Tag Archive | introspection

30 Days of Self Discovery

NOTE: this would have been recent had not the Thanksgiving and Christmas season kicked my crafting butt! Anyway, now those who missed my time on Facebook and Instagram can finally get a peek at my month of introspection. 

I recently finished a 30 day journey I suddenly decided to take in the beginning days of October (2018). See, I realized that I really am being hard on myself for the sake of an ideal I am not sure is relevant or even the real me. This started me on the thought that maybe each day I should stop and listen just a little more closely to myself and my needs.  In response to this I started actually responding to those needs with actions that I decided should NOT be mired in guilt or embarrassment.

How best to do this? Why, share on my social media platforms (Facebook and Instagram), of course. So for many people this is a rehash or at the very least, a consolidation of something they have followed along with for 30 days. So sit back and enjoy my collection of introspective posts and the photos I included with them. Well, the first 15 days (half of it).

Day 1IMG_20181005_124153_475

Day 2 of being kinder to myself… Took Sink Kitty’s example and ran a bath, told the kids they could have an ice cream if they let me forget about parenting for 30 min. Breaks are important. How can my kids learn how to take one if I penalize myself for self care moments?IMG_20181005_124223_648

Day 3 of listening more closely to my entire being without harsh judgement. After running errands I made a pillow nest… Turned on background tv on the iPad to cancel out the kids’ gaming, and took a nap. We really punish our entire self with lack of sleep.

What about you?? Did you do something you normally would have felt guilt over but is a good thing today?IMG_20181006_202700_977

Day 4 of sensitivity to self training… I made my mom’s dip, went to R.I.P.P.E.D class and celebrated Thanksgiving. The day was good!20181007_182803

Day 5unknown

Day 6 of contemplating need… Slightly ill kid so I set an example. 3pm afterschool nap together. I am seeing a trend. I need to release the guilt I feel when I take an afternoon nap. One hour does not make my day a failure. You??IMG_20181009_223715_463

Day 7 of being better to myself for the betterment of myself… I went to one of my favourite places, did one of my favourite activities and then surrounded myself with some of my favourite things.

For those of curious minds…

YMCA (duh)
Worked out (surprised myself how much I have grown to love and need this nearly daily)
And now for the hidden picture/can you spot list: Cheezies, crochet, good book, documentary, tall glass of water and even a few friends (not pictured)

How about you???IMG_20181010_195454_365

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Day 8 of self examination I examined deeply how truly privileged my position in life is even by my location of birth. It is not an easy watch… It really shouldn’t be… And not for young kids but City of Joy is an amazing documentary about the plight of women in Congo.

Have you watched this? Would you watch this? Want to talk about it with me?IMG_20181011_191141_885

Day 9 of listening to myself actually required ignoring myself (well a noisy portion).

With no license getting to things is work. Tonight I ignored that part of me that whined about cold and dark and effort and geared up 3 of my kids for the 2 mile walk to the YMCA.

We walked there in light and home in dusk. We didn’t miss dance class and I threw myself whole heartedly into R.I.P.P.E.D class.

We succeeded because I ignored my feeling of can’t to acknowledge that I truly don’t know what I can do until I try… And wear the appropriate warm gear to do so.

How about you? Do you have to silence that voice of inability sometimes? Do you stretch your limits and learn more about what you CAN instead of accept you maybe can’t?IMG_20181012_200412_235

Day 10 of looking within had me making a different kind of nest.

There is nothing so renewing than surrounding yourself in your favourite hobby. Especially when it includes soft fluffy yarn. Throw in a virtual tour of a bff’s new digs (love you Karyn, so happy for you) and a furry companion and my soul is both less homesick and feeling warm and fuzzy. I even assembled 3 amigurumi and am well on my way to finishing the main portion of a hat.

How about you? What activity brings you joy? Are you at peace in place or an active hobbyist???IMG_20181013_182411_957

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Day 11 of making time to really realize what I need and I actually continued a pattern I set in place well over a year ago.

I am a huge advocate for working towards a healthy mind AND body. It isn’t easy, results are not instant or even visually obvious but the effects ripple out like a stone dropped in a still pond.

This is the face of a post R.I.P.P.E.D class sweaty and exhausted me. My instructors at my local YMCA are inspiring and the people in my class a joy.

Have you found an activity that gets you moving? Tests your limits? Makes you work? Wanna join me Friday or Sunday at 5pm or Monday at 7pm? I have guest passes!!!IMG_20181014_210649_167

Day 12 of my challenge to listen better to myself actually required me to listen to a very intelligent friend. (Love you Karyn) She reminded me that while it is all fine and good to save things it is actually often better to savour them properly now.

