So let me give you some of my  insider tips on how to take good care of yourself this summer while traveling, for when schedules are crazy and for when mama needs a break!!

  1. Plan, plan, plan- look AHEAD to what YOU need for the summer. Have a crazy week with family coming and kids home? Great, try to take out everything else from your schedule.  And plan to clean and move your body and drink lots of water the week BEFORE they come so that you are READY and feeling in flow when they arrive. Partner going to be away for the week? NO PROBLEM- line up childcare NOW for the time they are gone so that YOU still get the time YOU need to feel good in your body.  EXTRA CREDIT!! Start thinking about Fall now to0- here is the question I use when thinking to the season ahead.. how do I want to feel? What are my values and priorities for my family and life this fall; what needs to go and what can stay? I often put reminders in my calendar for the year ahead so that I can remember what last year felt like and if I need to make any changes.
  2. What makes mama happy?  What do YOU need in your daily life to help you feel good? Hint- my list includes essential oils, candles,  WATER, and a journal. As long as I have these things around me I know I can drop into my body and breathe deeply and support myself when tough things come up or when I want to experience a bit more joy and awareness in my daily life.  So since I’m leaving for a while I have a bag of my goodies all packed up and ready to take with me. This year I am bringing my twinkle lights so that I can set up a little meditation space at my grandmother’s house to sit this summer.  This will allow me to feel cozy and like home.
  3. HYDRATE. I know, I know- this is so simple. BUT if you REALLY, TRULY got enough water so many things would flow better in your body and in your life. Most of us are de-hydrated which leaves us feeling BLAH (low energy, bad skin, slow digestion, and feeling stagnant in our lives, etc).  In fact, we also know (research says!) that we tend to make poor decisions in other areas of our health when we don’t drink enough water (multiple cups of coffee, anyone?).  So for the summer I am committing to making sure I drink enough water while I am away.  I find it SO MUCH easier at home where I just refill all day!   I bought a new great water bottle at a discount store that will do well in the summer sun during my travels.  I don’t like to use plastic water bottles and just realized we have so many from Spring events! I don’t want to use plastic when the car gets hot, etc).

 

PS. Here is a call link for this topic— taking care of yourself this summer! I share all my best tips and practices. Listen and enjoy! Oh and come back to it when you need a reminder this summer.

PPS. REGISTER TODAY for THRIVE- the online wellness course that will SUPPORT YOU ALL SUMMER so you can truly be awake and engaged in your life. Registration ends FRIDAY!

Give & Recieve

“With a boundless heart
Should one cherish all living beings:
Radiating kindness over the entire world,
Spreading upwards to the skies,
And downwards to the depth.”

Something magical happened last week.  After years and years of complications, misunderstandings, hurt feelings and pain.. we have come to a place of relationship. Let me explain…

A few years ago, I had “forgiven” my mother. Enough to have a weekly call with lots of boundaries. Same time, same day each week. We would check in on the weather, the kids  and then hang up. On the outside it appeared that we had a relationship. As this became our norm, she began to open up a bit more. I would respond always at least an arms distance away. I was terrified of being hurt, of the past repeating, of opening my heart. So, I kept her at a very comfortable distance. That worked well for me, for a long time. I lived in neutral about it all. I did not ACTUALLY trust her with any of my thoughts, plans or life.

Until, in this past year we have had 2 in person visits.

Our December visit was quite incredible on a number of levels which I wont get into today but let’s just say we had a real connection. We had a powerful shared experience and we were able to spend some quality time alone where my guard came down. For the first time in years, I thought to myself ” I just need to talk to my mom.”  And there she was, supporting me and helping me get through an emotionally challenging situation.

Since this experience, we have been talking more frequently with less boundaries and just developing more of a relationship that we have been able to have, than I was able to have.

And then, last week- on one of our talks, I told her something I was working on for a project and told her a problem I was facing, a challenge I was contemplating and you know what? She gave me AWESOME advice. And then, my heart filled. THIS. IS. A. RELATIONSHIP.

The thing I had been pushing away, had not been ready for. After all the work we BOTH have done, we were able to come to a place where there was exchange, there was give and take. I am so proud of us both.

In order to be in a healthy, meaningful relationship there needs to be an energy exchange.

Over the past few months, I have learned the value of giving and receiving.

May this teaching penetrate all areas of my life.

(Especially  in ways I have yet to explore…and I wish this the same for you!)

Are there relationships in your life that you need to put some energy into or take some out of?

