Dirty Dishes…

It’s Saturday morning and I have the house to myself. I am not usually at home on a Saturday morning in December so it is a real treat. It is quiet. It is peaceful. And it is awesome. I am so grateful for this time. And if you are a mom reading this, I know you get this. Big time!

As I glanced at the dirty dishes pleading to be dealt with from their place in the sink, they so nearly got the better of me. But I knew that doing them would invariably lead to other things: laundry, tidying up and all the rest…

Above all, I knew that doing the dirty dishes first would strip me from relishing in the peace that the quiet house was giving me.

The dirty dishes could wait and as I share this with you, I am so happy for my decision.

Instead I wandered over the window and saw that it was snowing. Mother Nature was laying a pure white blanket on everything I could see. The stillness was palpable. Each unique white snowflake was fluttering and drifting down from the sky, finding its way to its final resting place and contributing to the vast, white, silence that was being created around me.

Out of nowhere, a crow crowed. The silence was put on hold. Part of me thought: how dare it disturb my peace whilst another part of me loved it.

This silence returned. I find silence creates an expansive space within me that I love. It fills me up. It nourishes me from the inside. It makes me feel whole, alive and at one with everything around me. It sparks my creativity and fuels my curiosity like nothing else can.

As I watched the snowflakes fall, I thought of the similarities between them and us. They are all different. There is not another snowflake like the one that just fell. Like our fingerprints, they are each unique. They are magnificent. They are like our children, each pulsating with its own uniqueness and brilliant.

As the snow fell and sprinkled all it landed upon with its white softness, it reminded me of the icing sugar I sprinkled on the Xmas cookies I baked last week.

This moment guided me to an intention: Just like the snow, I want to “wrap and sprinkle” but not just presents with paper and glitter. And not with snow either!

This holiday season, I want to wrap and surround those around me with my presence. And I want to sprinkle everyone, including myself, with kindness.

We can learn so much from nature. When we take the time to immerse ourselves in it and notice it for all it is, for its magnificence and grace, it is a guide like no other.  

Taking the time to slow down and stare out the window today allowed me to ponder and reflect on so much. With the dirty dishes on hold, I could feast on nature and set some positive intentions for the holidays.

However, it has been more than this. This time has been my self-care. It was what I needed to do. It has filled me up. It has instilled in me a deep gratitude for my life.

Nature is what connects me to me. It grounds me and centres me to what is important. It leads and guides me to BE. To observe. To notice without judgment. To watch and appreciate the as is. To accept that, whatever it is, it is what it is.

So many lessons.

It has just stopped snowing. The stillness is broken. The silence that was, is fractured. It was all so fleeting. But that’s okay. The next moment is a new moment. But, had I done the dirty dishes first, I would have missed all of this. I would have simply looked out the window and thought, “Oh, there’s been a dusting of snow!”

My message to you this holiday season is to take the time to wrap yourself in stillness. Take the time for YOU. Because when you do, the chores will be more palatable, the kids will seem less whiny and you will have more energy, joy and abundance to give. After all, it is in the giving that you find the receiving.

And don’t forget to sprinkle the world and yourself with kindness. You need it. We all need it.

Wishing you and your loved ones a peaceful holiday season, connected to those around you and disconnected from all that drains you. Take the time to unplug.  Sever yourself from the WI-FI and follow your heart. Grace your family with your undiluted presence. This is what you need and this is what your children need and want. They want this more than anything. The children in the 2013 IKEA Holiday season advert were bang on the buck!

Partnering You


PS. The other message from me to you is this: seize the moment. I just received a text to say that my son is unexpectedly on his way home! My day alone has turned into 2 hours alone. But that’s okay. However, had I done the dirty dishes first, I would not have stared out the window. I would not have written this post and I would have missed many valuable lessons.

PPS. I’m even happier that I left the dirty dishes because now that my son is home, he can do them!

