(thanks everyone for your response to my Deliberate Motherhood book giveaway! I love reading your comments and hearing from women who strive for the same things. Hooray! To enter go to THIS POST and comment. I'll announce a winner on Monday.)
I have a spiral notebook that contains my notes from The Power of Moms - the retreat, articles, and podcasts that I've listened too. I find myself flipping through the pages from time to time -- so many little nuggets of wisdom, thought-provoking questions, and ideas.
One of my favorite little ideas, that latched itself onto my brain and hasn't left since, is this . . . . .
a contentment basket.
It is a collection of things that help you to feel refreshed, enlightened, creative, centered, peaceful, energized, inspired, focused, and content. All in a handy basket.
We know motherhood can be crazy. Being pulled in many directions, there's the to-do list that never ends, and so many demands on our time. All this can add up to one frazzled mom. Are we giving our best to our families when we are bug-eyed crazy? Probably not. We owe it to ourselves, and our families, to take some time each day (even 10 minutes) to take care of ourselves. But really, I think this applies to anyone in any stage or circumstance of life.
Think about the things that you need to nourish your emotional / spiritual / mental well-being. What makes you feel uplifted and inspired? What do you need to do to feel like a normal (sane) person? What do you want to learn?
Gather these things into one location.
Make your "contentment basket" part of a daily routine (morning or night). Or if you're feeling stressed / stretched through the day go to the basket and choose 1 or 2 items that will help bring yourself back.
What do you put in your basket? Here are some ideas
- journal - record a proof of your life, thoughts, I loved the presenter's idea for writing "10 things on my mind right now"
- yoga or pilates DVD, resistance bands, pedometer, etc -- some kind of reminder that you need to move your body
- essential oils, if that works for you
- something to spark your creativity -- a home magazine, recipe book, or a project printed out from Pinterest that you'd like to do,
- pictures of your family or ancestors
- a book or novel
- gratitude journal
- a favorite music CD
The idea is to have it all in one place so that it can be a refuge for you. The presenter at the Power of Moms retreat said this: "I'm looking for a daily refreshing of life, without leaving my life."
And she also quoted Katrina Kenison from her book, The Gift of an Ordinary Day : "A close relationship with myself requires slowness. A thoughtful life is not rushed."
I have been meaning to put together my contentment basket for the longest time. I thought a lot about it over the summer but never got around to it. And then, last weekend Scott and I went to the temple and inside I ran into the woman who presented this very idea at the POM retreat! Wow. I don't know where she lives in the valley. Somewhere. But what a crazy coincidence to run into her . . . inside the temple. It was just the spark I needed to finally make this happen for myself.
- my journal
- Book of Mormon and notebook
- Deliberate Motherhood and notebook
- a "happy things" journal
- Inspired You: Breathing New Life into Your Heart and Home (for creativity)