It is said that "Our children are our greatest teachers." And if you have kids, no doubt you can attest to this . . . at some point along the way your kids are going to school you in a thing or two.
What I've noticed in the last four years or so however - is that the lessons I'm learning during the teenage years have been really amazing. Which isn't to say they've all been easy (errr no!) - but sometimes our greatest teachable moments are those in which we feel the most uncomfortable, and therefore provide us the biggest opportunity to grow.
So here are a few things I've learned from my kids as they've navigated high-school - that you might find useful as well - whether you have kids or not.:
1. Just because I was a certain way at this age does not mean they will be. I know this is kind of a no brainer, but sometimes it's hard for me to separate what I was doing at 15, and what they are doing at the same age. There's just no way it could even be the same - they aren't me. Also . . . they are boys (I'm not!), they have technology that we didn't at their age, and their confidence is at a level that mine didn't hit until my mid-twenties. (That may be how I've raised them, their gender, or just how they came out? Who knows.) At any rate - I've learned a lot about honoring them for their unique personalities and celebrating their strengths and awesomeness - particularly in the ways that are different from mine.
2. They keep me young with their choice of music (which is not always what I'm drawn to). One of the things I'm lamenting at the moment is that my younger son is learning to drive. Which means we probably won't be hanging out in the car for much longer. I am excited for him to have his independence, and will probably appreciate the break I'll get from having to drive him across town several days a week. AND . . . I will miss our conversations and the exposure I get to the music he likes to listen to, and his take on it.
* sigh *
3. When they do stupid things it does not mean I'm a bad Mom - or that they're bad kids! As they grow into young adults - I've had to watch them make mistakes. It's true I've tried to protect them from doing stupid things . . . and they do them anyway. And at this age even though the temptation is to try and be responsible for ALL THE THINGS . . . I actually get to say "This one is on you." And so much of how we navigate those mistakes determines what their take-aways are. I am particularly grateful for this.
4. It's OK to not like school. I have one kid with a 4.0. I have another kid whose passion is baseball (not school). I come from a family of highly, highly academic people. Learning to say "follow your dreams!" (& "have a plan B!") has been an amazing lesson for me, and I'm so proud of both of them for doing what they love at 100%. I think we can all learn something from that!
5. They are listening - even when I think they're not. I am a Life Coach - which means I get to set an example of living a life where I do work I love, focus on the good, and have an active gratitude practice. (among lots of other cool things.) And every now and then I'll hear something like "Gosh my friend "x" is so negative!", or "I'm going to manifest a great parking spot!" Yup - they're listening. They've got some pretty rad self-awareness, and I'm ridiculously proud of them.
I once received a handwritten letter in the mail from some dear friends of mine whose kids' I had baby-sat for years. In it, the Dad of the family said something about this age like "You can buy them a car, and hand them the keys, but you can't tell them where to drive." Ain't that the Truth! So much of this age is about watching them become these really cool people, and letting go. It's actually really cool.
Do you have young people in your life? (kids of your own, or not?) What are the best lessons you've learned from them? I'd love to hear (because I know there are way more than five!) Send me a note or leave me a comment below!
Love and Light,
p.s. Want to see more like this in your inbox? Sign up for my newsletter!
Saying NO ... it's an Art! How do I know? Because I've always been particularly bad at it.
Well I can say No to food I don't like, or to things I don't find aesthetically pleasing - without issue.
But when it comes to my work & my kids? Let's just say there is room for improvement in the boundary setting department.
I know this about myself. And while they say that awareness is the first step to recovery, I'm still very much in that first step. With just a little reflection I know that the primary driver behind the kid stuff is guilt and behind the work stuff is a fear of not making enough money. Ugh.
And you know we just do what we do, until it doesn't work any more, right?
Last weekend some of that people-pleasing behavior kind of blew up in my face. Actually it was a totally-not-dramatic, really loving conversation with my sweetie - where I heard clearly that my over-committing wasn't working for him. Over-committed me = being distracted & busy all the time = not showing up in my relationship. Which is no bueno.
So this week I said No to a new client. I actually said No to two new clients! Crazy right? It felt scary at first, but when all was said and done, the resulting feeling was Freedom! (That's my word for the year, in case you didn't know.) The other cool thing about these particular "No's" was that they allowed me to get really clear on the work I'm just good at, vs. the work I love - and saying yes to what makes my heart sing. And that was amazing.
At the end of the day, boundary setting is just like any other exercise: The more you do it, the stronger that "No" muscle becomes, and the easier it gets. It's just a matter of getting started, and I feel like this week I took some turtle-steps in the right direction.