The Pace Of Life Is Just Too Fast

When my kids were younger, I was definitely parenting from the fast lane but doing my best.  I was no different from any of the other mums I hung out with. Looking back, if I’m honest, I was “just” coping, my head was just above the water. I was always on the run, very reactive to life and certainly not very conscious or mindful.  I was on auto-pilot and my mind was FULL! Luckily for me, through yoga, I stumbled upon meditation and was drawn to it. I was intrigued. I discussed this in the first blog of this series – Your Most Powerful Parenting Tool. My yoga teacher seemed so Zen, yet so real. She also had young kids but I particularly loved the way in which she responded to and interacted with life. She just had a way about her. Was it down to her meditation practice? I didn’t know. Wind the clock forward 10 years and I think that a lot of it was/is down to just that. Everyone I know who meditates, seems to be able to take life better in their stride and at a pace more compatible to enjoying life, especially as a parent. …Read more →

OMG – I Cannot Believe That My Teenager Just Said That To Me!

Many parents express concern regarding how to best communicate with their teen and more importantly how to respond to them and the teenage “ways”. It seems that all teenagers exhibit the same symptoms! Rude at times Disrespectful at times They know it all Disregarding of almost all advice Impulsive Reactive and explosive, often over seemingly N-O-T-H-I-N-G Convoluted plans Emotional rollercoasters Do teenagers collaborate with each other on how to best deal their parents a healthy dose of “teen”? Who wrote their “How To Be A Teenager Guide” anyway? And, had I ever stopped to think that perhaps I might have… haha! The common thread seems to be this: Nothing we do as parents seems right to our teens We are losers We know nothing, they know everything They are masters in dishing out stinging, biting comments with a good dash of rudeness and disrespect As parents, we are often left reeling and thinking: “How can this child be ours?” We like to think that we had taught him / her all there is to know about manners and respect… More often than not, the answer to this is, “You did!” “So why then has our lovely child turned into this …Read more →

You Too Can Live Further From The Edge

As a parent coach, parent’s bravely and vulnerably share their parenting struggles and challenges with me. Almost always, they have one thing in common: They think that they can control and change their child’s behaviour only to find that they can’t. They get more and more frustrated when their child’s unacceptable behaviour persists. This behaviour triggers them so much that they find themselves living on the edge of breaking point. It really gets them down. It is threatening the relationship they have with their child.  And they are exhausted. Sound familiar? I ask them all this question: Do you really believe that you can change your child’s behaviour? I gently and compassionately help them realize that they can’t. It’s tough. No matter how hard we might try, we cannot force another person to change. In fact, the more we push and try, the worse it usually gets. We find ourselves precariously close to the edge or worse still, over it. At the end of the day the only real thing we can change and control is ourselves. Or so we like to think… But let’s be really honest here: most of us will have had our fair share of parent …Read more →

Make Your Breath Your BFF

In last week’s blog post, You Have What You Need… You Just Don’t Know It, I discussed how I meditate. Big picture. There are many different ways in which to meditate: Using the Breath, TM Meditation uses a mantra, there is sound meditation and walking meditation to name but a few. I choose to use my breath. Before I started using my breath to meditate, I simply thought of my breath as being the means to breathe and stay alive! Oh-my-goodness, have I come to appreciate just how much more there is to my breath? It is so much more than just air! It mirrors the cyclical nature of life itself; it has a beginning, a middle and an end. It rises within me and fades to nothing just like a wave kissing the sand. It is my anchor to presence. It connects the internal with the external. It connects me to the air I need. We all breath from the same ONE air, it therefore exemplifies the fact we are “One”. It is with me wherever I am, so I can tune into it at any moment. It is mesmerizing. Hypnotic. It is endless yet it is finite. It …Read more →

You Have What You Need… You Just Don’t Know It!

