Motherhood is a Spiritual Journey

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Children open our hearts to more love and compassion than we ever thought possible.  They also open our hearts to vulnerability, fear and overwhelm like we've never experienced before. 

Motherhood is a spiritual journey.  It is “full catastrophe living” at its finest (thank you Jon Kabat-Zinn).  

I wouldn’t have believed it if you told me before I had them.  No one can quite prepare you for the beauty, the fear and everything in between. 

Nothing in life brings up our unresolved fears, hurts, anger, sadness, resentment, insecurities, trauma, abuse…like motherhood.  All of our wants, needs and shortcomings from childhood come screeching forward.

You see, our children are our greatest teachers.  They are mirrors into our souls.  They push our buttons and show us what we need to work on.  They give us unlimited opportunities for growth. 

We can either resist what they are here to teach us or we can accept the challenge.  Shine the light of awareness on what they are showing us and take the steps necessary to BEcome the role models they deserve.  One Foot Up at a time. 

It is a choice we all have.  Accept the challenge or resist it.

I chose to accept the challenge. 

It is a work in progress.  I am a work in progress.  It is an everyday, all day job.

It is the single most rewarding decision I have ever made for myself, my family and everyone I encounter.

I am doing it and so can you. 

Shine Brightly,

Tracy


Are you ready to take accept the challenge?  My journey began with daily affirmations.  Studies show that daily affirmations can help reduce stress, boost well-being and increase confidence.  Click the Daily Affirmations button below and get Life By Design Daily Affirmations in your inbox.  Designed with care to remind you of who you are, what you are capable of and how much you rock.  (The first one is the most important.)  Enjoy!

Photo Credit:  Simon Rae on Unsplash

Free Yourself

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Our forefathers had a vision. 

They decided on the vision. 

They believed in the vision. 

They took action on the vision.

They built a support structure to protect the vision.

And, this week, we will be celebrating the 242nd birthday of the declaration of that vision.  The Declaration of Independence.  A declaration of freedom.

As we celebrate with fireworks, parades and festive gatherings, I’d like to invite you to celebrate yourself as well.

your life

your vision

your freedom

I invite you to draw up your own declaration.  Your own vision.


Try this:

Listen to your longings and discontent

Decide what you would love to be or do or have

Take action 


You have the freedom to free yourself.  To free yourself from the chains that hold you back from being all you are here to be.    

The time is now!  Declare it!

Shine Brightly,

Tracy


Do you need help drawing up your own vision?  Start here.  Studies show that daily affirmations can help reduce stress, boost well-being and increase confidence.  Click the Daily Affirmations button below and get Life By Design Daily Affirmations in your inbox.  Designed with care to remind you of who you are, what you are capable of and how much you rock.  (The first one is the most important.)  Enjoy!


Photo Credit:  Mike Watson Dreamstime

Cultivating Worthiness

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At the end of a talk I gave recently, one of the participants asked me what I did to begin changing my life.  On my ride home that night I realized that I never really answered the question.  I answered the why – my son showed me that he needed me to be an empowered role model.  Not the what. 

After giving it some thought it was clear to me that the very first place I started was by increasing my sense of worthiness.  Hands down.  I HAD to believe I was worthy of a better life or I would never have been able to make the changes necessary. 

  • I would not have been able to let go of what no longer served me. 
  • I would not have been able to put myself and my self-care first. 
  • I would not have been able to establish boundaries and teach others how to treat me. 

It was uncomfortable. It was painful.  It upset my loved ones who had been so used to me being a certain way. 

Saying yes when I really wanted to say no.  Putting everyone else first. 

Holding my tongue when I had something important to say.  Being what others wanted me to be instead of being authentically me. 

Eventually the dust settled.  I became more comfortable in my new way of being.  My loved ones became more comfortable with my new way being. 

