Raising Grateful Kids

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One night my 9 year old daughter was having a difficult time.  It had been a full week and we recently had to have a few difficult conversations with our children about death. 

My daughter, who has a vivid imagination, did NOT want to sleep in her bed.  She was not having any part of it.  By 10PM I realized that she was serious! 

So, I got her settled into my bed and took out my gratitude journal for me and my bedside notebook for her.  Her eyes lit up at the sight of the notebook as she is an artist in the making and draws any chance she can get.  I told her that instead of our nightly “grateful prayer”, as we call it, we were going to write in our gratitude journals to help us change our thoughts.

I was delighted with the experience for both of us and for the learning that took place that night.  She now has her own gratitude journal.  A simple solution with a powerful outcome. 

Gratitude is a powerful spiritual practice and an easy one to pass on to kids. Here are 3 reasons you and your child may want to start a gratitude practice.

  • Gratitude connects us to the source of abundance and creativity. Since our thoughts are prayers, gratitude is a great way to align with the source of all that is. That place of pure love.

  • Gratitude aligns us with the vibration (or vibe) of abundance. Seriously, gratitude has an energy about it. It vibrates at the same energetic frequency as joy and abundance leaving us feeling expansive while sadness, anger and frustration tend to leave us feeling constriction.

  • Gratitude increases our sense or feeling of deserving. It feels good to know that we have something to be grateful for.

Do you have a gratitude practice?  Do your kids? Please share it in the comments below.  Yours may just be the golden nugget that changes another mom’s life.

Shine Brightly,

Tracy

P.S. Do you need help thinking grateful thoughts? I’ve created a complimentary series of affirmations to remind you of who you are, all you are capable of and how much you rock.


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Life by Design Daily Affirmations


Photo Credit: Gabrielle Cole 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

Changing Your Mood with Gratitude

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The other night my 8 year old daughter was having a difficult time.  It had been a full week and we recently had to have a few difficult conversations with our children about death. 

My daughter, who has a vivid imagination, did NOT want to sleep in her bed.  She was not having any part of it.  By 10PM I realized that she was serious! 

So, I got her settled into my bed and took out my gratitude journal for me and my bedside notebook for her.  Her eyes lit up at the sight of the notebook as she is an artist in the making and draws any chance she can get.  I told her that instead of our nightly “grateful prayer”, as we call it, we were going to write in our gratitude journals to help us change our thoughts.

I was delighted with the experience for both of us and for the learning that took place that night.  She now has her own gratitude journal.  A simple solution with a powerful outcome. 


Try this:

  • Notice how you are feeling

  • Trace the feeling back to a thought

  • Bring to mind something that you are grateful for and feel it fully

Wash. Rinse. Repeat as needed.


Fun. Flow. Freedom.

Shine Brightly,

Tracy


*Do you need help changing your mood?  Start here with this complimentary series of Life By Design Daily Affirmations. These affirmations are designed with care to remind you of your awesomeness.  (The first one is the most important.)  Enjoy!


Photo Credit:  © creativecommonsstockphotos

Abundance

dsc_0230-640x427 It is so easy to fall into the appearance of lack.  When we focus on lack, that is exactly what we will see.  We will find every example of what is lacking in our lives and the world.

Lack of money.

Lack of time.

Lack of freedom to do what we truly desire.

It is just as easy to focus on abundance.  In fact, it may be even easier to focus on abundance than on lack.  All we need to do is step out into nature.  There is abundance all around us.

Just the other day my daughter and I were driving through the city and saw literally hundreds of birds sitting on rows of wires above the street.  Each in its own spot.  Chirping to its own tune.  Waiting for some unheard cue to move on to the next set of wires or fortunate tree.

What a blessing.  This thing called life.  It continues regardless of our circumstances.  Grass continues to grow, bunnies continue to multiply, hundreds of birds continue to migrate in unison from north to south each fall and spring.

Try this when you start going down the rabbit hole of lack

Stop.

Take a breath of life.

Be grateful.

Get outside.  Look for the abundance that surrounds you.  Take note of all that you have and you will begin to see more examples of the abundance in your life.

 

Discover. Empower. Balance.

Be Well,

Tracy

*Need help seeing abundance in your life?  Schedule a Fun Flow & Freedom Clarity Call today!

 

 

Rise and Shine

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Morning.  Early Morning.  Before my family wakes.  Is my favorite time of day.

In the quiet stillness.  The dawn of a new day of life.

It’s my time.  To fill my cup.  To feed my mind, my body and my soul.

