Friday, December 26, 2008

Gift of Self Care

Been thinking of the best Christmas present one could give themselves. The gift of Care comes to mind. How does one truly care for oneself?

I find that folks often ignore their needs, give to others, depleting themselves in the process while losing the awareness of how to take care of themselves.

I have been paying particular attention to my spirit and my body to determine types of energy with the effort to increase positive flow in my life.

Here are a couple of things that have surfaced for me, please feel free to add to the list as you ponder with me.

1. In general, I feel good when I am watching movies or reading fiction. It takes the focus off of my life and story and I can think about other people or other stories.

2. Take a vitamin. Each time I take a vitamin I have a silent affirmation
that I am doing something good for me.

3. Cook a home cooked meal, without rush. Putz in the kitchen.

4. Take a nap. The best days for me include a nap. I feel a little selfish like I know I could be doing several other things-- but that makes it even more delicious.

5. Play a game or go somewhere special with the kids (zoo, Franklin Park
Conservatory, road trip). Whenever I do one of these things, I feel like
I am a good mother.

I remember taking the kids to Niagara Falls and we were on a bus heading to some site and tears came to my eyes. After reflecting, I realized that I felt good about the experiences we were having and hoped the kids would remember special times together. This happens when we go really special places or even when we are close to home. Anyway, feeling like a good mom really helps me feel good overall. I think we as parents always feel like we fall short. Revelling and basking in the goodness is worth doing.

6. Yoga. My body is more achey lately. I did buy a membership to Bally's
and found out the next day that they went belly up (ugh!). So, I am in
search of a reasonable option to get my exercise in. Stretching is much
needed but I really enjoy going to a gym or exercising with others. In the meantime, giving myself a good stretch is a good trick.
7. Spend time with friends (new and old ones). I sometimes feel isolated and alone-- with energy ebbing. There are many folks that care about me and would like to spend some quality time together. I think with the hustle and bustle of what needs doing, we sometimes forget to reach out and ask. My experience is that when I ask, I almost always get responded to with an enthusiastic, "Yes!". Why don't we ask more often? Not sure. Time to look around, make some connections, enjoy time and experience fellowship. Right after Christmas is a great time to do this.

I continue to pay attention and read the meter inside of me asking, "What gives you energy Erin?, What takes it away?" And then, adjust accordingly.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

You're a Really Good Cook Mom!

Alea and I were making brownies today and as she mixed I was working on the dinner entree for the evening. I was making White Bean Chicken Chili. She asked me if I was using her dad's recipe since it is one of his signature dishes and I explained that I was just following the recipe on the can of beans. I added that, "Your dad is a great cook, isn't he?" She said, "Yes.....and you are a really good cook too!" Well I was surprised to hear this- not because I am that horrible but just because it is not one of my strongest suits. If she said you are a really neat mom because you take us places, I would have nodded to myself, but this was interesting.

So, I decided to inquire further, "Alea, what food do you like when I cook it?" She quickly said, "I really like your creamy tomato soup."

I said: "Alea, that soup is from Trader Joes." "Oh, I know" she said, "but I like the way YOU cook it." "Ah." It must be my magic touch as I stir it. I do use a whisk to get all lumps out-- maybe that counts some how.

I do think I consider nutrition and have pretty well balanced meals. I suppose I could work harder at the art of cooking to get a better effect, but that would mean I would need to change a bit. Hmm, something to think about for 2009.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Tied up in Knots

Kye asked me to help him with his shoes because he has not yet mastered the art of tying. He worked on one shoe to untie the double knot while I worked at the other -prepping to go outside. As he successfully untied the knot, I made a mental note that he is not helpless and that he could probably take care of this in the future, while saying outloud: "Good job Kye!"

To that he responded, "I am a clever boy, don't you know......."

Yes you are Kye, thanks for the reminder...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Curious Heart

The neat thing about this concept is that no matter what you think the stethoscope would reveal, the reality is that He is inside of you. I have had a knowing that God is in us, I think with some people he is hidden deep inside, kept there covered by bitterness and pain-- but He is there.

The key here, I think, is to allow ourselves to express and feel love; create an openness to what is being offered. Often we are driven by fear or insecurity, when all the while, if we are patient and and believe it, love is within our sphere of influence.

What if we could experience the Halleluia Chorus just for the asking; fill our lives with love by having faith, live fresh and joyously through gratitude?

The man's curiousity and willingness to see what is within is what I like the best about this short video.

Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.
e e cummings (1894 - 1962)

Warm tender lips kiss,
Gentle hands touch hips,

Cheeks caress one another
Knowing there is none other,

Cuddle up
Nuzzle in
Safe and warm
Hearts given

Friday, December 5, 2008

Hot N Cold

You ever hear a song on the radio and get to dancing in your head? This happened as I was driving home tonight. I had to look this one up -close the blinds, dance like a maniac, repeat, sing at the top of my lungs (I might even have sounded good), repeat again-- now I am horse, but it was worth it.

The syncopation of this song is fast and fun. The words are relevant to me and quite catchy-- if you can keep up with them. I got out of breath with this one--probably because of the gusto with which I was singing. I need to work out these lung muscles more. Oh, I need to work out my dancing muscles too!-- Anyone ready to get your groove on? Watch out world!