Posted tagged ‘Working Moms’

Summertime

July 31, 2009

Summer is here and in full swing.  The urge to sit back, relax and do nothing is strong.  Yet I have many things that I need to DO.

I have to admit, I have never liked working in the summer.  It probably stems from when my kids were home and I found the summer was a time to connect with them, relax and enjoy the summertime pace.  Once school started back in September there was a lot of craziness in trying to balance their school, my work, extracurricular activities, driving them everywhere all the while trying to stay fit, healthy, relaxed and NICE.  Even now that my children are grown and out of the house, the relaxed pace of summer is nice.  There is more sunshine, longer days, and fitness and staying healthy are easier to achieve because it just is.  I love to golf, swim, hike, hang out by the pool, go to the lake etc. The TV is never on in our house and life is all about being and staying healthy.

I was reflecting last week that too much of my life revolves around “DOING”.  I feel a constant nagging at me to do this, do that, run here, run there – staying on the constant never ending treadmill we call life.  My life this summer has been a conflict between the doing and the being.  I notice that my moments of brilliance have come from “BEING” in my life. I know I have many things to do, however my writing, my joy and my inspiration have come from hanging out with friends,  family and mostly myself.  My greatest connection to myself has come when I allow myself to “BE”.  When I give myself permission to trust that I will get the impulse to take INSPIRED ACTION when the time is right, I no longer need to stress about “getting things done”.

What is INSPIRED ACTION? For me it means that I do only that which I feel inspired to do.  When I set the intention that I want to achieve a certain goal by a certain time and then “let it go”, it is amazing how the steps unfold easily and effortlessly.  When I force myself to take action, alot of this action comes from a “should” mind set and getting the job done takes much longer and in my mind is not nearly as good.

For example, I started writing this blog several times because I knew I wanted to get one written this week as I am going on holidays next week.  Lately I have not wanted to be in front of a computer writing blogs, I want to be outside enjoying the beautiful summer weather.  However, tonight, my husband and I went out for a lovely dinner with friends, had some great conversation, enjoyed some good food and some good wine and really connected with them on their journey through life.  When I got home, I felt the impulse to write this blog about my challenges with always “doing” what is expected of me instead of “BEING” in my moments and in my life NOW.  As I reflect on the challenges of developing the content for my new website, meeting deadlines (self-imposed) and being in integrity with what I believe I realize that once again, I AM DEVELOPING DEEPER AWARENESS of how I want to be in my life.  Only through this awareness can I change and grow.

So off I go now to enjoy some well deserved time off with my husband and youngest daughter. I feel so blessed to have them in my life and look forward to being with them for the next week.  While we are away, I am giving myself full permission to not think about work, content development, clients, workshops, writing my book or anything related to my work. However, what I know is that I love what I do and I am constantly being inspired by my day to day moments – so you may find me with a pen and paper scrolling notes while catching a few rays of sunshine at the lake.   This will truly be “inspired action”.
Take care all, enjoy next week and I will blog with you the week of August 11th.

Happy Summer

Gerrianne

Telling yourself the truth

June 11, 2009

I just had the opportunity to read a great blog about limiting beliefs by Kim de Young of Metromom.  It is worthwhile reading for any of you who know that your subconscious beliefs get in the way of moving forward.  She has a great way of sharing her insights. http://metromom.com/MetromomBlog/2009/06/10/women-entrepreneurs-are-limiting-beliefs-holding-you-back/

Some of the most amazing growth periods in my life and in my business have been because I have taken the time to look at my life, tell myself the truth about how I feel and take some action steps to help me get to where I want to go.  That having been said, sometimes I have to admit, I just don’t want to take a look. Even more than that, I may take a look but I don’t want to tell myself the truth about how I feel. Deep down however, when I do not tell myself the truth, I know that I am kidding myself and eventually it will all catch up with me.

Today, I want you to ask yourself just one question – In this moment – how do I feel about my life. You may be happy, content, peaceful, excited and energized. I hope so.