It isn’t always easy, this rising and shining.  Many mornings I just don’t feel like leaving a delightful dream, the comfort of my bed, the warmth of my husband next to me.  But I have made a commitment to myself.  To my own self-care.  For making more time in the day just for me.

I am always rewarded.  Always grateful.  That I thought enough of me to give myself this gift of a morning.

My morning ritual has changed here and there.  With the needs of my soul.  With the season of my life.  With whatever I may be dabbling in at the time.  But the elements are pretty much the same.  They feed me, sustain me, give me the strength I sometimes need to move through my day.

My Absolute YES!

  1. A Brisk Walk to connect with nature and my own physical form
  2. Yoga to reunite my mind, body and soul
  3. Meditation to harmonize with my own life essence
  4. Gratitude to align myself with the generosity of the Universe
  5. Dreaming to explore the endless possibilities that are available to me

A new day.

A fresh start.

How glorious!

I can choose, this day, to see the world differently.

Wishing you well,

Tracy

Need help creating a meaningful morning ritual?  CLICK HERE to schedule a Fun Flow & Freedom Clarity Call.

Photo Credit:  @carlijeen

The Gift of Forgiveness

gift_© Jinyoung Lee Dreamstime Stock Photos (640x461)
gift_© Jinyoung Lee Dreamstime Stock Photos (640x461)

Do you ever find yourself returning to the same incident in your mind over and over again?  Maybe it happened an hour ago, 2 years ago, 20 years ago, maybe even in childhood?  You find yourself returning to the scenario, often spinning tall tales about how it could have been different, how it could have been avoided, what you should have said, how wrong the other person was.  You find yourself feeling resentment towards another person or yourself.  No matter how hard you try, you find it difficult to let it go.

Forgiveness is a natural remedy for resentment, regardless of how unnatural it may feel.  The word forgiveness can conjure up some strong emotions.  There is a misunderstanding that forgiveness means that we should release someone for doing something that may have even been a horrific act.  That we make whatever they did OK.  Forgiveness is NOT for the other person.  It is absolutely NOT to make whatever they did OK.

Forgiveness is a gift we give ourselves.  It is the gift of freeing up the valuable space in our minds that could be used for something constructive like solving problems, being present with another human being, feeling joy or creating dreams for our future.  It also frees us up from returning to those emotional and physiological feelings that just don’t feel good in our bodies and that can often be harmful.

I didn’t always know this.  As a matter of fact, I thought I had been “practicing forgiveness” for many, many, MANY years.  I couldn’t figure out why the resentment never really went away.  I now understand that forgiveness is a daily practice.  As long as we are breathing, we have something to forgive.  It’s like peeling back the layers of an onion.  We peel back a layer only to see that there is another layer behind it.

In the process of breaking apart my own life some years ago I learned some invaluable tools for forgiveness.  I had the good fortune of practicing my new tools on a person in my life with whom I was experiencing quite a bit of resentment.  Whenever this person came into my awareness, and at the time it was a lot, my throat would become constricted, my shoulders would drift toward my ears and I would begin to feel a defensive shift in my body, it was quite uncomfortable.  I realized one day, after I had been practicing my new tools daily, that I didn’t have that uncomfortable feeling as much anymore.  It was a marked difference for me.  It felt as if a weight had been lifted from me and I was able to see this person in a whole new light.

Ho'oponopono is one these practices.  It is an ancient Hawaiian practice of reconciliation and forgiveness.  It is simple but powerful.  It involves saying the following 3 phrases quietly in the mind, repeatedly.  Sometimes it takes a few rounds to feel the shift and sometimes it requires many.  Done regularly, it can change your life!

“I AM Sorry…Please Forgive Me”

“Thank you…I Am Grateful”

“I Love You”

By saying I’m Sorry…Please Forgive Me, I am acknowledging judgement and asking forgiveness for this judgement.

By saying Thank You…I AM Grateful, I am expressing gratitude for the opportunity to clear resentful thoughts.

By saying I Love You, I am generating a sense of joy, happiness and abundance.

Shine Brightly,

Tracy

Need help starting a forgiveness practice?  Schedule a Mini Clarity Session today!

Photo Credit:  gift_© Jinyoung Lee Dreamstime

Yes!

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There has been a lot of buzz as of late about choosing a word of the year. Usually I have many but this year I chose Yes!  Actually, I have been dabbling in Yes! for several years, since I started breaking apart my life, but this year I’m all in!

