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