How many things do I save for the perfect time? Agonize over when I should open this treat or use that special paper? Is it not more of a proper thank you to someone when they gift me something special (see image below) to enjoy the moment of use more than worry about its perfection?

How much of my life gets tied up in the hunt for the perfect moment to do or use xyz? Life is full of opportunity. Time for me to take the opportunity to enjoy the gifts and love I am given. After all that enjoyment is rather perfect in and of itself!

How about you? A candle you never burn gathering dust? A snack uneaten risking expiration? Want to join me and take a moment to enjoy them properly?IMG_20181015_144959_405

Day 13 of listening to myself has been a day of acknowledgement.

How many times a day do you take a feeling or a thought and shove it aside? Push it away or refuse to actually take the time to examine, accept and acknowledge it?

Today I sat down and thought about how I do often feel like I am out of the loop with things. One of the natural consequences to not living in the thick of friends and family. This time I made time to actually ruminate. (Not wallow, mind you) I bet there are people in my life who feel that way about me… I had to accept that I am also responsible for that emotional distance (2 way street right?).

Today I gave myself a moment to be a little sad that I am not back home helping a dear friend move. To realize that someday in the future I will be at her door with a housewarming gift and a hug.

I acknowledged the good too, we dropped everything and took in fall in Minnesota with a walk and some leaf raking. I made time to balance out my acknowledgments of feelings and thoughts that may not be the most uplifting with a moment of sunshine and colour.

I didn’t change anything but my way of thinking. It always amazes me how in some cases that is enough to lift my spirits and give me some perspective.

What about you??IMG_20181016_150105_137

Day 14 of listening closer to myself… Today I remember and appreciate.

Today – October 17th, marks 3 yrs since the passing of a fellow twin mom. 3 years of life where her kids are being raised by others. Her babies will have to depend on pictures and videos and stories told by others to supplement their memories of their mom.

So today I appreciate… I appreciate that I am privileged to raise my 5 children. I appreciate that I am given the opportunity to receive the hugs and kisses as well as discipline and challenge my babies.

I think I lose that appreciation sometimes in daily life. When I am exhausted from playing referee or frustrated after a day of slogging through difficult schooling I forget. I forget how amazing the fact that I have these 5 beings to help mold and to love can be.

So today I remember and appreciate. This house is full and I wouldn’t have it any other way.IMG_20181017_165627_877

Day 15 of looking within to improve the whole and today I created.

And to make it all sweeter I created and completed for others. I special 4 piece commission had the final end tied today. Last night a prayer shawl for the Catholic church had its ends woven in.

The ability to give back and to help others. To make someone smile by simply using a skill I learned and honed. That reads success to me.

Tonight I move onto other projects… Christmas is coming and I really should start some gifts.

Do you have a hobby that brings you a sense of fulfilment and joy?? I would love to hear about it!IMG_20181018_155044_459

 Check back soon for the second half of my journey! I promise NOT to take a month to post it!

My Week of Being Me

With the coming Lunar based celebration and the progression of time marked in the twins being firmly placed in the teen years I decided to take one of my busiest weeks (did I mention Valentine’s Day?) and re-center myself and place my focus more firmly on doing “me”.

Well, it has been a week and what have I learned?

  1. I am a pretty awesome person, and I don’t mean… hey look at me I am so awesome, but more… there is some much potential I can still tap… I have plans and ideas, more hopes and dreams than I really have examined. I don’t know if I inspire awe in others but after a week of letting my mind run unchecked at times and firmly focused on tasks at others I realize I need to be proud of myself.
  2. This week I started my journey in yoga. A special thanks to those who suggested Yoga With Adriene on YouTube. Her beginner video has me confident and ready to continue. It has lead me to realize that I can better silence all the activity in my mind. That I can find time for myself even if it has to be me saying “nope time to stop and do this activity” and ignore the busy house around me.
  3. I am a success even when I fail because I tried. Sometimes I wonder if I am good enough, strong enough, smart enough. Well, I don’t have answers to those wonders but I did realize this week that I AM enough because I give my all. My family is covered in love and good intentions because when I do these things for them that I have done for years I do them with integrity and intention. Maybe to others I need more of this aspect or the other but I know that in my success and failure I am learning and adapting which means I set an example to my children that is positive and strong. They see that I don’t give up or let it get to me, I adapt. Which is what I ask them to do.
  4. I took on a personal challenge… a week of 9 hours per day with 250+ steps per hour. Which sometimes had me hopping around like a lunatic 5 min before the hour when I got caught up in a visit or with crochet (definitely a hobby that leads to a comfortable chair and not a wandering body). But I managed. This showed me that I need to get up and move, because each day by 6pm I felt better. I wandered the house and picked up things I usually would have sent a kid to do or done later. I showed my kids that movement was a positive and that it was okay to break up a moment by moving around. And I celebrated like a silly goose often as I made my steps.Screenshot_2018-02-17-21-25-57
  5. The big thing I didn’t so much learn but had reinforced in my mind is that while my life is hectic and sometimes unconventional and occasionally a little isolating it is amazing. I am blessed and challenged at the same time. Sometimes by my own choosing and others by what life has thrown at me. It isn’t a question of changing anything or wishing I could change anything but a full realization that what I am living right now is utterly unique to me and my family. There is no true equal comparison out there to what we are as a family. There is no need for one. The love of my life is amazing, my children a challenging collection of unique humans who amaze me as they drive me mad. And without them I would not be me. Yes I don’t drive, I homeschool my kids, I am shy in public, scared of more than a few things, but I am also loved… I am strong and decisive… I support my family in so many special ways and hopefully am finding ways to do the same for friends and extended family. I love, am loved and will always find ways to share love… which makes me, my life, and those around me… AMAZING.

