Free Refill: New Attitude, New Rhythm

     Summer for many is the highlight of the calendar year. The season of fresh berries off the vine, lemonade stands, and trips to the beach.

    Summer has never been my favorite. I usually equate it with no schedule, busy parenting, and lots of sand in the car. And I am fairly certain  that I mention that to you every June when the kids are about to get out of school in my June Blog or in my Mama Needs a Refill Newsletter. 

     In case you weren’t paying attention to my complaining, let me get you up to speed that this year was a FIRST.  I DIDN’T complain. Not one mention on social media, in a post or off of my lips. No bitching no moaning. Instead I took the advice of Patti LaBelle and “I got a new attitude.”

    I deliberately chose to embrace summer in all it’s sweaty, sandy, bright goodness with humor, joy, wonder, curiosity and possibility. Owning my new open attitude I led the June Sack Lunch Mini Retreat for a circle of women who were ready to leap into the summer season. The women who attend this circle are usually ready for the season they just want some tools and guidance to keep them grounded with children being home, on a daily basis. This year that included adult children moving back home, so a new attitude was needed for all in the circle.

    At the beginning of all of my retreats I invite attendees to pull a card of inspiration to create and establish our center. At the center of any circle is where wisdom resides. I was delighted when my own card of inspiration was RHYTHM. (Using the SoulStrolling™ Card Deck Created by Kayce Hughlett and Sharon Richards.)

With my new open attitude of embracing a season I typically dread, I could use a new rhythm. My old attitude of summers past left me stumbling and I was ready to dance.

    Fast forward to today, more than two months from pulling that card. And I am thrilled to report I remained strong, not only “getting” through summer, I am sad it is coming to an end. And let me tell you it wasn’t always easy as I spent six nights sleeping on the basement couch to avoid the absurd Seattle heat and now the smoky skies of the Pacific Northwest are keeping us indoors.

    I planted new seeds in my new garden in more ways than one, literally as well as figuratively. I created new  thoughts to support and uplift, new patterns to welcome change. I found a new rhythm in taking my morning routine outside to the deck and creating time to fill my own cup amidst carpooling our son to and from swim, dive and soccer; I discovered that I have a rhythm that can carry me into fall and the new school season with a high school junior and eighth grader. I have made note of what is important to me and MUST be part of my day as I step back into life coaching, leading retreats and workshops and being the CEO of my little family of four.

    What is important to you? What rituals, habits, routines and practices do you want to honor this new season?

    Now is the time to create a new rhythm that will support you. Leaving one season behind gets to be a joy, a delight, a new song for your rotation. A new dance from your creation.

Hi, I’m Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Life Coach who has been leading retreats for women and coaching them since 2010. On the path of discovery, always seeking, it is clear that one of my favorite ways to fill my own cup is by writing. May my random blog give you a sip to reflect, a nugget to chew, a thought to refill.

    If it is an accountability partner you seek, I offer life and spiritual coaching by phone.

    I have room this new fall season for three new clients ready to create life filling habits and practices for your own authentic daily REFILL.

   Next Sack Lunch Mini-Retreat has one seat left, Friday September 14th 9:30 – 2 PM in West Seattle. Contact me to register your spot: Jenny 206 255 0463.

    info@mamaneedsarefill.com or www.mamaneedsarefill.com

 

Illuminating Retreats and Their Leaders Podcast

Ever curious about what actually goes on at my sack lunch mini – retreats?

Dorethy Luyks – Ledgerwood of Illuminating Retreats and Their Leaders asked me some great questions that may help illustrate what goes on at this West Seattle REFILLS! I invite you to check out this podcast.

Fill Your Cup at the next sack lunch mini retreat, Friday September 14th, 9:30 to 2 PM. Text me today to save one of two seats left!

206 255 0463

Cheers, Jenny

Free Refill: Meditation 101

Have you been wanting to meditate for sometime now?

I thought about it for ten years before I began my practice and now with over ten years under my belt I don’t know what I would do without it.

At last Friday’s Sack Lunch Mini-Retreat: Mindfulness & Meditation, we covered the basics of creating a meditation practice. The women gathered were ready to step into a practice that could support, inspire and grow them spiritually, mentally and emotionally.

One of the women in attendance was honest during our one-on-one session and shared that she wasn’t sure if meditation was for her. We did come up with a process that honored her needs and desires. Every day she would light a candle and think positive thoughts, send out good vibes, if even for only a few minutes.

Meditation is personal and the point of it is to bring balance and perspective into our busy lives. It is not about emptying our mind and ceasing all thought, but rather learning how to respond to all that life throws our way. The insightful practice shows us an alternative to reacting to life, one breath at a time.

My personal practice has helped to ground me and guide me to being more of the person I desire to be. I emerge connected to myself and Higher Power, more calm and aligned rather than overwhelmed and scattered. There is so much life giving and life changing power in being still and simply being.

