Archive for Managing Daily Life

Beating Down Frustration in Your Home Business

Beating Down Frustration in Your Home Business

Yesterday a huge wave of doubt and frustration came over me. It came unexpectedly and rose to such heights that I found I was drowning in negativity and talking irrationally. I expressed it to Jim and Molly, my 13yo happened to be in the kitchen too. She had never seen me doubt myself in quite that way. She was worried and showed a side of sympathy and concern I had never seen in her before.

I feel so bad for Cutie,” she kept saying. That’s her nickname for me. “What are you going to do?” she asked me time and again. I didn’t have an answer.

Has that ever happened to you? Where you just couldn’t hold it in anymore and the demons of negativity started beating you down?

“You’ll never make it,” they say.

“You’ve totally missed the mark, why keep trying?”

“If this was the right path, shouldn’t it be easier?”

Typically, if you’ve hung around with me much on this blog or you’ve worked with me before, you’ve experienced the opposite. I believe you can do anything you set your mind to and cheering you on makes me happy. In my core I see the potential and good in everyone.

But sometimes, it’s hard to believe the same for me. That’s the truth.

So today I’m just being honest with you and working some things through on paper. If you’re feeling confused, write THROUGH the emotions and figure out why. Asking questions help. These are core coaching concepts I work with my clients and use on myself too…let’s see where they go…ready to hear some inner dialogue? Keep reading.

Why am I feeling doubtful?

Since I opened my life coaching practice I have always had this HUGE vision to help moms live happier lives. I’m an intense person in general and having small goals just doesn’t work for me.

I remember researching publishing companies within weeks of opening my practice, because I knew I had to ‘see’ where I was going. What would be better, Namaste Publishing, or Hay House?

Conscious Parent CourseIt was then that I found Dr. Shefali Tsabary on the Namaste Publishing website. I pre-ordered her book The Conscious Parent and loved the concepts so much that I incorporated her theories into my life and practice, developed a friendship with her and wrote a companion workbook which was approved by Namaste for use in my Conscious Parent Course.

Great. Or not.

I loved what I was doing and I was making a little bit of money doing it. But my vision was bigger. I kept asking myself HOW can I reach more moms?

So I set out to writing my first book April O'Leary - Ride the waveRide the Wave: Journey to Peaceful Living in which I share my own personal transformation from frustrated at-home mom and how I was able to let go of much of my reactivity. I wrote it in a week (the first week I had to myself in ten years since becoming a mom) and shared it with my contact at Namaste. They weren’t interested. So I found a way to make it happen for myself and learned the art of self-publishing.

I continued coaching privately and knew that with a one-to-one practice I would severely limit my ability to reach thousands of moms with the strategies I shared in my book. This led me to creating the 13-01-13-uofmoms-header3University of Moms, developing some online courses and eventually to founding the Happy Mom Conference Happy Mom Conferencewhich ran in 2013 and 2014 providing educational talks and mom-focused vendors in an atmosphere of support.

Great. Or not.

I loved what I was doing and I was making a little more money doing it. But my vision was bigger and I had put a lot on myself. This was WAY more work than I had planned and it was taking WAY more tip.

Yes the vision persisted. How can I reach more moms?

Looking through the photos from the conference I saw moms who were thriving in direct sales and network marketing businesses. Their tables lined the perimeter of the room and suddenly I saw something I had never seen before.

Yes! Here are the moms I’ve been waiting to reach.

That year I took a complete shift in my entire business and rebranded my practice to help moms, like you, to build your home businesses, but more than that, to experience happiness and feel recognized and valuable as you did it.

Now that I’m writing this through I can see where the frustration is coming from. Isn’t that interesting.

I’m not an expert in network marketing. Yes I wrote a book with Jessica Higdon, and we hit the best-seller list just recently. The fact is, I’ve only just begun incorporating the network marketing model into my coaching practice as an added source of revenue.

What I am an expert in is life coaching. I love helping people navigate their personal challenges. I love helping them examine their core beliefs about themselves and their world around them. THAT is where I have had a major life change and THAT is where I can help you.

Yes I have learned about marketing along the way, but truly that’s not my goal. It’s a sideline skill you need to build any business.

BUT if you are unhappy in your life, becoming a top-earner in your company is not going to change that. I know plenty of women who have achieved that level of success and are no happier because of it. And the truth is, often it brings its own unique relationship challenges that need to be addressed.

