Compassion

Be Your Own Valentine

I don’t know about you, but this holiday always seems to creep up on me, and I’ve noticed that it’s the one holiday that I truly have experienced differently throughout the various stages of my life. I have to admit something, and maybe you can relate: I was caught up with this holiday for surface value. Here’s what I mean.

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What I Love About Being a Mom

In a recent conversation that felt more like a major blow up with my oldest son, he asked me, “Do you like being a Mom?” Initially, the voice in my head had quite a sarcastic response, but my heart immediately felt a heavy sigh. “Of course I do.” It was that moment when I realized {again} that this whole thing called Motherhood is pretty mind-blowing. Full stop.

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Mamas…Celebrate Your Magificence Every Day

Family_Felix_partyHappy Mother’s Day to all of our magificent moms in the Conscious Working Mama community. Today we honor you, we thank you and we celebrate you. Motherhood is not for the faint of heart—as I always say, it’s harder than running a marathon—and yet, it really is the most rewarding role we play. However your day unfolds, it’s my wish that you allow yourself to truly enjoy and receive all of the gratitude that’s about to come your way. Let today be a day where you don’t require yourself to give and give and give, and instead, allow yourself to receive as much appreciation and joy as you can possibly handle. If you need some ideas, it could be as simple as:

  1. Lay in bed an extra 10 minutes (consider it a science experiment)
  2. Make time for a cup of tea/coffee in the morning and sit down while you drink it
  3. Let your family know that you’re going to take 30 minutes of alone time and spend it however you like

Instead of thinking you have to wait an entire year to be granted permission to appreciate all of the wonderful things that you do and how you show up for your children and for yourself, why not adopt the attitude that every day is Mother’s day because you’re exceptional and are worth honoring every day. I love how Maya Angelou put it:

Open your eyes to the beauty around you,

Open your mind to the wonders of life,

Open your heart to those who love you,

and always be true to yourself.

We might think that being a mother is about giving to our children, but let’s remember the origin of where it all starts. Nurturing and celebrating ourselves is what births our capacity to be creative, to be kind, to be inspiring, to be compassionate, to be purposeful, to be loving and to experience all of our unique gifts that we have to offer the world. Starting tomorrow, I’m going to make it a point to compliment myself daily about how phenomenal I am as a mom, because I know deep down inside that the most important validation comes from within. Will you join me?

I’m thinking about you today and appreciating you, and come tomorrow morning, I’m going to be doing the exact same thing!

Much love from a fellow Conscious Working Mama,

Sarah xx

 

 

 

How I Learned To Like Playdates

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Hi Working Mamas,

When my oldest son started kinder, we entered the world of playdates. Oh my goodness, did I find this stressful! If my son was invited to a playdate, I felt like I needed to immediately host one in return. My son begged me to host, and I was constantly looking at my overbooked calendar to see what I had to cut to to make the play date work. This anxiety started  before the play date even began. Once the play date started, I realized I had not three boys, but usually four (sometimes I’d get lucky with a calm girl), bouncing off the walls of our intimate house and fighting over toys—not to mention little brothers feeling territorial and ignored by their oldest. And every time I would think to myself, ‘Wow, this was entirely self-induced!’ Like most of you, I would forge ahead trying to make play dates work, while secretly feeling thankful when they came to an end.

Something had to change. My son looked forward to these play dates and I wasn’t about to stop having them all together, but these kiddie sessions were giving me grey hairs! It became clear to me that I had a lot of expectations about play dates, including how frequently they should take place, how often I should host, how my children should act during them, what I should do with the kids… the list goes on and on. I reminded myself that when I attach to an expectation, I usually come up short because I’m so focused on how the “should” should look.

One of my mentors, Steve Chandler, makes a great distinction between agreements and expectations, and this distinction made me realize that I can shift my perspective, and ultimately my experience, of play dates if I make an agreement with myself.

A few definitions:

Agreement: An arrangement that is accepted by all parties.

Expectation: The act or state of looking forward or anticipating. Synonym for anticipation.

Imagine if you do away with putting pressure on yourself to “do it all” and stop expecting play dates to look and go a certain way, and instead you make an agreement with yourself along the following lines:I will do my very best planning playdates, and furthermore, I will do my very best enjoying them. I will detach from all expectations and accept that whatever is for my children’s and my highest good will emerge, allowing us to experience whatever it is we are supposed to, for the highest learning of all concerned.

Bam! I’ll be honest. I host less playdates and I’m okay with that. And when I do host, I enjoy them more because I’m more relaxed and unattached to the outcome. My children seem relaxed too. Voila. Give it a go!

