Hello Monday: Wherever Is Your Heart



Joining up with Lisa Leonard again this week for the Hello Monday blog prompt! I love this series and the bold inspiration behind beginning each week with crisp motivation and hope.

Hello Monday!


Hello matching pink marker heart tattoos to ease preschool separation anxiety for both of us. Motherhood cracks your heart wide open, vulnerable to everything doesn't it? I am grateful for this brand of love she has tattooed all over my soul, the kind where watching her blossom causes me to regularly cry happy tears of loving her so much it makes me ache.

Hello new Brandi Carlile album, The Firewatcher's Daughter! My ears are in heaven. I have loved this girl for 11 years and I think this piece of work is some of their best yet!





Hello Waffle Love over the weekend! Can they park outside my house every day? Ha.

Hello realizing when you have hope, you have everything.





Hello picking grass this morning for leprechaun traps at preschool. They could bring anything they wanted to lure the leprechaun and she was adamant about grass!

What are you saying hello to this week? I want to hear about it! :)



The Wholehearted Life





My stress levels these past few months have been outrageous. As a result of this, and in my quest for finding the best way to do it all, I've been thinking a lot about intentional living, mediation, and showing up with all my heart ready to experience this thing called life.

I'm thrilled to be a part of this fabulous blog tour! I'm honored to be sharing an exclusive excerpt from Susyn Reeve’s The Wholehearted Life: Big Changes and Greater Happiness Week by Week!

Enjoy!

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WEEK 2

Breathe

The practice of mindful breathing may be very simple, but the effect can be great. Focusing on our in-breath, we release the past, we release the future, we release our projects. We ride on that breath with all our being. Our mind comes back to our body, and we are truly there, alive, in the present moment. We are home.
—Thich NhAT hANh

Breathe. Breath is life. Consciously focusing your attention on your breath is the most powerful and potent natural resource you have for being awake in the present moment.
Right now, stop for a moment and turn your attention to your in-breath and out-breath.
Do this five times. What do you notice? Are you more aware of your body? Are you feeling quieter? I notice that when I focus my attention on my breath—actually following the path of my breath as it enters my body through my nose, circulates throughout my body, and leaves my body through my mouth—I feel a deeper sense of relaxation and calm, and am more fully present in the moment. This is the power of focusing on your breath.
We are connected with all beings, all that is, through our breath. We are inhaling one another’s exhale all the time. Although it looks as if we are separated from others by the space between our bodies and the objects of our world, we are actually connected through our breath. As you exhale, your breath is charged with the emotional frequency of the thoughts you are thinking at that moment. Your emotional frequency, in each moment, contributes to the collective consciousness with each exhalation. Thoughts are real things, and what you think therefore makes a very big impact in the world— you pass your thoughts around through your breath! What do you contribute to the world through your exhalations—love, fear, happiness, anxiety, heaven, or hell?

How to Do It
Day 1: Become aware of your breath. Create a Breathe screen saver on your smartphone, tablet, or computer. Put sticky notes around your house, workplace, and car as reminders to you to Breathe. When you see these reminders, stop and Breathe. Take full, deep breaths, using your diaphragm: when you inhale, your belly expands, and when you exhale, it contracts. Experiment with simply focusing on expanding and contracting your diaphragm, and notice how breath is automatically drawn into and expelled from your body; play with having your breath breathe you. Do a search on the web or in your local library or bookstore or ask a yoga teacher to give you suggestions to experiment with different breathing exercises.

Day 2: Meditate for at least ten minutes, focusing your attention on your breath. When your mind wanders, bring your attention back to your breath, your inhalation and exhalation.
Day 3: Meditate for at least ten minutes and focus on moving your breath through your entire body. Start at your feet: Inhale into your feet and feel your feet relax as you exhale. (To use your breath to enhance your body awareness even more, you can focus on one toe at a time; one finger at a time, etc... After each exhalation, focus your attention and breath on another body part: your knees, your ankles, your liver, your heart, your ears, your eyelids, your lips, etc.)

Day 4: Anytime your feel tension in your body, breathe into that part of your body, and as you exhale, allow the tension to leave your body and breathe it into the Earth. (The Earth has the powerful ability to take whatever is given to her and transform it into support and nourishment, as long as we also give her love and care.) You can also do this exercise when worrisome and fearful thoughts have captured your attention.

Day 5: Once an hour, for five consecutive breaths, imagine that God is gently blowing breath into your being and that each exhalation is your gift to the collective consciousness. One of the ways I play with this is on my morning beach walks: When the wind is blowing, I stand with my mouth open and allow the air to fill my body, and then, as I exhale, I give to the wind the air that is moving through my being.

