Life is truly amazing. Like all humans, I have certainly had my emotional ups and downs this week… I am working hard as a teacher, writer, mommy, etc…
My husband is working hard in the real estate world and it seems that both of us kind of hit a wall this week. At mid-week we felt a little burned out, a little cranky with each other (can any of you relate)?
Then, it seems, just when I needed it the most, I would receive the sweetest emails or comments from readers here at The Warm Milk Journal that let me know how this site has helped or inspired them… (I am glad)!
At work, I have the most wonderful principal, colleagues, students, and parents in the world. Just when I think I have had enough, I get a kind email from a parent, a smile from a colleague, an unexpected hug from a little student…
At home, my husband and I drop the mid-week grumblies and grab and love each other!
We are all human. We are all working so hard: at our jobs, our home life, working on our big goals (remember those new year resolutions we made not that long ago)?…
We may be firm on the the big picture and that is great.
The day to day grind can get to us, however…
When it (inevitably does)… it is important to sit back, breathe, and remember…
1. Life is working with us
2. We are supported
3. We are doing great work and it makes a difference (even if on a particular day or week we don’t see any evidence of it)
4. If we are putting good stuff out there, that is really good! It will come back to us…
5. We are all connected. Think of a ripple in a beautiful still pond after a stone has been tossed into it… ripple upon ripple occurs…
We never really know how something we did today or something as simple as a smile to a stranger will affect the world…
On that note, I wish you all a beautiful evening!
To have a nice day, the Mew Way, one simply has to:
1. not be in a hurry to do anything
2. keep loved ones company when they are home
3. eat small meals frequently
4. stretch periodically, especially in a sunny spot by the window
5. meditate on the birds and natural wildlife outside
6. be content with what you have
7. never complain unless your food dish is empty or your tail gets stepped on.
8. invite love and affection by rolling on your back and looking adorable
9. nap throughout the day.
10. contribute to the household by helping mommy write and cook and helping daddy at the computer by sitting on important paperwork (out of sight, out of mind- no more stressed daddy)!
Have a purrfectly wonderful day, everybody!
It doesn’t matter how comfy your mattress, linens, and pillows are.. or how early you turn in at night, if you are not right with your relationships.
We are social beings. I believe the most important life purpose we have is to be in relationship. If something is not right with our most important relationships, we will not sleep well; guaranteed!
Here at The Warm Milk Journal our wish for you is to sleep well at night!
So, tonight I offer you ideas to get right with your relationships so you can rest peacefully tonight (and every night)!
The important relationships:
1. Relationship with God.
If my faith is wobbly and wavering, I suffer from incredible anxiety and sleepless nights. I think Joel Osteen says it well when he speaks about our faith and our mountains (aka our challenges or “problems). He quotes Jesus in Mark 11:23 (kjv)”Whoever will say to this mountain, be removed, and does not doubt in his heart, he will have whatever he says”. Source: I Declare 31 Promises to Speak Over your Life by Joel Osteen, p.161
2. Relationship with spouse
This is so huge for me. If I go to bed after an argument with my husband John, I am quite literally in hell all night. I can not sleep until I know there is harmony between me and my husband. Our marriages are the most sacred and important relationships we will ever have. Put them first. All else will fall into place.
An absolutely wonderful site is Fawn Weaver’s Happy Wives Club.It’s a blog celebrating loving our husbands. It is very life affirming and I highly recommend it! What is more important than love?
3. Relationship with self
This is another big one. I spent years of my life beating myself up, torturing myself with self doubt and fear and pity. If we are not right with ourselves we are setting ourselves up for anxiety and many sleepless nights. We need to accept and love ourselves. Be gentle. Accept. Love. Know we are doing our best. Forgive and let go of the past. Quit our people pleasing ways… Try imagining your four year old self. Really center on this image. You were this beautiful innocent little person once who just needed to be loved and accepted… guess what? You are still that person!
Begin now to unconditionally love yourself. Self berating and perfectionism and pleasing need to go out with yesterday’s newspaper. Got it?!
