Category Archives: Parenting Perfection

Plan a “Soul Day”

Following up from yesterday’s post, it seems like a good time to talk about “soul days”.

Plan a “soul day” during which you explore the deeper aspects of yourself that tend to get ignored. It doesn’t have to be an entire day off, but rather plan a portion of a particular day (or string of days) to do the following things:

Be Soul Full.

You are not made from the clothes you wear, the car you drive, or the house you live in. Really look deeper into your internal makeup and determine who you are on the inside. Truly knowing yourself is critical to achieving your dreams.

Cultivate and Create!

One way to learn about yourself is to participate in activities that require you to channel your creative side. Use art supplies, music, dance, anything that will help you reconnect to a deeper part of you.

Go on a Passion Quest.

For a period of time, use passion as a barometer for deciding what you will and won’t do (when choice is an option). Over the course of the next few days, whether work-related or during personal time, notice what excites you versus what drains you. Reignite your passion by simply doing more of what you love.

Clear Your Mind.

Notice any tension you’re facing right now. Imagine it drifting farther away as you slow your breathing, relax your body, and quiet your mind. Carve out this quiet time to listen to a part of you that rarely gets heard.

Beneath the daily turmoil, hear the wisdom in your whispers. By taking a break each day to relax and listen to yourself you will find that you reach a heightened sense of awareness that allows you to visualize your future more clearly.

Importance of Rest

Hey you!

Yeah, you! The one reading this on your phone with a coffee in the other hand running to your next pressing engagement.

Slow down.

Slow down so life can catch up.

Do you have any idea what the daily bustle may be doing to you? Aside from potential health issues, it could also be hindering you from being your best and realizing your true potential.

Arrange a day of “nothing planned,” letting your natural rhythm set the pace.

Sleep when you’re tired.

Eat when you’re hungry.

Let the dreamer in you awake from the drowsy sleep of disregard. With pen in hand, be attentive and hear what it has to offer. The chaos of life can be a rather hostile environment for dreams and ideas.

While hard work is often necessary to achieve success, quiet time is also necessary to ponder your goals and evaluate what you are doing to achieve these goals. Maybe you want to be the best parent for your kids, maybe you want to start a stay-at-home business or maybe you already have one, and you’re wondering how to take it to the next level.

Mired in reality, living within our clocks and calendars, passion and dreams can seem frivolous. But without our dreams, life becomes stagnant and mundane. Schedule an extremely overdue “dream vacation” or at least embark on a “dream day”.

Time resting is time well spent.

Integrity is the new black

One of the most critical attributes necessary for realizing your dreams is integrity.

By living a life of integrity, you can be proud of who you are, what you’ve accomplished, and have confidence in your ability to rise to even higher heights.

In a conversation about achieving your dreams, integrity is essential and can be summarized as simple as: say what you mean and mean what you say.

Why is this so critical? How can you truly focus your energy if you are being held down by guilt or self doubt?

Live a purpose driven life by honoring your agreements and living by your word. People will want to work with you, and that is the key achieving your dreams.

The enemy of realizing our dreams? Self doubt.

Lying to yourself can fuel self doubt and be harmful to your dream. Many people color reality, making it better or worse than it actually is. If you don’t have a clear vision of where you are, how can you make clear decisions or know where you might need help?

Report accurately on where you are and the status of your dream. Define the necessary strategy for progress and to achieve your goals and adjust accordingly. When you accomplish a milestone, take time to celebrate or at least to acknowledge your achievement.

Self doubt occurs if you only dream but never take action. It is essential that the dream move forward. Break your dream into short-term projects. If you are unwilling to turn your dreams into projects, check and see if this is what you truly want.

Maybe you’ve been focusing on the wrong thing. Maybe this dream isn’t your dream at all, but the expectations of others. Be truthful with yourself.

Having integrity is the only way to truly identify what you want.


The Leap is the Easy Part

It had been on my bucket list for years, but I froze when the opportunity was right in front of me.

