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

#glittereverydamnday

About a year ago, my dear teacher and friend Erin Maile O’Keefe from Circus Yoga – brought some roll on glitter to our level 1 training.. She encouraged us to put it on and PLAY.

Ihave been spending the past few years learning more about my interests, reflection on JOY and magic in my day to day life.. So, adding a little glitter on Friday night seemed to just fit right in! Shortly after the training, my own bottle of roll on glitter arrived.  I started keeping it in my purse and in my car and putting on before I went out… then what happened? I started wearing it more regularly.. and instead of just for a special class or a kids class or an event.. I started putting it on in the morning- before drop off- before adult classes.. before grocery shopping.

Here’s what I noticed.. I got lots of questions and smiles when people saw glitter at 8am! I also started sharing it with others and buying in bulk so I could spread the magic.. Wearing glitter makes me happy. It’s a VERY small and insignificant way that I bring joy to my life! I recently had a tough day and when I was cleaning up after- I very slowly and mindfully applied my new soft, smooth glitter. It made me smile, it gave me a little light- that I so needed.

Glitter will not take away pain or suffering or make your life easier but it WILL shed a bit of light, a bit of magic into your day to day.

WHAT ARE LITTLE THINGS YOU CAN DO FOR YOURSELF TO MAKE YOURSELF JUST A LITTLE BIT MORE HAPPY?

STAY TUNED for lilomm glitter line.. coming soon in 2015.

Erin ( founder of Circus Yoga, Mentor and all around AWESOME BEING) & I at the FIRST NATIONAL KIDS YOGA CONFERENCE, in Washington, DC FALL 2014.

IMG_3461

Whole

whole

all of; entire.

synonyms: entire, complete, full, unabridged, uncut

antonyms: incomplete

in an unbroken or undamaged state; in one piece.

synonyms: intact, in one piece, unbroken;

More

with no part removed.

healthy.

“all people should be whole in body, mind, and spirit”

a thing that is complete in itself.

all of something.

“the effects will last for the whole of his life”

synonyms: all, every part, the lot, the sum, the sum total, the entirety

*2015 word of the year.

2013 THRIVE

2014 MAGIC

turning 36

I’m softer and rounder. I’m slower and kinder.

36

embracing  my curves and

laughing the lines

watching the years turn

knowing where I came from

no clue as to what is ahead

I play more and stress less. I notice beauty in the everyday  and  I’m seeing lots of gray.

Turning 36 is the best gift I have.

I’m healthy. I’m happy. I’m content.

I feel free and creative.

I have support and am surrounded with love.

I give love. I do good work.

I love my children and these beautiful days. Seems like one after the other..

There is no beginning to this, no end. It’s just my life.

I’ve developed my practice and found a teacher.

In this moment, 36 is full of life. All the intentions and the dreaming and wishing has expanded my world into deep happiness.

It comes with struggle, for sure but it’s different now.

Turning 36 is an honor, a privilege really.

 

This morning, in my yoga practice I did something I have never done. I brought myself back in time, to a young couple far from home.

Rebellious & optimistic, these 2 decided to have a baby. unmarried,unplanned, no promises.

I don’t know much about this time, but I know it did not last long. I know they were not meant to be together. My parents were NEVER “my parents”  they were always, my mom & my dad. I have always had totally independent relationships with them. We were never ( in my memory) a family.

But THIS morning, I took a moment to go back to my birth. What was that day like for them 36 years ago. Who were they? What did they feel? Was that the only moment, the only day we were a family of 3? I know so little about this time and I don’t need to.

Whatever the reason, they brought me here. And since I have never been happier in my life or felt more connected or alive….. I have to thank them. They brought me here to this moment, in this life.

Where the sun is peaking out of the clouds.

The birds are singing to me.

Milo is chatting quietly to himself in the other room before he falls off to sleep.

There were many times when I felt lonely and lost, empty, scared and angry. I spent days and years wishing my parents were different, wanting us to live “the perfect” life, dreaming to be someone else.. and when that all stopped…. I woke up to my life, with the people they are and the reality of it all.

BOOM, my heart opened. my life became lighter. I felt ease. I saw love. I let go.

So today might be the first time I have told them, Thank you for this “birth” day. Please know I don’t take it for granted. I know how lucky I am to have been born to you. You taught me empathy, acceptance, you gave me REAL life, you gave me you.

 

This is what you gave me, the ability to see this, to understand love, to know we are perfectly flawed. We are whole. We are love.

“I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life. I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a “life.” I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one. I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
~Maya Angelou