Once I changed my inner world, my outer world began to change.  I noticed books on my husband’s book shelf that I never thought he’d choose.  My mother, who I had been badgering to make a move, decided to move to town.  My dad and I began a new relationship with each other.  My tribe began to show up. 

It all began with this daily affirmation:  I AM Worthy. 

I read this affirmation day and night.  Night and day.  Until I believed it.  Until I understood that my worthiness comes from inside and that I didn’t need anything to be more worthy than I already was.

I still use affirmations.  All day.  Every day.  Because I am human and sometimes I forget that I am worthy just the way I am. 

And so are you.

Shine Brightly,

Tracy


Do you need help cultivating worthiness?  Studies show that daily affirmations can help reduce stress, boost well-being and increase confidence.  Click the Daily Affirmations button below and get Life By Design Daily Affirmations in your inbox.  Designed with care to remind you of who you are, what you are capable of and how much you rock.  (The first one is the most important.)  Enjoy!


Photo Credit:  Aki Tolentino on Unsplash

 

True Power

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True Power is living from possibility.

True Power is loving yourself warts and all.

True Power is shifting into greatness.

True Power is knowing your absolute yes and your absolute no.

True Power is celebrating yourself.

True Power is creating new patterns.

True Power is self-awareness.

True Power is taking inspired action.

True Power is living from gratitude.

True Power is knowing and honoring who you are.

True Power is filling your cup first.

True Power is listening to and acting on your inner wisdom.

True Power is allowing abundance.

True Power is making time for laughter.

True Power is committing to yourself.

True Power is recommitting to yourself.

True Power is recommitting to yourself again.

Shine Brightly,

Tracy

What does true power mean to you?


Do you need help realizing your true power?  Studies show that daily affirmations can help reduce stress, boost well-being and increase confidence.  Click the Daily Affirmations button below and get Life By Design Daily Affirmations in your inbox.  Designed with care to remind you of who you are, what you are capable of and how much you rock.  (The first one is the most important.)  Enjoy!


Photo Credit:  Austin Schmid on Unsplash

Seeing the Light

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When the sky is dark and stormy, it is hard to remember that the sun always shines.  We know this to be true, but sometimes it feels as if the sun will never come out.

There are moments like that in each of our lives.  As if the dark clouds of our circumstances will never shift and we will never see the light of day.  But, just as the sun always shines behind the stormy sky, our true and shining self is always there, behind the circumstances, calmly awaiting our choice to see the light.

It may feel very real, like we are bound by the dark clouds of our circumstances.  The truth is that we bind ourselves to the dark clouds.  We have choice in every moment.  To shift our thinking and choose to see the light.  Think of the power in that.


Try This:

  • *Breathe baby breathe  Breath is a powerful function.  It is both voluntary and involuntary.  It can be used to energize or it can be used to calm.  However you use it, it will always bring you back to NOW.  To the present moment.
  • *A Grateful Heart  Seek abundance and you shall find it.  Start a gratitude journal.  Make a point every day to find 3 things you are grateful for.  You will begin to see an abundance of beauty in the world when you are looking for it.
  • *Shifting Perception  It is unrealistic to move straight from anger to joy but you can choose to make small shifts in your perception.  You can choose to think:

I AM shifting into peace.  I AM shifting into joy.  I AM shifting into seeing the light.


Slight shifts in our thinking can completely change the trajectory of our lives.  One thought at a time.

Shine Brightly,

Tracy


Do you need help seeing the light?  Studies show that daily affirmations can help reduce stress, boost well-being and increase confidence.  Click the Daily Affirmations button below and get Life By Design Daily Affirmations in your inbox.  Designed with care to remind you of who you are, what you are capable of and how much you rock.  (The first one is the most important.)  Enjoy!


Photo by Jake Givens on Unsplash

Complete Control

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Did you know that we have close to 60,000 thoughts a day?  Some of them are just bizarre, most of them are the same thoughts we had yesterday and most of those are negative.  They are the very thoughts that create our human suffering.  The deadly trio...fear, doubt and worry. 

