Attitude Of Gratitude ~ The Start Of The Day

Nourishing Mama Mission Two ~

Yes, it may be a bit cliché yet an "attitude of gratitude" really serves me.  When I am grateful for what I have, transformation in how I feel and in my thoughts is immediate.  Pretty quickly those bits of thankful feelings spread into all areas of my life and I find myself happier!

This second week of the Nourishing Mama Mission is simply to be grateful especially first thing in the morning upon waking.  Have you ever played with this?

How do you start your day?  Those moments when you first awake are special.  They set the tone for your day.  The past few months have found me waking in the morning stressed.  I would wake up with a to-do list running through my mind and guilt over what I didn't get to the day before.  Top that all off with a good dose of mommy-guilty and I was a mess by the time I got out of bed.  Recently I realized that I was using this worry and guilt to motivate myself into action.   I couldn't believe how silly I was being when the realization hit!  So the past few days when I wake I strive to instantly start thinking about all the abundance and love in my life.  After all I have a home and a wonderful family that loves me.  Letting myself really feel the beauty of all I have, I get out of bed happy and ready for a new day ripe with another chance to experience, learn and grow.  This is a habit I want to cultivate so that it becomes effortless.

So, how do you start each precious day?  Is it with grumbling thinking about all the stuff you have to get done?  Or do you embrace the moment and give a bit of thanks for another day?  A bit of gratitude first thing in the morning is a powerful act.

Gratitude anytime is powerful...

This morning as I cracked eggs into a pan ready with dark green steamed spinach, I was preoccupied with what to make for the kids lunches; whether it was time to wake up my daughter yet; and did I have time to unload the dishwasher?  The typical morning rush... As the shells cracked revealing deep yellow yolks I realized (and deeply felt) that I have healthy food to cook for my family.  Almost instantly I felt a wash of gratefulness for all that went into bringing us the beautiful food we have: the Earth and Sun working together, farmers and grocers, the money we have to buy the food and on it goes.  Next I found myself looking into the fridge and instead of seeing that I need to clean out and organize everything, I saw more abundance.  It was simple.  And, it was something that I tend to take for granted.  We all have something in our lives to be grateful for even it is something very simple and small.

Special Moments Of Gratitude...

Here are some moments during the day that I experience gratitude, if I am open and paying attention. These are moments I can later call to mind when waking in the morning that fill me up  and get me started on a path of beauty for the day.

  • Feeling love for my husband and daughters, letting it fill me up!
  • Looking into the eyes of another human being and seeing the spirit within.  
  • Taking a deep breath and feeling life-giving oxygen absorbing into my blood refreshing every part of my body instantly.
  • Holding hands with a precious child, warm tiny fingers intertwined with mine
  • Having someone really listen and hear what I am saying and being able to really listen to another.
  • Seeing the miraculous beauty in nature, even if it is just a blade of grass, a lovely flower or cloud in the sky.
  • Appreciating my body and the health I have within me.
  • The simple wonder of Being Here Manifest.

Of course there are so many ways to be grateful and experience the abundance that is all around us.  Join me for the next two weeks and cultivate the amazing skill of waking with gratitude!

Blessings and Love!

More Please...

Nourishing Mama Mission Home Page Mama On A Mission ~ Introduction

Nourishing Mama Mission One ~ Cultivating Sacred Space

Nourishing Mama Mission Three ~ The Art of Bathing

Nourishing Mama Mission Four ~ Herbal Infusions, Healthful Simplicity

Gratitude ~ Three Simple Crafts

Pondering Early Morning Wake Up Calls

Shared On:  Healthy Habits, The Sunday Parenting Party

Simplest Air Cleansing Humdifier

Simplest Air Cleansing Humdifier

Here is one of my favorite ways to add moisture to the air in my home while also cleansing the air.  It is crazy, silly simple and I set this up any time the air just feels to dry (like it does right this second here in Colorado) or when some one in my family seems on the edge of getting sick.

