Thursday, October 17, 2013

Happy 2nd birthday, November!

Happy birthday to my most wonderful bundle of wiggly joy! November, you have made the last two years (almost three, actually, since you were partying in my womb 9 months) completely priceless and full of joy and laughter. You are the love of my life, and I can't wait to see what joy you find in your beautiful life. 

I love you more than anything, thanks for blessing my life with your presence.


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Removing negativity

There are days when my mind is just bursting. I've got anxiety over some issue or another, I'm depressed about something, I have a busy week, I need clarity on some issues. It's hard to be at peace, much less hear the guidance of God when your brain is overloaded like this. 

I have occasions where I experience this overwhelming anxiety and often negativity, and the best tip I have learned for overcoming this obstacle is from the book The Map by Boni Lonnsburry.

My mom recommended this book to me, and it is great for clarifying your visions, dreams, intentions, and goals. It contains many similar themes to other 'manifesting' and 'law of attraction' and 'positive mindset' books like The Secret and such, but this book took it to a level I had previously not experienced, dealing with issues of removing your subconscious negativity in order to clearly put energy into your goals, dreams, intentions (and prayers.) I could go on and on with a review of this book (there was lots of greatness, along with a little weirdness, as is usual with this genre) but the most important tip I learned was 'talking to my negative self.'

Lonnsbury writes about how we carry baggage from our childhood, past hurts, and other factors, including our 'negative self' that can rob energy from manifesting what we DO want. Everyone has a negative side; that voice in your head that puts others and yourself down, makes you afraid, makes you anxious. In her book, she recommends you talk to this negative side of you regularly, letting it rant and rave until it has nothing left to say. It seems counterintuitive; I previously would have swept my fears under the rug, not express them! But, when ignored, this negativity builds and builds in me, until I feel like a dark cloud is hiding my clarity, joy, and connection to God.

After doing this simple exercise, the relief and peace is unbelievable. It's immediate. Without going too far into it, here is how I talk to my negative self: I basically just invite my negative side to come out and share all of her thoughts, talking to myself in my head about all my negative opinions and fears about any subject that comes up. Like, 'you are fat, ugly, and a single mom, no one will ever love you.' Or 'you are so self centered, all you think about is yourself.' Letting it go on and on in as much detail as comes up. If there's a pause in thought-flow, I ask if my negative self is done, and see if any other rants come up. Usually this lasts quite a few minutes until my negative self runs out of steam. When it's finally exhausted, I pray that my negative self is forgiven, loved, and purified and that I am cleansed and free of negativity and anxiety.

The freedom afterward is amazing. And here's the magic (or reality) behind the exercise: while hearing your negative side rant and rave unrestrained, you hear truth. Sometimes, your negative side has a good point, just not to such an extreme (like the point about being self centered.) Other times, the negativity is rooted in such an obviously silly and unreasonable fear, that you can let the negative idea go with a laugh (like the point about being ugly, fat, and unlovable.) Either way, you see the truth, and it is freeing.

I do this whenever I feel overwhelmed or clouded or disconnected. Sometimes once a week or every other. Sometimes every couple days, if I'm having a rough week. If you have anxiety or negativity issues, maybe it's worth giving it a shot? Check out The Map for more thorough detail!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Accidental pacifier weaning!

The unthinkable has happened, unplanned and unexpectedly...

November is weaned the the binky! I had been hoping for this day, but wasn't sure how it would really unfold. I had been plotting subtle ways to make it disappear, trying to 'forget' it when we went for car rides. But it turns out, all I had to do was...nothing.

While at grandma's house last Sunday, she bit the tip off her binky, like she had done so many other times. If it had happened at home, I would have given her a new one. But at grandma's, she had no choice but to go without. I was so nervous how she'd act on the car ride home, but she napped the whole time. She asked for it when she woke up, so I showed her and said, "it's broken, remember?" She took it, and put it back down, and went about the rest of our day.

I decided to give it a trial run overnight. When she asked for it in bed, I gave it to her and she tried to suck on it. Frustrated, she put it down and tossed and turned herself to sleep. And she's been fine without it ever since! She's been falling asleep without it a little easier every night. I admit, it's a little harder for her to fall back asleep if she wakes early, but I know she'll get used to it just fine.

It's amazing, I never thought she could be this easy without her binky! Whenever she asks for it, I just remind her it's broken, and she says, "it broken! Threw away!" Happily, even. Who woulda thought?!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

'Life is perfect' painting!

Here is my new painting in my new room! The words on this painting are lyrics from my newest song 'all I need' which I wrote about November. It's the perfect painting for our bedroom!
And better's for sale! I've posted this painting (and one other, more to come as well) as a made to order, customizable painting. Buyers can choose colors to match their decor, or just get a made to order replica of the one above which is gray, white, yellow, and turquoise (the lettering outline). My store is called Tess and Tigerlily. It's a work in progress and I hope to get more paintings done and posted soon!

