Category Archives: Blog

We are Coming Together instead of Coming Undone

We are Coming Together instead of Coming Undone

 

I watched with tears this week about the seven innocent men that aren’t with us anymore and felt sick thinking about their families while watching their worst moments being broadcast live.

We all struggled watching bad decisions being acted out, men taking their last breaths and witnessing the emotions that followed. We watched someone’s life ending yet it seemed clear from the images that it shouldn’t have happened.

Everything was so unimaginable. I forced myself to imagine how it would be to wake up one morning not knowing that I would die that day and about how much I take for granted. I thought about what I was doing yesterday at lunchtime. I was sitting at a restaurant having lunch with my daughter and her friend. We were laughing, eating and talking about the movie we’d be seeing later that night, positive that we’d be seeing it simply because we had bought the tickets. When the victims woke that day, surely they believed they’d be going back to bed that night, like we all assume every day. But during the course of a day, suddenly they weren’t thinking anything. Their ability to go to a movie, go to work, sit with family and visit friends disappeared as they lost the freedom to take a breath.

One man had just dealt with a pesky homeless man who happened to have a phone and called 911 to report him. And a man that was responsible for making sure that children were fed each day in their school cafeteria didn't know that his fate would be decided by a broken tail light.

Those deaths then created change in the lives and deaths of five other innocent men. Men who weren't wearing protective gear because they were working a peaceful protest and they trusted the crowds on this. They didn’t die because they weren’t wearing their gear, they died because of hate and pain and bad decisions.

I always try to find the silver lining in everything to better understand the why, and right now it's everywhere. There’s an outpouring of love on social media, a tribute that we feel for them and their families and that we are with them through this. We know that they were men who were loved with families and friends and we want them to know that we offer our support and love. There’s anger, but overwhelmingly there’s love and people pleading for peace and acceptance and coming together. The storm of response is showing that today and tomorrow, there is more love in the world because of it. It’s created more connection and softened so many hearts.

When tragedies occur, people from all over the globe voice their support and concern and care for the families. But even so, what is the silver lining for the loved ones?

Philando Castile, the manager of a school cafeteria, had his girlfriend and her young daughter with him in the car when he was killed. The video his girlfriend recorded after he was shot is hard to watch, but there’s a tiny glimmer of light near the end of the video. She stays calm for most of the recording but she starts to panic near the end because she’s been removed from being with her wounded boyfriend and has no idea if he’s okay. Her four-year-old daughter is off camera sitting next to her in the backseat of a patrol car. As her mom becomes more and more upset, you can hear the little girl speaking softly.

 “It’s okay. I’m right here with you.”

That glimmer of light came from a little girl who was sitting in the back of a patrol car for no reason, and who had just witnessed a police officer shoot her mom’s friend, and was now watching her mother become unglued.

The families might not ever find their silver lining, but maybe we can be the silver lining for them. We can take what a four-year-old daughter said to her mom in a time of panic and say it to them and to each another: I’m here with you, I’m here for you.

We are all here together, whether we like it or not, and I know we can do better than this.

No one should have to be sad and afraid because their skin is dark. We all have skin, eyes, hearts, blood, bones, souls and families that would miss us if we were gone tomorrow.

Never mind embracing and being more open to our differences. We need to recognize and embrace our similarities.

We can’t sit back and shake our heads. We have to say yes, we are one and we are all in this together.

I normally pass on the news, but today I’m passing on the love because of the news. These tragedies are the reason to reach out to do better and to be better. All of our tears collectively can turn into rivers of love that will run through our streets and homes and hearts and remind us that we are all silver linings.

xo Katherine www.backtobeingawoman.com

 

“S” is for Simplify

Do you love Henry David Thoreau as much as I do? I don’t know him personally, 🙂 but I wish I did. I skim through his quotes and I feel like he was talking to me. He talked about simplifying life as the key. (Take a moment to Google him to look through his quotes. My guess is that you would forget about me.) 

I treasure the idea of simplifying, but I seem to allow my brain to stay on overwhelm, even if I shouldn’t.

When I’m relaxing at home, there's always a few distractions calling out my name to remind me to get them done; the front door calls out my name three different times at bedtime asking me to make sure that it’s locked...just in case. My laundry; even when I’ve finished it for the day, there’s still a delicate or a dark laying in the bottom of the hamper saying,“I know I’m supposed to wait until you have more of us, but I feel dirty. Can you please just send me through the delicate cycle by myself?”

I have such a hard time letting myself rest when I'm at home, and I feel like if I had less, I'd relax more.

After my Mom died, my three sisters and I went through her home and belongings. I went for the books because I wanted to see what pages she had marked and dog-eared, what books were her favorites, what quotes were highlighted and who she had read again and again. I was surprised to find quite a few Henry David Thoreau books because she never mentioned him. She had highlighted one quote from Walden and Other Writings of Henry David Thoreau, and the quote defined my mom to a “T.”