Read More

Cultivating Sacred Space

Nourishing Mama Mission One ~

This is the first week of my mission to reclaim my health, my creativity and well, my self!  For this mission the focus is on cultivating sacred space in daily life.  It is so important to me to have some time by myself without kids around.  Time to have my own thoughts, to reflect and just be me.  Perhaps all parents aren't like me, I really don't know about other people's experiences.  I just know that this special time even if just for a few minutes helps me be a better mom and a better me.  If this mission calls to you, please join me and cultivate your own sacred space.

The mountain and me ~

When my first daughter was born I found the tremendous effort of taking care of newborn shockingly overwhelming.  I mean really didn't know what I was in for!  At the time we lived in a tiny mountain town up high near the Continental Divide in Colorado.  It was absolutely beautiful.  My bright sunny kitchen window opened up to a huge mountain peak all covered in tundra and sparkly snow.  Strong, steady and ever quietly present that mountain became my friend.  Every morning after feeding and diapering my newborn baby, after sweet kisses and snuggles accompanied by my exhaustion from begin up at all hours, I would sit at my table drinking tea and communing with the mountain.  As my precious baby napped next to me in her swing, I let the mountain's presence fill me up and anchor me in my new life as a mother while breathing in steamy herbal tea vapors.  This ritual only lasted a month or so until things changed as they do with parenting, but it taught me something.  It taught me to take advantage of those little moments of rejuvenation and to let them fill me up.

my mountain

Well, I did learn but I also forgot ~

Yet, I forgot and forget to take this time for myself each day.  The years since those lovely mornings at my kitchen table have found me here and there reclaiming sacred space for myself yet inevitably then something happens as life with my kids again changes and I lose my footing, I lose my way.  I notice that I am lost when I start to feel disconnect from my inner guidance and yes, I even get snappy with my kids.  It is ok though because this is how life goes and what matters is getting back to what feels right.

My sacred space ~

My favorite time to rejuvenate and center myself is in the morning right after I get out of bed.  The times in my life when I have gotten up consistently to take care of myself right away in the morning have been some of the best of my life.  I have energy and am focused, ready for the day to start.  My favorite thing to do in the morning?  Yoga.  Through yoga I connect with my body and my breath.  I feel better all the way down to my spirit.  Because I am a bit out of sync right now with yoga I am starting small.  Just 20 to 30 minutes max of a nice routine followed by writing in my journal for one page.  That is it.  Then I go on with my day.  I have done this for about 4 days so far and plan to continue.  In two weeks I will re-evaluate, see how I am doing and hopefully expand my practice.  So far, so good.  It feels wonderful to know that by the time my kids get up I have already taken care of me.  Some how those morning hugs become even more precious than before!

Any time is a good time ~

Do you cultivate time and space for yourself in your daily life?  What works for you?  I know that some folks do their best at night while others like me find the morning the best time for connecting and rejuvenating.  If you need time to take care of you, please join me on this little mission.  Let me know how you are doing.  What are you doing during your time?

Want to create your own sacred space?  

Here are some ideas ~

Some of these take only a few moments while others require more of a time investment.  Finding what works best for you is the important thing.

  • take a bath
  • take a walk
  • hit the gym
  • meditate
  • pray
  • have a cup of tea
  • sit for a few minutes and picture what you want from you day
  • take a few deep cleansing breathes
  • read
  • draw a picture
  • create a daily affirmation
  • just BE still and quiet with yourself
  • watch the sunrise or sunset

Blessings and Love!

More Please...

Nourishing Mama Mission Home Page Mama On A Mission ~ Introduction

Nourishing Mama Mission Two ~ Attitude of Gratitude ~ The Start of the Day

Nourishing Mama Mission Three ~ The Art of Bathing

Nourishing Mama Mission Four ~ Herbal Infusions, Healthful Simplicity

Mama On A Mission

Back in another time, another universe, my husband and I dreamed of starting a family.  Being very much into the guidance offered by astrology, we took the time to figure out when to conceive to create certain Sun Signs.  For a while I was excited to have three daughters ~  Avena Lea the Cancer, Nettle the Scorpio and Violet the Pisces.

