1. Motherhood Matters I love this campaign. The challenges have already started but you can still join in.
From their site: "Popular culture promises that by recognizing and focusing on our own needs, we will find empowerment. In reality it creates a culture of comparison, distraction and discontent, none of which lead to empowerment. The act of mothering … caring for, teaching, and nurturing, has just the opposite effect. It emboldens us with confidence, contentment and purpose."
Being a mother is the most amazing thing ever. I love that this campaign recognizes and celebrates motherhood.
2. Paper Coterie If you know me, you know I am all about record keeping. This site is full of inspiration in that department. They are generously giving $40 of product to everyone who wants it - for free. You only pay shipping. This is good until Friday. How cool is that? I am loving the Prompt Me book. But even more inspirational than their products is the video they share here, of Dr. Brene Brown. It is kind of long (24 minutes) and I almost didn't watch it for that reason. But I gave it a shot, mostly in the background while I was doing other things. But what she was saying really resonated with me, so I kept pushing pause and typing out what I was hearing. I found myself nodding in agreement and feeling inspired. You really should go and watch / listen to it. It is good stuff. She is a vulnerability researcher. She talks about moving from scarcity to joy. Here are a few things that stood out to me:
"I really think today, to cultivate purpose and meaning and joy in our lives, you have to break a lot of the rules about who you think you're supposed to be."
"Joy is born from ordinary moments."
Dr. Brown researched people who have been through difficult times. One person said, "What got me through was the reservoir of joyful moments I had in my life."
"The first and the biggest thing we do to combat scarcity...is to practice gratitude in some way. In those minutes when we are complaining because everything doesn't look like the catalog and our kids are out of control and we're still twenty pounds away from wanting to have our picture taken...in those exact moments when that is happening, we are probably actively squandering the joy that is right in front of us that we're gonna need because nobody rides for free. Hard times are going to happen. They're a part of our lives. We're going to get that phone call that we never wish we did and there are going to be difficult struggles. I think the most dangerous thing we do is we don't allow ourselves to soften into joy and gratitude out of the fear that those moments are coming."
She talked about picturing the worst-case scenario. I could relate a lot to this because I do that all the time. Constantly. She said we do this because "we're trying to beat vulnerability to the punch...we're trying to practice vulnerability and sorrow to prepare ourselves, almost as if we think about it and it happens, it will hurt less. The only thing that's certain is we're not taking advantage of an incredible moment."
"Another way to combat scarcity is to make room for play in our lives." "Play is time spent without purpose...in our culture, that is an anxiety attack...we have even turned play into purpose."
I love her Venn diagram idea - have everyone in the family write down what play looks like to them and then see where they intersect and then incorporate that into family together time.
She concludes by saying, "To move out of scarcity, we need to look at ourselves and say 'I'm enough.' What I have is not only enough, it's remarkable - if I stop and be grateful for it."
Her comments resonate with me so much. This is partially why I keep records, keep a gratitude journal, keep a blog, write letters to Oliver, take photos...to experience joy through gratitude. What a powerful video.
3. Lastly, a few things that I've found via Pinterest that have been inspiring me lately (click on the link and then click on the images to take you to the original source):
- Car Trunk Organization (I've been wanting to do something like this for a while now)
- Kitchen Freezer Organization (I really need to do this at some point)
- Great idea for keeping bugs out of drinks. Cute too.
- ABC box activity - such a fun idea for kids
- These homemade popsicles would be perfect for Summer. And these. And this Strawberry Pineapple Limeade.
Speaking of which, there are only five weeks of school left! That is both exciting and scary (there is so much to do in that five weeks). I also only have two more weeks left at work. We are interviewing for my position and that just feels weird. I feel like I did at the end of my mission...so tired and worn out, so grateful for the experiences I had and the relationships I built...but so needing to be done only because my body was calling it quits. It's that conflict of loving what I'm doing and not wanting to let that go in some ways, but in other ways being so ready for the next phase of life...the one where I can spend more time with my little guy, get our home in order, focus on our family's history a little more...recuperate from the last...well, seven years of being in school since we've been married (but even more before that). I'm finding that I really have to push myself to get through these last five weeks of college classes (of all time). Lots of self-talk ("You can do this...just a little longer...keep going...") Lots of sighing. Occasional headaches. Wanting to finish on a high note but fearing that I don't have the energy to do that. So many thoughts and feelings attached to this huge milestone. Sure, I will still have my practicum next year, but it's not the same as being in class, turning in assignments, getting a grade, being on campus. Yay for feeling inspired by so many good things and being excited about my future!