Being out of alignment!

That is the core reason I was feeling doubtful. When you are out of alignment in your life, your emotions will alert you. It’s that simple. Don’t sweep them under the rug dig deeper (in writing) and find out why.

For me, today, those emotions of frustration were simply alerting me to dig deeper and now I have a choice.

You see how writing can take you places you might not have otherwise gone. I could have chosen to let my mind continue to spin tales all day long. Beating me up. Telling me I’m not going to achieve my dreams. Now I can choose to shift and embrace the journey and get back on my course.

It’s why The Katy Perry movie is my favorite movie of all time (and there are plenty of other real-life examples to support this concept). During her rise to fame she was told to be more like Avril Lavigne, and she kept saying, I just want to be Katy. When she stuck with it, despite her car being impounded and having no money magic eventually broke through.

All it takes is one connection. All it takes is persistence and staying the course. Someone will rise up to help you. I truly believe that. The universe will not let your dreams fall flat.

Yes, you’ll learn plenty along the way. Yes, you’ll doubt yourself. Yes, you’ll want to quit. Yes, you’ll see in others what you don’t see in yourself. And YES you’ll have to decide are you going to let frustration beat you down or will you stay the course?

For me. I’m staying the course.

Now I have to go wake up Molly and tell her I’m not quitting.

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The Importance Of Me-Time For Moms

Most women choose to become mothers when the time feels right to them. And, of course, there are those women who are taken by surprise at the news of being pregnant. Women who have already given birth to children before should theoretically remember what it is that they should expect. First-time mothers on the other hand might have a harder time sorting things out. The truth of the matter is that motherhood forces all women to go through a number of nonstop tests as a person – more than anything else they might have experience so far. While being a mom is a genuine blessing, it is not a walk in the park. But it is definitely an experience prone to bring about more joy and happiness than one ever thought was possible to live. A fulfilling career, job, or hobby can also trigger similar feelings into a person. But the truth is nothing truly compared to the unique thrills that only parents can experience.

Speaking of hobbies, one essential item on the list of things that are mandatory to maintain a mother’s state of well-being is connected to finding and keeping a hobby. But this of course requires the existence of sufficient spare time that will actually allow mothers to put their passions or hobbies into practice. Namely, me-time. Why is this time so important for mothers?

Me-Time Helps You Remember You Are A Person!

Often times, mothers tend to get completely absorbed by their children,; and they forget they are still women, wives, life partners, or daughters on their own. They tend to lose themselves in the idea of motherhood and its many demands, cave in to their kids’ requests nonstop, and completely disregard themselves as standalone persons.

Children have a hard time understanding their mothers are persons too, with wants and desires, feelings and the need to put their hobby into practice every now and then. But mothers need to fully understand the importance of spending time by themselves, without playing the role of parents, even if it is for the shortest amount of time. You need to learn how to give yourself permission to enjoy yourself, do something you find pleasure in or something that you kept postponing for a while. The truth of the matter is that you do not actually need any permission from anyone to do the things that you enjoy doing most. But you will need to act smart and clear your schedule, find someone to watch the kids while you enjoy your hobby, or come up with a clever solution is a babysitter is not on top of your list.

Play Casino Games While The Kids Are Asleep

One solution to keep enjoying your gambling hobby for example is to take advantage of your free time, whenever you get a chance. This could mean grabbing your laptop or tablet while enjoying a long and relaxing bath in your hot tub and accessing an online casino.

Yu can play online pokies and other similar casino games from any remote location, as long as you have a smartphone or computer connected to the internet you can play for free, in fun mode, practicing your skills or simply enjoying yourself – since your budget as a new mommy might be more limited than before. You can also use your hobby to try to round your income.

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Thoughts On Raising A “Strong-Willed” Child And …

 Thoughts On Raising A “Strong-Willed” Child …. how we choose to accept our children for who they are, separate from our ego.

Over the course of my daughter’s four short years of life, I have undoubtedly called / labeled her “strong-willed”. I find I do so when she inserts her will, her voice and her way. Am I alone, I venture to say I’m not. Why? Because as parents when our child projects their will onto us we naturally (get triggered) and become defensive and sometimes feel powerless. We lash out with our roaring egos of power, control and authority and unconsciously break the spirit of our children when all they are doing is showing us who they are at their core. We call it “defiance, manipulation, bad behavior, strong-willed and stubborn”. We insert our will right back and show them “who’s boss”. Our body language reflects it. Our tone of voice commands it. Our behavior mimics it as our own inner-child (tantrum) shows up. We don’t like the way it feels, we are the ones that are most uncomfortable and we want to control the situation so these feelings go away (for us). And so it goes … the vicious cycle and patterns our children learn to navigate through and ultimately protect themselves from (hence the creation of their ego) which shields their authenticity.