Tips to Begin Your Practice:

  • Find a quiet place and take a seat.
  • Sit upright on the floor, in a chair, or in your parked car.
  • Set a timer for one minute.
  • Place your hands in a comfortable position.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Notice your breath and focus on it.
  • When your mind wanders or takes off, simply notice and come back to your breath. Focus on the inhale and exhale.
  • Every time your mind goes to planning your day, thinking about the past or what you will cook for dinner, don’t beat yourself up, just say to yourself, “I’m planning, I’m thinking.” Then come back to your breath.
  • When the timer goes off, acknowledge your practice.
  • Commit to showing up to this practice once a day for one week.
  • Stick with one minute or increase the time when you are ready.

It is about showing up regularly. It is not about doing it perfectly, rather it is about the intention and effort.

Please don’t wait for the conditions to be exactly right. I meditated for years with my snoring husband in the same room. If sounds happen allow them to direct you back to your breath. Only notice don’t judge or attach.

Four days after the retreat I heard from the woman who didn’t think meditation was for her and she reported with delight and pride her new love of meditation. She has been showing up daily and already notices a difference.

A few minutes can be profound. If you have been thinking about creating a practice, then begin. Don’t take a class, wait for the weather to change or use another excuse to stop you.

So stop waiting. Showing up imperfectly is perfect. Just show up.

Hi, I’m Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Life Coach who has been leading retreats for women and coaching them since 2010. On the path of discovery, always seeking, it is clear that one of my favorite ways to fill my own cup is by writing. May my random blog give you a sip to reflect, a nugget to chew, a thought to refill. If it is an accountability partner you seek, I offer life and spiritual coaching in person in Seattle and by phone. info@mamaneedsarefill.com or www.mamaneedsarefill.com . (Next mini-retreat in West Seattle, Friday June 8 and there are two spots open.  Text me today to register, 206 255 0463.)

 

Free Refill: Seasonal Shift

Just like there are seasons that depict the weather, what is growing out of the ground and the color of the sky, we too as women and parents have seasons.

The season we are in is heavily influenced by the demands of motherhood, the natural rhythms of our bodies and the moods, emotions and the activities of our environment. When are kiddos are able to take care of their basic needs our role takes a back seat allowing us to have the time and energy to focus on ourselves.

This can be a blessing and a curse. Wrapped up in our children’s lives we can forget about who we are, what we care about and lose sight of what lights us up and makes us tick.

With teenagers now, I am in the season of possibility, but not really sure where I want to put my attention and focus. In many ways it was easier when I didn’t have time for me and my dreams and ambitions. Then when given some space it feels weirdly claustrophobic.

If you are finding yourself in a place where you get to pause and figure out your next step whether it is with a job, a dream or life direction, I invite you to cut yourself some slack. You need not rush into anything. Give yourself time and space to breathe it all in and enjoy the ride. Notice and pay attention to what is stirring within and believe that you ARE in the right place even if it feels place-less.

In these new seasons it can be like getting to know ourselves all over again. Be patient. Be curious. And allow yourself the graciousness to be okay without a specific direction. The direction will come when you are open to possibility and pay attention to opportunity. Try something new, follow the stirrings of your heart. Like a rooted tree stands leafless, it is only for a short season. With time and a shift in the color of the sky the tree blossoms again.

Hi, I’m Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Life Coach who has been leading retreats for women and coaching them since 2010. On the path of discovery, always seeking, it is clear that one of my favorite ways to fill my own cup is by writing. May my random blog give you a sip to reflect, a nugget to chew, a thought to refill. If it is an accountability partner you seek, I offer life and spiritual coaching in person in Seattle and by phone. info@mamaneedsarefill.com or www.mamaneedsarefill.com or 206 255 0463.  Quarterly Sack Lunch Mini-Retreats held in West Seattle, 9:30 – 2 PM. (Next mini-retreat, Friday April 20th is sold out and one spot is open for June 8th.)

Is this the time to Breathe the way you want to Feel?

Breathing Mandala  and Mama Needs a Refill are at it again, teaming up to support you living the life you want to live rather than waiting until there is time.

What: Your invitation to readjust your compass & feed your soul. In This Three Part Workshop, designed to create a lasting impact wherever you are on your journey.  Are you ready?

  • To stop spinning in the chaos.
  • Intentionally navigate your life.
  • Align with your heart & achieve your goals.

Each workshop will include: a full breath session, exercises that cultivate relationship with self, and encourage giving rise to your truth. Access ancient wisdom  to bring about greater self-awareness and practice to your breath so that you begin to breathe the way you desire to feel.

When: Three Sundays -March 18, April 8 & May 6, from 1 – 6 PM.

Where: 650 South Orcas Street, Ste. 203,  Seattle, 98108

Register: Contact Tracey or Jenny

Tracey: Tracey@breathingmandala.com or 206 769 0040 

Jenny: info@mamandsarefill.com or 206 255 0463

Investment: $333 by March 1, after $383. 

Testimonials from last Exhale Series: “…an opportunity to become more positive, free from things that hold us back…” – M.S.

R.G. shares, “I believe I have peeled off a few layers of trying to control my life. Processing the work with the group was very helpful.”