4. Relationship with parents
My Jewish background makes it very clear about this: we are to honor our parents. They gave us life. If we are holding onto grudges from the past, it is time to let them go. Our parents did their best raising us (just as we are doing our best raising our own children). Focus on the good they did. The rest? Let it go! Love them. If your parents are getting older and they don’t live near you: call them, write them thank you notes (Facebook and texting don’t count). Visit them. Cherish them now. What a gift they gave us and what a gift life and God has given us if they are still here. If they are not, pray and love them and know they are in a good place!
5. Relationship with community.
Agape, love of all mankind and the world is so important. If we choose to be kind, gentle, and non violent in our society… so much good will come from this. Each individual has great power to influence the whole. Something simple such as letting the car on the highway in your lane or smiling at the stranger in your grocery store… we never really know exactly how our behavior (if centered in love) can affect others. But we can be sure that it does in same way… how do we want to affect others and our community)?
6. Relationship with our children
A few things I will say about this all important relationship… children are our future- they need our unconditional love, support, guidance, firm boundaries and discipline. Our kids don’t need us to be their best friends or to earn trophies that they really did not earn. Our kids need to learn the boost of confidence that comes from hard work and good character. They need the freedom to make mistakes and learn from them. They need to see mom and dad who make their marriage a priority and grow up in secure and solid homes as opposed to stress and (possibly) divorced homes because parents made the kids the entire focus of the home at the expense of the marriage.
7. Relationship with profession: (employer, colleagues, clients, customers).
Integrity! Do what you say you are going to do. Deliver value. Be a problem solver rather than a whiner.
Get these seven relationships right and you will sleep well at night. I promise!
When we were kids and we had a scraped knee, we’d have mom clean and kiss our “boo boo”, have a little milk and cookies, and all would be well with the world again.
This January night I would like to look at what comforts us. In your journals I invite you to write a list of anything that comforts you. This will be a list sure to warm you tonight…
My cozy list of comfort tonight might look like this:
1. My favorite blanket I’ve had since college. Yes, it is still with me…
2. Our comfortable living room couch (made even more cozy with cats, daughter, and husband on it with me)…
3. My morning cup of coffee
4. My afternoon cup of tea
5. My evening glass of wine (yes my beverages are a great source of comfort. Is it any wonder this site’s name is Warm Milk Journal)? lol
6. My comfy clothes: yoga pants, sweatshirt or flannel jammies and green fleece bathrobe.
7. Watching a great movie at night
8. Good food! Salad, soup, a nice hearty baguette.
9. My journal
10. My cat
11. My husband: how he holds my hand and hugs me and encourages me to be and do my best in all things.
12. My mom and dad
13. The knowledge that I am giving out love and good stuff to others as a mom, wife, friend, teacher, and blogger.
14. My home here in Atlantic Beach, Florida ( it is just the best place on the entire planet)!
15. Smiles and kindness from strangers, colleagues, and neighbors.
17. Fire in a fireplace or a campfire
18. My socks
19. Gooey chocolate chip cookies right out of the oven!
20. Various inspirational reading I have on my nightstand (such as I Declare by Joel Osteen or poetry by Rumi)
21. A hot bath
22. My wonderful bed and pillows and plush linens and warm husband at bedtime…
I will keep going in my private journal. This is a wonderful exercise to tap into feelings of warmth, love, and gratitude.
His high endeavors are an inward light
That makes the path before him always bright.
Tonight is the first night of Channukah, the Jewish festival of light.
Even in the darkest days of the year, we can share our light with others, and invite more light into our lives.
Tonight I offer a few ideas to focus on the light (things that bring joy to ourselves and others):
1. Smile more than frown
2. Give your money and time to something bigger than yourself
3. Invite somebody over to dinner
4. Ask people questions about themselves (this makes people feel delighted and valued)
5. Spend time outdoors. This morning I enjoyed a foggy walk on the beach.
6. Light candles
7. Keep window treatments open. Let the light in!
8. Watch a comedy.
9. Find a neighborhood in your city that really goes all out with the Christmas light decorations. Drive around listening to Christmas music on the radio. Do this whether you have kids to bring along or not.