Anytime I heard the word “skydive,” it sent a burst of excitement through my body.  I knew that one day it was the kind of extraordinary leap of faith that I wanted to take, but I never imagined the day would actually come.

This past summer, my husband called me to say that his brother Jack had invited us to spend some time at the lake with his family. Jack is a professional skydiver, and he runs his own drop zone in Cushing, Oklahoma, which we would have the opportunity to visit over the course of our trip.

Oh crap, I thought to myself.   Here I had been saying for years that I wanted to skydive and now the opportunity was here.  Inside, part of me was leaping “YES!” and the other part of me wanted to backspace and delete all prior thoughts I ever had about jumping out of a plane.  My mind raced from “YES” to “Absolutely NOT” and to every nook and cranny in between.

And then it happened.  I landed on a firm and confident NO.  I decided it would be careless and irresponsible for me, as a mother of two young boys, to take such a risk.  What if something happened to me and they were left motherless?

Later I spoke with Kim, my business partner at Frame of Mind Coaching and my dear friend.   When she heard that I wouldn’t be going skydiving, she asked “Is skydiving on your bucket list?”  I hesitantly replied, “Well, yeah, I guess it was at one time”.  She then said 13 words that I will never forget.

“What if your greatest responsibility as a parent is to live life fully?”

These words cut through all of my excuses and landed precisely on my heart. I have always felt committed to living life to the fullest, being courageous, and doing things that allow me to spread my wings and grow. I realized that by turning down the opportunity to skydive, I would be making a decision that was out of alignment with my values.

Kim’s words knocked down all of the fear long enough for me to pause and reconsider skydiving.  In the coming days and weeks leading up to our trip, I’d remember my bigger purpose and I’d trust my instincts to make an aligned decision.

I’m not going to lie, I wrestled with bucket-loads of fear and the idea of being irresponsible over and over again.

Fast forward to four days into our vacation.  We were boating, fishing, relaxing, and connecting.  But, in the back of my mind the questions were relentless. Was I going to jump out of a plane?  Was it the right thing to do?  What would others think?  Would I live?  What if I died?  And on and on and on.

The moment of truth had almost arrived.  It was the last day at the lake and I had a very restless night of sleep, tossing and turning in my bed and in my mind.

The next morning, the family hopped into the car and drove four hours to the drop zone.  My mind began racing and my stomach began churning.

In the midst of the uncertainty, a vision of a different kind began to surface.  I began to imagine the parachute lifting, my feet hitting the ground, hugging my boys and husband, the smiles, the exhilaration, the storytelling, and the knowledge that I’d taken an ultimate leap of faith.

Once I imagined it working out, everything began to shift.  Game on.

We spotted the drop zone from the road, a white structure with the words “Sky Dive” written in big, red letters.  We circled around, parked the car and made our way to the front.  The place was buzzing. People were sitting around on couches, watching and waiting for their loved ones to take the big leap.  My eyes landed on the electronic listing of skydivers for the day.  I had already been put on the schedule.  One hour from then, I’d be making the jump.

The mental struggle was over.  Excitement began to stir.  They geared me up, goggles and all. I met my tandem jumper who happened to be a very normal looking dad.  It was comforting thinking if a dad can be out there every weekend jumping, surely I could do it once.  We hopped on the golf cart and headed for Jack’s plane.

Being Jack’s sister-in-law, I got “special treatment.”  Not exactly the special treatment I was looking for: I got to sit in the co-pi seat of the plane while all the other skydivers piled in the back, and I soon found out that I would be going up a few thousand feet higher than the others to take my jump.

When my turn came, I was instructed to scoot out of the co-pi seat on my butt and inch my way towards the four-foot door that was WIDE open.  My tandem was behind me and he buckled me in securely.  He proceeded to put his hands on my shoulders and motioned to me that we would first lean out of the plane, then in and the 3rd time around we would literally fall out of the plane.  It was in this moment that at last I surrendered completely and trusted…

Here we goooooooo!

