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. 
img_6157
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?
img_6134
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. 
img_2683
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. 
img_6175
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.
img_6139
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!

 

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.

What does it mean to THRIVE? 

IMG_1094

What does it mean to THRIVE?

For me, it means this: the picture above. Thriving means smiling, loving, FEELING the world, hearing my friends and family, being ALIVE, being real, seeking truth, playing and holding hands. Thriving is embracing what is.

I experienced all of this on the night I was closing the studio. A night that I never pictured COULD happen. A place I loved so much CLOSING?!?!  This night brought me to tears and to laughter. My mouth hurt the next day from smiling so much, my eyes hurt from crying. What a glorious, beautiful evening.

What got me through it all?  All of the conflicting emotions and the ups and downs? My well being practices.  These are the ways to keep your life in check, in flow and truly manageable EVEN when your entire world around you is changing, EVEN when things are hard- especially when things are hard.

Here’s what happened:  as I started going through the process of closing the studio, I tightened up on some regular practices that I KNEW I would need to get me through an emotionally and financially difficult time. I became very grounded and rooted in these practices as a way to truly process the BIG emotions I was having. And these practices, while having been in my life for years now became MORE POWERFUL than ever. And this is what I want for YOU.

As soon as I got over the studio closing and embarking on new projects, I broke my foot. I had to check in with all the Thrive Principles again!  This was another experience that COULD have  been miserable, but my THRIVE foundation has taught me how to gracefully handle ALL the things that life brings to me.  Thrive principles teach me how to sit with fear and anger, how to nourish myself when things get hard, AND how to prioritize my own health and well being so that  I feel healthy and clear about where I am in ALL the areas of my life. Honestly, this feels like an invaluable gift to my life and also to those around me!  I want to share this gift with you.

Choose Joy. Find Ease. Keep it Simple.

Thrive is all of this. Thriving is a WAY OF LIFE. A WAY TO BE where you feel empowered and in your body. Where your connection to yourself DEEPENS and even when tough things come your way- you navigate them with strength and grace. People have asked me for years what do you do? How do you do it? And so, Thrive is kind of a pulling back of the curtains, showing you, and giving you all the tools and resources I use (books, articles, podcasts, journaling prompts, recipes, and more). It’s a behind the scenes where I get up close and personal as a way to inspire you, to support you, to give you ideas and to establish a way for you to see THAT YOU CAN HAVE/ BE/ DO this all too! It’s already inside of you- it’s already part of who you are, as a human, as a woman. So let’s uncover it all together… you deserve this!

Thrivers use SIMPLE AND EASY well being practices to engage in their lives. That’s it. Nothing fancy, nothing promised to you or for you. The group support and engagement and process is ALL UP TO YOU.  YOU take the reigns for your life, you learn HOW to engage in these practices and overcome problems and challenges and mindsets that are LIMITING YOU from THRIVING.

You see, because if I want it more than you- it won’t happen. The Thrive course is for people who KNOW IT IS TIME to figure out a way to be healthy EVEN when life is full and busy and distracted and confusing. Or for people who want to establish evidence /science-based practice for health and living well in ALL AREAS OF YOUR LIFE.  It’s all connected- how we spend our money, eat our food, move our body, treat our children, envision our lives, and the thoughts we think.. . these are the things that make up our days and our lives.

We all have self-limiting thoughts or perceived obstacles and once we start to SMASH them… WOW! We realize, “Hmm this is not so hard! Learning how to care for myself can be FUN and interesting and the benefits to all areas of my life are TRULY limitless.”

Limitless possibility. That is what YOU TRULY are.  All of us are limitless.

Want in? Sign up here.  Registration ends Friday, 6/17.

