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Dear Mindfully Mothering readers,

I have LOVED sharing this journey with you over the past 3 years! Thank you for reading, commenting and sharing my blog posts with others. I has been a sweet outlet for me to share about my experiences with being mindful and motherhood.

While I am ever dedicated to being a mama, I am turning my writing focus towards my life coaching practice and invite you to follow me on my Nurture Life Coaching blog, my Nurture Life Coaching Facebook page or Twitter! I also have a short and sweet e-letter I send out every couple of weeks, focused on inner clarity. Sign up for Clarity Speaking!

I hope we can stay connected!

Photo by Campbell Salgado Studio

The 2010 Portland Mama Makeover is coming to an end this week. It has been a rewarding experience to work with Andrea Moore, this year’s winner. I had the honor of being her personal life coach for this healing journey; we cried, laughed and dreamed together over the two months.

The changes in her are dramatic after weekly sessions with a variety of holistic practitioners.  She is stronger, sits up taller and holds herself with more intention. Her after-makeover photo session with Campbell Salgado Studios is visible proof of the differences in her body.

Her energy level has increased and she often talks about a new feeling of “aliveness.” She has had some incredible moments of clarity that are opening doors in her life in several directions. I can’t wait to see which ones she chooses to step through!

Andrea wrote a heartfelt blog post about our coaching work together. If you want to be inspired by a woman who is truly willing to live fully, even after suffering the devastating loss of her son Michael, take a moment to read her story.

I am already looking forward to next year’s Mama Makeover and can’t wait to see which lucky mama will win! Be sure to spread the word to any mama you know who deserves this special treatment!

I have two amazingly affectionate boys who are in many ways very different: the little monkey is extremely physically active and daring while Sweet Boy is very relational and witty. But both of my boys love to be in close contact.

When Sweet Boy was little, I teasingly called him the “cling-on.” He was always attached to my leg, sitting on my lap or asking to snuggle. Because his dad and I are divorced and he has gone back and forth between us, I relished the time I had him in my arms.

Now at almost 18, he is more a man than a boy. He is independent and self-confident (and no longer hanging on my leg) but still has a tenderness that I trust will serve him well in his life. And every so often he will treat me to a snuggle, but it is more likely that I am in his arms than the other way around 🙂

The little monkey has earned the nickname “foot guy.” At night (we have a family bed) he wiggles around until his feet are in contact with someone, usually his dad. His need for touch and connection in the night is so strong that even if we pile pillows around him, he crawls over them in his sleep! Luckily his dad enjoys the night-time snuggling. We are wondering if all of his athletic abilities cause him to need to use those active legs, even while he snoozes!

By giving my boys the loving contact that they want, I hope that they will stay in touch with their needs as they grow into men. In our culture, it can be difficult for men to feel comfortable sharing their feelings and their needs for connection.

The other day when I told the little monkey that I was going to move over to give him some space to play, he said, “I don’t need space, Mama, I need you.”

Mother’s Day is right around the corner! It is a great time to re-invent the way you nurture and care for yourself. If you need some inspiration about how a busy, stressed mama can practice smarter self-nurture, listen to my radio interview on Single and Unplugged.

What are you doing this weekend to honor yourself as a mama? Remember that every time you invest time and energy in yourself, your family is also receiving the benefits. They get a more relaxed, present and available you!

I took a peek at my blog and realized that I haven’t posted in a few weeks! It has been an eventful and interesting journey and I am surprised at how well I have been going with the flow, considering how hard that can be for me!

Short version of the story: One week Papa Bear’s car is totaled right outside of his work place. The next week, he is in the hospital with a serious infection in his leg. He spends 4 days on IV antibiotics and then comes home for another week on bed rest. During that week, we have two birthdays (mine and the little monkey’s). Then, I return to work to have my busiest week ever (18 client sessions, one women’s group, one workshop and two article due). WHEW!

I need to lay down just remembering all that. Excuse me for a moment.

As I step back and process all that has happened, here are a few things I realize: immense gratitude for Papa Bear’s healing, an acute awareness of how much I love and appreciate him, increased passion for my work (with a sprinkling of awareness about my limits), a realization that we can function with only one car (hello bikes and city bus), and a big sigh of relief.

I send out big thanks to all the friends who called, emailed, brought food and helped with the little monkey during those crazy weeks!

I am so thrilled to be a part of the Mama Makeover essay contest giveaway! We had more than 200 women apply and so many who really deserve the nurturing of this special opportunity. So much so that we decided to choose 4 runners-up! If you want to read about the mamas who were chosen and all the self-care they are going to experience, check out the Mama Makeover site!

I have been in contact with the winner Andrea Moore and can’t wait to start our 6 life coaching sessions! She is a truly committed mama to Sophia, almost 12, Maddy, 2 and a half, and their Angel: Michael Dominic who lived 15 days on earth. She is healing from the loss of her precious baby and ready to focus some attention on herself and “start living again.” This 8 week holistic makeover will give her the support and tools that she needs to do just that. If you want to follow her journey and cheer her on every step of the way, please bookmark the Mama Makeover blog where she will be posting updates!

As the mother of two boys, I think the idea that girls are more sensitive than boys is a myth. In our culture, we certainly train boys out of being connected to their emotions and listening to their hearts, but I have experienced a tenderness and sensitivity in my boys that continues to amaze me.

The other day at the zoo (a place I often feel conflicted about), the little monkey saw a dead white mouse in one of the snake cages.

He ran over and said, “Mama, what happened to that mouse?”

“He is food for the snake. Snakes eat mice, just like we eat salad and chicken and oatmeal.”

The little monkey turned toward the cage and whispered, “But he is one of my very most special friends. I don’t want the snake to eat him.” With tears in his eyes and a stronger voice, he said, “Don’t worry little mouse, I will come back later and get you.”

As we moved on through the zoo, he forgot about the little white mouse, but he continued to talk to the animals about he would help them out or rescue them.

The next day, he turned his tender heart towards his love of nature. As we drove down the highway, he saw a logging truck, stacked tall with fat trees. He pointed and said, “I don’t like when they cut down my trees. I am going to get those trees, bring them home and put them back together with tape.”

We talked for a while about forests, trees and how wood is used. He insisted that even if people needed wood to build things, there had to be another way than cutting down “his trees.” Indeed.

I have many similar stories about my older son, aptly named Sweet Boy (but really now more a Sweet Man). As he turns 18 this summer, I am filled with curiosity about what direction his wise heart will lead him.

I strongly believe that allowing boys to be more connected to their hearts can heal and transform our world. I can’t wait to see it happen…