Where in your life can you let go of an expectation and make an agreement either  with yourself or with someone else, instead of having expectations?

Much love,

Sarah xxx

 

A Trip To ER…

ER   I could have gone either way. I was sitting at a client lunch meeting and  saw my husband call, but didn’t want to be rude to my clients by picking, so I turned my phone over. Thus, missing his following five more calls, multiple texts, and several calls from my oldest son’s school.

Because my husband and I both work, we weren’t readily available when the school called. In fact, my husband was an hour away at a conference that he was attending for a couple of days. it wasn’t until my lunch finished and I saw a text from my “emergency contact” that read, “call school now” that it all clicked. My son had been injured. While I had been sitting at lunch, my son was sitting in the nurses office with a huge gash to his head that clearly needed stitches.

I’ll be honest. I had a very quick split moment of panic, wondering how long he had been sitting there, wondering if he was scared and, even more so, wondering if he was feeling alone. I was disappointed I wasn’t by his side. I couldn’t be two places at once.

Right then and there, I made a choice to act differently than I had in the past. I didn’t need to go into panic mode and have an emotional reaction. It wasn’t anybody’s fault that this happened. I didn’t need to feel guilty for not being readily available. That’s an old pattern, and I’ve retired it.

What I know to be true, is that there’s always something for me to learn in every experience. As I worked through the logistics of coordinating getting my son to ER, which required my husband to drive back into the city, it became very clear. The lesson was around trust. Life happens, and it happens at many speeds and, particularly as a working mom, it’s not always at the speed we’d like. What I realized is that my son was OK. He had the most amazing experience being taken care of my by the incredible school nurse, my husband arrived within an hour, and he received a huge compliment from ER doctor (that he was the best patient out of all 60 he’d seen that day!).

There was no need for me to rush home to be with him, and I certainly didn’t need to add any drama to a situation that was thankfully drama-free. All I needed to do was trust that I had made smart choices along the way to prepare for any situation like this and, when it came down to it, the preparation I had put in place provided more then enough of a positive, loving experience for my son. He quite liked hanging out in the nurses office. He was proud of his stitches. He learned a lesson that he can survive without me rushing to his side. Likewise, I was reminded to trust in the decisions that I’ve made (in this case the plans I had in play if there were ever to be an emergency). I was also reminded to be compassionate with myself. As a working mom, I can’t be two places at once, and my son was absolutely okay and there was no need for me to dramatize anything or even worse go into self guilt, because I couldn’t get to his side immediately. My consciousness expanded through this experience, embracing a new way of living my life, that included a lot more trust and self compassion.

How are you choosing to live your life? Is there room for more self trust and compassion? I want to hear from you!

Love,

Sarah xxx

Are You Focused on YOU having fun, Or Your Kids? Be Honest…

DSC07295 copyI hear from so many working Moms that their daily routines can feel mundane and lack fun. For me, I use to try and DO more to create ‘fun’ for my kids. Only, the more I did, the less FUN I felt. My funneth, runneth empty.

Until recently, I was experiencing Groundhog Day at the breakfast table. We were going through the motions, and it just lacked fun. It lacked light-heartedness. I experimented with something to switch it up; make the routine feel fresh while hitting all of the marks we needed to hit each morning to get everyone out of the door on time.

Here’s a strategy, my modern, working moms who aspire to raise your consciousness and experience more fun during routine moments that can otherwise feel mundane.

1. Take a deep breathe; the kind that allows you to exhale out loud. Let your body completely relax (this should take 3 seconds max!)
2. What is it you NEED in order to experience fun, laughter, lightness, and silliness? This is a state of being, not something that should require you to DO more.
3. Welcome whatever comes forward. For me, the the first thing that came to mind was ‘dance party.’

I went with it! I put on music for my boys and, while they sat at the breakfast table, I danced. And, danced. And, danced. I did this as I made lunches and wiped up the seemingly never-ending spills. They sat with their jaws open, all the while, giggling in unison. They had no idea that their Mama had grown up dancing tap, ballet, and jazz. I could (can!) drop into numerous routines at any given moment.

All of the sudden, our morning breakfast routine, was full of energy, light, and FUN. An internal shift happened inside of me. I was open to receiving more fun in my life and, as a result, so were my boys. They enjoyed an otherwise routine breakfast morning in a new way; a fresh and fun way. I could have kept dancing all morning and, in a way, I did. So did they.