Day 6: Meditate for twenty minutes, following the instructions of Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist monk, contemporary meditation teacher, and author: Breathing in I calm my mind and body. Breathing out I smile.
Breathing in I dwell in the moment. This is the only moment.

Day 7: Reflect and write your response to the following questions:
       What have you learned this week by focusing your attention on your breath?
       How did focusing your attention on your breath contribute to greater peace of mind?
       How can you use your breath on a daily basis to nourish wholehearted living?

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Next stop on the blog tour is http://jenniferwolfe.net for her post on March 18th. Definitely check that out!  

Hello Monday: Be The Heroine Of Your Own Life



Hello daffodils in our Be the heroine of your own life tote in the shop. How much do you love it?! My spring fever got the best of me last week. This has been a favorite quote of mine for over half my life. I teamed up with the lovely Ann Shen for this one and I am thrilled with how it turned out. Perfect for spring!

Hello miracles! Remember my friend Shea? He received his third kidney a few weeks ago and was involved in a 70 person chain that consisted of 35 donors saving the lives of 35 other people. I get goosebumps whenever I think about it. What a beautiful world we live in!

Hello card games! Our girl is obsessed with every card game under the sun these days. I love it. So fun and one of my favorite things to do lately. She is ridiculously good at memory and wins all the time.

Hello love! I want to love everyone better, exactly where they are. Including myself! It is too hard to love people when you are trying to change them.

Hello post Disneyland life! We drove done to the happiest place on earth Valentine's weekend for a belated birthday celebration for Sookie's 5th. Coming home was an adjustment, but something I adore about the post Disneyland vacation mentality? I find myself searching for magic, wanting to capture that spark, extend that wonder, and chase after adventure here, in our own little corner of fun in Utah.


The Beauty In Honoring Your Non-Negotiables



Let's talk non-negotiables, shall we? What are yours? Water, sleep, time with your loved ones, creative time? Do you stick to them no matter what? Do you cling to them above all else? Do you honor them in the day to day hustle and bustle?

A few years ago I took an end of the year Holiday Council class (Which I completely recommend! Such a marvelous way to wrap up your year and prepare for the one ahead! It has become a tradition and my gift to myself!) from the ever lovely and fabulous Molly Mahar of Stratejoy. It came up during those interviews and calls the importance of finding your non-negotiables and honoring them. And for the life of me I cannot remember who exactly introduced me to this notion, but I want to hug them regardless! It makes sense. It gives you something to focus on. I think sometimes it can be a habit to fall into putting too much of your energy into what you don't want in life, as opposed to making a list in your heart and honoring it. When you take the time to pinpoint your non-negotiables, it frees up space to let all of that other stuff go.

My non-negotiables lately? (And this is key! Your non-negotiables will ebb and flow like the different seasons of your life sweet one!) Sleep! Shut eye is a huge one. My whole body functions better when I'm well rested. I find that if this one facet of my life is taken care of, so many other aspects fall into place. Or if there is tough stuff happening? I'm better equipped to tackle it. Connecting with Sookie and Rory is another crucial non-negotiable for me. Love is what life is all about. My family is the core of my story and making memories with them is an extremely massive chunk of my heart.

Obviously my eye drops and other medications are on my list of non-negotiables. I wouldn't be here or have my eye sight without them. Two major things. ;)

Music. Ah, where would we be without music? I'm listening to Patty Griffin as I write this and I'm always comforted by her voice. Also, see that gorgeous black planner up there in the photo above? It is from Danielle Laporte and you need one. No, this is not an ad. I simply adore this planner. It is unlike anything you've seen before. It does have space for to do lists, but it assists you in focusing on how you want to feel, goals, gratitude lists, monthly checks, things that felt good, things that didn't go so well and how to grow from these lessons and move forward. I'm telling you...GOOD STUFF.

If you're feeling pulled in a million different directions lately (Who me? No way! Ha.) You might find it helpful to sit down and really take a look at where your energy and time are going. Pick 5 to 10 ideas that are non-negotiables that are critical to your happiness. Then, start working on shifting little pockets of your day to honor them. It truly works!

This post brought to you by organic sour gummy bears and my writing mix on Spotify. ;)

What are your non-negotiables that you stick to in order to live your best life? I want to hear about them!


DIY Kids Puffy Paint

Our girl is such a blur of energy these days! I'm grateful for her health and her boundless zest for life! Also for when I find activities that entertain and inspire us both. Yesterday afternoon I found this idea for DIY Puffy Paint and we jumped right into creating.

This puffy paint activity? Loved it. So simple. So fun. So easy. So inspiring. Just up her alley!





You probably have the ingredients already handy in your kitchen. :)





Now make some of this fabulous stuff and have some fun with your kids! 

Happy Wednesday! :) xoxo.