It's been a rocky start to 2017 but I see it as an opportunity to continue focusing on intention. It's also been a few weeks of rainy, cold and gloominess but one thing's for sure, there's always sunshine inside and puddles to jump in outside :)
After being on maternity leave for eight months, I'm back at work trying to manage the routine of baby Clovis, my 13 year old stepson (teenager yikes) and my beautiful marriage. I think about this and all the fun adventures to come but also all the challenges of being a stepmother, new mother and thriving in a multi-cultural family. One thing is certain, doing less and creating space for creativity and peace is paramount. It's so easy to get caught up in the 1000X 'to-dos' but I'm committed to the things that matter most: Family & Friends, Culture, Art and Well Being. There's a bigger intention behind each and that's how I continue to prioritize my life. It's hard, it can be messy, but it's always clear to me where I focus my energy and I rarely sway. Now it's going to be a challenge for me this year with the little one, but I'm ready. Here are a few things I keep in mind to keep my sanity and balance:
Build and maintain a strong group of trusted advisors: This could be family, friends or even acquaintances. I was never big on joining mommy groups or being super active in any groups for that matter. It's the introvert in me. I knew the most important was finding those gems, those you could trust and confide in when times were rough. I stay close to those who support me mentally, have more experience than me and those I could learn from.
Be prepared and have foresight: I remember something my father once told me from Sun Tzu: “Every battle is won before it's ever fought.” Figuratively speaking I applied this to everything I do. I prepare as much as possible before I am confronted with anything new from having a new child, relationship to buying a new house. If you front load the work, you'll save so much time and energy later.
Trust your gut: I informed myself as much as possible when it came to breastfeeding, daycare and newborn care and at some point, I trusted my gut. I read books spoke to friends, listened to how my elders raised kids. In the end, I knew what was right for my child (though I'm still learning). But you know when you see that twinkle in your child's eye.
Have space for yourself: Painting, drawing and cooking are times where I can 'meditate' or recharge from the day. It's also a way for me to give back to this world in a meaningful way. It's so important to have that space for yourself even if it's 5-10 minutes a day. It's a way to stay grounded, and an opportunity for growth if you allow it. It may sound counter intuitive given the day's demands, but the more space you have for yourself, the more you can give to others.
I'm celebrating 2017 with two journals, one, for my intentions for 2017 and an ongoing journal I created for Clovis last year today on National Handwriting Day. This is a day to celebrate the beauty of writing on paper and all the memorable moments captured.