10. Think of the unexpected blessings that you have received this past year.
11. Breathe in. Say “thank”. Breathe out, say “you”. Each breath is life.
12. Think of what a miracle our bodies are. They do so much for us.
13. Buy some new pieces of clothing or shoes that will perk you up.
14. Get a new haircut.
15. Do your nails.
16. Try a new perfume or cologne.
17. Try a new recipe or savor a beloved dish that has been in your family for years.
In the beginning there was nothing. God said, “Let there be light!” And there was light. There was still nothing, but you could see it a whole lot better. ~Ellen DeGeneres
In Peace and in joy this holiday season,
Confidently riding through many storms…
I know that strong winds, rough seas, and emotional turmoil
I would like to send love and prayers to anyone in the path of Sandy,
to anyone who is losing their home,
to people looking for work,
to people who perhaps, feel a bit lost.
Faith is the bird that sings when the dawn is still dark. ~Rabindranath Tagore
You are not alone.
Sweet are the moments such as:
a first kiss, and
a tender kiss from your spouse of twenty years….
Stolen silent minutes at the end of the day,
and the happy sounds of family members catching up with each other at the dinner table…
Oh, how can moments be any sweeter than when:
One receives an unexpected wink, smile, or hug from another, and
when you receive an unexpected phone call, text, Facebook message, or letter from somebody you love…
How about a beautiful flower
or a particularly delightful bite of Swiss milk chocolate?
Yes, these are sweet.
Sweet moments. Sweet things. Sweet people. Sweet YOU!
As this day ends, I am reminded of all that I have to be thankful for.
I appreciate the chance to make a difference in other people’s lives.
Without a doubt I feel affirmed that peace, acceptance, and love all surrounded with a huge dose of gratitude is where it’s at.
Whatever you are doing right now,
whoever you are with,
whatever you may be feeling…
I wish you a love-filled and peaceful evening.
Three Goals of The Warm Milk Journal:
1. If you are having trouble sleeping at night, for you to know that you are not alone.
2. If you have anxiety, for you to know that you are not alone.
3. Life getting you stressed out? We want you to know that you are not alone!
Remember that whole six degrees of separation idea? We really have so much in common with one another. Add on the miraculous things we can do to connect with one another thanks to today’s technology… nobody needs to be alone in this day and age. Period.
We are here for you. We are here for each other.
Feel free to comment and share your experience and challenges.
If nothing else, I hope that when you visit The Warm Milk Journal you will find a place of love and support.
Sweet dreams to you tonight and every night,
Although Mother’s Day is a week away yet, for many reasons my mind is thinking about motherhood.
Ten lessons I have learned about motherhood:
1. When you hold that baby in your arms for the first time there is no more awe-some, magical, overwhelming experience in the world. This new life came from you and your beloved and now you are in charge of caring for him/her. Incredible.
2. Even though I am in my forties now I still need my mom.
3. We can grow up and hold anger in about the way our parents raised us. In the end, they did their best and we as parents are now doing the best we can.
4. Stepchildren do grow up.
5. Teenaged daughters are just being teenagers. The less reactive and more centered we can be, the more we will have to give (with sanity somewhat preserved in the process).
6. I am so thankful that my mom: was always there when we were little, has a sweet easy going nature, and is still there! (we are taking a cruise together next December)!
7. No matter their parenting style, moms are the anchor of our ships.
8. It’s amazing when you become a parent yourself you realize all the stuff our moms put up with.
9. Who else can I text anytime with any crazy thing other than my mom?
10. What our moms did well we can aspire to (in our own parenting). What they did not, we can still learn, forgive, and love them always for if not for them, we would not be here.
Hundreds of dewdrops to greet the dawn,
Hundreds of bees in the purple clover,
Hundreds of butterflies on the lawn,
But only one mother the wide world over.
*This post is dedicated to my mother in law who passed away this morning (out of respect for the family’s privacy I will not mention her name at this time). She was always a mom to me (so much more than a “mother in law”).
A call to action:
If your mom is still around, let her know you love her. Hug her. Love her!