The Color of Your Heart

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I had the good fortune of witnessing a thought provoking conversation between my children this morning.  They were having a civil conversation about the color of each other’s hearts.  My daughter told my son that his heart was red and had some black spots on it because, she said, he could be mean.  My son, the oldest of the two, told my daughter the same.  That her heart had black spots on it too but it was because she was annoying.

I asked each of them what color they thought their own hearts were and they both said red and blue, like the images they had seen of the heart.  Then, I asked them what color my heart was.  My son replied that mine was pink and yellow.  He said that pink means happiness and yellow means kindness.

This melted my pink and yellow heart.

Years ago, he wouldn’t have chosen pink and yellow, because I was anything but happy.  I could ponder that…what color would my heart have been?  Instead I choose to relish in the fact that my son.  The old soul.  The one who reads me like a book.  Sees me, his mother, as happy and kind.

So grateful to the woman I was 6 years ago!  All of this work that I have done.  All of the tearing down what wasn’t working and building up what does.  The dismantling of my old life to create something new and beautiful.  It was all worth it!

What about you?  What color is your heart?

Fun. Flow. Freedom.

Shine Brightly,

Tracy


*Do you need help changing your legacy?  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 affirmation is the most important.)  Enjoy!


Photo Credit:  © Mamz Dreamstime

100 Ways

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One of the best ways I’ve found to generate joy in my life is my gratitude practice.

I do it first thing in the morning as part of my morning ritual.

In my dedicated gratitude journal, every day.

I review the day before and create a simple list of 10 things I am grateful for.

Sometimes the items on the list are as basic as being grateful for my gratitude practice.

Other times they may involve something more complex, such as the day after my accident.

On that day, I was grateful for my life, that my children were snug in their beds at the time, and so much more.

Some days it is a challenge, depending on my thought management.

But it always helps me to see things differently.

To find the good, the joy, the beauty in life.

This has not always been easy for me.

In my former life, I saw the glass half empty.

But and what if were constants in my mind chatter and my word.

Now, I look forward to my gratitude practice, the opportunity to start the day with grateful eyes.

I kick started my gratitude practice by creating a list of 100 people I am grateful for.

At first this task felt daunting, so I wrote daily for a week, reflecting each day on my life.

I started with my present life and progressed backward in time…life with kids, life with my husband before kids, adult life before my husband, early adulthood, childhood…

I was amazed to find that when I was finished I had over 125 people on my list.

I am still adding to that list.

And you are on it:)

Wishing you well

Tracy

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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

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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

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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

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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