Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Inner Wisdom - Nuggets of Goodness.

As I have mentioned, I am doing an at-home course called Inner Mean Girl Reform School.  One of the last lessons I did was about incorporating a "Daily Practice" into my routine.  When I first heard about this, I wasn't so sure.  But as learned more, I realized that I pretty much already had a "Daily Practice", I just hadn't thought about it as such. 

Most days I find time to take a bath.  Some days I use it to energize myself to start the day and other days I find myself needing to soak away my stress in the middle of the afternoon or evening.  One piece that I realized was missing from my "Daily Practice" was making a conscious decision to take time, pause, and find a connection with my Inner Wisdom.

So I have been trying to incorporate my Inner Wisdom into my bath time.  Recently I have closed my eyes and asked "What does my Inner Wisdom want me to know today?" and I have been pleasantly surprised about my insights.  Some of the nuggets of goodness I heard include:
  • "Pauses move you forward."
  • "Sometimes, the silence of thought, is good."
  • "Love your body, it takes you places."
  • "Each day is a new day, each hour is a new hour, each moment is a new moment.  You get to choose what to do with each."
  • "You are changeable."
I find it curious that my Inner Wisdom speaks to me in third person...perhaps I need to better identify my Inner Wisdom as the core of who I am...  Interesting.  I am going to have to think about that?!...

Anyway, another thing about my Inner Wisdom, is that she has a theme song.  And, I find this very amusing, yet incredibly telling.  Every time I have a chat with her, in the background of my brain, I hear The Eagles, A Peaceful Easy Feeling (with a few words changed)

"I've got a peaceful easy feeling, and I won't let you down.
Cuz' you're already standin' on the ground."

So today, I am thankful for the peaceful easy feeling and strength that my Inner Wisdom gives me.
My Inner Mean Girl Reform School posts include:

Monday, August 30, 2010

Cold and Heartless?!!?

As the morning dawned, I knew that my oldest son was waking with butterflies in his stomach and feeling a mix of excitement, fear, and anticipation.  It is his first day of kindergarten.  Today he experiences many firsts - his bus ride to and from school, meeting new friends, eating lunch at school, having a locker, and much more.  Being a kindergartner is a big deal!  This is a new chapter in his life.

And a new chapter in our family's life.

As his mother, I also feel a change.  At times, I have a hard time believing that my oldest child is five years old.  What happened to the time?  Wasn't he just learning to walk and talk yesterday?  When did he get so big?  Everyone told me, when my son was a baby, that time would move at warp speed. And, I have come to realize that "the days are long, but the years are short".*  When thinking about the swiftness of the last five years, I feel a bit reminiscent and sentimental.  I can not believe that my "baby" is a kindergartner!

But, I must confess...generally, I feel incredibly at ease and, dare I say, even a little thrilled, about this new chapter.  When my son stepped on the bus this morning, I had no tears, nor was I sad.  And, in the afternoon, after I dropped my other son off at preschool, I did a little happy dance in my head.  "Woohooie!" I thought, "Freedom!", "ME Time!"

Mostly, I am fine with my response to these changes, but there is a small part of me, that wonders about my giddy state.  As I happily skipped away from the bus stop and the school, I knew that other mothers were emotional.  When I saw and heard about their tears I question myself.  "Why did I not cry?", "Should I have been sad?", "Am I cold and heartless?".  And there is also the guilt.  When asked "Did you cry?", I feel pressure to respond affirmatively.  When I don't, I feel that I have committed a crime on motherhood, and am left out of the lamenting and ensuing camaraderie that follows.  I am left wondering if my membership card might soon be revoked.

Both of my sons have arrived home unscathed.  They had a great time at school and were excited to tell me about their days.  At this point my mom friends who, felt the pangs of sadness and shed tears are feeling better and, fortunately for me, have not disavowed our friendship.  So I think that, my membership card will remain intact for at least another day. 

This experience simply reminded me that, just as our children have their individual temperaments and quirks, moms have their unique reactions and responses to the various chapters of motherhood.  And, most importantly, each is absolutely acceptable and very appropriate.

Happy Beginning of School, Moms - even the "cold and heartless" ones, like me ;)!

*thanks to Gretchen Rubin's book, The Happiness Project

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Motherhood Video

To celebrate the joys and challenges of motherhood, I made this video!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Half Marathon Training...35 days to go.