I hope that you managed to read last week’s blog, Your Most Powerful Parenting Tool – It’s Not What You Think? I know that it might sound strange but, honestly, I believe that your breath and your awareness ARE your most powerful parenting tools! Yes, you read it correctly: your BREATH and your AWARENESS! In the blog I mentioned that people are always very curious as to why and how this can be and it guides me to discuss the subject of mindfulness and meditation because this is the place where it all happens. I get asked lots of questions. I love it. Questions that I am sure many of you reading this might also have:   HOW do you meditate? Where do you meditate? Why do you meditate? Do you have a special place where you meditate? How long do you meditate for? When do you meditate? My answer is this: The HOW, as in the actual meditation process, I can try to explain. I also demonstrate this in my LIVE Facebook Videos. The when, the where and length of time is up to you. The why was last week’s blog. However, as it is when trying to develop any …Read more →

Your Most Powerful Parenting Tool – It’s Not What You Think!

I vividly remember my first yoga class. It was 10 years ago and I was slightly apprehensive. I was stepping into unknown territory. And despite my mind being open and flexible to something new, I knew my body to be less than flexible. Suffice to say I got through the class and enjoyed it. I actually really enjoyed it. However, when it came to the Shavasana / Savasana part, I have to admit to being totally lost! Lost but hooked! I’d heard of meditation but I had no clue as to what it was or how you were supposed to do it! Didn’t you just shut your eyes and try to relax? I didn’t know that you ended a yoga practice with a meditation! After the class finished a friend who was laying on the mat beside me said: “Oh I just love Shavasana. I am either out for the count or I get all my lists done for the day. It’s awesome!”. “Is this it?” I thought. “Is this what meditation is?” Something told me not… 10 years later, 100’s of yoga classes later, Mindfulness certification and a twice daily meditator for 3 years, now I get it. However, …Read more →

Back To School – Back To YOU!

Here on the West coast of Canada, many of us are on the “Back To School” countdown. My kids have 10 days of holidays left. That means that I have 9 days to prepare for it! The lists keep growing and as much as I don’t want the holidays to end, deep down, I know I am ready to get back into my full work rhythm. However, if I am not careful, I can get totally lost and submerged in all the busyness. This is exactly why the September theme in The Conscious Family Organizer is Fresh Start. During the summer holidays, as much as it has been good to be off the grid, we have not usually had much time to ourselves and have kind of got used to it? Yes? Come September, this is not the best place to find ourselves… We get by on less time to ourselves during the holidays because it is the “holidays”. However, now that the holidays are coming to an end, “time for you” needs a jump start to get you off to a fresh start. If you leave it as it is, trust me, the next few months will come and …Read more →

Need Some Energy?

My kids are currently on their Spring Break vacation. I work from home and we are all at home for the holiday. From years of Spring Breaks, I also know that by the end of them, if I don’t parent well, fix up my act and get it right, I have been known to morph into some form of deranged beast! Why? I get tired from nagging. Tired from entering into the arguments. And tired from not having done enough for myself and/or had enough time to myself. The 8 words below have become my best friends. They always help preserve my energy, my sanity, allow me to work from home AND enjoy the holidays: Stay Calm In The Heat Of The Moment Think back to a time you had a disagreement with one of your children: What was it over? ………….. Probably something small and not worth the argument! How quickly did you get drawn in? ………………. So fast you were in before you even knew it! How did you feel during the argument? ………………… Probably awful! How did you feel after it? ………………….. Guilty, exhausted and even worse because you acted just like your child and you are …Read more →

The Controlling Child Is Out Of Control

In order to understand the patterns of control, we have to dig a little deeper and understand why they might be there. With the best of intentions, because we all want what is best for our child, we turn to control under the clever disguise of: “my child need’s me to do it”, “this is best for my child”, “this will protect my child”, “this makes it easier for my child”. Control wears many hats… We do it to avoid discomfort for ourselves and for our child and we do it because we fear of what might happen if we don’t. “If I don’t do his laces up for him, we are going to be late…”  “If I don’t do his homework for him, he will never finish it…” “If I don’t force him to practice his piano he will fail his exam…” “If I don’t expose him to lots of new things he will never be successful…” “If I don’t put him into extra Math, he will never get the A. If he doesn’t get the A, he won’t get into a GOOD college…” “If I don’t nag, he will never remember…” And so it goes on. How might …Read more →