Talk less, listen more; think less, be more—Monday check-in Nov. 14, 2016

This week I will focus on my writing and what lives deep in my heart. As I continue to have a loss of words to speak to what so many are talking about, yesterday (Sunday) I was reflecting and thinking of the coming week. In my reflection I heard clearly heard the following: talk less, listen more; think less, be more! For me it is clear that the impact I need to have on the world starts with me. I can talk all day about how a daily mediation practice is good for us all, but if I am not doing it why waste the effort of talking? Or I can lecture to my kid about whatever the life lesson is from the previous tough parenting moment (whether it be morning routine or sibling fighting etc), but what are my words worth if my actions are not what I expect of my kiddos?

Sunday I felt a deep awareness of this message that that struck a cord in my heart. What will have more impact on my beautiful daughter's heart and light—my words or my actions? The answer to that is obvious. My actions as mom and thoughtful words are what support my children and reflect my love to them; these actions reflect to my daughter (and son) my belief and trust in her (him). For example, when I express my parenting frustration in angry words or a simple, yet powerful look of frustration, it is becomes immediate to me the impact on my daughter’s heart and and sometimes even her belief in herself. And that is obviously not the goal and is hard to realize that these moments even exist as a mama. But I will say that I often hope and hang onto my ability to love them so hard. That I know is a constant. 

For me parenting is hard, especially the ability to stay calm, keep perspective and not be so reactive. Despite this daily challenge as a mama for me I know the powerful impact I can have on my daughter and son. This knowledge gives me great passion to live by these words that came to me: talk less, listen more; think less, be more. Thus, I promise to continue to strive to share my love and belief in my daughter (and son) through my listening and my being. My actions will make the biggest impact along with the words that I selectively choose. I think this aha-moment for me on Sunday allowed me to give myself a little break in the timing of my varied "priorities" this week and focus on being the best mama I could be. And let me tell you this wasn't as pretty as a it sounds. I have been stern, and yelled and definitely gave a look or too or said their name with the sound of disappointment already this week (and it's only Tuesday). And that is the reality of parenting. However, I have also not allowed intense parenting moments to spiral into a battle and have found myself looking into their eyes more and listening a bit more. I have stopped my crabbiness or frustration a heck of a lot quicker and tried to see their sides with love and space. Also, I know as a mom, I could work on my skill set of using my filter. This is not a strength of mine, but listening more and talking less could help encourage and hone in this oh-so-needed skill in my parenting and my life in general. :) 

As I continue to reflect on the past week, I find myself at a loss for words as to how to express all that is going in the world around me. There are many people who have articulated a lot in the last few days and used their gift of communication and community to help support many by sharing and creating love, peace and safety. I am grateful for the words and wisdom of others—thank you for those that share your gift and bring us all together.

In this time of uncertainty in our hearts and the country we live in right now I know how important our words and actions can be. We all have experienced the power and hurt of words (more some than others) in our lives (note: I am being vague on purpose here because the details are not the point). In my perspective it is clear that actions can heal. True actions of compassion and selflessness can heal. Because of this understanding I figured now is the best time to invest in me taking action of love and positivity in my life in hopes that it will spill into the rest of my life and those I come in contact with. 

So my friends, based on yesterday’s small parenting moment I couldn’t help but look within a bit more on how critical this is for me to live now in my life as a mom, but it is vital that that I reflect this in ALL that I do in my life. I can, and will and must reflect the light that I know I can be. I must listen more and be more. And if there is a moment of frustration or exhaustion or whatever the hell it is, I will ride the wave with grace, brush myself off and stand up again by focusing on what I stand for.

I stand for love, faith, confidence and surrender. I stand for being YOU all the time and listening to your heart. I stand for uniting together and being the best that you can be. How can I expect this to be my outer world before it is an actuality in my inner world? If I cannot start with being kind to me on the inside with my words and actions how can I expect this to filter into my parenting, my marriage, my teaching, my family, friends and work? 