My half marathon training is continuing.  As the race gets closer and closer I have tried to wrap my brain around 13.1 miles and, still it seems impossible.
Last night I did my long run...8 miles.  Overall it felt good!  And today, although I am stiff, I am not as sore as I had expected. 

I have noticed a few things in the past few weeks...

1.  Each time I am going for a run, especially when it is a long one, getting out the door is a challenge.  I go to the bathroom at least 2 times, then I have to find my watch and my headphones, I stretch...and then I walk around the house...procrastinating... and, perhaps more the issue, feeling scared and overwhelmed by the task ahead of me.  8 miles felt daunting.

2.  I need to reevaluate my expectations for the half marathon.  Back in May when I decided to do it, I envisioned myself running at just over a 10 minute mile pace the entire 13.1 miles.  My training has proved I am not going to be that fast.  My pace for 3-4 miles runs is between 12 and 13 minute miles and for long runs between 14 and 15.  And, I think I need to be OK with walking at some points.  With only 35 days to go and since the longest run I have done is 8 miles, reality is beginning to set in.  So I need to figure out my new half marathon reality.

3.  I have a horrible habit of comparing myself to everyone else and that is most often deflating.  I am reading the book, Run Like a Mother (thanks Eternal Lizdom for recommending it!) and I have gotten some great tips...but I can't help but to be discouraged the author put quotes around the word "run" explaining that it was merely a 12 minute mile.  And then I think, "Hell, I would be thrilled with 12 minute miles right now!".  Logically, I know that the author is a multiple marathon runner and has been training for years and to compare is INCREDIBLY unfair to me, but my initial reaction is on of inadequacy and fraudulency.

Only 35 days to go...and some long runs ahead.  I am scared, but optimistic.  And as always...
I'd love any suggestions or thoughts that you may have!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Feeding the Soul

It's good to get away and spend a few days... 

in a place that is different from home.

 Seeing sights that are atypical

and surprisingly breathtaking.

Hearing foreign chatter

and the clippity clop of a different way of life.

Taking in the fresh air.

Noticing the beauty of simplicity.

Experiencing the joy


and wonder of childhood.

Feeds the soul!

Thanks friend!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Inner Mean Girl Reform School - Week 2

During Week 1 of Inner Mean Girl Reform School, I met Catty Patty...my Inner Mean Girl (IMG).

Week 2 was all about getting to know my Inner Wisdom.

The week's goal was to listen to what Catty Patty was saying to me, and then close my eyes and ask "What does my Inner Wisdom know?"  For instance, Catty Patty often appears when I am thinking about going for a run.  She is quick to say "Let's not go!", "You can't run that far." and "You can do it tomorrow."  When I close my eyes and listen to my Inner Wisdom, instead, I hear "I can do it and - damnit - I am worth being healthy and strong!" and "Go, just do it!".

Surprisingly, my Inner Wisdom voice seems much more calm, and reserved than my screaming, pushy IMG.  So, while I am able to hear my Inner Wisdom, sometimes it is still such a battle to do what I know is best.  Times when I didn't follow my Inner Wisdom, Catty Patty, would add salt to my wound by adding "See, I told you, you can't do it!".

I am learning!  I know that I need to give my Inner Wisdom - the BEST me - a more powerful, strong voice. 

By, saying, out loud,

"I can do it!"
"I am strong!"
"I am poweful!"
"I am worth it!"

I am beginning to feel my strength! 


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Creating YOUR Life

“Whatever you create in your life you must first create in your imagination.”
~Tycho Photiou

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Half Marathon Training...Facing Fears

The Disney Half Marathon Wine and Dine is in just 44 days and I am CRAZY scared!

Two weeks ago we were on a family vacation and my workouts were horrible. It was hot, humid, and I was incredibly sluggish. One of my runs was only 2 miles and I even had to stop and walk for part of it and none my other runs on vacation felt even a little good. So, for the past two weeks the training has felt like a losing battle. When I have a bad run, I begin to question IF I can ever do it and I feel overwhelmed by the distance (or lack of distance) and the speed (or lack of speed), and want to just plain quit. I know that it is SO mental and am more and more understanding why many people say that it is 90% mental and the rest is physical.

It is FEAR. 

  • Fear of not being successful. 

