This picture is my morning mission. Not my current reality. My goal is to get to a point where at least once a week I spend the first hour of my morning with my coffee at the beach. And I’m working towards this goal by creating, testing, and perfecting my morning rhythm. Lately I'm really liking the idea of rhythms over routines. To me, rhythms are fluid. Always in motion, evolving with our seasons, but keeping a big picture in mind. A rhythm is made up of the movements we make that support our big picture. We move in rhythm with our life. We don't create rigid and immoveable, uncompromising routines. But rather, we sync our movements with the big picture. We train ourselves to move in ways that keep us pointed towards what matters the most in our lives. For me, a morning rhythm needs to be flexible. My big picture goal is to start the day with focus and energy. And my movements need to be realistic for the season of my life. At any point each morning, the baby could need to nurse, the two year old could climb in our bed, the three year old could be ready for breakfast. I need a rhythm with margin. Movements that can be interchangeable, out of order, and that are simple and quick enough to accomplish my goals with little time and effort. So where a rigid routine sets me up for disappointment when it's interrupted, a fluid rhythm points me towards a goal - focus and energy - but leaves room for adjustments and fluidity. For grace. So if we can find that easy rhythm in the morning, we can set our hearts and minds with intention for the day ahead. I hope this gets you thinking about your morning rhythm and what might work for you.
If you're a mom, and want to know about my kids' morning rhythm, let me know. I'll send you a Friday five bonus email tonight on kids' morning rhythms. But my biggest learning so far for my kids? Their morning rhythm needs to point them towards confidence and independence. So the movements they make in the morning are centered around those goals.
I hope you find something good here. Mornings are hard.
Love + Light,
It's Saturday night. I'm sitting on the couch in a dark living room. Wine glasses, half full, and sushi, half eaten, sprawled across the coffee table. A movie, paused, just started, five minutes in, frozen on the tv. Big girls tucked in tight. No naps and late afternoon meltdowns made for early and easy bedtimes for them. Bonnie is screaming. Usually the easy one. I put her down at her usual bed time smoothly and soundly. Awake five minutes later. Pause the movie, abandon the dinner, nurse the baby, lay her down. Asleep. Then listen. A few minutes later? Awake again, and this time her Daddy walking her and bouncing. Trying to soothe. Walking. Singing. Bouncing. Swaying. Rocking. Talking. Our attempt at date night in slipping away as she stays unsettled and unhappy. I notice myself. Not upset or frustrated. Just waiting. Noticing this moment as I watch Jordan pace through the house. I hear her screams fade to whines and then to soft whimpers as her head falls to his shoulder. He walks back to her room. Quiet for awhile. Still. Then that great big wail. He put her down. But she wasn't ready. So we start over. I grab my computer. This is life. This is our night life. And I want to remember it.
We've been here before and we'll be here again. She's our 3rd baby in less than 4 years. We're not phased. She needs time. And attention. Not to be rushed. But loved. So that's what we'll do. It's simple. Not frustrating. We'll rock and bounce and nurse and sing and soothe. Jordan will take her for a ride if nothing else works. We'll talk it through. Analyze and speculate. She didn't nap well. Maybe she's over tired. She didn't poop. Maybe her tummy hurts. She usually sleeps in silence. Turn off the sound machine. We'll figure it out. We'll make it better. And in the living room the food sits and the wine sits and the movie sits. Until she is settled in. Content and sound and peaceful. And our time? It's still here. Different now. A little shorter. Half a movie. Call it quits. But fit in the brownie and fall into bed. Church tomorrow. Lots to do. And the morning is still so far away. There are so many turns the night could take. Wait for the two year old to run into our arms in the night. Wrap herself around us and fade into sleep. Close. Safe. Carry her back to bed. Tuck her in. Kiss her head. Like always. Up and down and in and out of sleep. It's our night life. Our rhythm.
Happy Friday! I'm really feeling like celebrating this Friday. This was our first full week of school and activities. And we had a few bumps, obviously, but we made it! It wasn't perfect - maybe you saw my sad ballerina on Instagram yesterday? It was busy and chaotic and full and frantic. Trying new routines. Testing. Failing. Regrouping. We are finding the right rhythm for the Fall. Our week has lots of coming and going. And I'm constantly glancing around the house. That last sweep. The frantic check. Are we ready? Do we have all the bags, water bottles, swaddles, extra clothes, diapers, teething toys, snacks, wipes, books, crayons, shoes, sunscreen, and ponytail holders we'll need to drive 7 minutes away? Is my curling iron off? Did the dog and the fish get fed? Is there a play pot full of shredded cheese in the toy kitchen (you never know)? So many things to consider. And somehow this week, in my frantic habit of the last check, I've have found something beautiful. Right there. Hanging on my walls. Special and thoughtful art I've picked out or dreamed up over the years. Made by artists who are friends, family, right here in my neighborhood, inspired and full of hope and grace and love. Who love me. And as I've glanced around my home this week, I've noticed the art. Kind of my "heart art". Labors of love with messages and stories behind them. If you do the "last check" like I do, and the floor is a mess and the dishes are still in the sink and the laundry is on the bed. Maybe just look up to the walls. Maybe you have some "heart art" to remind you of something good. To encourage you and help you remember how loved you are. And if you don't feel that way about the walls of your home? You might consider beginning your own curation of art. Take your time to think about how you can surround your family with love using the walls of your own home.
