You’re Doing Great

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My mom took me to my first yoga class, prompted me to make my first necklace, and continues to tell me about the next spiritual book to read.

She has supported me and my dreams from the beginning, and has always let me be me.  And even though we certainly have had our ups and downs, I am thankful that she was the woman who raised me – in just the way she did.

When I first became a mom – I wanted to be perfect : cloth diapers, organic homemade food, medicines that had no chemicals, or dyes, or flavors for that matter, wooden toys, etc… After 15 + months I realize perfect doesn’t exist (duh!), but I still have to remind myself of that over and over again. Now I feel lucky if I resemble my mom in any way.

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Motherhood is hard, and these past few days have been particularly challenging while tending to a sick Luca, letting go of my work commitments, and feeling like no matter what I do I am letting someone down.

Often, I wonder if I am doing a good job, as there a million other ways to do any one thing in a given day. There are so many choices to navigate, and they require a lot of trusting in my own heart that I in fact know what’s right. This video (that I sobbed through) – pretty much summed it up : You are doing a great job, regardless if you are a mom or not, as long as you can tune in and truly listen to yourself you can do no wrong.

So – write your mom AND yourself a sweet little note, gift her something charming, and remember you are doing your absolute best… and that’s all you can do – even if your mind tries to tell you otherwise.

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Mom Guilt

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Being a mom is complex! I finally have the morning to myself and I feel guilty. But even when I am with Luca I still feel guilty. These thoughts constantly circulate:

  • Am I talking to him enough?
  • Am I providing enough stimulation for him?
  • Am I feeding him nutritious and nourishing meals?
  • Am I keeping him on a good schedule?

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Which all boils down to:

  • Am I good a mom?

Judging by his smiles I probably am, but it’s nearly impossible for me to FULLY believe it. I doubt, I wonder, I question, and I feel guilty for having time to do my own thing every now and then.  I want better information for my heart and mind to process.  I want to release this guilt that holds on so tight.

I noticed if I change the order of the words from AM I a good mom? to I AM a good mom! Well then…I am sending myself a completely different message.  I am going practice this order and remind myself even new moms need time for themselves and their dreams.

Thank you Ashley for sharing this talk by Louise Hay that reminded me there is just no place for guilt.

 

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Change the Conversation

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Lately being a mom has felt super hard, heavy, and challenging.  I told  anyone who would listen:

“I don’t know what to do.  It’s impossible to get him to sleep.  I have no time for me.  He is moving all over the place. He fell off the bed (!).  I’m such a terrible mom.”  

On and on I went.  This language and way of thinking really just made things harder and heavier.

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So I am changing it up so it feels lighter and more graceful:

“Being a mom is awesome (because it really is).  He is forming a new sleeping rhythm that I am figuring out. I consciously make time for me.  He is growing, creeping, and exploring constantly.   I am doing my very best.”

I need to vent sometimes, but it reaches a point where I am just deepening the groove of whatever message I am saying and choosing to believe.  Words have tremendous power.  Change the conversation you are having with yourself and others and you will change your reality.

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Juggling Act

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We are in Greece right now, and this simplified way of living on the beach has got me thinking am I doing too much in my regular life?

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I am a wife and a mom and even though I decided not to continue teaching, I still write blog posts, film yoga videos, and make mini-malas which all take time and energy. You can call it work even though sometimes it feels like play.

Would life be easier and more enjoyable if I simply tended to the many tasks that being a mom and a wife require and let go of my work? It’s tempting for a moment, but my work is an outlet I value. I am learning first hand that being a mom is the world’s best job, but being creative and expressing myself is also so important.

Life might be easier if I only focused on dinner and baby Luca but I wouldn’t be as satisfied.

So my wish for you is that you make whatever it is your heart wants you to make: a dance, a poem, a picture, a book… because even though you might have to juggle more to get it done, it is almost always worth it in the end. And the world needs it.

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The Sacred Push

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I pushed two things into existence this January: a jewelry line and a baby (in chronological order), and it is with huge excitement I introduce you to both:

charm & magic: a collection of mini japa malas that serve as a visual & tactile reminder to seek out the charm & magic that exist in daily life.  A japa mala is a string of 108 beads often used in yogic and Buddhist traditions to offer a grounded focus while chanting a mantra or prayer.

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and then came…

Luca Jack Sherman, born January 15th at 5:23 pm, weighing 7lbs 4 ounces and measuring 18 inches long.

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Both births were supported by phenomenal women and my amazing husband.  Here is a little about both.

Part 1:  Creation of charm & magic

As I waited for Luca Jack to make his arrival, I started to craft necklaces.  Making jewelry has been a dream brewing in my mind and my heart for years.  As drawn as I was to this idea, I never quite knew where to start.  Not to mention the swirl of thoughts that played in my head over and over: I’m not talented enough, plenty of other people are making jewelry, I have no time, it would be too hard, what would people think? etc…  These negative thoughts always seemed to stop me before I began.

Then, thanks to my husband, I had the pleasure of meeting Rachelle Tratt, the creator of a company I love dearly, The Neshama Project.  Sitting and talking with her felt like a visit with an old friend.  I shared my dream of making mini malas with her, something I only sheepishly shared with a handful of trusted people.

She held the space as I shared my vision, and the negative thoughts living in my brain got quiet.  Suddenly, I had a brand name (charm & magic), a tagline (movement. color. love), and new mantra: Shut Up & Do It.  This blunt mantra is exactly what Rachelle said to herself to get her soulful business up and running.

Since then I have been churning out necklaces, getting completely lost in the color and design of these playful, delicate, and asymmetrical expressions of my heart and soul.  Then came January 15th.

Part 2:  Arrival and care of Luca Jack

I bow to all mothers that ever were, and will ever be – labor is hard!  I will spare you the details, except for this one moment.

I was halfway through labor, when I started crying, fully believing I couldn’t do it.  It was already so hard, and the end was nowhere in sight.  Totally unprompted, but just what I needed, my husband handed me my japa mala.

I held each bead and started digging into my inner reserves.  Mantras emerged that helped me believe I actually could do this.  Lying on the bed, I repeated “I am a powerful goddess,”  “I was created to deliver this baby,” and “I trust my body, she is infinitely wise,” until I started to believe it.  This gave me a much needed second wind.  Almost 12 hours later, with the help of three grounding midwives, many compassionate nurses, and one very strong doctor, we met our baby boy.  I have yet to experience anything so miraculous.

So now our little family is hibernating as we figure out this whole parenthood thing, with my collection of mini malas dangling in it’s storefront in the living room. 

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I have always been a person with many interests, and I’m excited to see A Well Fed Body live alongside charm & magic, and watch them both inform each other, with Luca Jack adding wonder when necessary.

So with that, I leave you to chew on this:

“Ideas in secret die.  They need light and air or they starve to death.”   – Seth Godin  

Is there something you are ready to bring into existence?  Are you waiting for the perfect time?  Are you waiting for someone to give you permission?

What if you just started, taking small steps and watching where it leads, playing along the way, knowing it is OK that you don’t know it all now, but reveling in the fact you are putting things in motion?

It’s amazing what happens when you trust and believe in yourself.

Love, mala beads, and baby hiccups,

Leah

 

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