“To say it is time and money well spent is an understatement it was for me one of the best experiences of my life.” – Cynthia H.

Tracey Stover of Breathing Mandala is a Breath Trainer (since 2001), meditation teacher, spiritual coach, writer & entrepreneur. She is passionate about the power of the breath to heal and says, “Change your breath, change your life.” Based in Seattle, Washington she travels the US and abroad holding retreats, trainings and workshops.

Jenny Gwinn McGlother of Mama Needs a Refill is a retreat leader, life & spiritual coach, writer, and life coach facilitator at Seattle Life Coach Training. She believes no one can pour from an empty cup and is passionate about people filling their cup physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

 

 

What’s Happening with Mama Needs a Refill in February?

Lots of fun cup filling, that’s what.

Join us on FaceBook or Instagram for the #50fills Challenge. In celebration of turning 50 in February nothing would make me happier than you holding a full cup. The challenge: Refill your CUP 50 times in the 28 days of February. At least make the intention, and effort and every time you FILL YOUR CUP post in the comments section of the most recent FB or Instagram post “#50fills” and tell us what you did to refill. A refill is doing something for you that you want to do, that makes your heart sing and your soul smile. Refills are personal. It could be a five minute meditation, a walk, a bubble bath, saying NO to someone, saying YES to someone else, reading, dancing, going to a movie, sleeping in, planting in your garden, sewing your first craft, meeting a friend…the list is endless. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, 5 minutes or three hours, it simply must be something that helps your find your sanity, care for your soul and ultimately FILL your proverbial cup.

50 times would be awesome, but that doesn’t have to be the goal. What if filling your cup, putting you first, making time for you was the goal? Each time you post your REFILL with “#50fills” on a FB or Instagram post in the comments section, I will add your name to a drawing and on March 1st I will announce the winner. The more refills the more times your name is added to the drawing. The prize? One complimentary 60 minute phone coaching session and 3 follow up 30 minute REFILL calls to support you in caring for your CUP.

Fill Your Cup at the next Sack Lunch Mini Retreat, Love Cup, Friday February 9th, 9:30 – 2 PM, one spot left at the early bird price of $85. Rejuvenate and Recharge through sharing, creativity, laughter, learning self-care tools, silence and much more. Text Jenny today: 206 255 0463.

Free Refill: Wholeness in 2018, say NO to Resolutions, say YES to Your Life

Every year I choose a word rather than resolutions. Every year a word chooses me and it is never an accident.

Awake was my word for 2017 and oh, my goodness, did I wake up. I woke up to whole lot of awareness. I made changes. I embraced my brokenness and allowed my best parts to come forward. I made connections to things that were holding me back and learned powerful lessons. I let go as I woke up to things that have hovered over me like a dark shadow in the past. I made space. During my healing and recovery from two major foot surgeries I was given the gift of awareness of how I was being my own obstacle on my life path. A true wake up call indeed. Do I have room for more growth? Totally. Is there space within for more awareness? Absolutely. Is there room for shifts, lessons, change and transformation? Damn straight.

This is why, after intense deliberation I have chosen, or really WHOLENESS itself, has chosen me to be my word for 2018. I am ready to wake up to all of me. I am ready to bring out my best self in all areas of my life. I am ready to abstain from ignoring my needs, my desires, my truth. I am ready to notice, allow and create living fully, living WHOLEY. I am ready to bring out all of me to the surface, body, mind and spirit. This touches on my value of being a woman of integrity. This taps into my personality type of putting others first and nudges me to to step it up and honor all of me rather than waiting on the back burner. This will take courage and trust. This will take honesty and bravery. I am ready.

I am seeing myself crawling into bed each night fully complete, knowing I did my best for the day, having paid attention to the WHOLE of me, the WHOLE of my life. Like you, I have many roles and wear many hats, so in 2018 it is about honoring the parts of me that I have let lay dormant.

My wholeness is personal and allowing it to come forward will affect all those around me. For every change we make, all are affected. Everybody feels it. We all are ripples in a big ocean.

This brings me to you. Your word is personal and need only make sense to you for you are the one it is supporting. What is percolating within you and is ready to come out? What are you ready to say YES to in 2018? Is there a word dear Cup Holder that could support you? Perhaps you have chosen a word already. Perhaps you are waiting for the word to choose you.

If you need some simple instruction, start by listening. Ask, what word will anchor, guide and support me this year? Ask yourself what are you ready to feel? Notice what you constantly think about. Be aware of what you are tired of being and doing and be open to create a shift. Play with words. Try them on for a day by using a certain word as a one word intention.

After trying on and playing choose the word that brings you the most peace, the word that you intuitively know must be yours in 2018. When you do this you need not make a long list of resolutions. Your unspoken resolutions, goals, intentions and dreams will begin to unfold simply by tethering yourself to a powerful, life-giving word. You will step forward in your own unique, perfect way, checking all off the list that needs to truly be checked.

Every year I choose a word rather than resolutions. Every year a word chooses me and it is never an accident.

