(almost) weekly letters from my heart to you
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Water Your Mama Soul is a 10-day course where you explore ways to be right here in this moment and find the space to choose love... for yourself... for those around you... for this life you're choosing to live each day. You'll take photos and journal a bit and notice what you need each day. You'll reconnect with yourself. You'll give yourself the gift of remembering you. We begin June 1st! Learn more and register here.

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Wednesday
May272015

sloughing it off {because this is self-care}

I get in the shower and let the hot water rush onto my body. I stand there for a minute or so. Just being. Then I shampoo and wash my hair, sometimes pretending I'm standing under a waterfall like I used to pretend when I was a kid. My body begins to relax as my shoulders move away from my ears, my forehead relaxes, eyebrows un-tense, spine settles.

Here.

Then my big moment of self-care arrives: I open a jar of sugar scrub and scoop some into both hands. I move my hands across my chest, shoulders, elbows. I sometimes gently scrub my c-section scar.

I imagine that I'm sloughing off the pieces of the day. The stuff that doesn't serve me anymore. I imagine that I'm clearing the way for whatever is to come, for the shiny newness underneath the old.

Sometimes I even purposefully take a shower to slough off a particularly hard day or conversation that didn't go as planned. I imagine that I am pulling out the energy that's settled inside me from the experience. Gently rubbing in circles across my heart, down my arms, sometimes even ever so gently across my face.

Scrubbing. Sloughing. Gently clearing away.

A simple act of self-care that reminds me that I get to choose what I hold onto. I get to choose how I react to my day. And it simply makes me feel good too.

I really love my time in the shower. The quiet space of water and warmth brings me back to center. I am one of those people who has a lot of really good ideas in the shower, so I keep dry erase markers in the bathroom so I can write the ideas onto the mirror when I get out so I don't forget them. I can focus in while also relaxing enough so that ideas can rise up to the surface. I also find myself feeling all the feelings in the shower, and it cocoons me so I can feel a sense of space just for me.

But with a little one around, sometimes shower time becomes a time when she wants to talk with me while sitting on the stool in front of this sink or look at a book while just being in the bathroom with me or just peek in to see what I'm up to. This practice of sloughing is off is one I can turn to even when my time alone has become time to chat with Mama. I can still choose to inhale the lavender and be right here even when my daughter is chattering away about what playground we're going to go to when I get out of the shower.

Self-care doesn't have to be perfect. It doesn't have to look like what someone else is doing. It just needs to fill you up. Yes. Yes. Yes.

A few of my favorite scrubs: 

Tuesday
May262015

dear girl...

A piece of building the bridge between your daily life and the life you long for is cultivating an inner dialogue so you can actually listen to and get to know the one person who affects your day most of all: You.

One way I do this is to write letters to myself that are full of the kindness and wisdom I'd share with someone I love. They are sometimes a pep talk. Sometimes I ask myself a question and then answer it. Sometimes they are a bit like a poem. Other letters are full of forgiveness and deep truths.

Putting pen to paper helps me make sense of the swirling thoughts around and inside me so that I can hear myself.

One of my favorite prompts to give women is to start a letter that simply says, "Dear girl..." and then just start writing the words you most need to hear. Before you begin, you might want to pause and just close your eyes and get present in your body, heart, and mind. Letting the day drop away so you can listen. Then open your eyes and start writing.

See what comes up. Try to let go of judgment and keep your pen moving across the page. 

Then when you're done, notice if there are any themes or specific phrases that stand out to you. Those phrases could become prompts for your next letter.

If you'd like to join me for 10 days of cultivating this inner voice alongside practicing creative-self care, come along to Water Your Mama Soul. We begin Monday, June 1! And we have a private Facebook group to connect in for the whole month of June.

This is the part where I admit that I'm running the class during the first 10 days of June as a birthday gift to myself. I love this class and the community that is created when women go through the 10 days together and share their experiences and photos in our private group. It is one of those offerings that has me saying to myself each time, "I love my job. I really really love my job."

Each time I offer this class I'm asked if you have to be a mom to take it. My answer:

This class is really is for anyone who wants to connect with daily practices they can use to ground themselves in the midst of whatever a day brings. So if you've been struggling to find a self-care practice, this class will give you tangible ideas you can start using. I think of it as a class that invites you to realize you can nurture and mother yourself even as you give to those around you. Note though that the theme of the course is for mamas with kids at home, and most of the women taking the class will probably be mothers, but I believe the themes in the stories I share are universal and you will be able to tweak the practices to be able to join in. 

Feel free to send over any questions that you have. I'm over here.

Learn more about Water Your Mama Soul and register right here.

 

Friday
May222015

building a bridge in the space between

 

This morning, I'm in that quiet space of holding the stories from the past few months that I haven't shared here and the desire to let them all tumble out. It's this space of being "almost there" and feeling like I'm on the cusp of bursting with all that I want make happen. So I'm starting this post with that peony above because 1) I can't stop with all the peonies all the time right now and 2) It is like a visual of how I feel inside.

As I shared with my newsletter subscribers earlier this week, last weekend I visited my mom, and we did a pretty amazing deep dive into my business. I've been looking at where I've been, what I've created, and the ways I share it all with you. I've been having hard conversations and really exciting ones. And I can't wait to tell you more about it through some new blog posts and my newsletter.

One thread that runs through my business that has come forward through these conversations (and the work I've been doing during the last few months): I want to help you build a bridge between what daily life looks like and the life you most want to for yourself (and those around you...and the world). If you follow me over on Instagram, you're seeing some peeks at how I'm doing this over here.

And I'm doing it one move at a time.