So as I ignored ways to compare things, my life, my appearance, my school set up, my parenting choices, my home… I freed myself up a bit. Freed myself from some self doubt, from a few fears, from little niggling obsessions I sometimes have trouble letting go of. (And maybe started the road to being a little more “bendy” as Ken would say)

I took a week of introspection and exploration and realized… why should I stop? Maybe a little less care of my appearance to others and a little more joy is what I need… oh and 3 classes a week of R.I.P.P.E.D. and some amazing documentaries with a good crochet project. Always a good crafting project… cuz creativity soothes this soul… as does making knots, origami, felting… I am branching out. So here I am embarking on a month or more of finding me in my life. Wish me luck!!!IMG_20180214_151346_502

Introspection Triggered

The movie for the night was Princess Mononoke. There is a line early on that struck me as… well… amazing. Now keep in mind it is a TRANSLATION, but the main characters (Ashitake) explains his showing up at the Ironworks village as being there “to see with eyes unclouded“… To not be motivated by rage, or hatred, to see what is there and not what is told or shown.Can we come to life from that viewpoint? Can we see other’s choices and motivations without putting our own judgement and standards first? Can you see MY choices and life plan as unique to me and not as a threat to your own or a hindrance?

Every day more and more I am reminded how different we all are. Especially now that I am a total fish out of water in a country with major differences to what, for the entirety of my life previous I considered the norm. I have talked to other parents (both sides of the border) who homeschool differently than I do, parents who wish they could, others who have absolutely no interest in considering the option… Now how does that affect my choices and my life? Well… if I look at it with my eyes unclouded it does nothing but enhance my life.

That mom who never ever planned to homeschool does teach her kids things, she has ideas that are helpful. That mom who totally unschools… she has amazing ideas for discipline or spontaneous education… and that parent who wishes she could does more than she things and is a huge support.

Brave Writer had some amazing advice on her blog (well as usual but still…) about who is in charge of  you, your life and your homeschool (you can read her entire post HERE titled You’re In Charge of You)…

YOUR standards are the boss of you.
Your vision.
Your children.
Your beliefs about education.
Your aspirations for your family.
Your flexibility and your rigidity.
Your weaknesses and your strengths.
Your joys and your personal pains.
Your vision and your limited sight.

This is YOUR homeschool.

YOU ARE THE BOSS OF YOU.

You get to have the homeschool you choose. In fact, you already DO have the homeschool you choose.

Embrace it.
Love it.
Feed it brownies.
Share it confidently.
Live it boldly.

You do you.

Why not? No one else can.

Now, like Princess Mononoke, I think you can extrapolate from this advice from different areas in your life. Ok, so you don’t homeschool… but who is in charge of your heart? I think the answer is the same…

Here in the United States the current debate seems to circulate around same sex marriages… let’s look at that issue from these two quotes’ point of view: When you look at the issue of two people, in love with each other and willing to commit to each other for life, with eyes unclouded of hatred or preconceived notions… what say should I truly have over their proclamation of love? And in return how much should they have over mine? Of course this is a CONTROVERSIAL issue so please keep in mind… your opinion, my opinion… they are our own and should not cause strife.

When I look at my new life here in the States from these two quotes I see that I must simply take control of my life and go forward. That I need to keep what is best from my past and then see the world as it is for the future. Not as “not Canadian”… though I will always have that comparison to deal with. I wonder how our children see the world, as out of anyone… THEY are the ones who see things as they are!

Taa---daaa here we are!

Taa—daaa here we are!