When I went to bed New Year’s Eve I was 100% certain that WHOLENESS was the word for me. On New Year’s morning sitting in meditation, participating in my morning rituals, I was nudged by Spirit to pull an Angelic Messenger Card. I use cards often in my way to connect to the Love and Wisdom of the Universe, as my way to get connected to the God who dwells within. I quiet my mind and get a specific question on my heart and tip of my tongue. How will I step into WHOLENESS in 2018? After that, I asked clearly, Which deck? How many times should I shuffle the deck? Which card should I turn over?

I slowly, intentionally and carefully listened. When it came time to turn over the ninth card in the center pile of the 44 card deck, I was not surprised and blown away at the same time. WHOLENESS. An affirmation, that even if I did choose the word, it also chose me.

Hi, I’m Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Life Coach who has been leading retreats for women and coaching them since 2010. On the path of discovery, always seeking, it is clear that one of my favorite ways to fill my own cup is by writing. May my random blog give you a sip to reflect, a nugget to chew, a thought to refill. If it is an accountability partner you seek, I offer life and spiritual coaching in person in Seattle and by phone. info@mamaneedsarefill.com or www.mamaneedsarefill.com or 206 255 0463. (Next mini-retreat in West Seattle, Friday January 5th is sold out. Two seats available for February 9th mini-retreat: Love Cup. 9:30 – 2 PM. April 20th and June 8th mini-retreats: 5 open seats each.

 

Free Refill: Slow Down

Dear Holders of the Cup,

Two weeks ago I gave you 10 secrets to holding a full cup this holiday season, (http://www.mamaneedsarefill.com/2017/12/free-refill-tis-the-season/), and I am breaking down those secrets further. Let’s look at Slow Down as a way to actually savor the holiday season while holding a full cup.

Running errands last Friday I spotted a parking spot right in front of the store I needed to visit. I flipped on my blinker as I moved into position to parallel park. (Have I ever told you I am the Queen of Parallel Parking? Well, I am. Except for that one, okay, two dents on my fender.) I immediately realize a dude has pulled his car right up to my bumper and I now have no space to back in and parallel park. So I wait for him to notice my blinker.

HONK, HONK, HONK, blares his horn causing many too look our way. The blinker making I later learned one pedestrian told him, She is parking, you need to go around. And he did have plenty of room to go around on the four lane road, which was relatively quiet except for his honking.

As the moment became longer I could see him yelling from his car. You want to know what I did? I waited. I breathed. I didn’t take it personally. I considered it an invitation to slow down. He eventually passed me and I eased into the parking spot.

What was his problem? A passerby inquired as I got out of my car.

I don’t know, I told her, the old me would be upset and crying after yelling and flipping him off. She laughed.

I didn’t need to jump on his party bus of hurry-hurry-rush-rush. I was invited, but returned the invitation. (“Return to Sender, address unknown, no such number, no such home.” Thank you Elvis.)

This is what I mean about slowing down, we don’t have to join in with others’ stress. We get to choose the energy we want to spread. Expanding this further we get to listen longer to the music, pause to connect with a stranger, visit with the store clerk, chat with the Salvation Army attendant, take an extra few minutes to sit down and drink our cup of coffee or tea while it is still hot. We get to notice the lights and even take a different way home to discover new ones. We get to taste the cookie dough as we bake and savor the details of preparing a meal for guests.

When we slow down we are present. Taking our actions at a slower, deliberate pace allows beauty and light of the moment to seep in. In those moments I find myself racing to the next thing, I realize I am the only one who thinks I have to rush. As I let my shoulders drop and take a deep breath, I invite in patience and I ask for help. Whether it’s from Angels, God, my children, my husband, or the passerby on the street corner. Everyone wants to help, the outpouring of help is always available. We need only receive. This can be utterly Divine help in the form of Grace, others taking on tasks or wisdom shared from random connection.

We get to see “interruptions” as presents to unwrap. When I happen to run into someone I am not expecting to see in aisle twelve, I receive the invitation to slooooowww down and I become present with that person, rather than with that thing that needs to get checked off the list. The task can wait. What is more important in the moment is who or what is standing before me. I use to get super annoyed when I was in a hurry and I’d see someone I know at the store, now I smile, and thank the Universe for sending me a sign to slow the F down.

In slowing down we witness Grace and we realize all that truly needs to get done, will get done. You are supported. You got this. Now please enjoy the season for it is the path to the holiday not just the holiday itself that it waiting to be unwrapped. Just for you. Sip and savor each moment.

Cheers, Jenny

Hi, I’m Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Life Coach who has been leading retreats for women and coaching them since 2010. On the path of discovery, always seeking, it is clear that one of my favorite ways to fill my own cup is by writing. May my random blog give you a sip to reflect, a nugget to chew, a thought to refill. If it is an accountability partner you seek, I offer life and spiritual coaching in person in Seattle and by phone. info@mamaneedsarefill.com or www.mamaneedsarefill.com or 206 255 0463. (Next mini-retreat, Friday January 5th is sold out. Two seats available for February 9th mini-retreat: Love Cup. 9:30 – 2 PM ( 2 seats left), in West Seattle. April 20th and June 8th mini-retreats: 5 open seats each.