I was reminded that it’s necessary for us working women to infuse joy in our lives, and that it’s really a state of being, not a state of doing more. We don’t need to work harder to create ‘lightness’ in our lives. I was able tap into my intuition (ha! see what I did there?). By being open to receiving what need came through and embracing it, my boys and I had a lot more fun during what had become groundhogs day breakfast routine.

With loads of laughter,

Sarah

Wanna Know How to Prevent Your Screaming Mimi Voice?

Running (2) I recently sat down for lunch with one of my dear working Mom friends who I very much admire. We were talking about parenting our boys. She said to me, “I haven’t used my screaming mimi voice in 30 days.” I had never heard that phrase, but knew exactly what she was talking about. The moment she said that, I consciously thought, “That’s impressive; I used my mimi voice just 3 hours ago.”

Do you know the voice I’m talking about? It’s the one that comes out when you feel like your kids aren’t listening to you. Or, when you’re in a rush, exhausted, or stressed. As a working Mom, there are a thousand scenarios that can push our buttons to trigger us to become screaming mimi’s. The experience I have after I’m screaming mimi, generally, consists of guilt and shame. It’s not something I’m proud of, but it happens. Can you relate? It takes work to not be a screaming, mimi regardless of how much we love our children.

I’ve been aware of my screaming, mimi voice for a while and have learned what triggers it. It’s not a behavior I want to pass down to my children. I’ve also learned that it has very little to do with my boys. Of course, it would be wonderful if my house of 3 boys would listen more or do what they’re asked, but ultimately the boys behavior is just a symptom of the real issue. The root cause is my lack of self care. As a working Mom, I’ve under-estimated the importance of taking care of my well being – not just physically, but mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Not to mention fun. Am I making time for me to experience any ‘fun?’

We all know self care is important, but be honest, are you making time for it? Are you making it easy for you to incorporate it into your daily routine. Think about it this way: what’s one thing you could do across each of the below categories to support you in taking care of yourself first, so you can feel rested, rejuvenated, inspired, patient, and available to show up as your best self in your career and in motherhood?

Physically – Eg: , is there a class you’re dying to take?
Mentally – Eg: Read an inspirational quote each day on Pinterest.
Spiritually – Eg: Pay it forward. One random act of kindness will open up your heart.
Emotionally – Eg: Write one thing that you’re thankful for each day in journal.
For Joy – What’s the one thing you’ve been dying to do that will bring you joy?

I promise you by increasing your self care, you will decrease your screaming, mimi voice and, not only will your children thank you, but you will feel a greater sense of love and appreciation towards yourself.

Much Love,

Sarah xx

Are You Dying inside?

Do you feel like you could do your job with your eyes closed?  Stuck going through the motions because each time you start to consider any other possibility that would feel more purposeful, impactful –heck FUN– you can’t imagine starting over? How would you make as much money? What would you actually do? Before you know it, you’re right back where you’ve started; only this time you might be convincing yourself, “It’s not so bad. The hours are okay. The pay is good…”

This is what I call unconscious living. And as a result, parts of us start to feel unfilled because we’re living in mediocrity.

In service to helping my CWM community, I got to the point where I felt like I was dying inside. I had hit a glass ceiling in my career and wasn’t making the impact or living on purpose in the way I had dreamt about. You might be thinking, “what dreams?!” Exactly?! My dreams had slipped away because I was choosing to live unawake, unengaged, and out of alignment. Maybe you can relate. Or maybe you’ve experienced justifying these feelings because other areas of your life you do feel completely alive and awake – your marriage or your role as a mother seem perfectly in tact.

Now what? You’re dying inside and, with a snap of a finger, another year will go by. No more “fake it until you make it” attitude.  Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 12.40.37 PM

Here’s a secret game I use to play to help me wake up and start to get real clear on what it is I want and how it is I want to experience my life.  I always knew time was precious and I wanted to live BIG, otherwise what was the point? “Go big or stay home,” is what an old sales boss use to tell me when I was 20 something.

So, I would write out my obituary just as I wanted to read it. This might sound silly, but when you read it out loud something powerful happens. You’ll see. I don’t want to spoil it, so I’m asking you to trust me.

15 MIN EXERCISE TO WAKE YOU UP

Take out a piece of paper.

Set timer for 15 minutes

Writing assignment: Write your obituary from the place of how you want to be remembered.

Consider these questions:

What kind of impact do you want to leave?
How do you want to be remembered?
What are the qualities people would use to describe you?

It is from this place, I’m inviting you to take stock in how you’re experiencing your day. Your life, your career, and trust what comes forward.

For me,  I couldn’t believe what I found on the other side. A sense of freedom, empowerment,  ease, impact, creativity, prosperity, and joy that I didn’t think was possible.

