Five Things That Inspired Me This Summer
In a few days, both my daughters will go back to school. It is a bittersweet time. On one hand, I am really ready for school to resume, but on the other hand, I am feeling emotional. This will be the first year of Kindergarten for my younger daughter. Not too long ago she was a tiny baby and her chubby cheeks still remind me of it. She is excited and a little nervous. Me too!
My older daughter, the second-grader, suddenly seems all grown up. Last week she said that the orangutan is her spirit animal. It made us pause at the dinner table; we were surprised that she came up with it, but it was obvious given her love for monkey bars.
This upcoming school year will be different for more reasons. Not only will both my girls be at school but also our younger teenager has just departed to begin his college adventure. His older brother has started his junior year this summer. That leaves our family much smaller. The girls are missing their brothers badly and have already started counting down to Thanksgiving when we will all reunite.
While reflecting on the changes in our family I am still integrating all that I learned and experienced this spring and summer. It was intense, exciting, creative, hard, and full of new connections and impressions.
I would like to share with you some of my latest discoveries and inspirations.
My big discovery in June was Michael Neill. He came recommended by my dear friend and colleague Marie. I liked the video she shared and purchased an audiobook: “Effortless Success”. The title was a little discouraging at first but I trusted all the great reviews on Audible and gave it a shot. I loved it and found it very inspiring, which I have shared on Instagram.
Earlier this year I invested myself in broadening my professional network. The importance of having a tribe is very clear to me and I am myself committed to creating a community for moms. Finding new professional communities was truly a blessing; being an entrepreneur can be lonely! In April I joined the amazing Business Among Moms and I have been very grateful for it ever since. This is an incredibly resourceful and supportive group and I made a lot of meaningful connections in a short time. Another great community is the Three Moon Collective. It is a reliable resource for finding events and wellness practitioners in the Seattle area and really it has been incredibly helpful for my entrepreneurial endeavor. I highly recommend signing up for the newsletter of Three Moon Collective. It is a goldmine if you are looking for wellness events and inspiration.
Before my trip overseas with my daughters, I anticipated some parenting hardship caused by the jet lag and single parenting for several weeks in a row. I was desperate for a few strategies to up my game. I ended up enrolling in online training by Positive Parenting Solutions. And I wasn't disappointed! I started working through it right before our trip to Europe and even though I still have several modules to complete I can already see some positive outcomes. It certainly helped me on the trip and beyond. The tools offered by Amy McCready, the founder of Positive Parenting Solutions, are very effective and focus not only on disciplining, but also on creating a bond with the children. You can have a look at some of the tools here. My favorite is Strategy #1: Mind, Body and Soul Time.
While in Poland I happily noticed that the “Zero Waste” lifestyle is quite popular there, too. In fact, one of my dear friends makes these 100% natural and compostable kitchen and body washcloths. They are beautiful and come in many variations. What’s better than using natural products AND reducing trash at the same time? I got several for myself and brought some back as gifts for my Seattle friends. My husband and I are a little nerdy about reducing the waste we produce. We are very proud of our trash can which is the smallest on our block. My husband religiously shops at the farmer’s markets –literally, he says the farmer’s market is his church. Luckily there is also an awesome grocery store in my ‘hood with many products in bulk. A while ago I made a whole bunch of drawstring sacks and they work very well for our bulk shopping. While shopping for clothes I prefer thrifting and the majority of my clothes were purchased second hand.
The last thing I must share with you today is The Holistic Psychologist aka Dr. Nicole LePera. She offers some powerful strategies to support one’s own healing. One of them is future-self journaling. “Future self journaling works because it creates conscious awareness around your behaviors and patterns,” she says in her blog post. I have done it for over two weeks now and I love how much more aware I am of my habits.