Does this sound at all familiar to you? The latter are very common behaviors that reflect a thread through that of traditional parenting. Yet the teachings of conscious parenting that Dr. Shefali Tsabary so brilliantly reminds us of is anything but from this mindset. Instead, conscious parenting asks us to pause, give space to that “feeling” we are having and find the lesson to be learned in that moment that our child is bringing to us. Conscious parenting invites us to accept our children for who they are but only when we can accept ourselves first. And it brings forth the opportunity to ask “what about this moment is triggering me, is mine to own and not my child’s to receive”?

I continue to hold gratitude in my heart for these wonderful reminders that I have been embracing (over the past year) and had I not opened my heart and mind to taking a more conscious parenting approach with my child, I believe my parenting journey would have brought upon more (power) struggles for both of us.

Nevertheless, I believe we all have a strong-willed fiber within us and we have the ability to view this from a positive (engaging) vantage point as opposed to a negative (disengaging) one. Through generations, we have been conditioned to mask our feelings, emotions and all that lies at the root of our being. We have been made to believe that it is “bad” to speak up, say how we feel, stand for what we believe, disagree with others. We have been “shut up”, ignored, made to feel less than and ultimately distrusting of our inner voice. So when our children reflect to us their “strong will”, we automatically label it is  as “wrong and unacceptable”. Here in lies the reality – our child’s strong-will is part of their authentic being, just as it is ours, and comes without any intention or malice to do or be wrongful. They are showing up as they are and if we don’t stay mindful their spirit can quickly turn into “ego” form (just as it has for us) and the unconscious pattern will carry on.

So how does one parent a strong-willed child with a more conscious mindset? I offer no perfect strategy however  I have discovered a few ways that have worked for us, all while incorporating a conscious parent approach, that you may find helpful too:

  1. When she does not back down and wants what she wants … I  attune to the situation at hand and ask myself “Is that she wants an unreasonable request?” “Is her demand going against my agenda / need?” “Is this a teachable moment for both us to connect better and allow me to help her better understand the boundaries / limits”?
  2. When she continues to negotiate … I listen to her request and allow her to share her point of view / reasoning for (this provides empowerment and the ability to trust that her inner voice matters and counts).
  3. When she doesn’t accept or do something I am asking of her (e.g. need her willingness / cooperation) … I look at the situation at hand and look for the “why”. Is it because of my approach, or that she is not focused on what I am saying? Do I need to connect better with her (eye-to-eye) and to get her attention? Am I stressing out and expecting her to meet my agenda / needs without any compassion for what she is doing in that moment?
  4. When she talks back, raises her voice and gets in one of her “moods” … I look at what is it about my child’s behavior is mirroring back to me to learn. Is she doing what I do at times? Is she trying to tell me through her actions that she is needing more connection and or space?

By nature, parenting is not easy and I don’t believe the intention to become parents through the Divine work of The Universe was ever meant to be easy. What I have found so bitterly sweet is how the child we receive to nurture, love, guide, protect and teach ultimately becomes our greatest teacher in which we learn how to grow more deeply, intimately and vulnerably within ourselves – and what a beautiful gift we are given for our continued self-growth.

Long live the strong-willed ….

 

from The Conscious Parent Blog.

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Each Child is Different, meet them where they are…

Each Child is Different, meet them where they are

Photo Credit: Victor Cristian Mitroi, Flickr.com

The oldest of my five children, Nick, who is twenty-seven, and my second son, Allen-Michael, twenty-one, could not be more different from one another. Because they were raised by the same mother I just assumed the boys would be more alike. Though it makes no sense to expect this since I now understand each child arrives in the world with his own temperament, sets of challenges, and lessons for us, and a unique destiny to pursue as well.

Over the past few years, having made the shift from thinking and “do-ing” my parenting from a place where I was in charge of the teaching of my children, to the daily practice of the concept of their teaching me has been the wildest, yet most enlightening/rewarding journey of my life.