In support of your own awaking and experiencing the fullness of your life,

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Do You Get Upset Easily and Overreact?

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When it comes to a disagreement with a colleague, are you one of those women who immediately fires back an email with three paragraphs justifying your viewpoint? When you get into a argument with your spouse, do you end up just walking away? When it comes to your children, do you raise your voice and, then moments later, tell your children to stop shouting at each other? I’ve been there. Your emotions take over. You get upset. You tell yourself it’s their fault. Not yours.

It happens quickly, doesn’t it?

Perhaps you can relate to this, but have you noticed how passionate you get about the issue itself? The nitty, gritty details. Who said what, how it was said, what happened, and what didn’t happen. What we don’t realize is that the real issue is how we relate to the issue.

Considered the possibility that you’re big emotional reaction had nothing to do with anyone else. In fact, it’s simply an opportunity to look within and recognize something deep down inside of you that was triggered and needs to be healed.

If you’re goal is to show up and experience the greatest version of yourself, imagine how it would feel if you could approach issues from a place of calm inside of yourself? This doesn’t mean that you can’t experience disappointment, frustration, or sadness. However, the way in which you engage those emotions will look different. It’s from this place that you’ll be able to communicate in a way that truly serves both others and you for the highest good.

Let me give you a real life example. This week, I received a call from my seven year old son’s elementary school, notifying me that there had been an anonymous shooter threat made. Note, we live in Los Angeles, so there was heightened tension because of the terrible tragedy in San Bernardino. Immediately, hundreds of emails and texts with additional bits of info and hypotheses around what was happening started flying around.

You could feel the blanket of fear covering our little town within Los Angeles. Some parents were immediately saying their kids wouldn’t go to school, while others were feeling paralyzed. I witnessed every kind of reaction you could imagine. Outrage about not receiving enough information. Fear as to how this could happen.

As this whole experience was going on, I was very aware that this was going to be a personal decision as to whether or not I would send my son to school the next day. I also had the revelation that I could make a choice to relate to the issue in a way that best reflected who I want to be in this world. I could react emotionally, kicking and screaming about the way in which I thought it should be handled, or I could choose a calm, thoughtful response, allowing me to communicate in a more loving way so that any feedback or message I wanted to share could actually be heard by the powers at be.

With this in mind, here’s the three-step process I use to help me stay calm and minimize my emotions, so I can behave in away that is in accordance with my values. I will caveat this by saying, I’m human. While it’s always my intention to use this process, it doesn’t mean it happens every time. And, that’s OK. With practice, these steps can become your default.

Give the benefit of the doubt. Many people assume the worst in situations. Instead, hold a vision of possibility and positivity in your head. You really don’t know what’s going on with other people, so don’t assume.
Check in with yourself. If you’re feeling upset, it’s a sign that the outer experience has triggered an unresolved issue inside of you. You can choose to work and heal your issue or not.
Act in accordance with your values. If you desire to show up peacefully and lovingly, then hold yourself accountable. Get conscious.

For me, it would have been incredibly easy to have an emotional reaction to this event at my son’s school. By following these helpful tips, I was able to navigate the situation in a way that still allowed me the dignity of my own process and helped me sleep at night and make a decision out of calmness rather than fear.

It’s easy to get upset, blame others, and stomp our feet. However, it doesn’t leave us feeling good about ourselves and doesn’t support us in living from our best version.

If you find yourself going down this path, remember the issue isn’t about the other person. It’s not about the content of the the situation at hand. It’s truly about how you’re relating to it. If you find yourself triggered, hold a mirror and look into it. There’s an opportunity to heal something inside of you. Imagine all the possibilities when you do this work.

How might you see a work colleague’s point of view differently?
How might you connect with your partner in a more loving way?
How might you feel more compassion and patience towards your children?
How might you be able to make a decision from a place of confidence instead of fear?

I’m inviting you to try it on for size. It might feel odd at first because it’s counter intuitive. That’s okay. If you’ve come this far in reading the article, then go for it. It’s another tool to help you live consciously and love the life you live.

Something Big Happened, and I thought, “Did I DO enough?”

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This weekend I had a dear friend take her life. She was the person on the other end of the line a few years ago when I felt like my life was flipped upside down. She was there when I felt disconnected from my husband, when I had reached a glass ceiling in my career, when I felt overwhelmed by the responsibilities as a working Mom, and when I couldn’t remember the last time I had a dream. She was the coach that helped me navigate the rough waters and see that there was another way of living.When I got the call that she couldn’t meet for our scheduled walk because she had transitioned to the Spiritual world, I went into an old thought pattern questioning myself. Did I DO enough?