 

“Simplify the outward circumstances – learn to delight in the simple pleasures which the world of nature affords. Also means, scorn public opinion – refuse to accept the common definitions of success – refuse to be moved by the judgement of others.” – Walden and Others Writings of Henry David Thoreau,” edited and with an Introduction by Joseph Wood Krutch.

 

 

She had also written the quote on a slip of paper that she seemed to use as a bookmark. I wondered whether she recognized herself in this quote, or if she strived to be that simplified.

 

She treasured simple things, found wonder in simple pleasures, loved being outside and at the beach, and never cared what people thought of her. She’s the one that taught me to never worry about what people think, and in a separate lesson, do worry about how they feel. Two very different connections to others, and lessons that I carry around with me to this day that I have passed on to my kids.

When I was married, I lived in big homes and had lots of stuff. Now I live in a condo and I still have lots of stuff. It doesn’t compute. But I know when I pare down, I feel better, lighter and happier.

 

“We are happy in proportion to the things we can do without.”

 

Guess who said that.

“S” is for Simplify because life is already hard. If I can find a way to add more simplicity, I'm in.

 

What one thing can you do this week to simplify your life?

Your answer might be different every week, but if you ask yourself that question every Sunday, who knows what things you might accomplish.

My answer this week is that my lanai needs to be simplified, cleaner and cozier. I spend about an hour out there every day now that summer is here. It’s hot but I cherish the quiet of summer so much that I don’t mind the heat. I actually have three orchids blooming out there right now. Normally I don’t even have one. My lanai is calling out my name to come sit down. To be out there enjoying the outside and my surroundings would add simplicity to my life, so I am pledging to create a better lanai by next Sunday, simply put.

I will see you letter! xo

 

"Our life is frittered away by detail... simplify, simplify."  HDT 

 

 

Make Better Choices Today 2016 ~               xo Katherine

 

Katherine is doing an ABC Blog Series for #BetterChoices2016 in order to make 2016 your best year yet. Follow her blog at www.backtobeingawoman.com or get the blogs as soon as they are sent out by signing up for her newsletters.

Find previous ABC Blogs here.

"A" is for accepting your present existence
"B" is for be you
"C" is for create
"D" is for do
"E" is for eating and exercising
"F" is for free to choose
"G" is for grit
"H" is for higher
"I" is for intelligence preservation
"J" is for just dance
"K" is for kick crap to the curb
"L" is for look for the lesson
"M" is for Making Memories Last
"A" - "M" to Better Choices
"N" is for Nurture
"O" is for optimum
"P" is for moms are pack leader
"Q" is for  Quiet your Mind
"R" is for Reorganize

Get my Newsletter here to keep up with my news and weekly blogs.

Share this with friends that could do 2016 with us.

Follow me on Facebook  and  Twitter
Books by Katherine A. Rayne on Amazon.com.
Lost in Thoughts Adult Coloring Book An Adult Coloring Book that interviews you with each illustration.
Back to Being a Woman (Without Changing the Man) Turn relationships into elationships.
#Living Simply #Living Elegantly Your Life Journal Get your head and home in sync.
There's a Light at the End of the Tunnel. You A compilation of my blogs that all women can relate to.

Visit my website at www.backtobeingawoman.com

“R” is for Reorganzing

R is for Reorganizing

I’m not very good at purging, but I love how it feels when I do. I’ve written a whole book on decluttering; decluttering your home, a room, one drawer, your refrigerator and even your mind. The feeling I get from cleaning, organizing, purging and refocusing feels as good as retail therapy to me.

I do a battle with clutter in my home during busy times, especially during the last month or so. My drop spots that become cluttered immediately are the kitchen counter, the foyer and in a corner in my family room. For two months straight, I was running in so many different directions without being able to slow down. One morning while I grabbed a pair of shoes out of the closet when I was on my way out the door yet again, I noticed that my closet had basically become an explosion of shoes. As I was putting them on, a label on one of my small shoe bins caught my eye. It was a label from a time when I was younger and more organized. The label was peeking out from behind the shoe explosion pile. It reads “Lego Manuals.”

When my now 23 year-old son was young, he had Legos galore, and each set came with instructions. Very often the structures would be built, then broken down, and all of the pieces would end up in one bucket swimming with a million other Lego pieces. Anytime he wanted to rebuild one, we’d pull out the Lego manuals so that we would know what pieces were needed. As challenging as the structures were to build, the manuals were always easy to find in their separate little bin. Boy do I miss those days.

As a single-working mom, there’s no going back to that life, but I still like doing the decluttering from time to time to rid myself of the stuff that I don’t need. Hence, "R" is for Reorganizing.

The book I've written was born out of a state of overwhelm and too much stuff in my home. I needed to simplify and get rid of tons of clothes, and yes, shoes. I had clutter piles in every room. So I wrote #Live Simply #Live Elegantly Your Life Journal, in order to journal my way through my home and my head. It worked, so I published my book and I plan to put it to use each summer to reclaim a more organized frame of mind.

I love the feeling I get just by cleaning out and organizing one drawer, so the book multiplies that feeling with each chapter of decluttering and simplifying.