What does starting with me look like? It might be obvious but again, I come back to my daily practices: getting my ass to bed, honoring my light by doing my daily yoga practice, nourishing myself with food and drink, choosing wisely the things I read and spend my time on, creating connection, having fun and more! When you start to think about what you talk about, do you actually put it into action? My answer to that is sometimes. My meditation is the perfect example. I often find excuses for not doing it even when I know it serves me in so many ways and not only impacts me so profoundly, but it also impacts my family/friends, students and more. I am a better me. This week it is all about showing up and walking the walk.

What if I took it a bit further? How can I talk less and listen more as a wife, mom, friend, daughter, sister, teacher, neighbor and more? How can I think less and analyze less in my mind and simply stand confident in who I am, what I stand for and how much I have actually done on a given day? When I think of the mind spinning I know I have things I spend time thinking about that are versions of me being hard on myself and don't serve me or others. This is something I can choose to do or choose not to do. For example, I always fall short of what I feel like I need to do or accomplish (in a day, week or month). This blog is a great example of that; I drafted this post on Sunday and have finally had a moment on Tuesday to make edits and add photos. And with the rest of you, my list goes on. I am trying to do a lot, but maybe the best I can and the progress forward is just enough.

Furthermore, no matter the check boxes completed on my list what should matter more is am I living each day and moment as me? Am I cultivating and surrounding myself with choices that will make my light shine brighter? This is a question that I will keep coming back to because the one thing I can control is how I take care of me (including how I react to life). I am the one that can control how I love me and talk to me. And this will, without a doubt, show up in how I parent and how am in all that I do in this world.

My deep hope is that that taking care of me first by listening more and being more will spill into my kids and into the world. It is my deep hope that I can look within each day and continue to choose things that serve me so that I can be the best version of me. And instead of worry if I have expressed myself in the right way in this post I will simply think less about it. I know these words are from my heart and what I will be focusing on this week. The power and wisdom I learn from parenting is profound and I am grateful for that. I am grateful that today I showed up and shared my passion and hopes.

Will you join me this week in taking action in doing what you know will brighten your light? For me it is talk less and listen more; think less and be more. What will serve you? I know you have this wisdom and I know when we take care of us and shine, we can stick together, united with love and peace.

Thank you for reading and for being YOU; shine bright!

In love, light and gratitude,

Kristin 

You are you and I am me; we are exactly how we are meant to be!
— Kristin Gourde

Check-in Mondays - Week of Oct. 17

Happy Monday! Are you tired today after all of the energy of the super moon and perhaps the restless nights of sleep? Today I feel excited for the week, but feeling a little off physically. Also, my head is full with ideas, weekly to-dos, and more! This weekend I was away at a Young Living Conference to learn more about products and a company I love. Even more important I was with my beautiful sister and we got to have time to connect. It was awesome. I was quickly reminded of the power of connection as I was away from my family. I even had my own hotel room; a part of me didn’t want to go back to the conference the second day because of how blissful the quiet was without responsibilities in the sink or anywhere else hiding around the corner. Also, I haven’t stayed in a hotel alone for more than six years (gasp)!

As I think of this week ahead I reflect on last week's intention, but more importantly how I feel and what inspiration I left the weekend with. Last weekend I was reminded in many ways to be yourself, and I mean BE YOU! Be grounded in who you are because the way you are is purposeful. When we are authentic in who we are and show up in life it can come together in a form of success that is different for us all. But I am telling you this; I have yet to find a success story of someone trying to be someone else. “Being you” is embedded as a theme in each success story I have found, whether it was from this weekend, books I’ve read, podcasts and more.

I can’t help but think back to the last post I wrote on the Pain of Not Practicing: when you know yourself and dharma code (your purpose) and are living it and being authentic in you, you will thrive in all areas of your life. From my perspective dharma code is a fancy way of saying BE YOU! Isn’t that fun? I know the times that I truly am grounded in me I have a lot more fun and life becomes a bit more effortless.