When I let go of my expectations (even those I would not have verbally acknowledged) and simply met my sons where they were, my world opened up.

For instance, Nick has been challenged with addiction to alcohol. He has battled this disease (some days more so than others) since he was fifteen years old. Almost five years sober at this point, he doesn’t attribute his recovery to faith in God or any other Higher Power. If you ask Nick he will say his fear of going back to jail is what keeps him away from any bottle. Nick does believe in God, but doesn’t actively pursue a relationship through church attendance or in his everyday life. He was raised Catholic (I will admit, inconsistently), but doesn’t care to make time for spirituality or religion today.

Allen-Michael, on the other hand, who was also raised “inconsistently Catholic” has had an increasingly close relationship with God since his teen years. Calm and easy-going from the day he arrived in the world, he avidly pursues daily mass, mission work, feeding the homeless, and even contemplating the priesthood. Allen-Michael feels very strongly about the gospel and looks to the lives of Catholic saints as inspiration for his own.

It appears to be too early to tell what role faith and religion will play the lives of my youngest three children, but they continue to be raised in the same way by a mother who often verbally and through her actions places more value in the intuition of a higher calling and a purpose greater then oneself than on the structure of any denomination or book.

What I love most about the different ways in which my children approach life is their ability to show respect for, and tolerance of one another choices to take a path different from their own. Knowing, above all else, I have helped create an environment for that to happen in is very gratifying.

What do you say and do to foster a sense of individuality in your children?

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How Fear Can Paralyze You If You Let It

Photo Credit: BK, Flickr.com

Photo Credit: BK, Flickr.com

I stayed in a career for 20 years because of my fear of changing & doing what I love doing which I had lost sight of plenty of times but it never lost touch in me. However, after my daughter turned one, I consciously left my six-figure career 3 years ago with fear of so much (fear of what if, fear of money, fear of change, fear of the unknown, fear of not having control, fear of not being accepted for my decision). But you know what I knew for sure, I trusted my decision at the core of my being. I knew that being a stay-at-home-mom was where I needed my energies to be most. And ultimately through my daughter’s birth & all she has taught me, I was brought full circle, through The Universe, supporting my decision to do my life’s work both as a mom & life / parent coach & now blogging & serving others through my journey and helping them grow through theirs.

Rewind to the year my daughter was born (2011), I knew from that moment I was going to create and invite the opportunity for greater self -evolution. I was no longer going to allow the battle of the minds (so-speak) but instead I was going to manifest and put out into The Universe my desire to be at home with my daughter – pay heed and receive it in its due time. That September, my husband and I had a “meeting of the minds” (Labor Day weekend) to be exact and we discussed the “how to” plan so I could be a SAHM. Bottom line, we looked at everything from our finances, to our current situation to aligning our values (which we were already very much on the same page) and our understanding of what was going to need to change in order to make this happen. We literally created a “power-point” action plan. Then that December, just three months after I let go and let God, I had a call with my boss at the time and within that conversation when she shared much of what was going to “need” to happen the following year (from a sales perspective, travel requirements, etc) and I knew that this was my official sign from The Universe and my moment for departure. I was no longer going to serve a career that did not fulfill my inner being. I was not going to be “that mom” who came home from work – bitter, frustrated, worn-out all because it paid great. The cost was TOO HIGH for me to stay as opposed for me to leave.

After my call with my then boss, I called my husband and told him today is the day that I am giving my notice this week. Over the next five days, I called everyone one of our bill payers (reduced our bills where I could) and ended up saving us $500 per month (which although this was minimal compared to what I was making, it was a good determined start). Three years later, and through my conscious parenting journey, blogging, coaching, etc , God is providing me with many ways to earn an income again and doing the work I love and was called here to do.

So if this resonates with you in some capacity, I encourage you to take the steps, think through the process, lay out the plan, garner the support, be honest with yourself and follow your life’s path. You, your family and your children will all be better for it. I truly and whole-heartedly believe that God always provides. It may not be in the immediate way we perceive it or fantasize about but He provides in many others ways (money is the bonus) including our spiritual and emotional health being at the helm of the true value with bring into our lives and our children’s.

The transformation I’ve personally made plowing through fears & still plowing through them has been liberating & I think “what if” I never embarked upon my journey because of fear, I would not be here in this moment & what a disservice that would have been to myself, my daughter / family & others. This path & process to consciousness has allowed me to truly tap in, honor & trust my voice. I accept that as part of this ever-evolving journey, have a lot of self-talks and move through it. I look back at some of the fears I’ve come through & let them empower me for those that continue to arise.