Sometimes one move looks like sitting in the backyard with Ellie as we slide beads onto wire and eat strawberries and chat about how we can invite in more kindness. And for 10 gorgeous minutes, she just stays present and calm. During moments like this, I capture a photo and imagine that I'm sitting on the bridge between daily life and my own longings and I'm dangling my feet over the edge and choosing to see the beauty, knowing it might be fleeting because life is unpredictable with a four year old.

Sometimes this move looks like slogging through a metaphorical overgrown meadow with weeds as high as my waist as I somehow keep walking and cross items off the to-do list and try not to lose it or use that tone of voice that triggers everyone (including me) and I just keep taking one breath, one step, repeat. And then somehow there's a pause in it all and I'm able to remember I have go-to moves to reconnect me with joy. So I choose to turn up some music and twirl and find myself again. But even though twirling might be involved, it isn't always easy.

Sometimes this move looks like just standing right here. Hand to my heart. Taking five deep breaths.

And sometimes this move is a big one, like choosing to rebrand my website (coming soon!) and asking my husband on a date (for real).

My hope is to be a guide for you as you move closer to your own longings, closer to having more really good days in the midst of whatever life hands you, closer to seeing the beauty even when it storms.

And one way I want to do this is through my new Back to the Basics one-on-one offering. It's in the Beta Testing phase right now, but I'll be opening it to you next month. If you want a sneak peek and to sign up to get first dibs on the handful of spots I'll be opening, head over here.

As you walk through your day in your corner, I hope you'll spend some time thinking about the bridges you're building. What would it feel like to let go of "all or nothing" when it comes to making shifts in your life? What if the moments when we realize things aren't working are actually clues to how we can tweak the way we're building the bridge between our day-to-day lives and the dreams inside us? What if you could live your dreams into reality one move at a time?

These are the conversations I want to have with you.

Yes. Yes. Yes.


Tuesday
May122015

30 ways to invite in more joy

 

Here's the thing about joy: Sometimes it arrives like unexpected laughter or a hummingbird peeking at you through the kitchen window or a note in the mail just because or an exquisite turn of phrase in the novel you're reading late at night.

And sometimes you have to work at finding it in your everyday life.

It's like a muscle you need to flex and move and notice and use. 

That's why I often talk about it as being a practice. You have to practice seeking joy, creating space for joy, opening up to joy.

You have to make joy in your everyday life. 

Here are 30 ways that I dive into joy that I hope will help you get started with this practice. And here's the part where I say I hope you'll pick one today and give it a try. And then try another one tomorrow. And then make your own list. 

Yes.

1. Lip sync to Johnny Cash.

2. Go outside and listen to the birds sing.

3. Put on your favorite shoes and take yourself out for coffee.

4. Text a friend.

5. Watch Kid President.

6. Donate to your favorite charity.

7. Turn up "Shake It Off" and jump around until your insides rattle a bit.

8. Call your mom and tell her you love her (or call your BFF and do the same).

9. Write down 10 things you're grateful for.

10. Make soup (or some other favorite comfort food).

11. Write a love letter.

12. Head to the water, to the woods, to the strip of green in front or behind your home, and notice five beautiful things.

13. Ask your Facebook friends to tell you one good thing about their day.

14. Write a thank you note.

15. Go to a yoga class (or push yourself to do something you love that isn't at work or home and involves just being around others).

16. Check out your favorite children's book from the library and read it aloud (to yourself or someone else).

17. Eat a cupcake (or an apple).

18. Give yourself a superhero name.

19. Look at yourself in the mirror and say "I am whole. I am worthy. I am loved."

20. Sing a favorite childhood song with zeal (maybe join in with Kermit.

21. Find a dandelion and make a wish.

22. Watch your favorite movie (or even just a favorite scene).

23. Make a list of all the ways your grade school teachers changed your life.

24. Go through a carwash and pretend you're on an adventure.

25. Draw a map of your childhood hometown complete with labels of the most important places to your 8-year-old self.

26. Write a list of your favorite things.

27. Ask someone you love to tell you that story that always makes you both laugh so hard.

28. Take off your shoes and stand up (or just put your feet on the floor) and feel your toes and your heels and thank the earth for supporting you and keeping your grounded.

29. Give someone flowers (and maybe keep one stem just for you).

30. Ask for a hug. (And maybe even open your arms wide right now. Yes, right now. Open them wide. Breathing and feeling that space. And then wrap them around yourself in a hug that says, "You aren't alone honey. I've got you.)

How do you invite in more joy? Please share in the comments so we can keep the list going.

Monday
May112015

every maker needs a mentor

I'm so excited to share that I'm a mentor at the Maker Mentors (online!) conference this week!!!

Maker Mentors is a live online conference for creative business owners. They have brought together some of the smartest business experts and best creative business owners together to create a unique experience for you.

And the conference is happening this week! May 14th-16th

Everyone who signs up gets access to 20+ live sessions with creative business experts, an interactive forum, and tons of resources to help you grow your business. Don't worry if you can't make it live. All of the content is recorded so you can access it anytime.

I'm delighted by this recognition that every maker needs a mentor. So many of us feel a call to turn what we make into a business, and yes, the resources online are vast and helpful. But it can also be difficult to figure out how to wade through all of that information and hone in on how to actually live this dream into reality.

Maker Mentors is looking to close that gap so you can learn from people who've really been there. And you can learn this from your own home.

Awesome!

Discount Code: I'm happy to share that there's a special discount code for readers of my blog! Use code LIZLAMOREUX for $50 off your conference fee. (Note that when you use the discount code, I receive a small affiliate fee for being part of the conference.)

Hope to see you there!