I’m a mother of three boys. I’m a wife, married to an entrepreneur. I run a thriving business. I was tired. So, did I drop the ball? Could I have saved her? If I had only been more available. What if we had scheduled our walk for last Friday instead of this Tuesday. Would that have made a difference? My mind was racing. This was a similar feeling I had experienced for years as a working Mom. Constantly questioning, am I doing enough for the children, for my husband, for my clients? I was left feeling like all my efforts still weren’t enough.

I took some time yesterday to work my own process since this is what I talk to many of my clients about and had ah-ha moment. I have an opportunity to be gentle with myself and practice three simple tools that I coach other women into using and that have given me so much mileage in my own life.

1. I did the very best I could do in every correspondence with my friend at the time. Do you operate under that spiritual law in every situation you’re in?


2. By listening and supporting my own responsibilities first, I was able to show up and just BE loving towards my friend. I never offered advice. I just listened. It wasn’t a matter of me DOING anything for her.


3. I’m only responsible for myself (and my children to a certain age). I can’t assume responsibility for other people’s choices. Do you assumer over-responsibility?

As a working Mom, I find it’s so easy to question myself (after all we have a zillion decisions to make throughout the day) and often I’m left with the biggie, “Am I doing enough?” when I feel like I’m in downpour of overwhelm and responsibilities. However, I have found using tools like these is an easier path to feeling whole, and calm with much less resistance. I encourage you to try them on.

I have so much for my friend and the journey she is on. I’m thankful for the opportunity I had to just BE with her. I do believe we have a choice to be conscious working COMPASSIONATE mamas, even in the midst of all the chaos at any given time.

Hug yourself and loved ones tightly,

Sarah x

No Matter How Hard I Worked, I Never Felt Like I Had Enough Money…

DSC06027 I would gladly fold ten loads of laundry rather than look at my bank account, balance my checkbook or, quite frankly, talk about money in any way, shape, or form with my husband. Until recently, I have despised any conversation around money, regardless of having a healthy income or not.  As a working mom, one of my core qualities is ambition. It’s served me well. However, as I’ve become established in my career and made more money, I have realized that the way I relate to money remains an uncomfortable relationship. I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I’m going to be brutally honest: even when I go to nice restaurants and something is priced over $20.00, a little voice in my head yells, “Oh, that’s pricey! You can’t have that.” Talk about a buzz kill when you’re a foodie AND when you want to experience things to their fullest.

Until recently, I have operated under this premise: if I made more money, I would feel different. Boy, was I wrong. The universe in the past couple of months has provided me a couple of clear examples as to why that hypothesis is completely off base. When I’ve come across a month where I have a bit more spending cash, I still feel anxious, worried, and that I’m not making enough. These feelings use to really paralyze me and kept me from making choices that were aligned with my heart and my intuition.

One of my goals for 2015 is to change the way that I relate to money. Instead of coming from a place of scarcity and being afraid of not having money, I’m going to trust that the universe is abundant, and that my intuition combined with my ambition can create the prosperity I desire in all areas of my life.

My professional coach recently shared the most poignant quote by Albert Einstein: “The most important decision … is that we live in a Benevolent Universe.”  That’s when it clicked. I’ve been operating under a misbelief that I have to play every decision safe (which often can mean “small”) because that’s how I comfortably make more money. I’ve been neglecting the fact that that the universe is friendly and always shows up for me when I follow my intuition. Sometimes this means taking a chance by making tough, scary choices that require me to really ask for what I want. Until now, I’ve called those moments when things work out as good luck when, in fact, it is the universe showing up and being friendly towards me as someone who has followed the intuition that ambition points towards. Note, this does mean I have to do my part: the universe meets me at the point of action.

Can you think of a decision you’ve made where you’ve played it safe because you’ve been concerned and worried about lack of money if you do something differently?

You might be asking yourself, “Well, how on earth do I break this pattern of how I relate to money?’” I’m so glad you asked!

What’s my simple process?

  1. Identify misbeliefs I have around money and at what age they started
  2. Replace those beliefs about money with new, current beliefs (be truthful!)
  3. Vocalize my new beliefs about money daily, so that they become a part of my consciousnesses
  4. Be compassionate with myself while I transition from this place of fear of not having enough to a place of knowing, abundance, and comfort.

One more thing: I have found that my fears around not making enough money can flair up even more around the holidays. This is why I’m particularly focused on practicing discernment, working my process to update my limiting beliefs. The goal is to transform my mindset to come from a place of neutrality when discussing or thinking about money. I’m committed to changing this pattern for 2015. Just the thought of that sounds so refreshing.