 

Free Refill: Less is More This Season

Dear Holders of the Cup,

Last week I shared 10 secrets to holding a full cup during the holiday season (http://www.mamaneedsarefill.com/2017/12/free-refill-tis-the-season/). Let’s break down one of those secrets here and really dissect what I am proposing.

Less is More. What does that mean to you? For me, just hearing that phrase my shoulders drop, I exhale deeply and I feel light all over. The Christmas and Hanukkah season traditionally have lots of busy activities, preparation, and time sensitive tasks to attend to. This may delight some and deplete others. (Come back,earth to cup holder, get off your to To Do list that you just drifted to in your mind.) With me now?

Let’s look at how Less IS MORE while you honor what is important to your heart and vital to your spirit as you create a joyful experience of the season.

  • Take one TO DO off your list each day. Ask yourself does this REALLY have to get done today or at all? Am I doing this because I think I SHOULD or do I really really WANT to do this? Fill that space of not doing that task with joy. Do something that delights you. Call a friend, connect with another, read or watch something that makes you laugh, sing or smile. Use your time to BE rather than DO giving you an opportunity to not only be present to the moment, but to enjoy it because you’re not thinking about the next thing that has to be done. Removing one thing from your list invites spaciousness.
  • Evaluate traditions. Are you participating in yearly traditions that you and your family like and appreciate? Are you going to Aunt Hildegard’s for a tradition that leaves you yelling as you head out the door and unappreciative while you are there? You aren’t doing any relative a favor by being with them when you don’t want to be.
  • Apply Love. Finding you can’t get out of that Aunt Hildegard visit? Ask yourself how you can choose joy in the situation? What ways can you accept a relative and get rid of judgment? Someone cuts you off in traffic, how can you apply a healthy response of patience, acceptance and a loving attitude rather than wanting to seek revenge? You encounter a stressed out person and they treat you with an unkind attitude, how can you not take it personally and be forgiving? Take a breath before you respond and ask yourself, “How can I respond in a loving way?”
  • To buy or not to buy. Rather than shopping til you drop. Buy something for someone because either you know they will love it, you want them to have it or it is something they need and you are happy to provide it for them. Please reconsider buying only because they will get you something or only because you feel like you should. What if the best present you could give was simply your presence? Stay clear of impulse shopping. Go to the internet or the store with a list in hand. Ignore the commercials telling you that in order for it to be the perfect holiday you must buy a particular item. Shop with your heart.
  • Gift giving. Similar to above give gifts that feel good to give. When you receive a gift receive it with thanks not “oh you shouldn’t have” or “I didn’t get you anything”, the way you receive a gift will be a gift in return to the giver.
  • Seasons Greetings. I send out Christmas/New Year’s cards every other year. I don’t make excuses, I don’t feel bad for receiving cards when I don’t give one out. (By the way, this is my year off.)
  • Notice. Are you hanging the wreath, stringing the lights, baking the cookies and being a bitch in the process? Green boughs, colorful lights and sugar are things that ought to bring about happiness and pleasure. If you aren’t enjoying the activity you are more than likely not in the present moment. Watch your words. Share kindness. Not only notice your words, thoughts and actions, notice the things that are only around during this time of year: certain music, candle light in the window, the stars in the sky, your breath on a cold, dark morning walk, the neighborhood lights, the budding holly tree, the bird seeking shelter, the tree standing naked, the color of the sky.
  • Linger. Hug longer. Play another game. Sit at the dinner table longer than usual. Sit by the tree and just bask in the beauty of the lights, no agenda needed. Cease the rushing. Invite slowness. Be. Savor. Delight. Surrender.

The holiday season will come no matter how much you buy or don’t buy, regardless of what you get done or don’t. It will be here for a short time and not be back for another year so treat it as a gift for you to unwrap, a season to cherish.

Cheers, Jenny

Hi, I’m Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Life Coach who has been leading retreats for women and coaching them since 2010. On the path of discovery, always seeking, it is clear that one of my favorite ways to fill my own cup is by writing. May my random blog give you a sip to reflect, a nugget to chew, a thought to refill. If it is an accountability partner you seek, I offer life and spiritual coaching in person in Seattle and by phone. info@mamaneedsarefill.com or www.mamaneedsarefill.com or 206 255 0463. (Next mini-retreat, Friday January 5th is sold out. Two seats available for February 9th mini-retreat: Love Cup. 9:30 – 2 PM ( 2 seats left), in West Seattle. April 20th and June 8th mini-retreats: 5 open seats each.

 

Free Refill: ‘Tis the Season

Dear Holders of the Cup,

Holidays are upon us, love it or not, they have arrived, the countdown is on!

Secret, I hated Christmas up until twelve years ago. Christmas’ past, childhood memories, blah, blah, blah. In this re-frame of embracing the holiday season with open arms, I am now one of those who play Christmas music in November. At nearly 50 years old I contain the child enthusiasm I wasn’t able to hold as a kid.

