Monday Intentions?

I’ve been slacking…

Every time I try to sit myself down to write a blog post, something comes up. What is going on in the universe? I think I may have to stop the Sunday intentions because Sundays are family days and by night fall, I’m just uninterested in opening my laptop. Sunday intentions have officially moved to Monday intentions. For example, yesterday we drove about 90 miles to see my grandmother, visit some museums and go eat in another city. It was so much fun! Like, a lot of fun and by the end of the night, I just wanted to snuggle with my husband.

Speaking of our weekend…it was AWESOME!!! My husband worked Saturday, so the kids had some friends over to play for the first part of their day. In the evening, we went to a Mardi Gras festival of sorts put on by the Recreation Center. I did not think it would be a ton of fun, but I was so wrong. My kids had a blast. They made masks, mini floats, and beads. The children were also able to participate in a parade where they got beads thrown at them…very New Orleans, but without the whole “show me your boobs” thing.

Since my husband worked Saturday, we decided to take the long drive down to Los Angeles to visit my grandmother and visit some museums with him on Sunday. Our logic was that most people would be home watching the Super Bowl and we could have the museums to ourselves. Thankfully, we were right. First we went to the African American museum. It was really artsy and I was a little afraid the kids wouldn’t get it, but they enjoyed it, especially my son.

After the African American museum, we went to the science museum and had a blast in there too. I love Los Angeles museums because the exhibits are so interactive. I wish I would have taken more pictures, but we were enjoying ourselves and the lack of crowds.

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I think the highlight of our day was going to a seafood restaurant down in San Pedro/Long Beach and getting to see a live Mariachi band play. My husband and children had never seen that up close and personal, so it was pretty cool. I did not eat anything at the restaurant because I’m doing the vegan challenge, so I enjoyed a Margarita (no salt). I thought that was what a good vegan would do. I did have lunch at a vegan spot in Inglewood called Stuff I Eat. The food is always good. I think I’ve mentioned them before in a blog post. I will always eat there when I’m in Los Angeles. I took pics of the paintings that are on the wall. It is quite interesting. I love the vibe there.

So…what does all of this have to do with intentions. On the surface, nothing. If you look deeper, it has a great deal to do with my conscious decisions on how I am choosing to live my life. Am I making time for my family? Am I making time for what I am passionate about? Am I living the life I want?

I was so present this weekend that it scared me a little. I looked at the children that came over to play with my own and felt gratitude that my children we experiencing these moments that I never experienced. I really enjoyed being with them at the Mardi Gras festival and helping them with their floats and seeing them happy. We weren’t in a rush to leave and we just lived in the moment. I couldn’t stop from smiling when my husband discussed art pieces with me  at the museum. He also told me about a museum he use to go to in Jamaica when he was young. The man a very few words had so much to say. We laughed and danced a little to the music of the mariachi band down in Long Beach. We lived.

My intentions are always to live and to appreciate every moment. I got a little sidetracked last week, but distractions, when acknowledged, have a way of pulling you back to center much more aggressively than when you veer off on your own. For just one moment, I started existing again. I didn’t want to write. I didn’t want to play with the kids. I didn’t want to deal with people. I forgot how far I came out of depression. I literally had to force myself to go to yoga. It’s so easy to forget what we want and who we are trying to be. My heart is so grateful and it is my sincere intention to always find the light in all things. I’ve been angry. I’ve been bitter. I don’t want to do that anymore. I have a great life as long as I allow it to be. There is always, ALWAYS something to be grateful for.

What are you grateful for?

Love and light y’all.

 

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Sunday Intentions (1/25)

As you can clearly see, it is not Sunday. Yesterday was one of those days where I found myself so tired by the end of the night that I could not even will myself to stay awake. I sat in my bed to watch a movie with my husband and next thing I knew, it was morning.

To be quite honest, I set my intentions for the week under the first full moon of the year. My cousin reminded me by showing her little set up in a text (pic below).

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As you can see from the picture, I forgot about the whole full moon intention thingamajig. My cousin is so much more into the concept of sending out into the universe what you want and then believing that the universe will conspire to make those things happen. I’m not quite there yet, but everything she has told me to do seems to be working and the proof is in how my Sunday went.

My intentions/goals were:

  1. To reconnect with my husband romantically.
  2. Continue to explore my writing by submitting articles to online magazines or blogs.
  3. To focus on my fitness and wellness.
  4. To find better ways to communicate with my children when angry.
  5. To be the friend I want others to be to me.

That’s it!

