Shifting Focus to Clarify Your Day Can Make All the Difference…

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This morning was one of those mornings where no amount of coffee was going to jump start my day. Late to bed, early to rise is never a good combination, but throw in cranky kids and it is guaranteed recipe for a disastrous day.

Or is it?

Honestly, my answer depends on the day. Today I decided, “Not today.” I just decided it. I decided that I wouldn’t let two rough hours in a morning of a brand new day dictate how I would respond to my kids’ energy and behavior. It wouldn’t ruin how wonderfully hot and satisfying my coffee (finally!) tasted, nor the peaceful feeling I longed for, despite what was happening around me.

find your moment and change gears!

On the wisdom of a close friend, I recalled a mantra she infused into my memory… “shift”. When things energies are low, and vibrations uneasy or off-kilter; when I lose sight of the path I know to be true… shift. Shift your thoughts, energy, vibrations – because ultimately I have the power to do so. I may not have power or control over much in my life, but that… that is something I am the captain of.

What else is there to do but call an audible, and SHIFT.

One of my children was having a bad day. While the other two played quietly and shared nicely, my eldest child (by one minute to that of her twin and 14 months to that of her brother) was demanding attention in the worst possible way. No amount of talking it out, or calm breathing was going to rectify this one.

Action was needed; physical action. Currently, my area of residence is more than knee deep in snow and sub-human temperatures so going outside is not an option. Music and dancing was already attempted to no avail, and I can tell you this tired mommy was not focused enough to develop and new activity.

In an effort to show her something new and fun; something she could really focus on that wasn’t a computer game or a cartoon, I had to find something. In a quick search of my TV provider’s OnDemand programming, I found a FREE set of Yoga videos geared towards children.

I love yoga. It is something I have lost touch with, but have missed desperately. Aside from the laundry list of reasons why going and finding a class to attend is not in the cards right now, this was an answer to my prayers. Complete with basic yoga poses, a fun interactive story and a lesson of friendship, my four year old and I spent twenty minutes going on a grand adventure to the Froggie Olympics.

When we returned, the same child that was crying and hitting me in a rage barely an hour before was smiling, laughing and transformed into a more recognizable version of the radiant little girl she is. She doesn’t know it, but she shifted her attention from the discomfort of unfulfilled desires to the electric vibration of our connected time during this trip to the Froggie Olympics.

Afterwards, I asked her if we could do that together every day. She was beyond ecstatic, answering with a billowing “YES MAMA!”

There was no yelling. There was no bargaining for her cooperation. Just a simple shift in focus.

So, today’s lesson for our family was simple: when things are looking dire, and you feel smacked-down tired, shift your focus to something fun, and a change in vibration can be done.

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Staying Present in a Constantly Moving World

“Life is a mystery. You cannot understand it unless you surrender, for your intellect cannot grasp its expansive and infinite nature, its real meaning and fullness. Bow down low and be humble; then you will know life’s meaning.” ~ Amma

Meditation

Oh boy, if I could figure out the way to do that on a more consistent basis, life would be so much easier. But, that’s the point isn’t it? If life was easy, how would we grow and learn and evolve if there were no road blocks to cause us to think about solving the problem of getting around it. Most days, I’m able to keep my truths alive, bright and present. I know that being in the present is where I belong. Not stressing about the future or harping over the past. I’ve lived that way for far too long and now that I have had the experience of living present and in the moment, I like who I am way better. My kids like me better.

Today is a day though that the state of our current life situation is muddled with mistakes of the past jeopardizing our future. In such a case I am finding great difficulty maintaining the present mindset. I feel that weight slowly creeping back into its cozy place on my shoulders. My body tense and anxious; my mind unsettled and unfocused. The amount of responsibilities and obligations I have set for myself currently seem like an insurmountable force, and I doubt in my ability to get it all done while still maintaining a peaceful, clear, focused state of mind.

Breathe.

Breath is a great tool. You think you’re doing it but really, your’re not. It’s an automatic action for your body to perform. When I feel the spiral downward igniting. I stop. Breathe. I let my physical self regulate the breath in and out, it calms the mind and allows me to focus on what’s important. I remember that it was my past actions that put me where I sit now, in the throws of anxiety and frustration. I imagine my ultimate goal in the future, free of these burdens. I see myself in the happiest place I can imagine, doing something I’ve waited for, for a very long time. I come back to the present and decide what it is that will get me from here to there.

Breathe.

Focus. Determination. Balance. Patience. These are the skills I personally need to hone to get to that peaceful place. Focus on the day’s tasks and responsibilities. Be determined to work with the tools I have presently and not be resentful of the tools that I do not possess. Balance my wants and desires with what is necessary to get through the day. Take small moments for myself to stay present and mindful of what is going on around me. Patience to keep traveling my path and that it takes me where I want it to.

Breathe. Believe.

To Live Life...

Take time to remember yourself. A moment here, or there. Don’t be hard on yourself, even when the evil little voice tells you to. I have this mantra I repeat when that weight begins to take its toll, and somehow it works (most of the time). I am not a slave to the past, but an advocate for a better future.

Lightening of the Load

“Hold the light. Keep it all inside. Keep up the fight. Now that there is an end in sight. Treading water. Can’t hold on much longer till my hand goes under.”

 
Keeping the Buddha Path
 
Today was an up and down kinda day. Details aren’t important, just know it was a good news/bad news kinda day. So, as I sit here with my tired eyes starring at a blank screen, my head spinning in a mountain of decisions, and my 17 year old Beagle barking his sharp bark, I ask for some guidance. I look into that part of myself that believes in the faith of what is meant to be will be. I use my thoughts and my energy to ask for patience to get through the situation, and strength to carry the weight of its outcome. As I quiet my mind, and press play on the new Newton Faulkner album I’ve been dying to listen too, the words above are the first I hear.
 
I’ve always had this thing with music. When I feel I need guidance, direction… just some help, it is a place that I derive that from. All my inspiration comes from music. Every story I write starts with a particular album or playlist. Every time I have felt my faith weaken, lyrics pop up when I least expect it to help guide me back to the path. Even now, when I feel low, afraid and uncertain, I can find comfort and faith in the music.
 
There is one artist in particular that I made a connection with. I believe, wholeheartedly, that finding him and diving into his music saved my sanity at a time when I questioned it the most. Yeah, I’m gettin’ real now folks. There was a very crappy time, and this guy… well, saved me. Ok, so not in the literal sense, but I would most definitely feel a huge hole in my life without his music.
 

 
Granted, this is just a taste of Matthew Good. This one, Born Losers, is far and away my favorite, but a lot of his songs go deeper. On my worst days, I play a few selections from his catalog and something about it just helps me reset and move on. I don’t know… maybe it is just the fact that knowing someone else out there thinks/feels/experiences the same things I do allows me to feel a little less alone in those moments.
 
What music is it that gets you, affects you, moves you, motivates you, inspires you?