You don't need the book to do it, either. Just start with the room that you are in right now. What can you get rid of? What don't you love? What's been out of place for a long time? What items are just outdated? Use a pair of fresh eyes if you can. What paintings are you not in love with that hang on your wall? When I sit in a room where I love the things surrounding me, it is a more refreshed and focused room for me. Doing one room at a time is all it takes.

Make #BetterChoices2016 today!    Katherine

Are you wanting to declutter your home and mind? Here’s my book. xo

And here's a freebie...here's how I declutter my intestines. If you want to try this, here's my mustard and lemon dressing recipe. xo

"R" is for Roughage

Always check with a health provider for dietary changes.

Katherine is doing an ABC Blog Series for #BetterChoices2016 in order to make 2016 your best year yet. Follow her blog at www.backtobeingawoman.com or get the blogs as soon as they are sent out by signing up for her newsletters.

Find previous ABC Blogs here.

"A" is for accepting your present existence
"B" is for be you
"C" is for create
"D" is for do
"E" is for eating and exercising
"F" is for free to choose
"G" is for grit
"H" is for higher
"I" is for intelligence preservation
"J" is for just dance
"K" is for kick crap to the curb
"L" is for look for the lesson
"M" is for Making Memories Last
"A" - "M" to Better Choices
"N" is for Nurture
"O" is for optimum
"P" is for moms are pack leader  "Q" is for  Quiet your Mind

Get my Newsletter here to keep up with my news and weekly blogs. Share this with friends that could do 2016 with us.

Follow me on Facebook  and  Twitter
Books by Katherine A. Rayne on Amazon.com.
Lost in Thoughts Adult Coloring Book An Adult Coloring Book that interviews you with each illustration.
Back to Being a Woman (Without Changing the Man) Turn relationships into elationships.
#Living Simply #Living Elegantly Your Life Journal Get your head and home in sync.
There's a Light at the End of the Tunnel. You A compilation of my blogs that all women can relate to.
Visit my website at www.backtobeingawoman.com

“Q” is for Quiet your Mind

 

“Q” is for Quiet your Mind. How often do you do that for yourself?

This is a good one for me this week. I know its good advice, but to that, I say; what happens when you don’t have the time to quiet your mind? Like me. Like this week.

 

Something really important to know is that if you don’t slow yourself down, the Universe, God or your body will. You might catch a cold or the flu and you’ll finally have to lay down, or in my case you could break your cellphone.

 

I had a horacious day the other day, and I just now discovered that is not a word, but it makes the right sound and noise to describe my day. It wasn’t an end of the world kind of day but it was a long-hard-busy-no-end-in-sight kind of day that lived up to its title.

I’ll make a long story a little less long by talking about the things that matter to the story.

Mid-day, I met my ex-sis-in-law and superhero friend for a late lunch because her son was at basketball and my daughter was at dance and we were both in limbo. (Hmmmm…Limbo-Bimbo’s.) During our meal, I went to dig out my phone from my purse, but I couldn’t find it. It was so deep in that she had to call it and the vibration gave me that sense of relief that I needed. You know that feeling when you think you’ve lost your phone, or realize that you’ve left it behind at home? It’s earth-shattering.

I relayed to her in my relief that I felt my phone was more important than my wallet anymore. Everything in my wallet was replaceable, but the phone and its contents were irreplaceable. We laughed but we knew it was true.

Six more stops and three and a half hours later, I was finally putting my key in my front door. More relief came over me. It was after 9:30 p.m., and my daughter was home with homework finished, shower done, and ready to get some sleep. I couldn’t wait to get on the other side of my front door after my day. As my key turned, my phone dropped. I didn’t think anything of it because I drop it all of the time, but I’d forgotten that in order to charge my phone in the car, I had removed the cover. As I picked up my cherished possession, the cracks in the glass might as well have been a deadly spider bite. I was sick instantly.

9:35 p.m. + a friend in the hospital + a really long day + hungry + tired + a few more chores at home + a cracked phone = the straw that broke the camel’s back. Just ask my daughter. I actually cried, probably not entirely over my phone, but because of the weight of the day behind the broken phone. She was stunned. I never cry and I never allow her to see my broken camel back, but truth is better than fiction sometimes.

By morning, I felt better. My sleep had dusted away the dirt of the previous day and I was more clear-headed. We talked again about my phone in the morning, most likely because I had looked at it five times before breakfast as a habit, and even though I would see the cracked glass each time, I really was feeling better about it. I told her what I’d said to my ex-sis about how important my phone was. I’m open to signs. I told my daughter God was reminding me that my phone was NOT important…and He felt the need to drill that fact into my silly little head.

Sooooo….long story, long… :] …quieting our mind is important, to corral us through those days when we are in over our head. You already know how to get your quiet time in. You don’t need a how-to or any new suggestions because you already know what works for you.

You just need to know that you need to do it.
 
