Your Family is Unique

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You and your family are as unique as your thumbprint.  The way you parent and raise your children is unique to you.  In this day and age of social media it is tempting to get caught up in the comparison game, especially when you are a mom.  

 It is easy to judge yourself based on what others are doing or not doing.  It is easy to want to follow the latest fad.  It is easy to want to fit in.

I believe this begins in early childhood.  We are taught that conformity is the acceptable way.  Do it the way everyone else does it and you’ll be ok.  If you deviate from the norm there must be something wrong with you. 

Sadly, many of us have no clue who we really are.  We have adopted the core values and passion of others through childhood, society and life experiences. 

Or, we are playing the toxic game of Mom Comparison.  It is the biggest mistake we can make as moms.  Not only does it often lead us down the wrong path but we are teaching our children how to live a life of comparison as well.

No wonder there is so much pain in the world.  No wonder I felt so much pain throughout my childhood and into adulthood.  I felt like a square peg trying to fit into a round hole.  I knew I wasn’t like most other people.  I knew that I was trying to force myself into conformity.  But, I didn’t know what to do about it other than live very uncomfortably for most of my life. 

During my “renewal”, I learned to use the way I am feeling as a compass.  I learned that the way I am feeling is a key indicator of whether I am being true to who I really am.  I learned to lean in and really pay attention to what is right for me and my family. 

There is absolutely no comparison between your unique self and the unique self of another. Brene Brown says this brilliantly in this quote. “If it doesn’t fit it isn’t you.”

BE you!

Shine Brightly,

Tracy

P.S. Do you need help letting go of mom comparison? I’ve created a FREE series of Life by Design Daily Affirmations to support you in being true to you one affirmation at a time. Click the button below to get started.

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Life by Design Daily Affirmations


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Freedom to Choose

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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 243rd 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:  Roven Images on Unsplash

How to Use Your Discontent to Thrive in Motherhood

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It’s no secret that being a mother is challenging.  In fact, in my opinion, it is THE hardest job in the world.

There was a time, early on, when I focused solely on my woes and all of the difficulties I faced as a mother.  Anyone who knew me at that time may have thought that I was a raving lunatic. 

That’s exactly how I felt.  I hadn’t fully healed from the trauma surrounding my oldest child’s birth and, dang it, having 2 children under 2 is Just. Plain. Hard.

I had mastered my discontent.  I knew it well.  I began my day with it and sealed it into my dreams at night. 

Little did I know, there is an easy way out.  I learned through a series of trial and error that I could actually use my discontent as the driver to move my life in a new direction. 

Think of it this way.  We tend to create change in our lives in 2 ways. 

Intention from – moving away from our discontent. 

Intention toward – moving in the direction of a desired outcome.

Since many of us begin with intention from, I’ve created an easy 3 step process below to help you use your discontent to thrive in motherhood. 

Try this:

  1. Name Your Discontent:  What?  “I thought I was supposed to be reciting words of joy and positivity”, you may be saying to yourself.  Well, you heard me right.  As the late Louise Hay was known to say “you have to see the dirt in order to clean the house”.  It’s the same with your discontent.  Shine the light on it.  Take a look at it.  And then, write it out.  Line by line.  Name your discontent.

  2. Intention Toward:  Take each discontent and turn it into an intention toward.  I’ll give you a few examples to get you started.  Let’s say one of your discontents is “I’m exhausted”.  What you may really want is some energy to get you through the day.  Instead of saying “I’m exhausted”, you could say “I feel energetic throughout the day”, or whatever wording feels right for you.

  3. Take a Step:  Now that you have created an intention toward, make a list of steps you could take to feel more energetic throughout the day.  If the step feels too big, break it down into smaller steps.  Choose ONE step and integrate it into your life before moving on to the next.  For example: 

  • go to bed earlier

  • reduce sugar intake

  • take a brisk walk

  • solicit help

What is one step you can take using the process above?  Please share with a comment below.

Shine Brightly,

Tracy

*Do you need help turning your discontent into an intention toward?  I’ve created an easy cheat sheet to help you.  Download it for free using the button below.


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Free Download

How to Use Your Discontent to Thrive in Motherhood Work Sheet


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5 Must Do Daily Practices

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In the hustle and bustle of life as a mom it is imperative that we maintain consistent practices to help us stay sane throughout the day.  As painful as it feels sometimes, I start my day at 5:45 so that I have time to do these 5 practices daily.  It’s a way of filling my cup before tending to my family and my work.  They have all become integral parts of my life.

1. Walk ~ What are the benefits of walking you ask?  Let me count the ways...  Holistic health and wellness guru Dr Andrew Weil recommends walking as THE best exercise.  Not only does it do your body good but it also increases cognitive performance in the brain and reduces stress.  I choose a 30 minute morning nature walk as my daily go to exercise.

2. Yoga ~ 20 minutes of yoga each day will change your life.  I know this to be true.  After 25 years of yoga and years of experimenting with various healing modalities, I always return to the mat.  There is no better way that I know of to connect mind, body and soul.  And, yoga is a great stress reducer.

3. Meditate ~ Treat your mind as you would your body with the "mental hygiene" of meditation.  Contrary to popular belief, the practice of meditation is to bring your mind back to NOW whenever it wanders.  And, trust me, it will wander.  It is not about sitting with a blank mind for 30 minutes 3 times every day.  Start small with a 3 minute guided meditation and increase the time gradually.  Oh, did I mention that it reduces stress too?

4. Gratitude ~ After attending to my body and my mind, I begin each day by writing and connecting with 3 things I am grateful for.  Not only does gratitude feel good as I recall and focus on all the goodness in my life, but it also aligns me with the vibration of joy, happiness and abundance.  I like to call it the "back door to abundance".

5. Vision ~ Connecting with my vision daily is an absolute for me.  I read it, write it and "put it on" every day.  Living a vision driven life is THE most life giving way of living.  As I connect with my vision I BEcome the woman in it.  And so can you.

Shine Brightly,

Tracy

How do you begin your day?  Please share with a comment below.


Do you need help starting a daily routine?  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!


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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!

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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

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!

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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