However, for many people this is not how they feel about their life.  Many people are sad, angry, scared, frustrated or any other negative emotion.  If this is the case

Take an intentional breath

Name that feeling – it helps to name the emotion – angry, sad, scared

Ask yourself – what can I do about this RIGHT NOW

You may want to go outside catch a breath of fresh air, walk around the block,

You may need to Blow off some steam

Tell yourself the truth

Take action

Take another deep intentional breath

Let me know how you do and if you have any questions.

Blog with you later

Gerrianne

Do Something That You Love TODAY!!!

June 3, 2009

What do you love to do?  Take a moment and write out the things in your life that give you pleasure, joy, happiness and peace.  Then ask yourself: When was the last time I gave myself permission to do any of these things?

Today I want you to remember that “Attitude is everything“.

If you love watching your kids play, then watch them play. Feel the joy of having them in your life ( as opposed to the work of raising them)

If you love listening and singing to the music on the radio – then really listen and sing out loud.  Feel your energy as you sing

If you love listening to opera and your soul is moved beyond measure when you do – then really listen to opera today

If you love walking in nature because it grounds you and makes you feel connected to your spirit – then make time today to go for a walk and really feel that connection

If you love the taste of chocolate and your body feels the love – then savour a piece of chocolate today

If you love having fresh flowers in the house – then treat yourself to a bouquet and smell the scent

Drink in the beauty of what surrounds you – friends, family, a healthy body, laughing children,puppy dogs and kittens

Make a commitment today to do something that you love  to do – it could be cleaning your house, folding your laundry, writing that report, driving your kids, chairing a meeting or what ever your day holds.  When you feel the love and appreciation for the moments in your life, the rewards in improved health and wellbeing are endless.

Blog with you later

Gerrianne

Are you a Martyr or do YOU Matter!!!

June 1, 2009

What is a martyr? Someone who sacrifices their needs for the needs of others.  Now this seems like a noble thing to do.  Aren’t many of us conditioned from a young age to sacrifice ourselves for the good of others.  Plus, the reality is that as a mother, there are times when it is absolutely essential to put our needs lower down on the list because we have babies and children to feed, change, organize etc.

How many times however, do you find that what YOU care about does not seem to matter?  Somehow we have it set up in our mind that everyone else’s needs must come first.  I used to call myself –  Martyr Mom – not a pretty title but it fit.  For years, I  spent my time doing for everyone else and whining about my needs not getting met.  Looking back on that time I see that this was not only awful to listen to but it also set a very poor example for my kids.

When I got the wake up call that no one else was going to make sure that I exercised, ate properly, had my quiet time, or had play dates with my friends I realized that if I wanted to feel good in my life, it was up to me and only me to take the steps necessary to do that!!!

However, being a martyr is a bit of a hard habit to break.  For me, there always seems to be a tension between taking care of myself and taking care of others. That is the truth.

To know that “I MATTER” I need to be vigilant about asking myself  in the moment –

What am I doing?

Why am I doing this?

Do I want to?

Do I need to?

Answer truthfully to myself

Before I begin, I always make sure that I take my 3 intentional breaths do get me  into the moment to help me clarify my intention and listen carefully for the answers from within.

Give this a try and let me know how you are doing on the Martyr/Matter debate

Blog with you later

Gerrianne

WHO ARE YOU? Take 5 minutes to begin your journey of discovery

May 26, 2009

Who are you?

Many people answer this question with a description of their various roles. For me I am a mother, coach, workplace consultant, former nurse, wife, sister, aunt, friend etc. With each of these roles I have certain expectations as to how I want to fulfill them.  For example as a mom, I have three adult children whom I love spending time with, imparting my words of wisdom to (always being careful not to overdo the WISDOM part) and for many years my children defined me. By that I mean, everything that they said and did were a direct reflection of me i.e. their accomplishments, their dreams, their sorrows, their joys and their mistakes.  I was totally tied into their stories and their lives to define me as a good mom, an attentive mom, someone who had it handled, someone who makes mistakes or someone who was not good enough or there enough for my kids.  I had many judgements as to how well I fulfilled my role.