 

 

There isn’t always time, so on the days or weeks that you can’t fit your needed time in, plan ahead for it so that it’s on your horizon. Give yourself something to look forward to during those crazy days or weeks. I have a four day weekend on the horizon. I’ll be busy and I’ll be resting both, but I know that I can decompress all of the overload over the course of my cherished long weekend. And I will. It’s Thursday night and I’ve just finished a plate of gouda cheese with Cheez-it crackers (the only cracker in the house) with a glass of wine and next to me is my cracked phone that all weekend will be making me think of God. Amen to that.

 Now, Be Quiet.

And…just in case you DO need a guide on how to quiet your mind, I’ve created a Freebie AND I spent part of my cherished, badly needed weekend creating it for you, so be my guest.  These are ten ways to quiet your mind that don’t take a lot of time and can be done throughout the day.

 
 
Make Better Choices Today 2016 ~               xo Katherine

 

Katherine is doing an ABC Blog Series for #BetterChoices2016 in order to make 2016 your best year yet. Follow her blog at www.backtobeingawoman.com or get the blogs as soon as they are sent out by signing up for her newsletters.

Find previous ABC Blogs here.

"A" is for accepting your present existence
"B" is for be you
"C" is for create
"D" is for do
"E" is for eating and exercising
"F" is for free to choose
"G" is for grit
"H" is for higher
"I" is for intelligence preservation
"J" is for just dance
"K" is for kick crap to the curb
"L" is for look for the lesson
"M" is for Making Memories Last
"A" - "M" to Better Choices
"N" is for Nurture
"O" is for optimum
"P" is for moms are pack leader

Get my Newsletter here to keep up with my news and weekly blogs. Share this with friends that could do 2016 with us.

Follow me on Facebook  and  Twitter
Books by Katherine A. Rayne on Amazon.com.
Lost in Thoughts Adult Coloring Book An Adult Coloring Book that interviews you with each illustration.
Back to Being a Woman (Without Changing the Man) Turn relationships into elationships.
#Living Simply #Living Elegantly Your Life Journal Get your head and home in sync.
There's a Light at the End of the Tunnel. You A compilation of my blogs that all women can relate to.
Visit my website at www.backtobeingawoman.com

 

“P” is for Moms are Pack Leaders

"P" is for Moms are PACK Leaders

 If you are a mom, you are the leader of your pack.

Once we become a mom, we instantly (and instinctively) become a light to someone’s path. We become the leader of our Pack. Our decisions from that moment on are no longer about our previous existence. They are about our future and our Littles future. It becomes about survival and safety and nurturing and motherhood and strength and we suddenly realize that all of those responsibilities lie in our own hands.

From day one we start showering them with love. We hear and answer their cries, even crying with them at times. I once cut my newborns thumb instead of his thumb nail and we both wailed together until his dad came home. A month ago, I had to crank my daughter’s jaw expander for the first time while she laid there mouth wide-open knowing how much it was going to hurt. They hurt = we hurt. Our love is endless and unconditional, meaning that we never want them to hurt. As they walk with us, we want to show them not only how to survive, but how to thrive.

They have our love and our respect. We let them know that we are there when they need us. We allow them to make their own choices, like picking out their own juice box flavor at the grocery store or by asking them to pick out a head of cauliflower. We let them know that their thoughts count, their decisions are smart, their school work is worthy and their talents are impressive. We show them again and again that they matter, they matter, they matter.

We teach them to respect us. We are the leader of the pack. Think ducklings, wolf pups and cats. We are momma’s that put our Littles in place when they literally get out of line. We do it to teach them. We do it for their safety. So that weeks and months and years into the future, they will still be safe and still be making wise choices. Our Littles need a strong leader who won’t falter when they do.

Many of us don’t spank our kids, but mommahood still requires a firm hand. When we put them in a time out, we aren’t protecting them from their bad decision today, we are protecting them from their bad decisions in 8, 10, and 12 years, and when they make the big mistakes, when they hurt our feelings, when they do wrong, we become more unearthed with a stronger desire to help them through it, to help them fix it and to help them right it. We want to tell them that’s not who they are, that they’re better than that, and we point them back in the right direction. Our love adheres to their little souls like glue.

My son had a little friend years ago when he was about four. His friend was into everything, while my son knew his friends' choices weren’t the same as his own. He’d watch his little friend get into trouble again and again. He’d watch the mom’s response to see what she would do. The mom would make lots of noise but no action followed, so the boy would always go past the boundaries. After weeks of playdates, my son decided that his friend was having more fun than he was so he started to act out with him. At the playground one day, the little boy ran up to the exit gate, smiling and watching his mom’s reaction as he opened it to go out. She yelled out at him, but he went anyway. It took one quick backward glance and my son was right behind him. In a matter of moments, I was at the gate gathering them back into the playground. With one event, my son found it wouldn’t work with me and his walk on the dark side ended. He didn’t get a bite from me, but he got a “no, you’re not allowed.”

