happiness

You are really beautiful 

Tonight I had to take the girl into urgent care (again) because she was having some bad tummy pain. I swear we are their most frequent clients. 

The staff at the Cochrane urgent care are fantastic and always go out of their way to make sure my kids are well cared for and feel safe. 

The girl had to get some blood taken and she is terrified of needles. The nurse spent a lot of time talking with her and making sure she felt ok about what was happening. When she was done and we were talking, the nurse turned to my girl and said you are so beautiful, look at that face… just … wow…. look at you. You are so beautiful. 

On the way home my girl turned to me and said I was feeling so crappy and that nice lady told me over and over how beautiful I am. It made me feel so good. 

We got home and her brother wanted to know how she was feeling and what the doctor had said and all he got out of her was the lady looking after me said I was so beautiful. It made me feel so good. 

Little bits of kindness go a long way. Happiness. Love. 

(By the way she should be fine. It seems the stress of the last few weeks caught up with her and this is how her body displays it.)

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happiness

Relaxed 

We were talking today about the fact that these last two weeks of Christmas vacation have seen my little family more relaxed than we have been in years. I consider that a huge success given all the anxiety, fear, panic, stress that seems to have been part of our life for years. I mean, it’s a  really big deal. 

I’m not sure exactly what the shift was but we all seem to have really taken unwinding seriously. Even with regular Christmas stress, some divorce angst, and a death we still managed to chill ourselves to an impressive level of relaxation. I’m pretty grateful for that. 

Happiness moment today was taking the boy to the Italian Centre for what seems to be our weekly grocery shop. I love this time with him. I feel really blessed that we have the kind of relationship where he actually wants to spend time with me and talk with me about his life. It’s something I have worked hard for, but still… the pay off is so much more than I ever imagined. 

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happiness

Alvin and the Chipmunks

The past few weekends seem like they have been busy, stressful, and hectic. Having a quiet day today was so welcome. It was rainy and kind of gross out which made it the perfect day to clean the house, watch movies, read, and nap.

I’ve become a lot more aware lately of where my energy is being directed, to whom I’m giving it, and how I want to use it. It’s amazing how letting go of things and people that drain me has opened doors to allow some pretty cool things to start to come in. That letting go that I struggle with so much – it has it’s benefits for sure!

Having the quiet time to meditate, study my Ayurveda, love on my kids has put my balance back where it belongs – grounded and centered.

Laughing tonight with my Jenna while we watched an Alvin and the Chipmunks movie and ate popcorn was a fantastic happiness moment.

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happiness

Do what calms you 

Learning Ayurveda has truly changed everything about how I live my life. I look at all the emotional events that have happened in the past year and I know that a few years ago I would not have had the strength to deal with them. 

Now I’m dealing with all of these things head on. Not always in the most effective manner at first, but I’m absolutely walking through all the joys and sorrows of life. I’m a better, calmer, happier version of myself. 

I may not have any idea where this new path I’m on is taking me, but I feel deep in my soul that I have the strength to flourish and appreciate every step. 

A big part of what has helped guide me has been developing a meditation practice. I don’t follow the one I was instructed to (I did do it for a long time). Last May, a little before Dad died, I discovered the Moses Code Meditation and completely fell in love with it. When I meditate along with the music I feel myself being drawn into heaven, or drawn towards Source. It’s often very emotional for me as I feel Dad’s presence very strongly – so usually I spend a huge part of my meditation crying. But I love it, and it makes me want to meditate. 

What’s even better is that the kids also love it. They’re drawn to the music on the same instinctual level that I am, although their feelings and reasons are different. We do it nightly, and I never get any complaints that it’s something they don’t want to do. 

My happiness moment – sharing that time of connection to each other and to our Greater Power. Namaste.  

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Just relax 

Today I cashed in my birthday present – a massage, which was so desperately needed. 

There has been a lot of stress and upset in our house the last month or so. I’m so thankful we have had this happiness journey to guide us as we navigate this new course. It’s amazing how successful it is to change our mood by pointing our focus in a more positive direction. 

I went to this massage therapist a few times in the months after my Dad died, so she was already familiar with a bit of what has gone on in life life over the past year. 

I went in an overtired, stressed out, sad mess – but I left feeling so much calmer, confident, and secure. It’s amazing what a little bit of TLC will do for the body and soul. 

My happiness moment was when we shared a big hug before I left her place. It’s so healing to spend time with someone who is able to help put my being back into a more loving and kind place. 

As a secondary happiness moment, the kids and I cuddled up on the couch and watched The Goldbergs. This show has been a favourite of ours since it came on the air. 

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happiness

A mind – full meditation

My meditation practice is still a work in progress. Meditation is something that I have been drawn to and curious about since discovering that I love yoga. But it’s also something I’ve been hesitant to do and slow to love.

I flirted a bit with it over the years, but it wasn’t until I became a student of New World Ayurveda that it actually became a part of my daily routine. And, let’s be honest here, a lot of the time it only is part of that routine because it’s a graduation requirement. Sometimes I like it, a lot of the time I hate it, often I am bored by it, always I feel better because of it.