This week:

I know I can get ahead of myself with all that I want to accomplish at home, in and on my business and more. However, I know that it is only one week, and a short one at that. The kids are out of school on Wednesday so the flow of the week is different. Thus, today I want to do three things in our Check-In Monday:

  1. Check in on how last week went
  2. Share my intention for this week 
  3. Quick reminder to you to check in for YOU!

1.How did last week go?

Overall, it went decent. I felt like I had set a lot of goals and did my best to keep the themes positive and even small changes I attempted to celebrate. Looking back I feel like I was a bit aggressive, but that can be good some weeks.

  • Sleep – I had a few nights of eight hours of sleep and other nights not so much. This was a win overall, and I know I can do better. Also, I realize without sleep I pretty much SUCK at life. I am hungrier, crabbier, my mind is restless and all over the place. Also, gratitude feels forced. You know what I am talking about—the days when you go in public and everyone bugs the crap out of you; even you bug yourself!
  • Water—I am realizing that I can amp this up even more because I often think I am good at drinking water and am not. Adding in a glass or even a half of glass before meals is helping a lot. However, some days I am scrounging and never eating a meal so that doesn’t always work. More on that later.
  • Gratitude—This is always a day booster and I especially did this with my kiddos at dinner, bedtime and on the way to school. It keeps me in check and helps me let go of the often shit-show moments of parenthood.
  • Food—I actually had to look back at last week’s goal. I have no idea what it was, perhaps it was to eat more veggies? But, I do know that I tried to actually eat and sit down and maybe had a few more moments when I actually sat down to eat the meal vs. just eating on the run. Often times I am having a bit here and there and not truly knowing if and what I have eaten. Thus, it doesn’t matter what last week’s goal was, I know that I need more of those moments of putting something, anything on a plate, and looking at it, pausing with a breath or two and actually eating it without distractions or usually the mommy anger that I can have during meal time. Yes, kids can be so irritating during a meal. Maybe I should take my plate and lock myself in the bathroom some nights? 
  • Breathe and be present—Again, I tried my best to do this and did my best when I was one-on-one with really amazing friends I was blessed to hang out with last week. I realize these moments of being much more present feel so good. As for being present in real life and as a mom, well, I think there is room for improvement. Maybe I should set my phone down or let go of the to-do list or flippin breathe!
  • No swearing in front of the kiddos—I think that must have been a typo last week. I don’t swear in front of the kids. :) Or maybe I need to push this one out. Maybe I will just be more kind in general or breathe like I tried to above and the swearing will simply subside.

2. This week’s intention—in the effort to be adaptable while getting stuff done this week here are my intentions.

  • Sleep. It is clearly the foundation. Thus, I will be in bed each night eight hours and the goal is to do this 5 out of 7 nights.
  • Water. It is what keeps us going and can benefit us even more this time of year by sickness prevention. I’m obviously not a doctor but I have heard hydration can help with that and everything else. The lemon water in the morning can be a life saver if you know what I mean. Eight glasses for me a day seems like a good goal. I am at 3:00 and have had 4 glasses; maybe that is why I feel shaky? Or maybe my morning caffeine is still bothering me. Eek.
  • I will set my daily intention and in addition I have written these "I AM" statements to anchor my week: I want/need to get some stuff done this week and I want to enjoy my kiddos and my life in the present.  Thus, these “I am” statements seem to support me getting through my week with grace. Again, the adaptable one is huge for me because for those of you that know me, know that I love love love structure and I struggle and am agitated when life isn’t as I plan it. Ha. That seems funny to even write, but it is a reality and I will definitely need more work on adaptability.

This week's Intention:

I am Playful
I am Grateful
I am Focused
I am Adaptable
I am faithful

3. YOU: What are you doing to support you this week? What do you need this week? What did you kick butt at last week? What do you need more of? What do you need less of? Can you be grateful for your good and not so good moments last week? Each moment is a lesson and you are truly amazing for being You! You have the power to choose each moment and make this week great. I am sending you so much love and gratitude as you move into another week. 

Thank you so much for reading!!! Have an amazing week and happy fall!

In love, light and gratitude,

Kristin