Negative thoughts are patterns really.  Habits.  The mind loves patterns.  They run deep grooves in our minds.  These patterns eventually become limiting beliefs that can rob us of our joy if we let them. 

Thoughts create Feelings.

Feelings create Actions.

Actions create Results.  What our life is like.

Good news!  We have complete control over our thoughts.  In fact, it is the only thing we do have complete control over.  It takes constant practice.  Like working a muscle.  But it is as simple as replacing the negative thoughts with positive, empowering ones.  Simple but not easy, that is.

We become good at what we practice.  We've had so much practice in thinking limiting thoughts that we have gotten really good at them.  Imagine what our lives would be like if we took up empowered thinking.  Practicing every day.  Exercising the empowered thinking muscle.

It helps to have a list of replacement thoughts.  A list of thoughts we can turn to when the negative ones creep in, as they are prone to do.


Try this:

1.      WRITE:  Fold a piece of paper in half the long way.  On the left make a list of 10 negative thoughts and on the right make a list of positive, empowering thoughts that you can use to replace the negative ones.

2.      PAUSE: When you notice a negative thought, pause and re-frame  it.  Insert one of the new, empowering thoughts.

3.      PRACTICE, practice, practice


It’s all about noticing what you’re noticing.  Noticing that you are having a negative thought is progress, my friends!  It’s the first step in changing a habit.  So celebrate it and keep noticing.

Shine Brightly,

Tracy


Do you need help practicing empowered thinking?  Studies show that daily affirmations can help reduce stress, boost well-being and increase confidence.  Click the START HERE button below and get Life By Design Daily Affirmations in your inbox.  Designed with care to remind you of who you are, what you are capable of and how much you rock.  (The first one is the most important.)  Enjoy!

Photo by Jen Loong on Unsplash

Choose Joy

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We create the life we lead. Whether we mean to or not. Oftentimes, we create it exactly the way we did yesterday, the year before and the year before that. Like Ground Hog Day. Over and over and over again. The people and circumstances may change slightly but we still have the same life.

  • the same health
  • the same relationships
  • the same job

We may give our circumstances a face-lift.  But in essence, we stick with the pattern that has been ingrained in us, the pattern we have ingrained in ourselves. Our minds love patterns.

We create the life we lead by the thoughts we think. Simple but true. If we ever wonder where our focus is, we need no more than to look at our lives.

Circumstances are circumstances. They are simply what happens around us.

  • Thoughts.  About circumstances.  Create feelings.

  • Feelings generate actions.

  • Actions produce results.

  • Results are the lives we lead.

Good News!!! We have complete control over our thoughts. In fact, our thoughts are the only thing in life that we have complete control over.

It starts with noticing what you’re noticing.  A feeling is often the first indication of a thought you are having. 


Try this…

  • Identify a familiar feeling you have had (Ex. Anger, frustration, overwhelm)

  • Trace the feeling back to a thought.

  • Choose an expansive thought.  Choose to become interested in gratitude, joy or beauty.

  • Notice how the new thought feels.

  • Wash.Rinse.Repeat.   


Try this with all of your undesirable thoughts. It takes practice but it will change your life. One thought at a time.

You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That's the only thing you should be trying to control.
~ Elizabeth Gilbert

Shine Brightly,

Tracy


Do you need help imagining what you would love?  Studies show that daily affirmations can help reduce stress, boost well-being and increase confidence.  Click the START HERE button below and get Life By Design Daily Affirmations in your inbox.  Designed with care to remind you of who you are, what you are capable of and how much you rock.  (The first one is the most important.)  Enjoy!


Photo by Brigitte Tohm on Unsplash


What makes YOU come alive?

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What kind of life would YOU love living?  YOU.  Not your family.  Not your friends.  Not society.  YOU!

  • What would YOU love?

  • What brings YOU life?

  • What do YOU want to be or do or create in this life?