When I first started I was so filled with anxiety that I couldn’t do more than a few minutes before having a panic attack. My body and soul was in such distress that I couldn’t take that quiet time. It took a lot of time and a lot of determination to keep going and get through that.

Interestingly, now as a byproduct of all that hard work (and some other things learned through Ayurveda), I barely think about anxiety at all anymore. I’ve made such enormous changes in my life and I’m hardly ever anxious.

However, usually I still struggle through my meditation practice. I’ll be focusing on my mantra and then instead of slipping into the blissful state I feel I should be heading towards, my mind goes to….. hmmmm what should I have for lunch? Did I get the kids all the things they needed for school? Is the dog going through the garbage? She’s such a naughty dog. I should take her for a walk, I hear the cats moving around, is there a mouse in the house? I’m hungry. Is this almost over? Why am I not all blissful? And then some real life problems are always mixed in.

I meditate for 20 minutes at a time. When I’m getting ready to meditate, I wish that I could maybe only do 5 or 10 minutes… but the course says I have to do 20. Grumble grumble. But, it’s not until the last 5 or so minutes when my brain usually lets go of all its crap and I relax into a proper state.

Today’s meditation was a wild ride. Unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. I’m focusing on letting go, allowing, trusting, loving, listening to my heart. It’s all very challenging for me as I have a hard time trusting and because of that a hard time allowing. Although I am also painfully aware that I never am able to actually accomplish anything positive by forcing and controlling. I know the only way to get where I want to be is by surrendering and allowing.

Today though everything just went into this beautiful space and I was able to let things go and find a lot of freedom and peace. It was a beautiful moment in time that created an incredible amount of healing and strength for me. That was my happiness moment today.

 

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happiness

The slow road 

Sometimes I get frustrated by how long it is taking me to get my mojo back. I know part of it is impatience, part of it is the fact that that it has seriously been a long, slow road.  Like, I’ve been on this road for a few years now. I just want to be stronger and have my zing back already. I miss that version of me. 

I guess what it also shows is how completely broken I was before I started reaching for better things. When I remember that, and think about where I was, then all I am is proud and excited at how far I’ve come in my journey to make a better life. The best thing is it’s made a better life for those around me too. 

The kids are reaching for the stars while learning what it means to feel firmly grounded and supported. 

Both of my kids are fascinated by these happiness moments I’ve been watching for in the last few months. Often we will be driving to town, or sitting at the dinner table and one of them will start asking what our happiness moment was today. An awesome byproduct of me looking for mine is that they look for theirs now too. 

Tonight I was sitting on the couch contemplating life and Jenna sat down beside me. She asked me what my happiness moment was, and I wasn’t sure yet. Then she cuddled up beside me and we just sat there. Voilà! Instant happiness moment. 

The good thing about being on this long and slow road is that I’m able to take the time to soak in these little happiness moments. The little ones that all add up and make life. 

We took the long slow road home today in the snow and came across one of our four legged friends trying to hide on us. 

  
Being able to slow down and breathe in nature is my antidepressant and anti- anxiety. 

  
So, I will breathe deeply and dig down and keep on this long and slow road. At least I’m headed in the right direction. I’m headed home. 

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Yoga for the soul 

Discovering yoga was one of the best things that has happened to me. I consider myself very lucky because I have had wonderful people come into my life to guide my practice.

When we lived in Quebec, the mom of one of Jacob’s friends opened a yoga studio. She taught a wonderful gentle yoga class that was exactly what my body needed. She was so kind and welcoming, it made it such a safe and loving way to begin my practice.

When we moved to Rhode Island, my husband gifted me a weekend at Kripalu which was where I fell madly and deeply in love with how yoga made me feel. Kripalu yoga is exactly the kind of yoga I need to do. it does not care that I carry so much tension, or that I am not flexible, or that I am self-conscious.  It is slow and gentle, it is built on compassion, and for me it is very spiritual. The only other thing that has brought me closer to God is time on the back of a horse.

Sometime after I began my studies with New World Ayurveda, they started offering Healing Light Yoga Therapy. It was my first introduction to Asrael, who has become a very important guide and mentor. The sixth session of yoga classes began last weekend, and I was finally able to do the recorded version this morning.

It’s a pretty cool way to do a yoga class, she leads it online and we follow along at home. There is an amazing feeling of being bonded to the other people in the class even though many miles separate us. That energy knows no bounds. There’s a recorded version on their website so if you miss the live class (like I did) then you can do it at your own convenience.

I was thinking about what these classes have done for me. When I first started my anxiety was so intense I could barely function. I was actually really happy that the yoga class was online. Aside from the fact that it made it easier to fit into the day (with two kids and a busy schedule), being in the comfort of my own room meant that my general anxiety was lessened. Of course I was soon to discover that Asrael’s voice is it’s own kind of valium for calming my stress. My cat Ella agrees, anytime she hears her voice she comes and purrs beside the computer or the phone – which strongly violates her don’t let people know I like them rule.

