Mama Joy's Filling My Cup

Hello lovelies... are you parenting too? 

Mini heart explosions, staring the day away observing their every move, nuzzling so hard it brings you to tears, feeling a kind of deep love that's hard to put into words? It’s so true, all of it... and it brings such joy to my life— having a baby.

IMG_0447.JPG
DSCF2951.JPG
IMG_5808.jpg

It’s not possible to quantify how much happiness bringing another human life into this world gives a parent. Let’s just agree it’s absolutely the best thing ever! Suddenly you're home with this amazing being and you feel the desperation to do things as if there is a set guide book on how to be the best parent raising the greatest kid on earth— anyone else feel that? Take some deep breaths, tune-in to your courage, faith and trust your intuition. You will feel so connected with your tiny babe and in my experience... you will not be lead astray. You're a brilliant team. You are YOUR team, no one else's. 

Of course, we will call friends, ask our own mother's and lean into resources for guidance, especially if you're a first time parent. In my quest to find answers to questions during my pregnancy and once our little bunny entered the world, I came across one too many articles that frankly scared the bejeezus out of me. I wasn’t intending to stumble upon so many; “what they don’t tell you” kind of stories about vaginas, fatigue and more. No offense, I’m an open book and I like some insight as much as the next one, but I really wanted and needed to focus on all the good and encourage my powerful mind and body to keep manifesting the greatest experience of a lifetime. 

IMG_5600.JPG

So for all of you; mamas, soon-to-be, hoping to be or praying for a miracle. YOU are incredible. I REPEAT, trust in this perfect journey and your undeniable intuition. Mama joys are an everyday occurrence and as easy as it can be to slip into negative thought patterns of doubt, worry and even failure... I PRACTICE catching myself, shifting perspective and choosing trust, courage and joy. We are six months into parenthood and a good portion of it feels like I’m getting to re-live being a child. Parents, do you feel me? Here's some fun things to try if you're just getting your feet wet. 

FUN and FUNNY (me not the baby)

  • Early to bed, early to rise… passing out mid meal, with a bit of drool. 
  • Making mouth noises ranging from fart sounds to motorboats.  
  • Singing songs like you know the melody and lyrics but just make up your own, terribly cute isn't it?
  • Performing giggly goo’s and monkey moves as if that is strong choice to get your babe to laugh. It is though, am I wrong?
  • Challenging your character voices during story time to see if your baby recognizes the changes... the looks I get from our girl are priceless. 

These are just a few of the ways in which we get to visit our playful minds again, all for the sake of getting the love and attention from our little explorer looking to discover new things. 

HONOR

  • The ability to pull yourself out of a deep slumber at lightening speed to feed and or nurture your babe back to sleep. And then yourself.
  • Becoming Octamom or dad, yes a parent with multiplying, helpful appendages where suddenly even your toes, feet & elbows become more useful than you thought was humanly possible. 
  • Your partner or whatever kind of system you have raising your child. We are all imperfect and feel it so verbal validation and giving our loving support as consistently as changing diapers is a major WIN on all accounts for everyone.  

It's incredibly important to applaud yourself often and wrap your parenting team up in compassion. We are responsible for a new life and it's not easy... honor all that you are doing.   

DELIGHT

  • The milestone changes that happen so quickly, from smiling while they sleep, giggling out loud, roll over, get teeth, hug you and taste food for the first time, to name a few.  
  • The connection you create between your tribe... the bond is incredible. It's indescribable and will cause your heart to swell repeatedly. 
  • The poops, especially the explosive one's that travel beyond the diaper and can cause a 15 min time-out at any part of your day. Just lean into a fun pew-wee potty song and it will be over fast. You just must delight in this. 

Sometimes we get so busy we miss what's happening right in front of us. The number of times I get delightfully sidetracked from perhaps what I was intending to do to see our girl play with a toy independently, explore a new space, sleep like an angel... or whatever it may be, is worthy of reminding myself to be present. 

LOVE

  • Speak it, show it, be it. I don't believe a baby can be over loved in any capacity. Smother away, I say... a million kisses a day.
  • Relish in the love you receive, embrace it fully and let it guide you like a light through the questionable, worry-some times. 
  • LOVE yourself for all the choices you make, the things you learn and grow from as a parent and for braving what some would consider being the most challenging thing a human can experience— raising a happy, healthy, kind child. AMEN

My heart was set on writing a blog about a few of the extraordinary pieces of parenthood that make us smile. The LOVE we give and receive is simply perfection. You can't go wrong with loving your babe. The joys of being a parent are steadfast. Growing abundantly daily. Remind yourself of these very things when difficult moments arrive. And there will be difficult moments. If any of you parents who have far more experience than me have some fun stories to share back... I'm ALL ears! Thank you so so much for popping by. Happy parenting! 

My mother’s gifts of courage to me were both large and small. The latter are woven so subtly into the fabric of my psyche that I can hardly distinguish where she stops and I begin.
— Maya Angelou— Mom & Me Quotes

xo Andrea

ACCEPTING WHAT IS, HOW DO WE MASTER THIS?

Do you love or loathe the idea of acceptance? Are you attached to outcomes constantly? Questioning, worrying and shaking your crystal ball trying to predict situations before they happen? Does this clutter up your happiness?

When you get still, can you release your resistance to accept things as they are and move into a more mindful place?

These are important questions I ask myself, not just once but consistently and especially during challenging moments. 