Falling, falling, falling, fierce wind whipped the skin on my cheeks.  I had no thoughts other than making sure my hands and feet were in the right position.  No thought of when the parachute was going to open.  I was just in it.  And, then a sudden jolt – the parachute had opened!  It was like a rollercoaster, floating and diving down to the ground.  I saw my boys (all three of them) below watching and waving.  Relief, exhilaration and aliveness set in and my feet hit the ground.

It turned out just as I had imagined in that one unique, extraordinary stream of thought.

I will never forget the complete uninhibited exhilaration and joy that filled my entire being.  The physical sensation lasted for hours.  The experience will stay with me forever and is a constant reminder to push through, to live in alignment and to take more leaps.  The leap is actually nothing in comparison to the struggle and anguish that I created in my mind.

The leap is the easy part.  And from here forward I vow to take more of them.

So what’s your next sky dive?  It might be having that conversation you’ve been putting off with your spouse, leaving a job you know is draining your soul, or putting a stake in the ground for your next audacious goal.   What’s the greater risk – taking the leap or betraying what is in your heart?   You get to choose.

Contributed by Business, Life and Relationship Coach, Carla Reeves

Do not kill yourself over a deadline. Unlike actual death, it can be rescheduled.

Scheduling unrealistic deadlines leads to disappointment, and disappointment can cause you to give up or miss opportunities. When you’re overwhelmed, self doubt can undermine you.

Use your time wisely. Set up a system that works for you so that you don’t constantly feel bad that you didn’t accomplish your goal. Making progress will fuel your passion and turn you on to more opportunities.

Unrealistic deadlines do not allow you to build confidence. Setting attainable goals helps you to gain confidence each time you accomplish one of your goals. With your newfound confidence you can set and achieve more difficult goals. Conversely, if you repeatedly miss deadlines you will lose confidence and begin to doubt yourself.

If you’re beginning to have self doubt about your ability to get things done, maybe it’s because you think, “It’s easier to do it myself.” Only you have what it takes to get things done, but you don’t have the time, so nothing gets done.

That’s a poor strategy for success, so get help. Identify the resources and opportunities available and use them. The single most powerful thing you can do to make your dream come true is share your dream with someone who is on your side.

Hiring a life coach can also help you to achieve your goals. A life coach can work with you to assess your current lifestyle and make suggestions for changes that could help you achieve your goals. A life coach can work with you to formulate a strategy for achieving your goals.

Do you have a box of rice under your bed?

We have three boys in our family who absolutely love anything truck, tractor or big machine related.  If they can take it in the sandbox and dig with it, dump with it or bury it, they will play with it for hours.

Summer was coming to an end and the days of spending the afternoons outside and in the sand were coming to a close.  Soon it would be too cold and digging, dumping and burying would have to wait for warmer weather to return.

Or would it? Not when you have a Nana as cool as ours. Nana keeps a very neat house where toys and love are abundant, but messes are not.  The idea of bringing sand into the house was not even an option.

However, when there is a will to bring joy to those you love, there’s a way. So Nana went to the store, found a 2 x 3 foot plastic container and filled it with rice.  Her plan was: Play and dig to your heart’s content, then quickly clean up with Mr. Kirby, pop the top back on and slide it back under the bed.  What FUN!

Sometimes I even find myself getting down in the rice to join them.partially to spend time with my boys, but partially to just play in the rice myself.  There’s something therapeutic about feeling the grains run through my fingers and watching them fall, then burying the cement mixer with the backhoe and dump truck, and then digging it back out with the front loader.

It takes me back to a time when not a day went by that I didn’t make time to play.  I played with a sibling, went to the neighbors or just found something to engage the imagination.

Life can get so crazy busy; It is easy to forget the joys of playing as a child and the benefits we gain by continuing to make time to play as adults.

So create your own box of rice: Take a walk in a creek, go for an adventure through the woods and build a snowman with style. Reach back to the days of play and I bet you will smile and feel lighter!

Contributed by Executive, Money and Relationship Coach,  Becca Buttermore