Think about it…really…let your imagination run wild...

Most of us, when we think about what we really want, start with what we think we could do, what we should do, what our present circumstances allow, what the economy is doing, what our bank account says…

It’s time to start asking different questions, bigger questions.

Howard Thurman said Don't ask what the world needs.  Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it it.  Because what the world needs is more people who have come alive.

Your life is an example to everyone you encounter.

  • Of possibility

  • Of hope

  • Of life

Imagine how your children would benefit from a mother who is truly alive…

  • What would YOU love?

  • What brings YOU life?

  • What do YOU want to do or be or create or experience in this life?

What would a wealthy life look like to YOU?  Wealth is not just about money.  Merriam-Webster defines wealth as abundant supply.  We can have wealth in any area of life. 

  • Wealthy in health

  • Wealthy in time

  • Wealthy in love

Designing a wealthy life begins with knowing what you really want

What is it for YOU?


Try this:

  • Take a few deep breaths and center yourself

  • Ask yourself this question:  If it all worked out, what would I love to be or do or have or experience in this life?

  • Grab a pen and paper and let your imagination run wild.

  • And what else and what else and what else...


Shine Brightly,

Tracy


Do you need help imagining what you would love?  Studies show that daily affirmations can help reduce stress, boost well-being and increase confidence.  Click the START HERE button below and get Life By Design Daily Affirmations in your inbox.  Designed with care to remind you of who you are, what you are capable of and how much you rock.  (The first one is the most important.)  Enjoy!


Photo by Kevin Schmid on Unsplash


Shining the Light on the Dark

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Life is interesting isn’t it?  The yin and yang of this human experience.

Light and dark

Good and bad

Possible and impossible

We are conditioned to believe that it has to be one way or another.  But, what if what we are telling ourselves is not true?

It was Henry Ford who once said “whether you think you can or you think you can’t you’re right.”

What if we could see the good in the bad?

Shine the light on the dark?

Create the possible out of the impossible?

As rigorous as life becomes at times, we can always count on the fact that the sun always rises.

What if we were to clear our limiting beliefs simply by changing our thoughts about any circumstance that comes our way?

Think about the power in that.  And, realize that you have that power within you.


Try this:

  • Fold a piece of paper in half lengthwise
  • Write an “impossible” situation in your life across the top
  • Write a list of the possible negative outcomes on the left side
  • Write a counter list of possible positive outcomes on the right side
  • When your mind turns to the negative, replace the thought with all that could go right

Shine Brightly,

Tracy


Do you need help shining the light on the dark?  Studies show that daily affirmations can help reduce stress, boost well-being and increase confidence.  Click the START HERE button below and get Life By Design Daily Affirmations in your inbox.  Designed with care to remind you of who you are, what you are capable of and how much you rock.  (The first one is the most important.)  Enjoy!


Photo Credit:  Alex on Unsplash


Shifting Your Vibe

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Have you ever watched the energy shift as soon as someone walks into a room?  In my teaching days it became a daily practice to check my energy before walking in the door. It was a practice I had to cultivate.  If I happened to forget and bring my frenzied rush hour commute into the classroom, we were all doomed!

Yes.

I am that powerful.

And so are you.

One year I had the good fortune of working with a child who taught me a clear lesson about energy.  About vibration. 

This child would literally climb the door frame if I wasn’t watching. Once I turned around to find him standing on the window ledge of our 3rd story classroom!  His “I need help controlling my body” energy affected us all.  I was affected by his amped up energy that would in turn amp up the energy of the whole classroom.  It was a trying time to say the least.

Despite the difficulty of the year, I learned about energy. About vibration.  I learned that I could help this child and his classmates by changing MY energy, by changing MY vibe.  I was better able to help him with his energy after I took care of my own.  It took practice (an ongoing practice) but it really served me, the children and ultimately my own family.

I'm still working on this...every day!

