A field guide to living an intentional, creative and fun life — with children.

Tag Archives: zen

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When you wake today, May You Notice.

May you Pay attention.

May you see and honor the tiny, yet beautiful details of life unfolding before your very eyes. May you feel how the earth holds you up, grounds you and gives you something to stand on, something to stand for each day. May you smell the coffee as it gradually drifts from room to room. May you Breathe in the morning air, the smells of new beginnings, of starting overs, of delicious conspiracies you can turn into your reality.

May you see your partner. How he or she follows the same routine. How he or she takes time to notice the little things. May You hear what is not only said but meant. May You be open to that love between you.

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And when the children wake early, long before the sun rises, may you Notice.

May you Pay attention. May you realize this, too, will most definitely pass.

May you laugh as their bed head makes their hair do twisty, weird things. May you feel how their warmth radiates from their hearts, filling yours. Smell their sweetness and innocence before everyone gets too busy to gather close again. Notice what their eyes are drawn to out of curiosity and wonder. May You Notice what inspires them to smile. May you smile with them at the beauty of everything.

May You See Beauty by Lori Portka. Click image for details.

As you go about your day, and your family goes about theirs, May You Pay attention to the birds singing outside your windows. May you notice the way the green stems are peeking up through the ground. May you notice how the clouds are billowing away their time in the sky, traveling, floating. May You Notice the way all the human beings you pass are just human beings, fighting to survive another day themselves. May you notice how they warm your heart even if they are strangers, even if they are not like you.

And when you come back together as a family, May You Pay Attention to what isn’t said at all. May you look into each others eyes and notice how bright they are, or tired they are, or excited they are. May you cook slowly, eat slowly and linger long together, just relishing this meal for what it us — sustenance, soul food, nourishment. May you savor that food and the memories of eating together. May You Notice that this moment is what matters.

May You Pay Attention to the joy that crosses their faces as you say YES, finally, again, once more. May You Notice how that makes you feel, to make people happy because you can, because you wanted to and because you could.

As your day comes to an end, May You Notice how the light fades in each of your rooms. How the energy rises …. rises …. rises and then watch it as it falls, comes to a sleepy end. May You Notice how little bodies shiver and lips turn blue as they dry off from their bath. May You Notice how the knots have gotten more tangled as their hair has grown, as they have grown. May you notice that the line on the bathroom wall where you last measured is now far below where their head would be now.

May You Notice that life is right here, this moment and no other. May You Notice that you just survived a day without tackling your to-do list. May You Notice that you, too, have needs. A bath. A good book. A sweet wine. A massage. A long night’s sleep. To talk to a friend. To write long and full of run-on sentences because you have so much to express, so much to say and there aren’t enough hours to remember it all even though you really wish you could so you just have to write them down before you forget the beauty.

May You Pay Attention to all that matters today. And nothing more.

For more mindful living inspiration, check out Amaze Yourself & Say Yes More, Amaze Yourself & Do Less and Amaze Yourself & Act Silly.


I used to love mornings.

I mean, really. I loved mornings. I would sip coffee all morning, write until my heart was content, read, clean … oh, it was such joy.

Then I became a mom.

eeeeerkkkk. Put on the brakes.

Mornings pretty much can suck as a mother. I mean, truly.

And while they certainly are not the easy street they used to be, I actually still really love mornings. I just have to rise very early to enjoy them.

Now that my kids are in school, the pressure to get keep them on schedule is even greater. Packing up and preparing takes much longer and is much harder. And, the responsbility of all of those papers, and lunch boxes is so heavy at times.

It’s easy to fall into that trap of rush, rush, rush — which often means yell, yell, yell.

It definitely is — at least at the age of 5 — still quite a nag fest in the mornings, but I’ve discovered the magic elixer to making it easier on myself.

My late is your early. Yup, even when I think I’m late, we’re always early — very early, in fact.

When I realized that my internal clock was rushing and yelling and nagging my children because of my own stresses, I relaxed. Now, late is late and, frankly, we’ve never been late. We’ve been later than I wanted to be. We’ve been later than the school bus we get behind sometimes. We’ve even been almost late. But we’ve never actually been late for school.

Knowing what stresses me makes it so much easier to stress less. And what has happened is that I’m relaxed, more awake and a lot more happy when I am driving off to start my day. It’s not fool proof. There are just days when, well, no amount of Zen in the world can help me deal with two 5 year olds getting out the door by 7:30 a.m. No amount of meditation. No amount of coffee.

And I”m OK with that.

Breath. Meditation. Centering. Faith. Trust.

It’s all in me. It’s all up to me. It’s all I’ve got day after day.

I am the difference between a smile and a frown each day, between laughter and tears.

So glad I’ve finally, finally figured this out.



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