Here is another secret, my quick tips to enjoying the season and holding a full cup among the busyness:

  • I send Christmas cards, every other year. (Not this year.)
  • I carry out the traditions that make not just the kids, but me smile. (Note: when we smile so do our children, ripple effect, just sayin’.)
  • I try on a new tradition every year. (Do you have one for me?)
  • I get outside and enjoy the lights with late night and early morning walks.
  • I turn off the TV advertisements telling me to buy, buy, buy.
  • I make homemade gifts.
  • I don’t buy something I think I SHOULD buy, I buy because it feels good head to toe.
  • Less is more. (I am enough, what I am doing is enough, I choose quality over quantity.)
  • Take a daily inventory of my stress, my intentions, my joy.
  • SLOW. DOWN. (Breathe more, do less.) (Read a book a night from our extensive Christmas book collection. Drink my tea or cocoa while it is still hot. Meditate more. Be with the person in front of me, let go of rushing around and cramming it all in.)

I invite you to pick one or pick them all. This the season of reflection, celebration, connection, receiving, and simply being. You need not do so much, unless of course that fills you to overflowing. What are your secrets to truly enjoying the holiday season? I’d love to know.

Cheers, Jenny

Hi, I’m Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Life Coach who has been leading retreats for women and coaching them since 2010. On the path of discovery, always seeking, it is clear that one of my favorite ways to fill my own cup is by writing. May my random blog give you a sip to reflect, a nugget to chew, a thought to refill. If it is an accountability partner you seek, I offer life and spiritual coaching in person in Seattle and by phone. info@mamaneedsarefill.com or www.mamaneedsarefill.com or 206 255 0463. (Next mini-retreat, Friday January 5th is sold out. Two seats available for February 9th mini-retreat: Love Cup. 9:30 – 2 PM, in West Seattle. April 20th and June 8th mini-retreats: 5 open seats each.

Free Refill: Anchored

One morning practice that tethers me to my soul and keeps me from getting distracted and overwhelmed throughout the day is to choose anchor words. I have been doing this for a number of years now and my son and I practiced this for three years to act as a tool to work with his anxiety and fears. He will occasionally visit the tool, but it did the job when he needed it the most.

 

For me, it has stuck. It is just as powerful as meditating in terms of having an overall effect and life giving nature. It is the compass I use to come back home.

 

Whether I have practiced my morning meditation or I am standing in the shower, I take a couple of deep breaths and simply say to myself, knowing the Universe is listening, “What do I need today?” Having done this long enough, I know what that question means at a deep level. It means, with the agenda on the calendar, my personal intentions and desires held close, choose words that will bring me the feelings I need to be in touch with and the outcome I most need to meet that agenda and my intentions. In the silence I allow the words to come to me. I say them out loud to see if they feel right in the moment. Lately I have been choosing three words. That is a powerful number for me. Know that there is no rule on how many anchor words you use. I share this tool with clients, family and friends and have discovered everyone has the number that works best for them. I have several clients who choose one and my son prefers two. I suggest you start with one and see where it takes you. I also highly recommend writing your word/words down. I put mine in my day timer. One client writes it on her hand, another uses her phone. Put it where you can be reminded. As you know our minds get full even with the best of intentions. I find it incredibly helpful to see them written down especially since I use three words.

 

If I am feeling disconnected from myself or aware that my relationships can use attention I will choose “connection” for example. As the day unravels I may notice an opportunity to engage with a stranger, one of my children, a friend, or my husband and when I remember I chose “connect” everything else can wait. What matters is right here in that moment. I will let go of being in a rush and I will allow the conversation to open up as it needs. Yesterday for example, I chose to use alliteration to better remember my words. My three “C” words were, celebrate, connect and confidence. It was our daughter’s 16th birthday and honoring her was at the top of my list. On my morning walk I allowed myself time to stop and pick up fallen leaves that caught my attention. It turned into a mindful celebratory walk as I prayed for our birthday girl and delighted in thoughts of her. At home I created the time to write to Margaret in our shared journal we have been keeping since she was nine. It is one way we communicate and knowing “celebrate” was a word I upheld that day allowed me to not put it off until later. On my walk I greeted those I past and allowed myself to connect with God, Universe and Spirit. Later at the DMV I participated in conversations being fully present to not only our daughter, but the lighthearted employee and school acquaintances. I also had to get some work done and the only way it was going to get accomplished was if I stepped into it with a confident attitude. All three words supported me. At the end of the day I reflected on how my anchor words guided me and gave me strength.

 

Feeling scattered, easily distracted, could use some tethering? I invite you to seize the idea of anchoring yourself to a word each day. Play with it. Let it guide you. Call upon it to bring you home.