Well, as things worked out we didn't have three daughters, we had two instead.  And at the (kind of) last second decided to have a Capricorn.  My hubby and I are both Capricorns and we like each other so we figured, "hey, this could work out well and it will be an interesting experiment."  Then when we were planning for a second baby we decided not to rock the boat and had another Capricorn.  It has worked out great!  It is really fun to see how alike and different we all are.  Of course the only part of our charts that are the same is the Sun Sign, everything else is unique.  Occasionally we will have some stubborn goaty times in our house with everyone emotionally banging heads but usually we do great together with a kind of under current of respect and understanding. The hard part comes at this time of year, at least for me it is hard because not only is it the holidays, it is also "birthday season".  It is January now and we have had not only the holidays which are often stressful in themselves; we have also had three birthdays (four if you include our dog who was born on the cusp of Sagittarius and Capricorn) with a sleepover this past weekend, my husband's birthday this coming Friday and one more "friend" birthday party for my seven year old coming up.  (We delayed her party with her friends for a few weeks this year.)  Well, it really is fun in a lot of ways and I do my best to make each birthday as special as possible for everyone.  Even for our dog who got a special outing on her big day.


But let's face it, all this partying makes for a tired mama.  It has been a long month.  In general I am bad at taking care of myself.  Oh sure, I have my moments here and there.  I do eat as healthy as I can and try to exercise yet as far as really taking care of myself in an authentic way, I typically fall way short.  I have found this to be typical behavior for most moms.  You know what I am talking about... mom takes care of everyone else and doesn't look after herself.  I had heard of this phenomenon going into the whole adventure of motherhood although I really didn't have a clue what it meant.  Eleven years later and I still fall short of really caring for myself.  2012 was a year of showing me what I am missing when it comes to self-care.  I learned about how by caring for myself, I am really caring for my whole family.  About how caring for myself is truly a way to give thanks for this life I have been given.  Yet, I am still figuring out what it really means to take care of me in a deep way.  And these crazy fun past few weeks have rocked the fragile foundation I had so carefully been building.

Nourishing Mama Mission

I am continuing my journey of self-care, of mama care and I would love for you to join me.  Every two weeks I plan to introduce a habit, idea or even creation to help me take care of me and you too!  I figure two weeks will be enough time to really try something out, to give it a chance while not being overwhelming.  The goal here is to nourish, uplift and inspire not to overwhelm and create more "shoulds" or "coulds".  Join me in as many of these activities as you want.  I would love to hear any ideas you have.  How do you take care of you?  What are some of the ways you would like to care for yourself?

Look forward to my first post on this adventure later this week or early next week.  I am so excited to get started and hope you will find some nourishment and inspiration here!

Capricorn (December 22nd to January 19th-20th )  Generally responsible, serious and organized.  They like to hang out with older people and like old things.  Goal/project oriented with everything being a potential business.  Filled with inner determination and a desire to be good at something.  Capricorns need to cultivate flexibility and gratitude for the present moment.

More Please...

Nourishing Mama Mission One ~ Cultivating Sacred Space 

Nourishing Mama Mission Two ~ Attitude of Gratitude ~ The Start of the Day

Nourishing Mama Mission Three ~ The Art Of Bathing

Nourishing Mama Mission Four ~ Herbal Infusions, Healthful Simplicity

Preschool Teachers' Tricks For Staying Health During Cold And Flu Season

Imagine that you are surrounded day in and day out by little kids.  These little kids don't know how to blow their own nose, they may not even know they have a nose much less that it needs blowing.  They are learning to cover their coughs and sneezes but often forget.  And sometimes their fingers wonder to germy places like the inside of their nose and then they pick up a toy to share with a friend.  Needless to say, illness can spread fast in a school.  So, what is a preschool teacher to do to stay healthy?  I asked my fellow teachers what they do to keep illness at bay.  I am excited to share their tricks of the trade!