I KNOW this is a tough question- but email me if you want to share your story. info@lilomm.com

love to hear from you.

“Forgiveness does not gloss over what has happened in a superficial way. The practice is not about planting a smile on our face and saying, “It’s okay. I don’t mind.” It’s not a misguided effort to suppress our pain or to ignore it. If you’ve suffered a great injustice, coming to forgiveness may include a long process of grief and outrage and sadness and loss and pain. Forgiveness is a deep process, which is repeated over and over and over again in our hearts. It honors the grief and it honors the betrayal. And in its own time, it ripens into the freedom to truly forgive. And if we look honestly at our own lives, we can see the sorrows and pain that have led to our own wrongdoing. We’re not just victims; sometimes we also need to be forgiven. And in this way we can finally extend forgiveness to ourselves and hold the pain that we have caused in the heart of compassion. ”

This article was incredibly helpful to me.

 

 

 

so….. what’s next?

well, just a short 4 days after handing over the keys to our studio… I can feel the question sinking in. all this week people have asked me… “SO, What’s next for you? What will you do with your time?”  and I know they are trying to be loving and supportive and they are curious!  However,  I have spent the last 18 months diving into a shedding-letting go-less is more mindset… which means, it’s  really hard for me to answer this. Because in the past, I always had a next. 

and now..

nothing. I have no BIG plans, no crazy new projects, no big pivot or shift. I will keep doing what I do. A little teaching, some writing, lots of inquiry and reading and creating… but no, nothing really new. 

I am not necessarily “doing less” day to day but I most certainly dont have the same kinds of communications coming at me. the texts, the emails, the calls have slowed down a bit. The constant need to revamp an offering, change a price, go over class numbers, meet with marketing and scheduling and the bookeeper.. it has all been toned down with our biz restructuring. 

suddenly there are hours where I am not by or on my phone and I dont have fear when I do turn it on- that SOMETHING will have happened at the studio that needs my attention. I have a thing about responsibility and integrity and answering calls and texts in a timely manner and it was getting to me. I was letting it take over. 

to have more presence in my daily life AND do work I love feels truly like  “the privilege of a lifetime.”   

   -Joseph Campbell  

I am aware that in the past my responsibilities, commitments and creations tend to be rather large and rather public and intense.  So, as I gracefully enter into the next chapter post-studio with possibility, strength and confidence… I am curious to see how it will unfold and how the dance of ambition,  motivation and energy that are strongly in my nature will appear into my new normal of early bed times,  guilt -free self care, and a desire to serve and learn and teach as my own spirtual journey continues to deepen and flourish and evolve.

“so.. what do you do all day?” someone asked me this week. 

3 days a week I teach privately for half a day and then get 1-2 hours for admin work for the lil omm classes, marketing, financials, etc

Sprinkled around the rest of the week,  I teach a babies class, a preschool class, an elementary school class and Yoga for Women.

Honestly, each day is a combination of teaching people and classes and biz development, personal development, writing and mothering. In the next few months I will finish my e-book & probably offer some health coaching privates and groups/retreats in parternship with other workshops I want to lead and create. 

I have a full plate.

2 things I am proud of…

1. saying NO to a number of opps that came in my inbox this month… just clearly stating- I am not able to commit at this time. The truth is MY PLATE IS FULL. I am the home/caregiver and my children need me now more than ever. 

2. financially, I made more this month than I did the last 2 quarters I ran the studio. I think this is really, really impt to share in order to cultivate a healthy honest financial perspective& relationship … this topic is so incredibly silent in the the yoga world and I KNOW why . I KNOW many of us would teach for free if we could but…. I bring this up – bc I am proud to contribute to our family, pay our biz bills and to start the conversation around worth, money, value, yoga and biz.

What is so interesting to me is that when I was running the studio.. it never felt like enough, and even once we reached our goals- we raised them. There were always studio or techonology or staffing upgrades to be made… BUT  there was something SO out of alignment for me about this practice of NEVER ENOUGH.  and now, that its just me, I can set a monthly target, make a work plan, achieve my own personal “enough” and get on with living my life  (not working my life) . I can live in alignment with my values, as I set and determine them, without the more!more!more whisper. 

As I continue on this journey, I am amazed at how this world keeps expanding. I want to keep living in “open awareness” to see what is possible for me, as we have no idea what is around the corner. A great teacher, Karen Maezen Miller once told me , “you dont have to be amazing.”  And so now, I sit with that. Just moving back- letting other people take over, do the job, say yes, show up, run the show. 

and enjoy my life, no matter what happens next.