  • Fear of feeling like a fraud, because no matter how much I try to convice myself differently, I do not identify as a "runner" or an "athlete". 

  • The fear of how I will feel as my insecurities are tested at the race when I am surrounded by thinner, faster, more fit, "real" runners. 

  • Fear of the pain I will feel, both mental an physical. 

  • Fear of feeling like the "fat" girl. 

  • Fear of failure. 

  • Fear of not having fun because I let my mind and negative thoughts determine my experience. 

  • Fear that I will not be able to run 13.1 miles.
And, I know that "Fear is an acronym in the English language for ' False Evidence Appearing Real'"* and that I need to face these fears to remove their debilitating power. 

I am not exactly sure how to face them...but I think I need to...

  • continue to train, even when I am afraid that I can't make the distance, especially during my long runs.

  • shift my negative self-talk, (My Inner Mean Girl, Catty Patty) by repeating my running affirmations "I am powerful!"  "I am stong!"  "I can do this!"  "I am worth it!" and repeat while running, as needed.

  • remind myself that this is MY race and comparing myself to ANYONE is a true disservice to ME.

  • embrace me, as I am.  (To realized that..."Yes, I am overweight and 41 years old and not typically an athlete, but I am doing this and I deserve to feel proud of myself!")

  • accept that there will be workouts that aren't great, but one day does not make me a failure.

  • celebrate and feel joy!  (This is hard for me to do)
That is my plan...and it feels pretty good right now.

This week my training schedule is to do three 3-4 mile and a 7 miles run.  Wish me luck!

*quote credit:  Neale Donald Walsch

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Women on Fire

I have found my spark and my match has been lit. It is very exciting and I have been so inspired because of a wonderful organization called Women on Fire founded by Debbie Phillips.

Women on Fire is an amazingly uplifting organization that brings women together and offers inspiration, strategies, and support. Recently I listened, again, to 7 Mistakes Preventing You From Being a Woman on Fire! CD, and was encouraged and optimistic about me and my journey! So I thought I would share with you the 7 Mistakes that Debbie has identified:

Mistake 1: Failure to cheer on the successes of other women

Mistake 2: Not asking for help

Mistake 3: Not investing in self and your potential

Mistake 4: Having a lack of awareness on your powerful impact on others

Mistake 5: Forgetting to appreciate, honor, credit, and celebrate those who have helped you along your path

Mistake 6: Not stepping into your own brilliance and playing small

Mistake 7: Comparing yourself to anyone

I know that each mistake I have made – some, a few thousand times – but instead of feeling defeated, the CD was thought-provoking and I was energized to learn from my mistakes.

photo credit: livewellstressless.info
Perhaps most notably for me, is mistake number six. Playing small and blending into the background was like an old, very worn, tattered, sweatshirt that I once cherished. For years, I knew it was time to throw it away, but I couldn’t. I didn’t. I wouldn’t. It was my go-to shirt when I had a bad day, or felt overwhelmed, or cranky. I could curl up in it and hide. It was oddly reassuring and way too comfortable to get rid of it. Or so I thought. I ignored that it was full of holes, ripped in various places, frayed at the ends and had been stretched out so much that it no longer fit me. And then one day, after a few comments from my husband about my raggedy attire, I realized that he was right and the sweatshirt went out with the trash. The garb had served its purpose, but it no longer fit me. Similarly, I am beginning to realize that playing small, while it definitely has had a principal role in my life, no longer suits me and who I want to become. So I am proud to say that step by step, I am moving away from the “small me” and one day, soon, I will confidently walk into my own brilliance.

According to Debbie, a Woman on Fire is “someone who is safe enough and aware enough that she can authentically live from her heart. She is in touch with ‘what is it I am in this world to do and am I on my path to doing that?’” I know I am not yet on fire…but have started my kindling.

Thanks Debbie!

*It important for me to let you know that I wanted to share my thoughts about Women on Fire because I have had such a wonderful experience and have learned so much.  No one asked me to write this, nor have I been compensated in any way.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.
~Oprah Winfrey

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Vacation Bliss!

Last week we had our family vacation in North Carolina's Crystal Coast. 
It was blissful!

 We visited my parents and both of my brothers and my niece joined us!
The cousins loved hanging out together!