Each teacher had a different protocol they follow.  These are some great, straight forward easy to use remedies.  All of these wonderful women have very healthy diets and unquestionably  that is a big part of staying healthy.  Also, we all are sure to wash our hands any time something questionably germy comes in contact with them at school.  This, of course, is huge!

Here are the results ~

Teacher #1

This lovely lady takes Echinacea (2 or 3, 400 mg pills)at the first hint of illness or if she been exposed to a bunch of sick kids!  She also takes vitamin D everyday.

echinacea in bloom

Teacher #2

Kick Ass Immune Activator by WishGarden Herbs is teacher #2's go to.  When she feels anything coming on she starts taking this remedy with frequent doses.  She is also great at keeping her energy straight and doesn't get freaked out when exposed to illness (law of attraction baby!).

I love WishGarden Herbs.  They are local to us here is Colorado and have simply wonderful formulas with great quality.  They also carry a Kick-It Immune For Kids that is wonderful.

Teacher #3

Teacher #3 told me she does something strange.  Well, I have research a bit about what she takes and it sounds interesting.  She takes Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS) which is a solution of 28% sodium chlorite in water.  This solution works to kill pathogens in the body:

"Kills all pathogens - viruses, disease causing bacteria, parasites, molds, fungi and even oxidizes heavy metals from drinking water. Won't hurt pipes or plumbing inside the body or out if used as directed! Won't taint the taste of your food storage or other products with that nasty chlorine taste."  Source: Discover MMS

I have not tried this at all and know only what I am telling you here including that this particular teacher finds MMS to be very effective at keeping her healthy.

Here are some more sources for your own research should you be interested:

Teacher #4 (Me!)

I have a bunch of tricks up my sleeve.  I take vitamin D everyday as well as multivitamins and fish oils.  This post "A Sniffle and a Sneeze" that I wrote last year has my protocol plus what I do for myself and my kids if they seem to be coming down with something.

Here are a couple of other tricks I use for when I start to feel sick or have been exposed, though I don't use all of them at once, I try to keep them on hand for when I need them:

  • Place one drop of high quality peppermint essential oil in a full glass of water and drink it down.
  • If my nose is runny, I take Bi Yan Pian.
  • For general sick/off feeling I take Yin Chiao then if that doesn't work I take Gan Mao Ling.
  • Also my acupuncturist just gave me some Cold Quell by Blue Poppy.  She said to take it at the first sign of illness.  Luckily I haven't had a chance to try this out yet!

flowering peppermint

How do you stay healthy during cold and flu season?  

Shared On: The Kid's Co-op, Natural Living Link Up, The Sunday Parenting Party

At Long Last An Essential Mommy Time Out

Just Me, Myself and I

This is important.  This is something many of us forget.  This is something we need to remember for ourselves and the other people in our lives.  Each of us has a responsibility to care for ourselves.  When feeling depleted and frustrated it is hard to care for others and more over, we deserve to take care of us, to feel good and happy.  As a mom I find it so easy to forget about myself and get caught up in the everydayness of life; all the things each day that come and go pulling my attention.  It is easy to become overwhelmed and depleted at a very deep level.

Well, today it was time to take care of me!