I’m excited to enjoy the fruits of my labor, have financial discussions with my husband without feeling a pit in my stomach, and, most importantly, being able to not just react to it. I’m excited to make choices about my life that don’t feel small because of the new way I’m going to relate to money. I’m confident that when coming from this state of being, I will truly experience an abundance of prosperity in all areas of my life.

If you can relate, I’d love to hear how you’re overcoming your anxiety and fear with money.

Wishing you loads of prosperity in 2015,

Sarah

P.S.

The 1st picture was taken of my husband and I at a super lovely restaurant celebrating my Masters in Psychology this Aug, while the 2nd was taken with girlfriends post dinner. It reminds me of how wonderful I can feel when I choose to embrace the whole experience for what it is and not worry about any of the cost involved.

Consider this crazy idea…children want to be loved independently?!

LHG_SLG_LondonSkating_376x669 (1)I just gave myself and my oldest son the most amazing gift: a week long holiday together; just the two of us. We chose to go to London because he was born there and was also turning 6. It was important to me to share his birth experience with him now that he’s old enough to see and understand his roots. I’m first to admit this took months of planning, saving, and communicating with my husband. But, my oh my, I can wholeheartedly say it was one of the most profound experiences I’ve ever had. Bear with me over the next few months because I have a feeling I will draw on this experience quite a bit, but for the sake of this post, I want to focus on one major awareness and share it w/ you Moms who have more than one child. I’m an only child and, while I loved the attention I received, I always knew that I wanted to have several children. I wanted them to experience a life of constant of sharing toys, parents, and love.

Keeping that in mind, I remember when I had my second son, Felix, my pediatrician’s main advice was whatever you do, make sure you spend at least 10 minutes a day with each son, so they feel special and connected. While I’ve always done my best to squeeze in 10 minutes, which can feel like an impossible task certain days, spending a week with my oldest son was incredibly eye opening.

As the trip got underway, I noticed he was naturally happier because he had me to himself; my undivided attention. We had time to play Legos on the floor, we could walk at a normal speed to wherever it was we were headed that day without rushing and, when it came to the evening, he didn’t have to share me at bedtime. As the trip went on, this happiness turned to strength. Over the course of few days, I saw a more confident version of my son. He didn’t seem to mind that he had to get acquainted with an old friend he hadn’t seen in a few years, nor was he bothered by the unfamiliar house or accents be spoken around him. He still seemed assertive and yet didn’t need to be first. Throughout the week, I noticed so many changes in his behavior. This new found strength fostered a greater sense of independence, and he was alright with it. In return, I experienced a sense of a freedom. I could carry on with conversations without the regular interruptions I experience when we’re together.

This entire experience reflected back to me how important it is for my children to feel loved, independant from one another.

I offer to you a few realistic suggestions on how to create this experience. Again, I’m first to admit, it takes a bit of planning, saving and mixing of responsibilities:

Communicate with your partner and ask for what you want. Discuss your desire to create this experience and requests that it be a four night minimum. This will allow you time to settle out of the daily stresses and into the flow of a proper holiday.

Decide on the location. Pick somewhere by plane, train or car that has some sort of meaning to you and your child. This will add sentimental value to your experience, which will make it even that much more meaningful.

  1. Make it manageable: Be realistic. You don’t have to break the bank. If you have an option to stay with friends, then do it. You will still have plenty of time with just your child.
  2. Communicate in advance to your other children: Leading up to the trip, remind your other children you’re taking a trip with child X, and that everyone will get a turn to have a special trip with Mama. The purpose is to spend one on one time together.
  3. Plan a special activity for your other children while away: Work with your partner, to plan one activity that gives them something to look forward to. Doesn’t take much for children to get excited, so don’t over think it.
  4. Involve your child in the trip planning: allow them to have a say in how you spend your time. This will also bring you closer together.

Lastly, set the intention to have a safe, special trip knowing that the whole purpose is to spend one-on-one time together, so whatever happens along the way, is truly for both of your highest goods.