What fears are holding you back from stepping into your true essence? 

How can you create more space to allow the organic flow for what is naturally ready to bare fruit in your light?

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Sometimes The Best We Can Do Is Allow Things To Happen

Photo Credit: Dane, Flickr.com

Photo Credit: Dane, Flickr.com

My nine-year-old daughter threw me a curve ball last spring when [seemingly out of nowhere] she began to experience anxiety over the simplest of things, such as going to school. Mia had always been an eager learner, an outgoing and friendly child who appeared to take life in stride. The kind of kid who, once she learned how to skip, preferred that method of getting from point A to point B…usually accompanied by a whistle or a song from her lips.

When I began to notice my daughter’s shift in attitude and demeanor, my own anxiety kicked in. I had never experienced my daughter this way before, so I had no idea how to “handle” it. I tried many different tactics which seemed natural to me, such as listening and affirming her feelings (while making it clear attending school was non-negotiable), at times I ignored her behavior or minimized the situation and pushed her through the feeling. Another approach I found myself taking (in response to my own growing anxiety) was to ask her if she could tell me what was wrong so I could help her (“If you can just tell mommy what is wrong I can find a way to help you. I can’t help you if I don’t know what is going on inside your head.”)

One of the biggest obstacles, hindsight being 20/20, was learning my daughter didn’t know exactly why she was feeling so much anxiety. If she didn’t know, how did I expect her to tell me?!

The situation escalated to a point where I felt we needed some outside, professional help. We began to see a wonderful family counselor who, over time, was able to unravel my daughter’s anxiety. The counselor also taught Mia some concrete ways to cope with challenging thoughts and emotions (such as identifying/understanding her feelings, journal writing, and deep breathing exercises). The counselor helped her dad and I understand how sensitive Mia was to the mood and energy in our home. Even when, on the surface, she didn’t appear to even be paying attention to our discussions.

During one of Mia’s sessions my daughter spoke, at length, about a young man (a family friend) who passed away a few years earlier (when my daughter was six). I had no idea Mia ever thought about this person after his death, we hadn’t dwelled on the details, or even spoke much about the incident. My daughter did not attend the funeral…yet, she carried this grief and worry about the unknown for three years.

I learned a great deal in going through this experience with my child. The most important being sometimes the best way to handle her feelings is to simply allow them to happen, to acknowledge the feeling and be with her in that moment knowing we[moms and dads] cannot fix or change every emotion or problem our children will face. However, by acknowledging and sitting with them and the feeling it begins to become less powerful.

The point of my story is threefold: (a) our children pick up on, and are more sensitive than we give them credit for, (b) when one of your children has a mental health issue (such as severe anxiety) the entire family has an issue because the family is an interdependent system, and (c) there is no shame in asking for help, professional or otherwise, when the waters get deep and murky as they often do when raising children.

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The Transformational Power and Evolution of Conscious Parenting

The Transformational Power and Evolution of Conscious Parenting

The Transformational Power and Evolution of Conscious Parenting

Photo Credit: Takver, Flickr.com

I became a first-time mother at the prime age of 39 (my daughter is now 3.5 years old) and find she is “raising” me in ways I never thought possible. Prior to becoming a mother, I had parenting all “mapped out” from how it would look and how it would “go” and to my surprise it was anything but what I expected. From having her four weeks premature to her very strong-willed and spirited personality, I had all my “ducks lined up” and thought with my “controlling ego” that so long as I was in charge it was all going to fall into place just fine. Now reflecting back, I can see that every part of my pregnancy journey happened exactly as it was meant to be – to better prepare me for what was yet to come when she actually arrived and my own birthing as a mother officially began.

I was about to embark upon a new paradigm shift / awakening to “grow myself up” in ways I thought I already had and see that my daughter was always destined to be called into my life so she could teach me how to grow my underdeveloped being into the mommy she needed me to become that of more ease and calm for our journey in life together.

Before becoming a mother, I would describe myself as follows: full-time career woman, always busy doing, set in my ways, very structured, anxious / anxiety, controlling, impatient, perfectionist, people pleaser, care what others think, black and white thinker, over-analyzer, hyper/intense personality, high expectations of myself and others, not in the present moment / future-based thinker, wanting to always be prepared and ten steps ahead, very fixed on my own expectations of parenthood.