 

Hello! I’m Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Coach for your Life and Spirit. I have been leading retreats for women and coaching them since 2009. One of my favorite ways to fill my own cup is by writing. May my weekly blog give you a sip to reflect, a nugget to chew, a thought to refill. If it is an accountability partner you seek, I offer life and spiritual coaching for women, men, teenagers, and couples, in person in Seattle and by phone.  2017 mini-retreats in West Seattle 9:30 – 2 pm. All mini-retreats through January 2018 are sold out, seats available for February 9th, April 20th and June 8th.  info@mamaneedsarefill.com or 206 255 0463.

Free Refill: Out in the Open

 

Even though my daughter and I are pretty different we both need quiet time to recharge!

Our daughter, unlike me, keeps her feelings close, not for all to see. She needs time to process what she is feeling before she lets others in on the action. If she even lets them in at all.

A few weeks ago she asked me to help her study for her Spanish quiz. With the instructions that I was to read the English word we began her quiz preparation. School was only a few days in and she was juggling soccer practices, games and her new school schedule. After testing her on her requested vocabulary I noticed she was chillin’ on YouTube so I made a personal request.

“Are you willing to unload the dish drainer tonight?”

“Sure,” came her response.

As I went about my evening my brief interactions with our daughter indicated something was “up”. I allowed her space. Having learned from the past that prior inquiring wasn’t what she welcomed.

Eventually she came to me.

“Mom, can I say something?”

“Of course, “ always delighted when I can tell she is going to open up to me.

She proceeded to share that the way I quizzed her was not helpful and that I actually missed an entire section of Spanish words. She was also annoyed that I asked her to unload the dish drainer when I was “spending my time watching a TV show”. I let her vent.

I reminded her that the only way I am going to know that I missed how to properly quiz her is if she tells me her needs in the moment. And as to the TV watching, I was folding laundry at the same time.

Each airing their thoughts the day ended and the topic wasn’t revisited until the next day driving in the car together.

“Mom, last night I was really stressed out. And I know why.”

“Do tell,” I probed.

“I hadn’t allowed for relax time. Going from the soccer game to studying wigged me out. I need chill time in between school, chores, homework and soccer.”

Delighted. Thrilled. Grateful she had realization of her own needs at age fifteen is huge. Having an understanding of how to manage stress now has got to prove beneficial.

What about your kiddos? I invite you to make an effort to ask, not guess, but truly ask them what is helpful for them to receive balance in their jam packed, demanding day.  No judgment. Simply inquire. If it is helpful lead with what helps you. Set the example of how you do better on days when you create the space to fill your cup.

 

Hello! I’m Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Coach for your Life and Spirit. I have been leading retreats for women and coaching them since 2009. One of my favorite ways to fill my own cup is by writing. May my weekly blog give you a sip to reflect, a nugget to chew, a thought to refill. If it is an accountability partner you seek, I offer life and spiritual coaching for women, men, teenagers, and couples, in person in Seattle and by phone.  2017 Mini-retreats in West Seattle 9:30 – 2 pm. All retreats through January 2018 are sold out, stay tuned for March and June mini-retreat dates.  info@mamaneedsarefill.com or 206 255 0463.

Join Tracey Stover and Jenny McGlothern for the Exhale Series Sundays 11/5, 12/3, 1/7

 

 

Jenny McGlothern of Mama Needs a Refill is a retreat leader, life & spiritual coach, writer, and life coach facilitator at Seattle Life Coach Training. She believes no one can pour from an empty cup and is passionate about people filling their cup spiritually, mentally, physically and emotionally. www.mamaneedsarefill.co

Been holding your breath lately? Whether you are forgetting how to breathe in this political climate or panting as you navigate life’s transitions, this is your invitation to exhale. In this series, we will explore a variety of techniques, as well as work with fundamental Buddhist Principles that support living life more fully and deeply.  A complete group breath session is included in each class. There is power in the breath, and in that power, great healing. Through ritual, and breath let’s create space to release, create and heal.

 

 

Tracey Stover of Breathing Mandala is a Breath Trainer (since 2001), meditation teacher, spiritual coach, writer & entrepreneur. She is passionate about the power of the breath to heal and says, “Change your breath, change your life.” Based in Seattle, WA, she travels the U.S. and abroad holding retreats, trainings and workshops. www.breathingmandala.com

When: The following Sundays, 1 – 6 PM

November 5th, December 3rd, January 7th

Where: 650 S. Orcas Street, Suite #203 – Seattle, 98108

Register by Oct. 15th, pay Early Bird rate $333.  After Oct. 15th pay $383

Limited Space

To Register email: Tracey@breathingmandala.com or Jennygm@mamaneedsarefill.com

Questions:  Contact Jenny          206. 255. 0463

 

“There is a way of breathing that’s a shame and a suffocation and there’s another way of expiring, a love breath, that lets you open infinitely.” – Rumi

 

Friday’s Free Refill: Takin’ a Break

Fueled with tea, coffee, and hot cocoa we hit the road yesterday for a family adventure. In the car for only a few minutes, before the Starbucks stop my son reminds us of our family motto, “Team Family on three. 1. 2. 3. Team Family.” This family cheer connects us to each other and reminds us that together we are supported and we have each other’s backs.