Shine Brightly,

Tracy


Do you need help changing your vibe?  START HERE with this complimentary series of Life By Design Daily Affirmations.  These affirmations are designed with care to remind you of who you are, what you are capable of and how much you rock.  (The first one is the most important.)  Enjoy!


Photo credit:  © Rudi Jetten Dreamstime


BE Her Now

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There is nothing quite like living a vision driven life.  Creating a vision and BEcoming the woman you are envisioning.  Bearing witness to the metamorphosis within yourself.

It starts with a vision.  3 years from today.  Something that lights you up.  Has the YES! factor.  An absolute YES!  I would love this life.

And, then, there is the contrast.  The space.  The gap.  Between the life you would love to live and the life you are living today. 

It is natural.  The feeling of this gap.  The fear.  The uncertainty.  The unknown.  The “how the hell am I going to get from here to there” feeling.

That woman.  The woman you are envisioning 3 years from today.  She is already within you.  You are BEcoming her.

It’s not an arrival.  A place to get to.  It’s a BEcoming.  YOUR BEcoming.

And, in order to BEcome her, you need to BE HER NOW.

Let’s say that in your vision.  3 years from today.  You are a loving, caring, patient mom.  This is what you desire.  You want this more than anything.  BE HER NOW in your current circumstances.  Not waiting for things to change first.

If, in your vision 3 years from today, you are working in an amazing work environment where you are respected, fulfilled and challenged.  Then, you are BEING HER NOW in the workplace you are in today.

How about that radiant health and well-being in your 3 year vision?  You feel well-rested, vibrant and energetic NOW.

  • How would you hold yourself?
  • What kinds of conversations would you have?
  • How would it feel to be you?

BE HER NOW.  And you will find.  That when you are that loving, caring, patient mom or in a work environment where you are respected, fulfilled and challenged or experiencing radiant health and well-being, you already know what it feels like.  Because you had been rehearsing.  You created future memory.  Cells of recognition.

You had been BEING HER NOW.

Shine Brightly,

Tracy


Do you need help BEing Her Now?  START HERE with this complimentary series of Life By Design Daily Affirmations.  These affirmations are designed with care to remind you of who you are, what you are capable of and how much you rock.  (The first one is the most important.)  Enjoy!

Ruby Slippers

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For most of my adult life I searched for inner peace outside of myself. I looked for it in relationships, in education, in jobs, in books, in workshops, in exercise, in food, in alcohol, in this, in that, in the other thing.  Did I mention baked goods…???

I searched and searched for the magic bullet, the ruby slipper that would take me home to my essence, my joy, the happy life I so desired.

Although I often felt like I was on the verge of greatness, my paradigms (those pesky buggers) always managed to keep me stuck in my story, in my circumstances, in my regrets from the past and my fears about the future.

There was a shadow or two residing deep inside of me that held me back. That kept me from experiencing the peace, joy and happiness I sought and now know I deserve.  There is an odd comfort in staying in the darkness.  We know it, it is familiar, we can relate to others because of it.  And, honestly, it may be an epic story.

My first born, my greatest teacher, taught me a lesson about staying in my story. That staying in my story kept my loved ones in the story as well.  He taught me that I really did have the Ruby Slippers I so desired.  All I needed to do was put them on.  Trust in the magic and I’d be on my way back home.

I am not perfect.  I am human. I am perfectly imperfect.  I sometimes lose track of my Ruby Slippers.  Think that I’ve lost them.  But now I know that they are always there for me.  They always fit. 

You have a pair too! Try them on.  They may feel a bit awkward at first, but I promise you will find your own way of wearing them.

Fun. Flow. Freedom.

Shine Brightly,

Tracy


* Do you need help finding your ruby slippers?  Start here with this complimentary series of Life By Design Daily Affirmations. These affirmations are designed with care to remind you of who you are, all that you are capable of and how much you rock.  (The first one is the most important.)  Enjoy!


Photo Credit:  © Sergey Kishan