I've been writing this blog for over two years. I've hosted events. Paid for events that didn't pan out. Lost money. Gotten frustrated. Quit for a little while. Reinvented. Trudged and trudged. And today? Two years later? It's still mostly my best friends and my family who keep up with what I'm doing with Selah. My work here isn't really noticed or celebrated. But here's the thing: It's changed me life. So I'm succeeding. Every day I keep going is another day I get to love what I do.
I believe so much in the message of Selah. I believe that a pause and praise lifestyle can change your life. And I know that practicing gratitude and creativity and connection can bring you through the exhaustion. Out of the grind. Above the chaos. I know because it works for me. Every single day. It's not a quick fix. It’s actually work. Every day, no matter what, no matter how much acknowledgement, no matter how many people drop you or make fun of you or doubt you. But it’s good work. Work that can change your life. And I can give you the tools to rise above the noise and focus on building the life that you want. I can cheer you on. You can come with me into this Selah life. We can do this together. We can choose our more and go after it while we love our lives today.
Maybe I don't seem credible. Maybe you think it's all a waste or a lot of fluff. And, dear reader, that's ok. You don't have to listen to me. You don't have to believe in my credentials or think nice things about me. But watch me. Watch me love my life and build my relationships and grow my business and take my dreams and make a plan. Watch me. Watch me take the doubt of others and turn it into motivation to make things happen. And when you've seen enough? When you want to love your life every day? Join me. Come alongside me with your own dreams. We can make a plan. We can encourage each other and grow together. It doesn't matter what you want to do. Start your own business. Be a more present partner or parent. Eat healthier. Exercise more. Make more friends. Travel the world. Pay off your credit card. I know there is something. We are not meant to stay where we are. We are meant to grow and reach and stretch ourselves for as many days as we are blessed to spend on this earth. And I want to be your biggest advocate. Your coach. Your cheerleader. And no one has to believe you either. But if they watch you? They will see good work and joyful living.
For me? The way I got over myself and stopped lying to myself about what I can and can't have? How I started seeing the choices in front of me? And started choosing joy and leading with love and changing my life? Friends, it was Selah. A word I found on an art print that changed my life and became my lifestyle. Selah: Pause. Praise. I teach it through gratitude and creativity and connection. Because those three things are innate to us as human beings, and if we don't tend them carefully then we cannot reach our full potential.
So I'm not all that credible I guess. But this journey I'm on? This lifestyle? It's my testimonial. It has brought into some of the dearest relationships of my life. It has offered me grace when I have failed and motivation when I have felt stuck. It has brought me closer to God and to myself and to the people who matter the most to me. It has opened my eyes to new possibilities and it has given me freedom to build a life that I love and to let go of worry and self doubt and what others think. Am I perfect at it? No. But every single day I choose who I want to be. I don't let the world tell me who I am. And this new way of thinking? Of deciding for myself? It is radical and non-confirmative. It is bold and daring and beautiful and terrifying. And I know with everything in me that this is what I am supposed to do - to live this Selah life everyday. And to share it. So even if you're scared. Even if you don't believe. Even if it seems impossible or silly or stupid. It's ok. Because I'm not scared any more. And I believe. And I know that what you want for your life is possible. So if you're still unsure. Watch me.
Sometimes I think we need to do things that don't really matter that much. That are just a little frivolous. A treat. An indulgence. It can be really hard to let ourselves, right? We are busy and life is fast, and everyone else comes first. Their needs. And their wants, too. And personally? If I have any minutes of downtime, I squeeze every ounce of productivity out of them. Like I will run out of the bathroom after I put my two year old on the potty so I can put a plate in the dishwasher before I'm needed again. It's insanity. And if it's not chores, it's learning. I want to learn and grow and be better. I'm a self workaholic. I will listen to podcasts, read books, and watch TedTalks like it's my job. I act like I really have to do it. It's very hard for me to turn it all off. To rest. To stop being so serious. To get something I just want. If you need a brain break. A deep breath. A treat. A mini escape. Maybe this week's Friday Five will help you. From my favorite recent fiction read to my best fashion find, to my newest "mama treat" I don't share with my kids, this week is about how to not be productive. Because oh my gosh. We have got to just relax sometimes.