How about you?  Are you totally defined by your roles – parent, nurse, teacher, health care worker, daughter etc. Even though it may seem natural to do this, it is not who you really are!!

Behind all of the roles and expectations you have for living your life, who are you really?   What makes you – YOU? If you do not spend any time in relationship with yourself, how will you really know who you are?  When you spend this time you start to get connected with what is at the core of who you are and it is a beautiful journey of discovery.

My challenge for you today is to spend 5 minutes quietly in relationship with yourself.

Turn off all electronics (TV, cell phone, computer etc.),

Sit quietly in a chair,

Close your eyes and breathe deeply and intentionally.

Set a timer so you know that you will be alerted when the time has passed.

Notice what you hear

Notice what you see

Notice how you feel

Notice what you feel

Still your mind chatter

breathe.

Just notice what you notice and

BE. IN THE MOMENT

I LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING YOUR STORIES.  Take care.

Gerrianne

The Intentional Breath

May 19, 2009

The breath is the most underutilized tool available to us “in the moment”. Research shows that when we breathe deeply into the very base of our lungs that we can calm down our nervous system which is responsible for many of our stress symptoms.

The Intentional Breath brings in life affirming oxygen on inspiration and breathes out stress and tension on expiration.  Take a moment to notice your breathing NOW.

FOR YOUR FIRST BREATH

Focus your attention to the middle of your chest

place your hand over this area.

Breathe in deeply through your nose for the count of 5

Imagine your hand moving up and down with the breath.

Pause

Blow the air out through your mouth for the count of 5

Notice the sensations running through your body, any warmth or tingling

Breathe normally in between the deep intentional breaths

FOR YOUR SECOND BREATH

Place your hand over your solar plexus

(halfway between the belly button and the rib cage)

Breathe in through your nose to the count of 5

(moving your hand up and down with the breath)

Pause

Blow the breath out through your mouth for the count of 5

Notice any sensations in your body, warmth, tingling, energy

Breathe normally between the deep intentional breaths


FOR YOUR THIRD BREATH

Once again the hand over the solar plexus

Breathe in through your nose for the count of 5

(moving the hand up with the breath)

Pause

Blow out through your mouth for the count of 5

consciously blow out any stress or tension you feel in your body

Notice any sensations in your body, how do you feel

Breathe normally

Set up a practice schedule for yourself to do the breathing every morning, every lunch, at the end of the day and before bed. See how you feel and let me know how this works.  Take care all

Blog with you later.

Gerrianne

6 Tips to Help Our Kids De-stress

May 5, 2009

Hello all,

For those of us who are parents, the idea that our kids are not finding effective ways of coping with stress is scary.  When you see all of the problems with childhood obesity, anxiety, depression, eating disorders etc.  there is often a fear that we are not doing enough for our kids to help them with the challenges they face.

After 35 years as a nurse and 28 years as a mom, a specialist in stress management and developer of effective “in the moment” tools,  there are some simple strategies that we can  use with our kids that will help them calm down and “live more in the moment” (and by teaching them these tools, we are also doing them ourselves so it is a win/win).

1 – Teach them to breathe intentionally. As I described in the #3 of the  “Moment-Is Challenge” taking 3 deep breaths into the area around the solar plexus has a calming effect on the whole system.  Set aside time each day to coach your children through the breathing.  Some ideal times to do this include:  a) before you drive out of the driveway on the way to school, b) when you pick them up from day care, school or dance class, c) before they start their homework and d) before they go to bed.  Do it with them, you will both calm down tremendously.

2.  Help them remember something that makes them smile – it could be playing with a friend, riding their bike, dancing, playing soccer.  Tell them to close their eyes and smile or laugh about a good memory they have.  By helping your kids remember the good times they’ve had can help them recreate those feelings in their bodies and counteract the negative effects of  stress.  It is very easy for all of us to remember and obsess about the negative stuff and it takes effort to reconnect with the positive.  By setting this intention with your kids it helps both of you connect to positive emotions.