Will I keep it up? I think I've nailed something on the work side - so I'm optimistic there. As for my boys? I'll keep you posted on my progress, especially the next time they ask me for money. :)
Do you have issues with boundaries? Have you mastered the Art of Saying No? If you have any boundary setting tips and tricks, I would love to hear them. Send me a note or leave a comment here.
Love and Light,
p.s. Want to see more like this in your inbox? Sign up for my newsletter below!
This week I was sharing my last newsletter with a woman I know from on online coaching group and found myself saying "It's a little bit over the top 'MY LIFE IS AWESOME!' - so take it with a grain of salt." O_o
It's true . . . minutes after I pressed send on that newsletter I thought to myself "Gosh, I sound like a complete asshole!" (Referring to the gushy, upbeat tone of my little cabbage leaf.) Oh well . . . I'll dial it down when I send one next. Which incidentally will likely be in the next few days - be sure to sign up at the bottom of this post!
But I had a little bit of a week this week, and it gave me some time to think about this seemingly eternal spring of optimism, and how sometimes it can cause me to be a little cavalier about things, which in turn can keep me from having to be vulnerable!
So - on Tuesday something happened to my left eye. And by Wednesday it looked like this (avert your eyes if you are squeamish):
Nope - not pink eye. I pretty much knew that from the get-go given how it showed up. But holy-cow it looked bad! Thankfully one of my jobs is for an Ophthalmology clinic, so I made an appointment to have one of the doctors look at it. But weirdly it wasn't until I was in the CHAIR and the lights were off that it occurred to me there might be something really wrong with my eye, and for a couple of minutes I was really scared!
Thankfully it wasn't serious . . . just a burst blood vessel in the eye - which looks horrible, and is totally benign. It was like 80% better by the next day which is remarkable! Hooray for nothing serious and mad props to my eye for healing itself in record time.
The next day I had an issue with my computer where it wouldn't accept my password when I had to re-boot it. After an hour on the phone with Apple Support (with no resolution), I decided to take it into the Apple Store to have them look at it in person. Again, it wasn't until I was sitting at the Genius Bar that it occurred to me that there might be something seriously wrong with my computer! And again thankfully that wasn't the case . . . PHEW!
Here's the thing: I love my life. I love my daily gratitude practice and how it's given me a more positive outlook. I love that I've figured out that Life Coaching + Photography + VA Work are my "three-legged stool of happiness." AND . . . despite what you might see on social media, I also have really REAL days where I look like a weird red-eyed zombie, and I cry about needing to go to the doctor (for a stupid lingering cold/cough) because despite the fact that I have medical benefits it's #&*$! expensive. Just being transparent!
This week I think I realized that a) I used to be a much bigger worrier and b) I'm glad I'm not so much any more, c) that doesn't mean I'm not practicing vulnerability, and d) It's OK to worry a little bit (even at the last minute!) about things that are kind of a big deal - like the well-being of your body and yes, your computer. :)
Have you ever found yourself at the Crossroads of Optimism & Vulnerability? That somehow thinking (knowing?) that everything is going to be alright let's you off the hook from having to really look at your fears? I'd love to hear what your experience has been . . . send me a message or leave me note below!
Love and Light,
p.s. Want some more sparkle and magic in your inbox? Sign up for my newsletter below!
This week I am rolling with the Mother's Day post that never happened. Yes it's a few weeks late (3?), but hey - my blog, my rules . . . all good!
Over the last couple of months I've curiously found myself in a new place in relation to how I see myself as a Mom. A place which is a lot less "I kind of suck at this", and way more "I am ROCKING this shit!". Why it took so long to have this clarity I'm not really sure. (OK I have a few ideas but they're not very interesting . . .) I have been thinking more about what I have done along the way that's gotten me to where I am though - and decided it would be better to share those tips, especially since I may have overlooked some of them along the way and am only realizing their value now. Classic!
So without further ado . . .
5 Steps to Owning Your Awesomeness as a Mom!:
This year the notes in my Mother's Day card were "Not sure what I'd do without you." And a simple "Love You." - both of which tell me I don't suck (as it turns out), and I'm doing a pretty damn good job. Do I have moments when I feel like I'm off-the-rails? Oh Yes. But overall I'm so proud of my kids and how they're turning out, and the part I've played in that along the way. Owning it!
What are your favorite steps to owning your parenting awesomeness? I would love to hear them - send me a note or leave me a comment!
Love and light,
p.s. Want more fun in your mailbox? Sign up for my newsletter below!
Meet me here on Saturdays for some weekly vibes - honoring the week that has past, and clearing the way for what's new. Gather your journal and favorite pen, along with a hot cup of coffee/tea/chai - and settle in for 30 minutes dedicated to YOU.
I'm in the top 100 Life Coach Blogs!
Follow me on Pinterest!