At first it may feel a bit selfish to say Yes! A bit unnatural.  But once you get the hang of it you will wonder why you waited so long.  Yes! is exciting and terrifying all in one.  Yes! opens doors, renews relationships and frees you to be you.  Choosing Yes! gives your children permission to say Yes!  To be authentic.  To live their truth.

This year I say…

Yes! to my health.

Yes! to my family.

Yes! to my dreams.

Yes! to abundance.

And

Yes! to No!


If you haven’t yet, watch Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday interview with Shonda Rhimes, creator and producer of the award winning series Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal to name a few.  She recently wrote a book called Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person(now on my must read list). She made the bold move two years ago of saying Yes! to her life and it changed her in ways she could not have imagined.  Her year of Yes! lead her to some incredible experiences she would not have otherwise had, losing weight, letting go of what no longer served her and most importantly, showing up for her children as the empowered, present mama she is.

Thank you Shonda! For being brave, sharing your story with the world and being you!


Fun. Flow. Freedom.

Shine Brightly,

Tracy

*Do you need help saying YES to youSTART 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 affirmation is the most important.)  Enjoy!

Photo Credit:  making choice © Eduardkraft  Dreamstime

A Fond Farewell To 2015

Year End Reflection “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” Wayne Dyer

Fireworks Show VII

In the past few weeks I’ve taken some time to reflect on 2015, with compassion and gratitude. It was an eventful year.  A year full of many blessings, in disguise and outright.  And some real opportunities for growth.  I have come out of it with a greater understanding of myself and a new perspective on my life and the way I wish to proceed into the New Year.

With my previous awareness I would have called it a BIG YEAR. A year of the good, the bad and the ugly.  Accentuating the ugly.  It happened to be a year that was unusually full of circumstances.  Some created by me and others by the grace of the divine.  I am finally beginning to understand that it is only BIG if I label it as such.  If I call it BIG it becomes bigger than me.  It’s the thought about the circumstance that makes it bigger than me.  The circumstance is just a circumstance.  A circumstance is “the way something happens” as Encarta describes it.

In all of the decades of knowing this, by George, I think I am finally getting it! It hasn’t happened over night.  I still find myself getting stuck in the thought about a circumstance.  Grabbing ahold of that thought and telling myself a tall tale about that circumstance.  But, now, my recovery time is quicker.  I know that this is a never ending process.  The redirection of my thoughts.  The lesson of a lifetime.  But I am grateful for the awareness and the opportunity to practice.

So…get out your calendar from 2015, a pen and your journal. Take a close look at the events that unfolded.  Journal it out.  Do a mind-dump.  Then, find the good in each circumstance.  Find the hidden blessings.  Rewrite last year’s story with compassion for the woman who experienced those circumstances and thank her for where she is today.

Wishing you well

Tracy

Do you need help rewriting last year's story?  Click Here to schedule your Mini Clarity Session today.

Photo Credit:  fireworks2© Mike Watson Dreamstime

"We Can't Redo Life Mommy"

A Six Year Old’s Words of Wisdom "The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience." – Eleanor Roosevelt

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My son, who was born at least 40 years old, said this when he was 5 or 6.  I have spent the past 8 years writing quotes from my children on scrap pieces of paper to do what with I am not quite sure but this quote, “we can’t redo life mommy”, is posted on my wall so I can see it every morning when I wake.  He has surprised me from the moment he started talking with the depth of his thinking and the insight he brings to my world.  His first word was clock.  Not mum or dada or dog or tat, but clock?!?

I can’t remember the context from which the quote came but I do remember the impact.  Have I lived?  If I were to die tomorrow or 50 years from now for that matter, how would I want to be remembered by my children?  How did my life impact them and how did my life impact their children?  Will they want to follow in my footsteps or will I be a faint memory of brown hair and blue eyes?

As I pondered this quote I made a list of all of the ways I’d like to be remembered… as a loving, happy, present, caring, compassionate, patient, wise, strong, playful, fun, funny, forgiving, grateful, giving, tender mother who makes a difference in the lives she touches. Most importantly, though, I want to be remembered as a mother who loved her life.  I want to be an inspiration to my children to love their lives.  This might have been the moment when I started breaking my life apart, inspecting it piece by piece under a microscope, and vowing to live the next half of my life much differently than the first if only to be an inspiration to my children.  I don’t recommend doing this all at once, as I did, as it really rocks the world of those around you and once it’s out it can’t be stuffed back in.  I know this…I tried!  I’m still working on it but I love my life so much more these days as I make a conscious effort to live authentically in hopes that my children will do the same.

Wishing you well.

Tracy

Do you need help living authentically?  Click Here to schedule your Mini Clarity Session today.