Here’s what one Thriver wrote:

“We all know we need to eat less and move more, but I was looking for a more comprehensive approach to a healthy lifestyle. Thrive is a course that focuses on all aspects of wellness – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. Over the eight weeks, I learned the importance of establishing healthy routines in every area of my life and that these routines become habits over time, which then become automatic. All of Pleasance’s research-based advice is invaluable, and includes strategies for establishing healthy bedtime and morning rituals, which enable better patterns of exercise and mindful eating. I was most surprised by how much I enjoyed and benefited from the week on meditation. Never having explored a meditation practice previously, I couldn’t have imagined the mental clarity and calm that comes from just 5-10 minutes of stillness in my day.”- AB

Another Thriver shares her experience here.  Listen now.

PS. We ran this class in the Spring and you know what- THEY ARE ALL TAKING THE COURSE AGAIN THIS SUMMER! I give my THRIVERS lifetime access and they are all coming back to take it again! HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!?!?

IMG_3774

Find Balance Feel Joy Blog Tour

unspecified

My friend Alex asked me to participate in this blog tour and my answer was ” HELL YES!” I love having Alex in my life as we share so many interests and are raising are kids in the same neighborhood, co- teaching together and just generally support one another in the work we do to support families through the good and the bad.

And this topic means SO MUCH TO ME.

As someone who formerly struggled with overwhelm and the “crazy-busy” syndrome I am passionate about spreading the self care, mama love message to all who are ready to make the changes. It all starts with us.

Without guilt, without fear, without despair.

We can build lives that matter for ourselves, for our own joy and on our own terms.

You have permission.

The Find Balance Feel Joy Blog Tour was born to provide an honest look at what goes into “having it all” or “getting it right” as a modern mother today.

My journey begins and ends with yoga.  Yoga has led me to interesting cool places in my heart and on the map. Yoga teachers and teachings have given me strength, courage and confidence to FULLY EMBRACE my own me, my own way, my own heart.

Slow, quiet practice filled with breath and movement linked to soul- now THAT can change your life.

This journey of study, contemplation, reflection and movement is a powerful combination. It led me HOME to my true self, to my own way of being that encouraged  me to switch careers, take risks and LOVE my children in ways I did not even know possible.

But, all b/c I began to put myself at the top of the list. Listening to my own heart and soul.

Carving out time for creativity, rest and quiet. saying NO to the schedules and parties and needs and desires of others, in order to put my family TRULY first.

You can do your own thing, find your own way… but it takes a bit of practice.

Self awareness, self knowledge is the path to freedom. A path to joy and living WHOLE in a world that so often wants to break you down.  You see, there is a deeper place within- that lives- that wants to be heard. But we have to slow down enough to hear her.

Welcome to sacred ordinary life. A life in which dishes and laundry still have to be done alongside a deep respect for our home, our families and our lives. It looks like  candles in the kitchen, relaxing music playing while cooking dinner or bringing other rituals and routines into our lives and SHARING them with our children. It looks like having enough space and peace in our own heart to deal with the chaos around.

It looks like getting the help we need at home and at work, in order to truly discover who we are , and where our own joy lies.  This is where

Approaching ALL the moments with a sense of wonder and curiosity – even to the little things. This approach ( to our yoga practice and to our life) can profoundly shift the mindset… the choices we make, the space we hold. And helps us to see the thought patterns that are not serving us.. the ones we need to let go of.

Intentionally place yoga mats, meditation pillows and other reminders in your home so that you can practice together as a family OR so that you have a place to go to when you need it! ( I sometimes go to my mat RIGHT before they get home from school to give myself some nourishment right before the dinner/ bedtime rush) and then I find myself so much more patient and loving and interested when they walk in the door.

Read inspiring books or listen to podcasts about yoga, meditation, mindfulness and creating joy.

I always try to find women who are doing what I want to do and asking- WHAT DO YOU READ? What are your routines? What can I learn from you?  I KNOW there are mentors and supporters out there- so I seek them out- and ask lots of questions so I can learn how to do this whole mama/ life/ work/ balance thing. This also helps me discern for my own life what works and what doesn’t.. and clarify my own values and mission ( which I am constantly refining)

Glance at your life ( ZOOM OUT) and see what parts are causing stress. Is there anything you can DO about it?  if not, what other things need to be released in order to make time for YOU while you continue to have uncontrollable stress? let’s have a healthy relationship with our stress- not trying to FIGHT it or get rid of it- but more realizing it’s apart of our modern life.