Maybe if I hadn’t forgotten, my list would be longer or deeper, but at that moment in time when I sat down to write out a list, this is what I came up with. I had spoken to my cousin and a friend about the first item on the list and I received some very good advice. My friend told me we needed some time separate from the kids, even if it was for a few hours. My cousin in all her unmarried wisdom told me to start being more romantic to my husband without the expectation of anything in return. To be honest, it took me a while to receive that one, but I got what she was saying. A few years back, me and a friend orchestrated this whole husband appreciation week where we surprised our husbands on different days with different things. We were new stay at-home moms and still in the stage of recognizing all that our husbands dealt with on a daily basis. Fast forward about 5 years later and I think that appreciation is still here, but not expressed. In a way, maybe I have begun to take him for granted. Not to say that we are arguing or not in a good place, but lately things have been feeling very “parenty”(that’s not a word, but you catch my drift) and that’s cool, but I would like to have moments where we remember why we like and love each other, separate from the kids.

So, I wrote it down on a piece of paper and you’re not going to believe what happened. Saturday night (the full moon night) I get a text from one of my favorite moms reminding me about a playdate we had sort of set-up for the next day. She has all girls, so we weren’t sure how my son was going to go for that, right? Sunday morning comes and he’s game for the playdate. We drop them off and just like that we find ourselves alone without children on a impromptu date. We just went to the mall and sat at Starbucks and talked, but boy was it nice. I got to hear him and it wasn’t about work, money, or the kids. Like, I really got to hear him and take him in. I also felt like he heard me. I didn’t have to compete with his phone and I could tell he was happy. We laughed and held hands. We did a little shopping for ourselves without anyone telling us that they were hungry. We sampled all the teas at Teavana without looking to see if anyone was breaking anything. Romance is different for different people, but that morning was a romantic time for me and it was just what we needed. You see how this universe stuff works? Crazy!

High five to the universe, but now I’m behind in my Motherhood Monday post, so I’ll get that out in a bit.

Love and light y’all.

Sunday Intentions (1/17)

I thought this day would never end. It has been a great day, but a long one. I have been longing to get in front of my computer and set my intentions for the week. Last week, my intentions were to be thankful. Intentions don’t mean anything without action behind them, right? I can confidently write that I held to my intention in recognizing and appreciating the life that I live. My ability to do that made my week much better.

Last week included so many things that I normally take for granted. I got to walk with friends and have meaningful conversations. I had the opportunity to go on a shopping date with my daughter and listen to her share her thoughts and fears. I sat down with a friend to discuss history, which was probably the highlight of my week. I was able to chat with friends across the country. Best of all, I have had the chance to spend time with my brother in-law who is visiting from England. I have so much to be thankful for. What stands out to me are the connections that I put effort into and what springs from them.

I was reminded last week, somewhat indirectly, that I need to listen when people talk. When someone says they are not your friend, even in jest, believe them. If someone’s spirit is the direct opposite of yours, then it is best to let them be. I tell this to my daughter almost every week, but for some reason I still haven’t completely grasped the concept. Sometimes we are so busy trying to usher people across to our happy place that we don’t realize that it is not our job. Everyone arrives at happy or joy in their own time and sometimes they do not arrive at all.

The connections that I have built with people are not by accident. I know that the universe or God conspires to put certain people in my life for different reasons. The goal is to let the universe work its magic and stop trying to make people fit in my pretty little categories. Everyone isn’t going to fit. I’ve been blessed many times over with friendship. I am thankful for that and I plan to nourish the connections I have and let go of the ones I thought were going to happen.

Soooo…my intention for this week has nothing to do with what I just wrote. lol! Well, sort of. My intention is to go to yoga class and get back to my center. I’ve been missing yoga and since I’ve just been released from my doctor to continue practice, it is important that I do so. My plan is to concentrate on my breathing, enjoy the transitions, and apply my struggles or ease on the mat to my life. I also plan to enjoy the connections that I have. I thoroughly enjoy my walks around the neighborhood and park with friends. I enjoy the text conversations I have. I enjoy the occasional at home lunch date and I enjoy the fellowship of positive women. I know I am blessed. I’ve come an extremely long way and for that I owe it to myself to always take inventory of what I’m putting out as opposed to what I’m getting in return. Rule #1 is to always love myself…no more martyrs.

Love and light y’all.