Then after seeing Dr. Shefali Tsabary for the first time this past May on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday followed by her first Lifeclass show, I knew this was my official wake-up call from the Universe (bringing all my past experiences) including the birthing of motherhood to a higher calling. I began reading The Conscious Parent book and it continues to affirm that being right where I am in this very moment is where I am supposed to be – with my greatest teacher, my daughter, as my guide. Furthermore, I began doing some spiritual meditation / work to tap more into my essence and be more present, aware of my past conditionings, limited-self beliefs and behaviors so I could more consciously parent my daughter from a place she needed me to vs. stay stuck in my old ways. I came to recognize through Dr. Shefali’s work that anxiety, doing, control all go hand in hand and had never really looked at it this way before. This past June, I started this personal blog (The Conscious Parent) as a way to continue the conscious parenting conversation and provide a platform to journal (self-therapy) while helping others in return.

When my daughter turned one, I consciously quit my job to be home full time and although this was a blessing to have had the choice to make happen, at the same time it was a huge adjustment from being a career person and having a very structured routine to a non-structured routine and no longer in control of my day. It gave me new insight on how my own anxieties, preconceived beliefs, behaviors and restrictive ways were limiting my ease and enjoyment of motherhood at times and taking ownership of how I was contributing to burdening my daughter’s emotions more through my own frustrations. With my “A-type” personality style, I wanted to be so prepared in knowing it all (about motherhood that is) to be at ease and be steps ahead of my own anxiety at any given point (ego – need for control). Well that back-fired and created more frustration onto my daughter, who sensed my anxious and controlling energy) and when she didn’t fulfill my expectations that I had “planned out” in my head (ego – perfectionism, conforming) my inner tensions deepened.

So here is a glimpse at how I have grown along my conscious parenting journey (and continue to work on these matters of the heart) on a daily basis – while still realizing my unconsciousness can still get the best of me but being more quick to awakening my consciousness and staying present in my own emotions:

  • Developing my patience muscle and awareness to my emotions; pro-active in my thinking
  • Not caring what others think
  • Remaining open and flexible
  • Apologizing and admitting my faults to my daughter and others
  • Speaking more calmly
  • Walking away as needed / pausing before reacting during my child’s tantrums (which have scaled down immensely)
  • Recognizing my emotional triggers
  • Staying honest and vulnerable with my child about my own feelings, emotions, frustrations
  • Teaching / modeling more relaxed vs. anxious responses to my child
  • Re-emphasizing the importance of self-love and self-care
  • Taking more time for me (making me matter)
  • Understanding and empowering my child to do on her own that I know she is capable of – even when she wants to resist greatly
  • Staying consistently mindful of my language choice, tone, behaviors, responses, etc
  • See her and understand her own emotions – letting her have her emotions and upsets and go through her own process removing myself “personally” in the moment it occurs
  • Validating her own being through my words and affection
  • Talking to her after her meltdowns and moving on vs. holding a “grudge”
  • I am learning that as I stay true to my own feelings and remove ego (perfectionism) I can be honest with my daughter about my frustrations, she sees me not as “super mom” but more of a reality to her developing self – to accept her emotions as they come.
  • I am learning that my tolerance has grown (from the past 3.5 years), when I am faced with her melt-down days, I can get through them without letting my anxiety get the best of me and in my most available conscious awareness.
  • I am learning that my daughter needs to have her “off days” too so she can learn and grow through them for herself.

Conscious parenting is not about perfection nor is it about getting to an end-point as it’s a constant evolution of raising ourselves as we raise our children and teaching them as much as they are here to teach us first and foremost.” – Dr. Shefali

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Customizing Your New Gmail Inbox

Technology keeps moving ahead.  Once you get used to the ‘new features’ along comes an ‘update’ that is sure to make your life even easier!

Well Gmail has just rolled out a new inbox that is confusing and leaves you with a chance to miss important emails because it is now categorizing your emails without you knowing it.

This quick 2 minute video will help you understand how you can customize your inbox or disable this new feature to make sure you are getting all the emails you want to get.
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Self-Care tips for Moms

I shared some info with my friends over at Just Between Friends that I thought you’d like to see.  It comes from experience and a lot of trial and error.  More error than success frankly.  So although I am not always a perfect example, I am learning each day how to make sure I take care of me, so that I can take care of others to a greater degree.

