March 25, 2011


I know it's not New Years (Traditional or Pagan), but I wanted to get my resolutions written down and out to the world.

1. Exercise
   Ok so I've hit the "comfortable" place in my relationship with my fiance.  I first noticed it, when I saw pictures my family posted of me on Face Book.  This is not ok, with my wedding coming in April.  I don't want to look "comfortable" in my wedding photos.
   Since my fall and shoulder injury in November 2009, I've been significantly less active.  I also have a Major sweet tooth and lower metabolism.  Time to Get Up and Get Active again.  Oh yeah and find some healthier sweets, like fruit.  My mom gave me the new Wii Fit game for Christmas this past December.  I've used it several times and had alot of fun.  Now I need to become more consistent.  My boys started taking Karate classes, last week, at the Community Center in our town.  They have an exercise room which I plan to put to use while the boys do Karate.  And when this "lovely" New England winter weather is done, I'll be getting back on the trails to go hiking and letterboxing again!

2. Organize
    Lately I feel like my brain is Swiss cheese, full of holes.  Being a working parent or stay at home parent comes with a Big To Do list.  With the kids, working, planning a wedding, and the general day-to-day stuff, I definitely need to be more organized.
   When I worked full-time outside the home I used to have a "Control Journal", thanks to my FLYing lesson's with the FLY Lady.  So it's time to start a new one to keep myself on the right track.  I haven't been FLYing for a long time, so I restarted with the "BabySteps".  I've let all routines go out the window since I've been home on a more full-time basis.  FLY Lady is great at teaching you how to create routines and get control over your life again.

3. Focus on Work
   I have let my Home business (and life) fall by the way side over this past year. 
In March of 2010 my father was admitted to the hospital for a brain bleed.  Over the course of the six months doctors found that his brain was bleeding due to minute holes in his spine that was leaking fluid.  The leaking fluid also caused low brain pressure.  The doctors patched the holes and eventually my dad came home.  Shortly afterwards he was diagnosed with Intestinal cancer and a heart condition was found while prepping for cancer surgery.  Post surgery he had complications from the abdominal surgery.  He is home now and we're all keeping our fingers crossed that he continues to heal and stay well.
    I put my life on hold to deal with this situation, be there for my dad and to help and comfort my mom and sister.  Now it's time to focus back in on my awesome WAHU team!  So not only am I a mom of four, which is a full time job in it self, I also work two other jobs.  And one of them has been feeling very neglected.  It's time for No More Excuses!  Organizing my time better should help me get WAHU back on track.

4. Quality Family Time
   Most importantly, I want to spend more Quality time with my family.  I'm ashamed to admit it, but too often I'm "too busy" to spend time with my children.
    My little Potato is always asking me to play a game with him, he Loves board games.  I hate that recently nine times out of ten I tell him "no" because I'm doing    (fill in household chore/job)   .  My girls got these awesome nail painting/design kits for Yule.  I want to sit down with them and have some girl time, yet I haven't.  My Monkey boy keeps wanting to show me how to play his new Wii game.
  We have just recently started a family dinner and movie night.  Usually on Sunday or Tuesday, when my step-daughter is here.  Dinner is buffet style and we eat in the living room (a treat since I don't allow food out of the kitchen) while watching a family movie.  I would like to also spend time with each of the kids individually.  I've been making use of the car travel time to activities, by turning off the radio and talking, listening, and laughing with the kids.  With a busy life I know it's not the amount of time I'm spending with them, but the quality of the time we are spending together.

~Your Earthy Mom

March 23, 2011

Letting Go...

Of Stress?

 Is it even possible?  We live such busy lives, always running here and there.  Family, work, the news, and even finding time for yourself produce stress in our lives.  Stress consumes us and takes over our lives.  It's time to stand up to stress and say "No more." (or at least lets reduce it)

My mother invited me to attend a six week class about stress management, taught by Diane M. Foster of Mystic Hypnosis.  Let's face it we all have stress in our lives, even the most "put together" person.  This past year has been incredibly stressful for my family, since my father has spent the majority of that year in the hospital.  First with a spinal/brain issue and then cancer.  So I thought why not learn some techniques to reduce my stress.

Diane uses and teaches meditation and hypnosis to reduce stress.  I've been mediating for years now, but it's always been sporadic.  The biggest thing, about meditation, I learned from Diane is to be consistent; Same place, Same time everyday. Since this is a beginner class we started from the beginning with breathing.
Belly Breathing: Focus on your breath, the air moving in and out of your body.  Place your hand on your belly to feel your belly rise and fall, breathing in through the nose and out the mouth.
There is just something refreshing with just breathing.  It actually helps you relax and reduces stress.  Think about a stressful situation you've had.  You may not have noticed it then, but most people will let out a deep breath to help calm themselves.  This is your subconscious taking over and trying to reduce your stress level.

Diane is teaching us Mindfulness Meditation.  The concepts of this type of meditation come from Pali: sati, Sanskrit: smá¹›ti in Buddhist Meditation.  During the meditation we are being Mindful of our breath, using it as an anchor, allowing thoughts to pass through the mind.
Diane M. Foster's Mindfulness Meditation Instructions
1. Find a quiet and comfortable place.  Sit in a chair or on the floor with your head, neck, and back straight but not stiff or tense.
2. Close your eyes and gently become aware of your breathing, focusing on the sensation of air moving in and out of your body as you breathe.  Pay attention to the way each breath changes and is different.  Be aware of your breathing without trying to control it or alter it in any way.
3. Watch every thought and feeling come and go.  When thoughts come up in your mind, don't ignore or suppress them but simply note them and use your breathing as an anchor.
4. At times your attention may drift away from your breath to sounds in the environment or sensations in your body.  Whenever you realize you are not observing your breath, gently bring your attention back to your breathing.
5. If you find yourself getting carried away in your thoughts or other distractions, observe where your mind went off to, without judging, and simply return to your breathing.  Remember not to be hard on yourself if this happens.
6. Remember to let go of any expectations you may have about the practice.  If you notice that you are focusing on a mood or emotion, or looking for a particular experience, treat this like any other thought and gently bring your awareness back to your breathing.
7. As the time comes to a close (about 15 minutes), keep your eye closed and stop observing your breath for a minute or two, becoming aware of where you are.  Gently stretch, open your eyes and get up slowly before resuming activity.
I have been finding it difficult to meditate everyday.  Ironically, the days when I'm the most busy I make sure to take time out for myself and meditate.  It's the days when I have little going on (therefore less stress) that I don't make time for me.  I have been working on spending 15 minutes of every day meditating.  I know I need the time for myself to be less stressed, so I can better focus on my work and my family.

~Your Earthy Mom

To Contact Diane M. Foster