Back Story

We had a fun and exciting holiday season topped off with four birthdays in our immediate family.  That is right four!  We are all Capricorns and have our birthdays from December 29th to January 11th.  With two little girls eager to celebrate their special day and with the excitement of Christmas, the last six weeks were a whirl wind of planning and activity.  I always try to make their birthdays a bit extra special because, let's face it, having a birthday close to Christmas and New Year can be a big bummer.  So this year, true to form, they each made special plans and we carried them out to the best of our ability.  So, for me, today really feels like the first day of the new year, like the holidays are finally over and I can get on with life.  But instead of feeling ready to go and grab the bull by the horns so to speak, I found myself feeling grouchy and tired.  Previous life experience gained from ignoring signals from my body told me that  I must stop, truly, and take sometime for just me.  Just me, myself and I.  With the kids at school and nothing immediately pressing in my day I decided to seize the morning and after a bit of ponderous deliberation settled upon a good old fashion spa day.  As a young woman I used to relish in a custom, homemade spa day for myself once a week.  Unlike in my youth when I would do hair masks and rinses and multiple different facial masks while soaking in a herbal bath, today's spa day needed to be easy while also feeling decant.  I would say that I hit upon the perfect balance because now that I am done not only does my skin feel fabulous but my soul is peaceful, my mom brain is refreshed and clear, and well, I smell really good too!

The components of a luxurious, nourishing and simple mommy spa day

For this easy and relaxing morning I chose to do a honey mask, milky salt bath, shea butter foot rub and to finish off by brushing my favorite essential oil lavender right into my hair.  Each time I move my head I am still surrounded by drifts of calming lavender being liberated from my hair.  Um....

This spa day was simple with hardly any preparation required and easy to execute.

Here is how I did it...

  • Honey Mask:  I put a spoonful of honey into a bowl then added 3 drops of helichrysum (great for skin health and encouraging fresh new skin cell growth) and 2 drops of lavender essential oil to the bowl along with a sprinkle of mild soothing kaolin clay.  While I am super lucky to have all of this in my bathroom, simple honey alone would be excellent because it is so very hydrating and nourishing for the skin.  Before getting in the bath I applied this mixture to my whole face.  It is important to put honey on dry skin as it kind of dissolves away when exposed to water.  I left this mask on for my entire bath and throughly enjoyed the scent of honey and helichrysm wafting up to my nose!   After rinsing the mask off at the end of my bath I followed up with a small amount of rose infused coconut oil from my favorite herbal apothecary Rebecca's.  This oil was dreamed up by none other than oil making goddess Rebecca.  So amazing!
  • Milky Salt  Bath:  Epsom salts always find their way into my baths nowadays but today I wanted something special.  So I filled a large glass to the brim with milk, took it into the bathroom and dumped it into the tub along with about two cups of epsom salts (this amazing salt relax muscles).  Milk bathes, reputedly used by none other than Cleopatra, hydrate and smooth skin.  Then when I got into the tub I added 8 drops of lavender and 4 drops of cedarwood (encourages a meditative mind and releases stress) essential oils and gave the water a good whooshing to mix in the oils.  Now, I admit it, I take baths pretty regularly.  I consider it one of my rights as a human being.  But this bath was special.  I think the milk really held the essential oils in suspension so that the smell from oils permeated the water for the entire length of the bath.  It was so luscious!
  • Shea Butter Foot Rub:  After my bath I got all  dry and toasty and then  I gave my feet a nice rub with some rosemary lavender shea butter that I have on my nightstand but don't use often enough.  My feet were thanking me as the dryness and tension melted away.  Then cuddly warm socks topped my feet and kept the moisture where it needed to be.
  • Lavender Hair Brushing:  Last but not least, a few drops of lavender on my brush and some kind strokes through my hair topped off this wonderful experience.  Lavender essential oil is a great conditioner for hair and the aromatic benefits of brushing essential oils into ones hair is profound because the oil is placed so close to the nose!

So here I am.  Happy and calm again.  So glad to be sharing my beautiful morning.  It always surprises me that with a little intent and attention things can readily change.  Feelings become clearer and thoughts settle.  This was a fun adventure in self care using what I had on hand so that I could really focus on me.  Now, when my kids come home from school, they will find a happier mom.  A mom who is ready to listen fully and play and cuddle with her whole self!