Now I go for long periods (I mean usually days) where I don’t even remember that anxiety played such a huge role in my life. Before this it was an issue that had brought me to my knees and affected every single thing I did in my life.  A lot of factors have come into play to help with my healing – a big portion coming from my Ayurveda studies, my private sessions with Asrael, and these yoga classes.

I do practice my own breathing to calm and ground myself, but it so much easier for me to get to that groovy feeling when I am being guided. I was so happy today when I was lying on my mat and being reminded of how to take the big healing breaths.

This type of yoga is one that nourishes my soul. It feeds me on all levels and I consider it one of the most important parts of my healing and my growth. It’s not always easy, sometimes really yucky things get released, but it is always worth it. It may take a bit of time, but there is always a good feeling – right to the core of my being – that comes from these classes.

Today my happiness moment was lying on that mat breathing healing light into my soul.
Photo from the New World Ayurveda Healing Light Yoga Therapy site

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I have a dream… I hope will come true…

  
I think Lava has captivated me as much as Inside Out did this year. I’m kind of obsessed with both. Inside Out has helped the kids and me process through so many mixed up emotions in the past few months. Some really heavy, sad, mad, glad, weird shit. It has given us the tools to talk about our emotions and feelings in a way that we didn’t have before. 

I’m so thankful this movie came out when it did. It was brought into our lives at the exact moment that we needed it. In fact, that entire time when I had no choice but to surrender and let go and let God the Law of  Attraction made some powerful changes in our lives. 

It’s out on video now so I can watch it to my heart’s content which makes me full of joy. 

I’ve been discovering some incredible ways to let go and shift out of my body some really crappy, hurt, sad, angry emotions that I’ve been keeping held in for too long. The further I move on the path of my journey of happiness, the more I’m finding that I’m attracting the right people and the right keys to let go of those things that no longer serve me.  I’m reaching for a better and happier life for all of us. 

My happiness moment today was walking through the parking lot with Jenna. The sun was shining down on us and it was a beautiful and warm fall afternoon here in Alberta. She snaked her arm around my back and pulled me in for a big arm squeeze. Then she looked up into my face with her big, innocent, loving eyes and said I love you mom

Things like that are the the little moments that string together to make for a happy life. I am blessed. 

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Over-stressed and over-scheduled

The kids had a 2 hour delay Tuesday, a full day Wednesday and a full day today of school. In the past two weeks that’s all the school they’ve had due to snow and ice. Our unexpected downtime has made me realize a lot of things (like how lucky I am to get to spend so much time with them, how awesome they are, how much we can entertain ourselves with very little available), but the biggest realization is how incredibly tired and stressed out my kids are. The reason for this stress is one word: school.

School has worn them out. The first year we were here the kids took the bus in the morning. The bus shows up at 7:00am. Which means they had to be up by 6:00- those mornings were hell. Fortunately by the next year I realized that if I drove them to school it gave them an extra hour to sleep in. That made a huge deal. But, still they are tired.

They go to bed at 7:30. Jenna is lights out then, Jacob at 8:30. it’s hours earlier than their friends go to bed, but they’re tired. The best way they can have those little brains learn and grow is to let them rest and rejuvenate at night.

Watching them rest and relax these past couple of weeks has made me realize how much all this being over tired and over stressed changes them. They turned into different people, they were more relaxed, funnier, more patient, happier.

This morning I had to wake them both up at 7:00 for school. It was tough, they were both sound asleep. They look so peaceful it goes against my instincts to have to wake them up. They need rest. They need to be happy. But, they’re school kids so I woke them. Both of them cried. I’m not exaggerating. They both sat up in their beds and burst into tears and said they were so tired and school stressed them out so much. That feeling sits in my tummy like a hard little rock.

We were driving through the parking line at Jenna’s school. She was turned sideways ready to get out the door and I heard her mutter to herself “when I get home I”m going right upstairs and getting into my jammies and bathrobe. The only time I’m getting out of them this weekend is when I have to change into new ones. It’s only one day. I can do this.”

Here’s a Facebook update from a friend of mine who homeschool’s her kids:

My sons had to fill out an email questionnaire for an Anatomy+Physiology class, and each was asked about their “career goals”. I was forwarded the responses:
G: “Whatever is the least stressful and pays the most.”
S: “None, I’m just trying to enjoy my youth.”

I’m finding it harder and harder to justify why I’m not homeschooling my kids (I’m a certified teacher but a stay at home parent).

My happiness moment for day 33 of the 44 days came this afternoon with Jenna. I’d just made her an after school snack and had just poured myself a cup of tea. She was sitting at the table and I was at the counter having just taken a huge gulp of my tea. I made eye contact with her and she gave me a bug eyed look and then did a fake finger nose pick while wiggling her eyebrows. Tea caught in my throat, throat closed up, stomach started laughing, tea spewed (Jenna said) like a sprinkler all across the kitchen floor. We laughed for a good 10 minutes after that. Belly laughs. They rock.

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