Click here and you’ll see my TOP 3 TIPS for moms on how to take better care of yourself, and find more happiness in the busy-ness of life.

If you enjoy it please sign up to get our FREE 4-lesson Video Course called “Find Time For You And Be Happier Too!” these tips and more are shared along with exercises to help you uncover areas where you are getting stuck and how you can overcome some of these common self-care sabotage mindsets.

Get Your Free Video e-Course Here

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Lots of love!!

 April O’Leary, Life Coach
Founder of the University of Moms
Creator of the Happy Mom Conference

Author of Ride the Wave and Focus on You
Proud mother of 3 girls

 

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The Mommy Business Trip…and You Don’t Have to Have a Business to Take One!

I have neglected my blog for a while now, not because I don’t have anything to say, but simply because I don’t make the time to write.  So I have decided to make a change for the better.  Since I have now gotten the I’s dotted and the t’s crossed with the HappyMomConference.com site and have launched ticket sales I thought it would be fun (for me anyways) to chronicle this journey.

So here is the honest truth.  I am totally inspired, totally exhausted, totally grateful and totally overwhelmed with the enormity of what I am taking on.  But as Napoleon Hill says in “Think and Grow Rich” (paraphrased from memory) your IDEAS are what make you rich.  Not that I am looking for riches, sure it would be great to have them, but I feel blessed already to have been given an IDEA that inspires me.

This work keeps me up at night.  It is all I talk about during the day.  It is all I can think about.  I picture you coming to the conference and me hugging you as you walk in.  A sigh of relief from hundreds of moms, needing a break, and it has finally come in the form of this conference.  This time is meant solely to focus on who THEY are, not their role of ‘mommy,’ but allowing the person that is them to emerge once more.

I know this, because I was there not 20 years ago (ok I would have only been 15 then, but you get the point).  I was in that overwhelmed, frustrated, trapped and exhausted state just 6 years ago.  My youngest is 6, so that is about when I crashed.  Taking little to no time for yourself for 6 years can take a toll let me tell you!  But it was that damn guilt that had me trapped….

I do digress.  So I remember wishing I could have a surgery of some sort just so I could have a night alone.  That is called desperation my friends.  And it doesn’t have to be this way, but I made it that way for me.  So this is why THIS conference is my gift to moms everywhere.  It is my way of saying, “Please, don’t wish for a surgery.  That wouldn’t be fun now, would it?  Here is a great excuse to get away.  I have created the ‘excuse’ you are looking for because it’s not just being selfish you want to get away, is it?  No.  You want to better yourself.  Listen to inspiring speakers.  Refill your tank.  So YOU can BE a better mom.”

When I was at my wit’s end I suffered day-to-day struggles with my emotions, often taking them out on my kids.  I’m not proud of that.  But it’s the honest to goodness truth.  So if you’re yelling, slow down and take a look.  If you’re frustrated or tired, slow down and take a look.  If you feel resentment building in your marriage, slow down and take a look.

Look at what?  Is the reason you’re yelling, frustrated, tired or resentful because you just haven’t done a good job at taking care of yourself.  Truly.  When was the last time you got a legitimate break?  I don’t mean an hour to grocery shop alone.  I mean a night off.  A weekend off.  It is NOT selfish…I would argue that it is NECESSARY.

Ask yourself, “Is it reasonable that someone could operate in any job 24/7 indefinitely and not get worn-out?” Hello.  Of course not!  So why do we expect that of ourselves?  Stop arguing with me, I have been there, I had to overcome the guilt too, and I had to realize the guilt was unhealthy because I was not doing anything wrong when I took some time away.

So now I am breathing easier.  I am happier.  I am less stressed.  Yes, I am still super busy, but I am busy because I choose to be busy doing the things I love.  And hoping that you will do the same too.

If you want to read a little bit about some moms who also have taken a break, check out this recent article from the Wall Street Journal.  It’s all about a “Mommy Business Trip” and how moms are jumping on board with this idea that they need a break too.

So if any of this has resonated with you, join me at the Happy Mom Conference.  I’d love to give you a hug and welcome you to the tribe of moms who are happy because they know that to serve others gladly they first have to fill their tank!

Here’s the article and thanks to Diana Towsley for finding it for me.  I loved it!  The Mommy Business Trip

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