There are lots of places for “soft” when you’re a mom; cuddles, laughter, tickles, snuggles, bedtime and fun. But we can’t go soft when it comes to discipline. When we ask something of our Littles, whether it be to get back in line, or to put something down or to listen better, and they don’t, we can’t go soft. If we go soft, they watch it happen. They notice that we let it go. So they decide in that moment that what we had asked of them must not have been that important. Each time after that when we bark at them to get back in line, they know that it’s not that important, and not because they disrespect us, but because we taught them that it wasn’t that important. They learn from us.

Moms are brave, strong, powerful, nurturing, loving and at times intense pack leaders, and it all comes from one place; love, unearthed by our vision of their future and the path that they will follow.

Survive, Littles, so that we can love you long and hard and one day stand back and watch you when you unearth your own love. Our job as pack leaders is hard but the love we carry in our hearts because of you, and the emotions that we feel when we watch your smile form at the corners of your mouth is proof that love is eternal and it’s our driving force. We walk in front of you because we light up the path. We force you to walk in the light over and over again so that you don’t ever have to walk in the dark.

So let us be your pack leader. We won’t do you wrong. We protect you from it. When we put you to sleep each night, whether you are 17 months or 17 years, we come back when you are sleeping. We stare at your innocence and drop our tears as we stare and count our blessings in your freckles and eyelashes. And then we turn away and close the door because we know in this darkness you are safe.

Make Better Choices Today 2016 ~               xo Katherine

Katherine is doing an ABC Blog Series for #BetterChoices2016 in order to make 2016 your best year yet. Follow her blog at www.backtobeingawoman.com or get the blogs as soon as they are sent out by signing up for her newsletters.

Find previous ABC Blogs here.

"A" is for accepting your present existence
"B" is for be you
"C" is for create
"D" is for do
"E" is for eating and exercising
"F" is for free to choose
"G" is for grit
"H" is for higher
"I" is for intelligence preservation
"J" is for just dance
"K" is for kick crap to the curb
"L" is for look for the lesson
"M" is for Making Memories Last
"A" - "M" to Better Choices
"N" is for Nurture
"O" is for Optimum

Get my Newsletter here to keep up with my news and weekly blogs. Share this with friends that could do 2016 with us.

Follow me on Facebook  and  Twitter
Books by Katherine A. Rayne on Amazon.com.
Lost in Thoughts Adult Coloring Book An Adult Coloring Book that interviews you with each illustration.
Back to Being a Woman (Without Changing the Man) Turn relationships into elationships.
#Living Simply #Living Elegantly Your Life Journal Get your head and home in sync.
There's a Light at the End of the Tunnel. You A compilation of my blogs that all women can relate to.
Visit my website at www.backtobeingawoman.com

“O” is for Optimum

"O" is for Optimum

 Optimum – adj. - most conducive to a favorable outcome; best.

How much do you do in your life that you can label as “optimum?” I’ve been thinking about it for a while and my answer would be nothing. When I eat, it’s not optimum to my health every single time. When I exercise, I could do much better. When I clean? Lol.

I feel like if I were to try to aim for optimum-everything, it would mentally and physically drain me, although if I were to be eating an optimum diet, I’d probably have superhuman energy. (Is optimum starting to sound a bit strange to you, too?).

I’m thinking the trick is to take aim in bite size pieces. I’ve been taking better care of my liver lately. I’ve been drinking and eating more bitter foods and liquids first thing in the morning and the last thing at night to rinse my liver of its toxic buildup. So if I stay on that course for a while, I’ll get closer to optimum liver health (if I stop eating CiCi’s Pizza cinnamon rolls).

I can eventually improve the care of my heart by increasing my cardio and eating a heart-healthier diet. I will continue to do that and then I’ll be ready to take on optimum brain care. I’m thinking I’ll just replace bread with avocado and replace chocolate with walnuts, or maybe keep the chocolate and lose the pasta. As much as I’d LOVE a clean diet, I don’t know how close I could get to it, but if I aim for optimum, and come up with very satisfactory, I’m still winning.

I was browsing Pinterest the other night again and came across a cool saying:

“In order to make the changes you want, you either need to start doing something, or stop doing something.”   unknown

That one sentence simplifies how to make changes, doesn't it? To rid yourself of that “bothersome habit” or to begin that “ideal project,” you can begin by either stopping it or starting it, and see where it takes you.

What is it that you’d love to change right now? What’s the first step that you can take to get there? How far can you push yourself to do the steps that it takes to get to “optimum?” Going as far as you can will make big changes in the long run.

Optimum – n. the most favorable conditions or level for growth, reproduction, or success. 

Do-able.

Make Better Choices Today 2016 ~               xo KatherineKatherine is doing an ABC Blog Series for #BetterChoices2016 in order to make 2016 your best year yet. Follow her blog at www.backtobeingawoman.com or get the blogs as soon as they are sent out by signing up for her newsletters.

Find previous ABC Blogs here.