Challenge Homework! Spend a day with yourself. Plan it now. Put on the calendar. Carve out the time to take yourself out on a date. Reflect and get quiet. meditate and stretch. journal and create or just be. no tv, no phone, no netflix.

Dear mama, it’s all so real this life thing….so intense, so emotional, so transitional and the only thing we can truly, truly control is our own breath right at this moment. Our own glance, gaze, word, thought or action.

With a grateful heart,

P.

About Alex

Alex launched In Essence Coaching, LLC in 2011 after training with the International Coaching Academy to become a Certified Professional Coach. She is an active member of the International Coaching Federation, committed to upholding a high level of coaching standard.

Prior to this, Alexandra dedicated 18 years of her professional career to social change as an international development researcher and practitioner. She got her BA in Environmental Studies from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada and her MPhil in Development Studies from the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex in the U.K. She’s lived and worked in Africa, Europe, South and North America, and speaks English, French, Portuguese and Spanish.

In Essence Coaching, LLC is Alexandra’s private coaching practice dedicated to helping mothers suffering from stress, to find balance, joy and self-empowerment.  She hosts a free Clear Mind | Present Mama Challengefor busy mothers suffering from overwhelm, offers on-line Calm Mom Coaching Circles to mothers everywhere, and works one-on-one with a small group of women through her Mama inJOY Mentorship Program.

Alexandra loves her coaching projects second only to her three mischievous and vivacious children and her loving (ever patient) husband who now (after three international moves!!) live, love and laugh together in Washington D.C.

 

Don’t miss the Mom’s Up Retreat this fall co-hosted by Alex and myself in Meadowkirk, Virginia (just 1 hour away from DC). Learn more about the retreat, accommodation packages, and more.

 

I see you.

I see you there, afraid to shine.

Questioning.

Wondering what to do next?

Who you are, now?

How did my life get like this?

Where and why did I get lost  along the way?

The daily life of to do, to be, to impress, and I don’t even know who I am?

I hear you, mama.

I know you feel like you have to give YOU up to be there for them.

But, what if you didn’t? What if you GET to be you and be a good mom.

You are okay, just as you are.

You shine, they see you & love you so much. Stop to notice that.

In the moments you are cooking and folding and washing and racing, the eyes are big, look at me, mama.. I see you, they say.

They know who you are, without all the layers that are weighing you down.

You are good. You are kind. You are love.

I see you mama. Come with me, let’s embrace who WE are, in order to love them more.

To live our lives with our own strong, wild and fabulous song.

Let them SEE US LIVE. NOT DROWN.

Today, May I be happy and free. May I put My own joy at the top of my list.

May I allow small, simple, beautiful actions to be enough. Pause. Breathe. Notice.

May I give love and in return be kind and generous to myself, first.

May I make myself a priority. May I breathe deeply, stretch my miraculous body  and

remember to take good care of it.

#allthefeels

I wrote this poem today inspired by some conversations I have had recently with my friends who ask good questions. A few of the ladies in my life, who wonder, do I have to sacrifice my joy to be a mom? is this just how it is? Is there happiness and health and education more important than mine? My answer is no. They are not to be compared. Let’s do both. Let’s take good care of ourselves AND our children.

I wrote a book about it, in fact. for all women, not just mamas. Delight is coming in April.

The book will give you practical strategies to find your way home to yourself, with the purpose of bringing more ease and joy in your daily life. It’s not easy, but it’s simple.

I use simple yoga and meditation tools and principals and share my journey to joy.

The book will be free when it comes out April 14, if you want to help me spread the word and get a copy- email pleasance@lilomm.com and I’ll put you on the list.

With a big heart,

P.