Always be Thankful

Every Sunday, I like to sit down and set an intention for the week. I usually set this intention in the morning, but as usual things (my children) prevented me from getting in front of my computer. As I type this, I’m on the phone with my 89 year old grandmother. We have probably been on the phone for about 2 hours. My children and husband are asleep and I am sitting here in the dark listening to my grandma tell me stories about her life. We have discussed family, racism, Donald Trump, eating other people’s gumbo, weight gain, and death. I desperately need to get to bed, but the way I was raised, it is disrespectful for me to end the conversation. I enjoy these talks anyway, so I welcome the loss of sleep.

The theme for tonight has returned constantly to being thankful. I have heard it so much that it dawned on me that this is probably what I need to be mindful of this week. I have a tendency to overlook my blessings or get frightened of them. I need to stop being frightened of being happy. Happiness is something I worked really hard for and instead of finding fault in the smallest things, I need to acknowledge the goodness in all things.

As I sit hear listening to my grandmother talk about her life, I have this extreme sense of gratitude for her. She has probably told me she loves me three times in my entire 37 years of living on this Earth. We do not hug. I don’t remember ever getting or giving kisses on the cheek, but I do remember and still see her eyes light up when she sees me. I know she sees herself in me. I know without a doubt that she loves me and I know with certainty that without her I wouldn’t be alive.

When I went to go live with her, I was a shell. I had been a shell for so long that I do not even think I realized I wasn’t really living. I did not know joy. I didn’t even know what it felt like to be safe, but she provided the space for me to find my way. I could be bitter about certain things that happened in my childhood. I could find fault in my parents. I could even use a number of things as a crutch, but because of my grandmother, I can be thankful.

My grandmother said to me, “Life is what you make it. One day you wake up and realize that you don’t have to take this crap, so you change it. You stop letting other people make your life and start making your own“.

My intention this week is to carry my grandmother with me and acknowledge that I am making my own life. I am going to be mindful of my complaints. I am going to be mindful of my fears. I am going to acknowledge how far I have come and I am going to tell that young girl who showed up on my grandmother’s doorstep 23 years ago that she is safe, loved, and no longer just existing, but alive.

Love and light y’all.

 

Sunday Intentions

Okay, so I’m really not doing too well with this 30 days of blogging every single day.  I missed Friday and Saturday, but technically it wasn’t my fault.  I wanted to post a poem on Friday, but I wanted to do a slide show.  I still haven’t figured out how to put my voice with the slide show and I’m such a weird person that I didn’t feel right blogging Saturday because I didn’t do Friday.  I’m a bit weird; however, I’m going to get that together. Anyway, on to my Sunday Intentions for the week.

Today is Father’s Day!  I always call it the holiday that ends at about 3 p.m. or even sooner if the Dad is on the grill.  It always seems labor intensive for fathers, but I guess they enjoy it.  Here, we are without our fearless leader and father’s day was not celebrated in the typical fashion.  We heard from my husband early in the day.  The children got to talk to him twice because he kept calling back and I actually had the opportunity to have a long (about 10 minutes) conversation with him.  He unloaded on me and it was magnificent.   He was not telling me very nice things about his job, but HE OPENED UP TO ME!!!!!  I won’t discuss in this blog what he is going through, but I want to start a support operation for him with family and friends.  He needs to know that there are people back home that have his back and support him.

That brings me to the 2 things that I intend to focus on this week.  First, I need to start taking in the advice of my therapist.  Although I write this blog and can open up to my close friends, I am a guarded person.  I am even more guarded when I think you can hurt me.  My husband leaving felt like an abandonment.  Consciously, I know he did not just up and leave to get away from us.  It is the nature of his job, but one is still left with certain feelings.  When he left, I went into my shell and I just kind of wanted him to be gone without having any emotional attachment while he was away.  The funny thing is that, what I put out into the universe, I got back.  I was going out of my mind losing that connection of knowing what is going on with him and didn’t realize that I too had taken away my connection.  Last week and 2 weeks prior, I took my therapist’s advice and started opening up and I thought it wasn’t being heard or appreciated, but today showed me something different.  I need to be more vulnerable with this man I married.  I need to make an effort to share more and I need to make a point of letting him know that I have his back even if I don’t get the response I want.