"A" is for accepting your present existence
"B" is for be you
"C" is for create
"D" is for do
"E" is for eating and exercising
"F" is for free to choose
"G" is for grit
"H" is for higher
"I" is for intelligence preservation
"J" is for just dance
"K" is for kick crap to the curb
"L" is for look for the lesson
"M" is for Making Memories Last
"A" - "M" to Better Choices
"N" is for Nurture

Get my Newsletter here to keep up with my news and weekly blogs. Share this with friends that could do 2016 with us.

Follow me on Facebook  and  Twitter
Books by Katherine A. Rayne on Amazon.com.
Lost in Thoughts Adult Coloring Book An Adult Coloring Book that interviews you with each illustration.
Back to Being a Woman (Without Changing the Man) Turn relationships into elationships.
#Living Simply #Living Elegantly Your Life Journal Get your head and home in sync.
There's a Light at the End of the Tunnel. You A compilation of my blogs that all women can relate to.
Visit my website at www.backtobeingawoman.com

“N” is for Nurture – simple and sweet

"N" is for Nurture

I remember as a kid walking into a room where my mom was and telling her that I was bored. Her normal response was that she could find something for me to do. Read: UNfun. Chores. Boring. It seemed to work…I’d go find something else to do to become unbored with.

I always had The Jungle Book record on my record player in my bedroom that got me out of a lot of bored moments when my three sisters were in three different places somewhere else. I’d put on my record and see how much cleaning I could do in my bedroom before the record ended. After my room was clean, (to my standards) I’d see how many somersaults I could do during the song. Surely I’d lay down on my bed after that and then my imagination would take over from there.

It was a really great tactic so I of course used the same one when my kids began coming to me out of boredom, but eventually I began to see a pattern and realized that when they came to me out of boredom, they weren’t really looking for something more to do. They were looking for a moment of nurturing. Or a few minutes. Or an hour. So I decided to start giving it to them right then and there.

As a preschool teacher, the age I teach needs lots of nurturing moments. They don’t have to last long…they don’t even have to be a huge sympathetic deposit of love. They just need to include some eye contact, a listening ear and a warm hug. The result is instant and they are renewed and happy to go off and play once again.

In this day of phones, I often catch myself with my head in my phone when my daughter’s having an “I need you” moment and I’m like, hold on…almost finished answering this (unimportant-can-wait-until-later) text. I look up and she’s moved passed the needy moment but I feel I’ve missed that important moment of connection that you get to have less and less as they get older and older.

You can’t do these moments at your convenience. Kids move on easily and lose interest in your advice or kind words quickly when they are 12, 13 and more. You have to be in the moment with them when it comes around. Phones kinda’ suck the life-moments out of us, but also out of our kids.

What color eyes does my mom have? I don’t know…she’s always looking down in her phone. Maybe if I call her I can ask her.

When someone says “he just wants attention,” about a child, they are right. So we should give it to him. His way of acting out or acting up is saying, “help me….I can’t settle myself on my own right now.”

Kids don’t know our stresses, nor should they, but they still have their own that will stress them out in the same way. We are their stress-reducers. Teaching them that a calm adult is always close by will give them more reasons to be calm when they aren’t close.

So what do we need in order to nurture ourselves? Slow down. Quiet the noise. Go where there’s no distractions (we all need a break even from our kids sometimes). Every time I get myself to the beach, no matter how often I go, I ask myself while I’m there why I don’t go more often. It is always so calming and rejuvenating. Making sure that we have that place to go, wherever it is, is a priority. It’s an escape. You know how men have “mancaves?” My sister recently came up with a "womancave" of her own, the first I'd ever heard of. Make sure you have a “womancave” somewhere, and use it often.

Reading over this post, it's kind of gloomy. I think it’s because I had one of those moments yesterday with my daughter at breakfast, and I can’t take it back. Hopefully writing about it will bring me out of my phone-fog quicker the next time it happens. 🙂

So how are you going to nurture yourself starting today, during today? What's going to make you feel good? Do that. I'm going to go take my shower finally, and then spend the afternoon with my girlie. <3

Make Better Choices Today 2016 ~               xo Katherine

Katherine is doing an ABC Blog Series for #BetterChoices2016 in order to make 2016 your best year yet. Follow her blog at www.backtobeingawoman.com or get the blogs as soon as they are sent out by signing up for her newsletters.

Find previous ABC Blogs here.

"A" is for accepting your present existence
"B" is for be you
"C" is for create
"D" is for do
"E" is for eating and exercising
"F" is for free to choose
"G" is for grit
"H" is for higher
"I" is for intelligence preservation
"J" is for just dance
"K" is for kick crap to the curb
"L" is for look for the lesson
"M" is for making memories last
Read the highlights of Blogs "A" thru "M"

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Lost in Thoughts Adult Coloring Book An Adult Coloring Book that interviews you with each illustration.
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“A” through “M” of Better Choices

                                                                                                   I've written a blog for each letter of the alphabet up to "M" so far about evolving your life into a more creative, focused and fun way of living. And honestly, I don't put all of the suggestions to use every day, but the ones that I have consistently put to use have given me a better outlook, more satisfaction from what I can do in a day and have improved my habits. Read over my brief summaries of each blog here, and see which ones you can gain from.