Visit my etsy shop!


Being single

  I have never before been so content being single. I love being single right now! At the moment, I feel no desperate need to date or to have a boyfriend. In fact, the idea of dating right now sounds more annoying than anything.

And it's not that I'm avoiding dating. It's not that I wouldn't date someone. It's just that I feel like it would take quite the 'someone' to win me over right now, and I'm just not interested in wasting time with anyone less than that 'someone.'

And it's not that I'm afraid of losing my freedom and single lifestyle. It's not that I'm 'living it up' or partying. It's not that I'm relishing attention, struttin' my stuff as a single lady. In fact, my lifestyle is pretty calm. I work, I interact with friends, go out from time to time. Or I'm at home, being a mommy, playing with November, laughing, acting silly. Or I'm working on goals, making art, writing songs. Or I'm cozy on the couch watching a movie, or reading a good fantasy book, or some non fiction, or the bible (yes, I read the bible in my free, single-lady time!) 

I'm just so in love with my life, my blessings, my day-to-day joy that I'm just not obsessed with changing it, like I may have been previously. There was a time when every moment spent single, without a relationship in the works, I felt the absence of a partner in every activity, every moment I lived. I just kept thinking how my activity or experience would be better if I had a boyfriend, if I had someone to share the moment with, if I had someone to come home to, help me take care of November, help me make decisions, bring me soup when I'm sick, watch movies with, be there for me. It didn't even matter whether or not he was the one, I just wanted, well, one.
Lately I've just felt complete as I am. Whole. My life is perfect just the way it is, with all of its flaws. There is no lack just because I'm single. My parenting isn't less because I'm a single mom. My experiences aren't any less joyful being experienced alone. I have a beautiful blessed life, I have November, I have family, I have friends, and I have God. 

Sure, it would be great to start a life with someone, to be with my soul mate, to fall in love again. But it shouldn't be two incomplete people looking for someone else to make life better, as so many relationships are. It should be two complete, whole people, creating something even bigger by being together. And that's what I want for myself.

I think a lot of this sense of 'completeness' comes from focusing on my spiritual life, deepening my relationship with God. It makes it easier to feel unconditionally loved, and to feel that love for others, instead of focusing on some lack of love. It fills that void I thought had to be filled by a romantic relationship; on the contrary, ONLY God, connecting to the light, can fill that void. And it makes it easier to let go, knowing God has my back. The right things and people will happen at the right time. The right guy will come into my life, if it is meant to be, when it is meant to be.

Friday, October 4, 2013

DIY jewelry cork board

Here's a fun way to add color to a room, organize your jewelry, and make use of an old, ugly cork board!

It started out with me wanting to display my accessories I wore as a bridesmaid in my friend's wedding. The idea of pinning them on a cork board crossed my mind, but it didn't look very appealing. But after a quick coat of pain, voila! Now I have a jewelry display in colors that complement my room!
You can see in the picture above that November's crib is now side-carred to my bed. This has been great because she can fall asleep next to me, and then if either of us wants more room later in the night, she can either roll into her crib, or I can scoot her over. Yes, she's almost two and still sleeps next to mama, but no complaints here. Our nights and mornings snuggled up next to my little girl are some of the most precious moments in my life.

I love our new apartment, but especially the colors and usage of small space In our tiny room. I will post pictures of the rest of our apartment in the future!


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

{Gratitude} October 2013

[the painting in the image above is available for sale here]

My life is so blessed and overflowing with love.

I am so grateful for my amazing daughter. Her life, laughter, voice, smile, words, cuddles, hugs, kisses, and playfulness bring unlimited joy into my life daily. Snuggling up next to her is the coziest place I could ever be. She's my best friend, she's my child. I can't imagine my life without her.

God is there for me whether I'm paying attention or not; whether I'm neglectful or grateful; whether I'm ignorant or awe-filled; he's still there blessing me immensely. He's there in my moment of need, in such obvious ways. Every hurt or disappointment has miraculously brought me closer to God...every time! 

I have such awesome friends, family, and co-workers. There's fun, friendship, love, laughter, serious heartfelt connections, lighthearted fun connections, joy, support, encouragement. They all rock.

Forgiveness is such a huge part of my life right now. Where would I be without it? Knowing I'm forgiven for my past makes every day new. Forgiving myself makes every mistake into a lesson that creates no baggage. Forgiving others of past hurts every day heals and moves me forward.

And then there are all the material blessings that I'm so grateful for: my cute apartment, my job, warm bed, cozy couch, food in the fridge, paying my bills happily. 

I have my ups and I have my downs. Joyous days, and then dark days. But I can always come back into my joy. It's always there when I'm ready to choose it. There is so much to be joyous about.