Photo By  Erik Almas  | Kauai

Photo By Erik Almas | Kauai

As I pack up 17 years of living in LA and head up North to Sonoma to start a new chapter, my emotions seem to be running wild in every direction. I've been catching myself in a place of limiting thoughts & anxiety recently. Although I'd like to chalk it up to having third-trimester-pregnancy hormones mixed with moving to a home that’s in renovations and leaving my close friends and career during it all… it’s time to check-in. I’d prefer not to use these as excuses or be factors that dictate my daily joy or the joy of the people closest to me! 

Who loves a good reminder to check-in with yourself when you have a lot happening and you feel your attitude slipping into glass half empty mode? Take a deep breath… right now and SMILE if you do…we just created some awareness together.  

This a a beautiful time of life for me, I’m really enjoying pregnancy and I’ve always been one to leap into change with my heart open ready to take it on.  I’m surrounded by tons of love and support so it's almost frustrating to sense my negativity internally and then give it more weight by vocalizing it all to anyone who is forced to listen. Do you ever annoy yourself in this way? I hope I'm not totally alone here… the good news is our awareness can propel us into a place of getting still. By doing this we can release the things that no longer serve us with clarity and peak in happiness over and over again as we accept WHAT IS and our judgments dwindle away. Let’s do this.

Photo By Erik Almas | Kauai

Photo By Erik Almas | Kauai

MASTERING ACCEPTANCE TIPS:

  • Where do you go to get quiet, connect with yourself and breathe? Sometimes it’s in a yoga class for me. Often it’s anywhere I can pause for 15-20 minutes. To hear the rumblings of the chatter in my mind to start to dissipate as I use a mantra or phrase to repeat internally and begin a meditation. Challenge yourself to create a consistent practice with a form of meditation that speaks to you. 

  • Try not to forcefully push the negative or limiting thoughts away but see them and say “hi there, I hear you” and as gently as a fluffy cloud passing by in the sky, release them. If using a visual of your choice helps, do it. I love putting them in a balloon that I release or feel a gentle breeze lift them off me and carry them away. Get creative and change it up.

  •  Honor yourself with compassion as distractions and the rumblings most likely find their way back in. Consider the importance of observing your thoughts to be far more effective than emptying your mind out. Make sense? Continue to repeat the process of deeply breathing accompanied by your choice of mantra, visualization or simply getting quiet & still that supports non-judgmental acceptance. 

  • Clarity will start to arrive no matter what form of meditation you create for yourself. The pause from your daily schedule is what will significantly affect your ability to connect to acceptance more gracefully and consistently. Present state of awareness is what we’re going for whether for you; that’s on a hike, in a gym or sitting somewhere quietly. Rejuvenating the mind is how we can let go of the overwhelming feelings & pressures that can get in our way of being more calm on a regular basis.

  • Pay attention and notice how this peaceful state influences your reactive mind and responses to the situations that might ordinarily get you flustered. We all want to be a happy as we can be right? So if there’s a way to use our mindful practices to assist in our moment to moment well being, I ask— why wouldn't we all want to do what it takes to slow down the chatter in the mind we are inundated with from the moment we wake up to the moment we fall asleep? 

The mind can go in a thousand directions, but on this beautiful path, I walk in peace. With each step, the wind blows. With each step, a flower blooms
— Thich Nhat Hanh
Photo By Erik Almas | Kauai

Photo By Erik Almas | Kauai

May I inspire you to check out the various styles of Mediation at  THE SECRETS OF YOGA for a wonderful & brief breakdown of each to explore. My personal favorite is Vipassana (and I too just learned it's called that.)  

resources I love:

What jumpstarted my practice that lead into a commitment has been guided meditations by Deepak Chopra and Oprah as they offer Free 21-Day Experiences periodically. I love them and often use them at night as well guiding me into a peaceful sleep. Going to the library and choosing one for a family member or friend makes for a great gift too!

Mindsail is a fantastic App that I was more than delighted to do the VOICE for the MoodBoosts component which you can access prior to subscribing. Two of my wonderful yoga clients developed this self-help vault giving you unique insights and tools to make better choices and live a happier more fulfilling life.  Is it strange to listen to my own voice to boost my mood sometimes... cause I do:)

I also have mad love for ZIVA Meditation as I deeply related to Emily Fletcher's lifestyle which lead her to study and create ZivaMind

Undisturbed calmness of mind is attained by cultivating friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and indifference toward the wicked
— Patañjali, The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

My hiatus from actually publishing blogs recently has not felt great! I love sharing stories, tips and connecting with all of you regularly so these last few weeks I've had to honor that life has offered me priorities that won over some of the other things I was hoping to achieve. I don’t think there is a person out there that can’t relate to that feeling at some point. It's hard to accept isn't it? When you want to be doing something you somehow can't make time for.

I often share that getting on my mat to stretch, breath and connect with deeper sense of self and meditating are my healing resources. They are. The challenge is to maintain a reflective state of mind to that calm, peaceful state when things in life feel the opposite. I’ve been making time to meditate, get on my mat and today I honor that I was able to write on an entire flight! It feels so darn good. 

Thank you for popping by. We're all in this life together, never forget you are not alone. We have the ability to connect, communicate & relate to each other through our experiences... thank you for letting me share mine with you. You know how much I love hearing from you. The comment boxes are yours to share back... sending all my love and happy blessings each and every day! 

xoxo andrea