The next intention I have this week is to love myself.  This may be an ongoing intention.  I have a friend here in California that says things to me that make me really think about what I say about my body, how I treat it, and what my insecurities are teaching my children.  Of course she can say all of these things because she’s gorgeous, but the message is still valid.  How we see ourselves sometimes transfers into how our children see themselves.  I know this to be true because I saw my daughter step on the scale too many times and I realized that she was only copying me.  I’m happy to say I haven’t been on the scale in a very long time because it is not necessary.  That number on that scale does not dictate anything that has to do with my life being fulfilled.  I refuse to pass this obsession with weight and looking a certain way to my daughter and son.  Truthfully, I have a bit of body dysmorphia. I am working on it.  It’s not an easy thing for people to understand when you are thin.  People don’t get it, but I get it and slowly I’m learning to let go of the negative image I have in my head and replace it with who I really am. I also consciously know that if I tear myself down and I am never happy with the way I am now, both body and soul, then indirectly I am teaching my children that they are never good enough.  It’s kind of the same approach that I took with no longer relaxing my hair. (NO JUDGEMENT ON THE HAIR THING) I knew I was not going to straighten my daughter’s hair very early on.  I didn’t have my first relaxer until I was 21 years old, so I wasn’t raised with the idea that straight hair was beautiful.  I wanted to give this gift to my daughter because I had met women who were literally afraid to go without their hair straightened.  I thought the best way to give her the gift of accepting her hair naturally was to give her an example of her mother being natural.  It was the same gift my mother had given to me and my grandmother had given to my mother.  Strangely, no one stopped to think that hair was such a small part of who we are and that an example of self love would take one so much more further in life.  I think back on how many bad dates I wouldn’t have gone on or how I might be able to look in the mirror at my body and see how awesome it is.  Self love teaches one that societies concept of beauty has absolutely nothing to do with how beautiful one is.  How one feels about themselves has everything to do with how he or she views themselves internally.  The external is just a small portion really.  People hide behind the external because if I woke every morning and realized that I gave birth to 2 children like a boss, that I am intelligent, that I am worthy of everything good in my life, then my perspective of who I am externally would change.  Instead of being disgusted by my stretch marks, loose skin around my belly and my surgery scars, I would feel honored.  Every single one of my so-called imperfections tells a story of how awesome I am.  I earned it all and I am a better person for it all.  I should be smiling when I stand before myself in the mirror, realizing that this body that I am in is just a vessel used in this life.  I should look at it in admiration because I am more than beautiful.  I am divine.

Love and Light

 

Sunday Intentions

In an effort to exercise my thoughts and writing, I have decided to put myself on a schedule with this blog.  I need to get all this stuff in my head out and that is kind of why I created this blog, so…

Here is my schedule:

Sunday – Positive Start Sundays (My intentions for the week)

Monday – Motherhood/Marriage Mondays

Tuesday – Tell It Tuesday

Wednesday – Work it Out Wednesday (my exercise routine for the week)

Thursday – Reality Recap or Theater of Ratchet Reality Shows

Friday – Freestyle Friday (Poetry)

Saturday – Science Saturday

I want to see if I can do this for 30 days.  The children are out of school.  We are not on a schedule and I have a few goals that I would like to do long term that include me exercising writing.  Wish me luck.

For my first positive start Sunday, I would like to make the intention to be more present.  I have been struggling with remaining present because it is so much more easier to check out and be halfway here than to feel any type of loneliness or even resentment for my husband being gone.  In the military, one typically shuts off certain parts of themselves in training and definitely in war.  It is an effective way to get things done, but I am not at war and neither are my children.  This week I want to play with my children and really look and listen to them.  I want to work with them on our little homeschool lessons and actually take in everything my daughter says to me.  My daughter talks all day long, but I noticed this weekend that she often feels unheard and that it greatly effects her confidence.  When she feels adults don’t value what she says, she checks out and bottles it up inside.  I want her to feel confident in her ideas and have the ability to express them wholeheartedly.

I have a problem with being all in or being present.  I went and visited my family in Los Angeles and because I was mindful of my checking out, I made a point to really live in the moment.  For the first time in almost 10 years, I felt like my family was my family.  I have felt so distant from them.  They didn’t seem real to me for a really long time and I struggled for a while to understand why, but I know that I never expected to see them again 10 years ago.  I didn’t expect to come home from Iraq and I had in some ways killed them.  When I returned home, I just couldn’t get that closeness back again.  This weekend I felt it again and it was so heartwarming.  I love them and they love me.  The whole situation made me think about how many moments in life we miss when we are not mindful of the beauty of our surroundings.  How many times do you go somewhere and take in everything around you?  How many times do you sit with your family and make note of how they smile or raise their eyebrows?  With all of the hustle and bustle of life, we forget the life we have in front of us, the people that love us, and the words that we absolutely need to validate from our children.  My intention for this week is to practice mindfulness and really be present in everything that I do.