A – M Highlights of the ABC Blog Series of #BetterChoices2016

A is for Accepting our existence which equals owning our burdens but not staying focused on the derailment that they cause us. Focus on and create positives in your life to offset the negative; start a hobby, call a good friend, plan something unexpected, begin a new tradition.

B is for Be You: Throw away worry (it's only your imagination, after all) so that you can stop squashing the positive thoughts waiting to happen.

C is for Create: We were created to create. The baby won’t go to sleep? Someone created the baby swing. Stuff too heavy to carry? The wheel, wheel-barrows and strollers were invented. It rains? Someone created the umbrella. Problems were fixed because one person chose to go one step further beyond being annoyed. They created a better way.

D is for Do: “Doing” leads to discovery.  We’ve mastered so many things in our life, but continuing to master new things leads us towards a constant renewal and far away from boredom and monotony.

E is for Eat/Exercise: We have something in common with SpongeBob Square Pants besides three names. We are sponges. Our body and organs absorb toxins from food and the environment. When we do strenuous activities like exercise and yoga, the movements squish those toxins out. (Rinse with waterwaterwater.) Exercise every day to keep your body and blood circulating. As for eating? Pretend that you are what you eat, because you are. Be green, strong, healthy and toxin-free.

F is for Free to Choose: The way your day will go is based on what choices you make as it progresses. Even if you are having the kind of day that you’d much rather be doing something else, but can’t, you get to choose the way you will experience it. You don’t have to wait and see how it will end, or let it end the same way that it always does. You're allowed to change it.

G is for Grit: An oyster can’t spit out his gritty grain of sand, which is really good news because it will eventually turn into a pearl. Don’t spit out your own grit. Begin the long process of turning it into something more beautiful than what it began as. Recognize the beauty that it adds to your life, not just the interruption that it makes.

H is for Higher: Don’t get stuck on the same step as your challenges. Go higher than the challenge to see what else is there waiting for you while you deal with it.
 
I is for Intelligence Preservation: Being open to new experiences has been proven to preserve fluid intelligence. Do things differently than how you’ve always done them. Keeping rejuvenation a part of our being is good for us.

J is for Just Dance: “Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly.” -G. K. Chesterton   
Don’t take yourself or life too seriously. Use laughter as medicine. Increase dosage as needed.

K is for Kick the Crap to the Curb: Keep a Promise Journal. Each morning, write down what promises you are making to yourself that day that will keep you far away from “crap-traps” like the wrong food and bad habits.

L is for Look for the Lesson: When you are having a conversation with yourself about whatever mess or challenge you are dealing with, stop and ask yourself, “what is the lesson I’m supposed to learn here.” There’s always a lesson and there’s always a silver lining.

M is for Make Memories Last: Create a Memory jar (Memory Jar Guide here) or document special moments by writing one sentence down at the end of every day about it and the date that it happened. When the end of the year comes, you can read and relive each moment.

When you wake up each day, remind yourself of the great day ahead and plan how you will make it great. Ask yourself early in the day what it is that will make the day great, and go do it. 

See you next time with "N." Right now it stands for Not sure what it will be about, but that's just me. If you want to read the previous blogs in full, they are below. And please share me with others if you think they could use a jumpstart to creating a life they love. 

Make Better Choices Today 2016 ~               xo Katherine

Katherine is doing an ABC Blog Series for #BetterChoices2016 in order to make 2016 your best year yet. Follow her blog at www.backtobeingawoman.com or get the blogs as soon as they are sent out by signing up for her newsletters.

Find previous ABC Blogs here.

  

“M” is for Eight (8) Ways to Make Memories Last

"M" is for Eight (8) Ways to Make Memories Last

Memory is a way of holding on to the things you love, the things you are, and the things you never want to lose.  -Kevin Arnold

 
Laundry is boring, but I do it over and over again. Most of the time you can find me doing it on the weekends with earphones on and my favorite music playing in my head. When I’m old and gray, I will probably look back on the memory of laundry, not as dull and monotonous, but as entertaining because of my music. I think making memories last will come easier if we tie fun into them.
 
I didn’t take anywhere near enough photos of my kids as they grew. I took many shots of my son while living special moments with him. With my daughter, I wanted to suck them up in a different way, by just being and watching instead of jumping up and getting my camera each time she did something that I wanted to remember. Then came phones with cameras. Now I take candid photos often and store them away for a glimpse any time I want. They are always there staring back at me and reminding me of the moments.
 
As time passes, things become less important, and memories become more vital and endearing.

Here are eight (8) ways to make them last:

  1.  Journal. I say this often for lots of reasons in many of my blogs. Journaling brings you closer to feeling the memories, reliving them, and embedding them further into memory. Even if you don’t like to write, (even I don’t like to take the time needed to journal daily), write a paragraph or two every couple of days of special things that happened. Writing them down stores them so that you can go back to them again and again. 