We went crabbing and clamming at the NC Aquarium...
And even caught some big enough to take home...YUMMY!

We had lots of Beach Time...
digging in the sand,
riding the waves,
swimming in the ocean,
and simply relaxing!

I even got to spend my birthday...
watching the dolphins on a 42' catamaran!

It was truly an amazing vacation! 

But what I love most...
were the memories that were made!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Introducing Catty Patty

I would like you to meet Catty Patty.

She is a Bitch!

She often tells me that I am nothing special and lets me know, in her subtle way, that most of what I do is NOT “good enough”. She’s skinnier than me, beautiful, and seemingly incredibly confident. When I am faced with a challenge, she tells me that I can’t succeed and encourages me to quit. When walking down a street together, she constantly compares me to others. She’ll tell me that I am fatter, or not as attractive, or plainer than other women. And, sometimes, when I think Catty Patty’s being nice, she points out someone else’s flaws, decides that I am “better”, and I almost like her. Other times, she simply compares me to my past self. When I decide to try to lose weight, or eat healthier, or change a bad habit, she reminds me of all the times I have failed in the past. And worst of all, she is a big-time “should-er”. Constantly telling me I should be thinner and healthier, and I should run farther, be faster, exercise more and I should be a better mom, friend, wife, and sister, and I should do and know more, and I should…(the list seems infinite).

I don’t really like her, yet she almost always with me. When I tell her to leave, she goes away, for a little while. But, before I know it she has crept back into my life, sharing her mean thoughts, eroding my confidence, and getting in the way of my dreams.

Although she has been around, seemingly, forever, I was just introduced to her, this week, at Reform School…Inner Mean Girl Reform School…and, yep, Catty Patty is my Inner Mean Girl.

Inner Mean Girl Reform School; Where Women Come to Transform Inner Critics Into Inner Superheroines, created by Amy Ahlers* and Christine Arylo* is a 10 week self-directed course filled with audio classes, worksheets, introspective activities, and self-discovery. This is my first week of class, and I am so excited about this experience. During the first week I was instructed to get to know my Inner Mean Girl.

And, I feel like I am starting getting to know her. I have identified that Catty Patty is a perfectionist and loves comparisons. She rears her ugly head when I am trying on clothes in the department store dressing room, and when I need to look good for an event. When I am trying to something new, like training for a half marathon, she appears just when I at the cusp of being successful. Catty Patty even arrives when I am successfully accomplishing a goal, telling me that my triumph wasn’t that special and ruining my celebrations. And, of course, she is sure to be around when life isn’t going well, often encouraging me to isolate myself.

Catty Patty is the one inside my head who beats me up and brings me down. But, surprisingly, it is nice to meet her. Giving that voice a name and separating her from me is incredibly powerful!
Suddenly, her thoughts do not have to be my thoughts and her words do not have to be truths!

I know that this is just the beginning of this journey of transforming my relationship with my inner critic and I am looking forward to the rest of the experience.

Who's your inner mean girl?

*It is important to note that I have not been asked to share my experiences with Inner Mean Girl Reform School nor am I receiving any compensation.  In fact, I have never met or talked to Amy or Christine.  I am simply having a great experience and wanted to share.

Monday, August 9, 2010

I'm Back!

Throughout the summer, I took a bit of a blogging hiatus. But I and SO excited to be back!

Without my blog…
I stayed in my comfort zone and did not challenging myself and became complacent. My commitment to “finding myself” was gone and, instead, I found myself in a funk of indifference.

But in the past few weeks, as I realized all that I was missing, I started getting more and more interested, again, in challenging and improving myself. There are so many topics that I look forward to exploring during my renewed Search of Me in Mommy. They include…
  • My experiences with Inner Mean Girl Reform School that I started this past weekend! I hope to better understand how to tame my negative self talk that, currently, I am drowning in.
  • My fear of failure…perhaps most recently evident in my half marathon training, but surrounds me in most of my life decisions and choices.
  • Women on Fire…I am SO inspired and am beginning to find my own little spark.
  • Motivating Other Moms...a wonderful place - that is as it should be everywhere - Moms supporting, and encouraging other moms!
  • And, of course, Motherhood…the good, the bad, and the evil.
  • Plus much more!
I am very feeling so motivated and invigorated!  I hope you will join me - maybe we can learn together!


Recent Comments