 

Happy travels,


Sarah xxx

It Happened…I Missed School Drop Off & Pick Up

My oldest son started Kindergarten. Actually, that’s not what created the pit in my stomach and the weepy eyes three days into the new school year. It was something else, and it was something that I’ve been dreading for a while. I knew it was bound to happen because I work full time, and the reality is that as a working Mom, you just can’t be or do everything regardless of whether or not you want to. The inevitable happened: I wasn’t able to pick up my sweet boy from his 3rd day of school.  Why was I so upset?  For starters, I was working off a vision I had created since I was young around the type of Mom I was going to be. That vision included me dropping off and picking up my children every day from school. It included me being there to hear the initial play-by-play from the school day as well as the lows. Through the pre-school days, I had always managed to work my schedule around, so that I could pick up my son. However, Kinder is everyday, so I knew that it just wouldn’t be possible for me to do pick up everyday. I also didn’t know if the anticipation of missing the first pick up was worse than actually missing it.  When I dropped him off that morning, I had a knot in my stomach, the same kind I get when I experience situations where I know I’m not honoring myself; my truth. I left school, collected myself, drove to my meeting, and tried not to think about the anticipation of possibly missing school pick up.

Then it happened: I missed Kinder pick up. I was sitting in a meeting, and my mind was thinking about my big boy getting out of school racing into the arms of my nanny, who we adore, but…it wasn’t me. There was that knot again. What did it mean? It’s easy to say as Working Moms that everything backs into feeling guilty and, while there’s probably some truth to that, I knew there was more to it. I wasn’t just feeling guilty, I was feeling something else. I was questioning the type of Mom I was. Why? Because I had created a vision years ago that supported a rule that in order to have an intimate and close relationship with my son, I need to be super Mom and drop him off and pick him up from school every day as well as work 40+ hours a week. However, reality wasn’t allowing me to do that, so in my mind, I must not be able to have as close relationship with my son as I would like.

Have you ever come across a situation as a ‘Working Mom’ where you judged yourself for not being the type of Mom you THOUGHT you were going to be? I have ONE tip for you — and it’s a simple, powerful one — it’s called reframing. If you can hone this skill, I guarantee you, those knots and weepy eyes we all can feel from self judgment will fall to the wayside quicker then you can possibly imagine.

For me, the opportunity was around reframing how I define having a close a relationship with my oldest son, Levi. I took some time to examine what I was making it mean by not doing every drop off and pick up from school. More importantly, what the qualities were behind the actions of drop off and pick up?  To me, dropping off and picking up my son represented the action of  security, support, love and dependability. After identifying the qualities, the question becomes how can I incorporate them into my relationship with Levi in other ways since dropping him off and picking him up everyday isn’t always an option. Simultaneously, I had the choice to reframe how I define building a close relationship with Levi and what the qualities and actions are that support me in doing so.  Instead of feeling like ‘I’m not there for him as much as I should be, or, I’m not as reliable as I should be,’ I can choose to reside in the fact that I’m doing the very best I can.  I love him to bits and pieces, and it’s clear to me that he feels it. I concluded there’s really no reason for me to think otherwise.  I decided it was time for me to update my vision of how I view building an intimate relationship with my son and to stop defining it by single actions like being at every drop off and pick up.

Moving forward, it looks more like this: ”I tell my son everyday I love him, I snuggle him throughout the day, I’m there to help him rebuild his lego buildings when his little brothers knock them down, I help him cook his favorite meals, I show interest in him everyday by asking him questions and making eye contact with him when he speaks, I comfort him when he’s angry, sad or frustrated,  I listen to his ideas and share mine, I allow him to be messy and support his creativity and passions for art, and I take responsibility when I get frustrated at him and remind him I always love him.”  Through reframing my initial thoughts around how to build a close relationship with my son, I was able to recognize that I indeed already have an extremely intimate connection and there’s no reason to feel guilty for missing drop off or pick up.  As a result, I feel a lot more at peace with my role as a Mama and accepting of who I truly am. Phew!

Cheers to us amazing Mamas,

Sarah xx

P.S.

The site is getting a make over as we prepare to launch Conscious Working Mama Circle, a place for working moms to receive bite size, actionable processes in effort to help you step into who you truly are and live a life of meaning, balance and fulfillment.

Wait! What Does It Mean To Be ‘Conscious Working Mama?’

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When I was 7 months pregnant with my 3rd son, I decided I wanted more out of my life. I was feeling very stagnant. On a bit of a whim, I applied and was accepted to the University of Santa Monica. Two years later, I’m on the tail-end of receiving my Masters degree in Spiritual Psychology. The reason I’m telling you this is because, up until two years ago, I had no idea what it meant to live a ‘conscious’ life, let alone a ‘Conscious Working Mama’ life. I was 98% focused on satisfying my ego, until finally, I arrived at a place where I realized that that is an unattainable goal. Regardless of how idealistic my life might have seemed, I felt that something was always missing, and my light was dim. I was ready for a change, and I knew it had to happen inwardly, no more chasing outwardly experiences to drive happiness and fulfillment.