 

  1. Document. If journaling isn’t for you, have a notebook at your bedside and write one sentence at the end of each day documenting your favorite moment of the day. They may not be dramatic or exciting moments, but to sift through your day for “good” things is a healthy practice before bed and a double benefit to store it away to be remembered again.

 
 

  1. Photos: Whenever my family and I have a get-together or outings, we are so engaged in each other that we often forget to take photos. Such a waste! Take photos, even just a few. If you are tired of the same posing, boring, say-cheese shots, make it interesting. At our last dinner out with my sisters, I took a picture of my birthday sister through my wine glass. Double loves; wine and my sis together in one.

 

  1. Photo Story. I have a super young-at-heart aunt who is dealing with dementia, but we still get visits from her and my uncle once a year, but less and less because trips are becoming more difficult for her. During one of her last visits, I took her to the botanical gardens and used my phone to take countless photos of her genuine smile and silly poses that she is famous for. We went right to the drugstore afterwards to develop and print out our photos so that I could share them with my uncle, remember the day, and so that she’d have a souvenir of a day she might not remember. It was a special day for me to have her all to myself and enjoy her humor and wit that she never loses, even after losing some of her memory.

 
 

  1. Memory jar. Even if you don’t do this every single day, keep the jar out for all to see and be reminded of with a pen and plenty of pretty slips of paper to write on. Encourage everyone to add to this jar regularly, including guests when they visit. When the end of the year comes, you get to relive each moment together by reading them out loud.

 

  1. Talk about special moments. Even if you don’t write them down, discuss the best part of your day with family (vs. the failures, the bumps, the problems) to remember them longer. Reiterating them and talking about them will embed them into memory better than not discussing them at all.

 
 

  1. This one’s hard for me. I really love to shop. Retail therapy really does work for me, but I’ve found creating experiences is a better choice and place for my money. I may or may not remember the excitement of finding a great bargain, but doing something fun either by myself or with family and friends is the memory I will keep longer.

 

  1. A road trip, even if it’s just to the next town for the day. Think of a place that you have wanted to see, or haven’t seen for a while and just go. Take lots of photos. Start a road trip journal (there’s that word journal again).

 
Do more of the things that you love, and keep doing them. For me, that doesn’t include laundry, but the music is what I love. Jot down (in your journal, if you must) things that you love to do. Start checking them off one week at a time. Make sure that you plan a life of creating memories for your heart.

Make Better Choices Today 2016 ~               xo Katherine

Katherine is doing an ABC Blog Series for #BetterChoices2016 in order to make 2016 your best year yet. Follow her blog at www.backtobeingawoman.com or get the blogs as soon as they are sent out by signing up for her newsletters.

Find previous ABC Blogs here.

“L” is for Look for the Lesson

"L" is for Look for the Lesson - In anything and everything

PosterLlessons

I'm almost half way through the alphabet already. I'm going to miss doing the ABC Blog Series when I hit Z. And yes, I have an idea for Z already, but I'm not anxious to get there.

Meanwhile, "L" is for look for the lesson, or for lemonade made from lemons, or for Life Lessons, because lessons are what life is made up of – served one right after another.

Lessons never lessen.

I came across another saying the other day and it said,
 

Fall down seven times - get up eight.

 

I wish it was that easy. Some things can really knock you down. But sometimes staying down is the best answer because you have to send your roots further into the ground first before your next bloom happens. I’m couch bound when I’m down. When I was younger, I’d clean my house with the force of a cyclone, but not anymore. Now I just rest and bleed and whimper until I’m finished resting and bleeding and whimpering.
So what else do we do when we’re down? We talk to ourselves in our head, incessantly. We can’t believe we are dealing with this stuff in our life, or we want it to just go away, or we feel sorry for ourselves. But what we say to ourselves while we are down is what’s going to direct us upwards so that we’ll bloom, or it could be what keeps us down in the dirt longer, all depending on how we talk to ourselves. Literally, good conversation should be happening in our heads as if between two people - two very close, supportive friends.

 

When you hit those lessons, how would you tell a good friend to get through them? When we don’t focus on the crappy happenstance of it all and instead concentrate on the hidden lesson, we will recognize the lesson quicker and then move through the happenstance quicker, too.
I’m all for having the “life sucks” conversation first, to get it out of our system, but when the dust settles and you can’t cry/complain/moan one more minute, that’s when you start the conversation with your “good friend.” Ask her what she would do in your shoes. Ask her why she thinks you have to deal with the mess. And ask her what silver lining could there possibly be in it. And she’ll answer every single one of your questions intelligently and with compassion. Because she’s been there, too.

Make Better Choices Today 2016 ~               xo Katherine

When you're feeling low on energy or under the weather, I have a Mushroom Soup recipe that is perfect and simple, here.

Katherine is doing an ABC Blog Series for #BetterChoices2016 in order to make 2016 your best year yet. Follow her blog at www.backtobeingawoman.com or get the blogs as soon as they are sent out by signing up for her newsletters.
Find previous ABC Blogs here.