Photo Credit:  Brown thank you card on pink and blue small bottle © Creative commons stock photos Dreamstime

 

 

 

Nurturing Creativity

The Magic Of Coloring “You can't use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” ― Maya Angelou

photo-2-2-640x480 My daughter and I took a trip to Michael’s the other day. As we entered the store we were met immediately with a display of coloring books and colored pencils designed for adults. My daughter, a prolific drawer, squealed with delight as we approached the lovely covers of over a dozen coloring books. I, myself, could not contain my “oooohhh” as I zeroed in on the beautiful books that featured mandalas in particular.

This morning I incorporated ten extra minutes into my morning routine to nurture my creativity. I set the timer, as I remember “the zone” pre-kid days, where hours would pass in the loving arms of inspiration. I carefully chose the colors that called to me and set off into the mindful activity of coloring. The stress of the morning quickly dissolved as soon as I put pencil to paper and I felt incredibly present as I chose the perfect pencil to represent each line. When the timer went off I was left with the lovely beginnings of my first mandala, free flowing ideas for my daily writing and a delightful start to what might otherwise be considered a dreary, rainy day.

I used to think that coloring was cheating and that to be creative I had to create something new but with this thinking I wasn’t being creative at all. The beautiful thing about coloring is that it can be done any time whether alone or with your children. What better way to spend quality time with your child than to create something beautiful. I continue to learn that I can do many of the things I used to do pre-kids in more compact amounts of time. A 30 minute walk, 15 minutes of yoga, 5 minutes of meditation, and 10 minutes of coloring now constitutes my morning routine. Yes, I have to get up at the crack of dawn but I start my day knowing that I have given to myself first. This in turn is a gift to my family and anyone else I encounter during the day.

Wishing you well.

Tracy

Do you need help sparking your creativity?  Click Here to schedule your Mini Clarity Session today.

The Dandy-lion

Beauty In A Weed “Be present in all things and thankful for all things.” Maya Angelou

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There is nothing quite like being with a child to bring you into the present moment.  Our family is big on walks.  When my children were very young I walked daily if not more.  There were many variations on the way I walked.  Sometimes with one baby strapped to my body and holding the other, sometimes two in the stroller, sometimes one in the stroller and the other straggling behind or running ahead and on very special days pushing an empty stroller and carrying two babies.  You get the picture.  I walked.  Most of time during the early years I was a walking zombie.  Present enough to put one foot in front of the other but not really present to life.

On one of our walks my daughter says "ohhh, dandy-lion.  I wuv dandy-lion".  She walks over, picks one and hands it to me.  I stop, take her gift and look at it as if I am seeing one for the first time.  Sure enough, a dandy-lion is a PERFECT flower!  It is perfectly proportioned, like a mini me version of a mum!  All this time I thought dandy-lions were ugly weeds worthy of the compost pile.  My 18 month old has enlightened me.

An article rolled into my inbox recently touting the healing effects of dandy-lions.  Who knew???

Wishing you well.

Tracy

Do you need help being present?  Click Here to schedule your Mini Clarity Session today.

Photo Credit:  CC0 Picture Bokeh Shot Of Yellow Flower During Daytime dreamstime

Smile

A Simply Profound Gesture  "Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy." - Thich Nhat Hanh

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A few months ago my favorite yoga instructor said something so simple yet so profound.  It was the 3rd morning of a yoga teacher training weekend.  I headed out the door early that day, proud of myself I might add, with the intention of getting settled and centered well before the class started.  I wasn’t five minutes into the twenty minute drive (in a car that I cursed when I got into BTW) when the oil light came on.  Frustrated at having car trouble (and cursing the car yet again) I pulled over and texted her to tell her that instead of getting there early as I had planned, I was going to be late.  Her response was a single word.  “Smile!”  And so I did, through the whole car ordeal and into the studio.  I smiled.  It was a simple gesture with a profound effect.  It changed my whole perception about the incident as well as my energy around it.  I had a great experience that day and it trickled down to the others in the class and then that evening to my family.

It’s easy to smile at a passerby on the street, while reading a heart warming story or at a newborn baby.  Why not try on a smile for the day?  Put it on as you would your favorite jeans.  Try it out in the mirror before you head out the door, get it just right.  Share the gift of a smile with your kids, your husband, your mother in law, your friend, your dentist, a stranger on the street, the guy who cuts you off in traffic…

Wishing you well.

Tracy

Do you need help smiling?  Click Here to schedule your Mini Clarity Session today.

Photo Credit:  woman smiling © Liv Friis-larsen  Dreamstime