Fast forward two years and, for the first time, I feel awake — I feel conscious. I’m evolving on every level: spiritually, mentally, physically, and emotionally. Interestingly enough, my day-to-day routine hasn’t changed much, but, when I reflect inwardly, there are 3 practices that I now incorporate everyday that support and honor me as a Conscious Working Mama. They include:

  1. Acknowledging and embracing that, as long as I’m alive, school is in session, and life truly is about learning.
  2. If something is upsetting me, it has nothing to do with anyone else. Since I’m the only person who has dominion over how I choose to react, it’s up to me to explore the judgment that sits beneath my initial upset.
  3. Assuming that every person I come in contact with is a loving, compassionate soul. This has completely changed my reactions to potentially upsetting situations.

Being a Conscious Working Mama has no end. It is the longest days, shortest years; its an ongoing exploration. I invite you to wake up your consciousness’ and examine all areas of your life with this question in mind, ‘Where can I make small changes to experience more joy and meaning in my life, regardless of how many hours I work and how many children I’m raising?’ Keep checking back with CWM for easy tools and processes to help get you started.

Happy Exploring,

Sarah

Why I was able to say goodbye to my Grandfather right before he passed away…

SLG_PopPopSrAs a working mom, I can’t tell you how many times I have found myself faced with competing intentions, when I needed to make a decision. As a result I’ve found myself feeling paralyzed, frustrated, resentful, and out-of-alignment. This dilemma would show up often when I had to make a decision. I found that the competing part of each intention dominantly had to do with my eagerness to dedicate a large portion of my time to others: help them, please them, take care of them. That eagerness was competing with my own needs.

For 2015, I set the goal to prioritize my own needs. To really lean into my intuition, so that I could experience more grace and ease in the decision-making process as well as the joy that comes from prioritizing myself.

After committing to this new approach, I was served up a situation that really tested my ability to expand and break in what I’d committed to making a new pattern.

It was Christmas week, and we were spending the holidays with my in-laws in Seattle. We’d planned this the previous year because it involved flying all three boys up to Seattle (5 tickets), all that’s involved in the preparation, including packing, travel day, and coyly packing all of their Christmas gifts without them finding them. Since we only see my in-laws a couple of times a year, I wanted to maximize the time together. Because it was the holidays, I felt the pull to be 100% engaged and available to everyone.

The day after Christmas was two days into our four day stay with my in-laws. I received a call that day that my 92 year old grandfather had had a minor stroke and was in the hospital. He lived on the other side of the Cascade Mountains from Seattle. When he arrived to the hospital, they also discovered that he had pneumonia. While the doctors were confident he’d be overcome everything, I’d had enough experience to know that once someone my grandfather’s age gets pneumonia, things can change quickly. My knee-jerk reaction was to go see him immediately.

However, logistically, this was not an easy decision to make. I thought of others first. I was staying on the other side of the mountains, which was a 3 hour drive. I would then have to catch a 6am flight back the next morning. This meant, that I would miss a good portion of my time blocked out with my in-laws as well as with my children, during Christmas, my most favorite holiday. It also meant my husband would have all three boys on his own, during our holiday, which doesn’t provide much R&R for him.

To help me make the decision, which needed to be made quite quickly, I asked myself this very simple question, “What am I most committed to in this moment?”

At first, I thought, “There’s no way I can go. It’s the holidays. I had committed to spending them with my in-laws and boys.” I didn’t want to disappoint them or miss out. However, when I asked myself that one question, the answer was clear. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to be with my in-laws or my children, but that I had a clear need: to see my Grandfather, in person, possibly for the the last time. My intuition suspected it, and I did not want to miss the opportunity to have one more meaningful conversation with him. I wanted to be there for him the same way he’d always been there for me. Because I was able to answer this question truthfully and honor what I was most committed to in the moment, I experienced so much more grace and ease throughout the decision process as well as an incredible amount of joy because I followed my own heart.

We had such a special conversation, which was upbeat, and chockablock full of current event updates: the challenge of raising boys and trying to keep all the trains running on time. Four days later, he passed peacefully. I am so thankful that I took the time to ask myself the almighty question, “What am I most committed to in this moment?” It allowed me to get very real quickly with what I wanted to do.

I’d love to hear how your approach the dilemma of competing intentions and what you’ve found that works. Try the magic question on for size. I think you’ll find it’s so simple and will come in handy in helping you quickly access your intuition, allowing you to honor what you’re most committed to during that moment so that you can make decisions gracefully and easily. No more feelings of sacrifice or agonizing over what to do!

Much love,

Sarah xx