3.  Develop a habit of talking about “what went well today”.  When our kids were younger and still at home we tried to have everyone come up with 3 things that were good about the day.   I tried to focus on this a couple of times a month.  What I noticed is this was often difficult  to do depending on the drama of the day (it is really easy to focus on the bad but not so easy to focus on the good).  If your younger (and older) children cannot come up with something good you may need to coach them through this.  Our youngest daughter was the recipient of a fair amount of bullying over the years which made this exercise challenging.  We  needed to focus on things at home that were good(because school often was not) , for example: “Molly (the older dog) snuggled with Charlie (the puppy) isn’t it cute they are getting along better than they used to”.

Please let us know challenges you find in doing this.

4. Get them active – try and go to the park after dinner, ride your bikes, if it is lousy or cold outside turn on some tunes and dance, sing to the music, let your spirit soar!!!

Be your goofiest self, feel the groove to the music and let it out.  Your children may be shy to start, that is okay, be the role model and it will help you de-stress as well.  This not only helps all of you release the tension it also creates a closer connection when you can laugh and play together. Having fun, enjoying each others’ company and appreciating life helps to increase our serotonin levels which is the feel good hormone we have circulating through our veins.  We can naturally increase this by feeling joy and observing joy in others.

5.  Healthy eating – Healthy eating is fundamental to a positive outlook on life.  It is a challenge with all of the busyness of the day/week/month to find time to prepare healthy foods for our kids (and ourselves).  However, taking the time to plan can pay off in huge ways – nutritionally, economically and your sanity. What I try to do (and am successful 60 % of the time) is plan my meals on Sunday and do the grocery shopping for the week.

I like to spend time on Sunday afternoon making a meal or two for the week with the kids.  Some things I do in batches include soup, spaghetti sauce, cut up veggies for lunches etc. This is a great activity to do with the kids as it teaches them about healthy eating and also creates some quality time with you. We often have a nice family meal on Sunday night that will help us with leftovers for lunches or dinners on Monday night. As much as I know this works well for me, I am not good at always getting it done.  If I do not get a chance to do this meal prep, I make sure I have some staples in the house like brown rice, sweet potatoes, frozen chicken breasts, cans of salmon or tuna as well as salad fixins and veggies so I can throw together something when I get home.  I find it so frustrating to get home at the end of the day and there is no food in the house to feed anyone.

If your children are a little older, ask them to plan and prepare one meal per week. Set up some guidelines to help them learn about healthy food choices that will improve their energy as well as their performance in school.  Make sure they include at least one vegetable and some protein in their meal prep.  If their dinner of choice is macaroni and cheese you can suggest they make a salad, add some broccoli or carrots etc.  Make it fun!! I found How to get your kids to eat but not too much was an excellent source of wisdom on the healthy eating dilemma.

6. Practice relaxation and visualization exercises – One of the best ways I used to help my kids de-stress at night was to do a guided relaxation and visualization exercise with them.  I would put on some relaxing music, and talk them through a visualization where they would get into a special place inside of them and just be there. What I found incredible about doing this was that as I guided them through this exercise, the benefits were huge for both of us. The thing is this did not add another thing to my day, it was a way of connecting with my kids when I was helping them get ready for bed.  What works well is to set the intention that you are going to help your kids feel relaxed and calm before they go to bed and this exercise helps with this.

With the launch of the Moment-Is website in July I will have a variety of relaxation podcasts that you can use with your kids to help them get into that relaxed state.  By learning to fully relax, visualize positive experiences, get connected with themselves and meditate,  children (and adults) learn they have the ability to control their emotional state which will serve them well throughout their life.

Let me know how things go with your kids as you use these suggestions.  Each one of these activities will not only help your children de-stress but will also improve the connection between the two of you.  You can use any one of them at any time throughout the day.  Good luck.

Take care all and I will blog with you again soon

Gerrianne