Summer time means break time for some. No school for kiddos. A hiatus from the usual. A change of pace. A meandering from the norm.

 

Writing to you from Canada on a family vacation, I am definitely on a break from my normal routine. I am not checked out, I am checked in. Still operating as usual, but in a different setting. Meals are still being prepared, responsibilities being tended to, but I am definitely on a break. A time to connect with family. And in this time to be present to those near and dear to my heart, I am getting the opportunity to check in with myself.

 

As the house sleeps nestled among the Whistler peaks, the sunlight illuminates the room I am writing in. I take a breath and realize, yes, I need a break. I have decided to give a little breathing space from  my weekly posts to simply BE. I am being nudged to take a respite from my Friday Refill Blog posts. I am being called to create a little bit of space between the action. When we stand so closely to something, we miss the light coming through the cracks. We miss the big picture. I have been showing up to the blank page every Friday since February 2010. I still want to show up. The joy is still there, I only want to discover some clarity and that comes when we remove the busyness, the clutter, the doing out of habit. On this unspecified recess that may be two weeks or it may be a month,  or perhaps longer. I want to ask myself, “What is the purpose and intention behind my words?”

 

I want to get clear about what I am doing in this blog space each week. I want to continue to show up authentically with nuggets of gold that support and inspire your journey and I can do that if I step back, take a breath, create a bit of space.

 

When I was a Bikram practitioner for seven years, I took breaks. When I returned, I discovered new muscles, I found new places in my body that needed my breath, my attention and my awareness. As a life coach, mom, wife, teacher, writer, retreat leader, friend, I need breaks to hear my own voice. I crave rest to get grounded so that I can receive and identify what is important. When I emerge I have a new perspective, my cup is refueled.

 

Looking out at this beautiful Whistler Valley, I am taking a break from looking at my backyard trees. The trees will be there when I return home in a few days, I will be the one who is different. In that respite from the usual, the light will appear different. Perhaps brighter, perhaps duller, perhaps a completely different color.

 

Breaks aren’t giving up, breaks are necessary respites of grace. I ask you, dear Holder of the Cup, where in your life would a little break provide insight and rejuvenation for your body, mind and spirit? Where can you step back and enjoy the view, allowing the view to change you as you open up to receive?

Where in your life can you take a break? Where will you give yourself permission to step back and enjoy the view?

On this break from my Friday Free Refill posts, I can still be found on Instagram and FaceBook, (Mama Needs A Refill) and I have a few open spots for life coaching clients. Reach out to my contact info listed below. My summer newsletter will come out in August, so do let me know if I can add you to the mailing list of this quarterly newsletter. Stay tuned for the the fall workshop, The Exhale Series, I am creating with Breath Coach, Tracey Stover. (3 Sundays, 1 – 6 PM, October 1, November 5 and December 3. Gatherings for connection and release as we discover how to live more fully.) And the dates of the next two Mama Needs A Refill mini-retreats are, September 15 and January 5.

Cheers, Jenny

Hello! I’m Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Coach for your Life and Spirit. I have been leading retreats for women and coaching them since 2009. One of my favorite ways to fill my own cup is by writing. May my weekly blog give you a sip to reflect, a nugget to chew, a thought to refill. If it is an accountability partner you seek, I offer life and spiritual coaching for women, men, teenagers, and couples, in person in Seattle and by phone.  2017 Mini-retreats in West Seattle 9:30 – 2 pm. Next one, September 15 (1 seat left). Limited availability, register early. info@mamaneedsarefill.com or 206 255 0463.

Friday’s Free Refill: Step Back

We want our kids to do things that maybe we did or we didn’t do when they were our age, but it’s not about us.

My kids were never going to eat at McDonalds. They absolutely were never going to eat in the car. And the third “rule” I created when I discovered they both had a love and talent for music was that they were both going to play a musical instrument through their senior year of high school.

Well, first road trip they not only discovered how good a McDonald’s french fry can be, they also learned the happiness a parent can enjoy when the children are eating peacefully in the back seat. Now as teenagers, thank you Goddess-of-fast-food, McDonald’s is not a place they choose to frequent and the couple of McDonald stops didn’t ruin them. However, athletes who need to be fueled, our mini-van is full of seeds on the floor, apple cores in the litter bag, and granola bar wrappers in the cup holders. I quickly understood the power of necessity back when they were in car seats and I understand it even more now as I eat my handful of grapes and raw almonds in between carpool drop offs.

When our daughter, Margaret, proved to be quite the little piano player in second grade, we signed her up for weekly lessons. Elementary band brought out her interest in the flute and the next year, the drums. When those two interests became passing fancies, I was grateful she still had her weekly piano lessons. Aware of my play-an-instrument through high school “rule” she kept at piano even when she was losing interest. Until, one day we had a heart to heart and it was clear I was pushing something she didn’t want. Was I living vicariously through her? As a kid myself who didn’t take piano lessons with much commitment, I so wanted her to continue. She was good. She had a natural talent. I quickly realized, it was bringing me joy, not her. I decided much like the no-french-fries-in-the-back-seat that the “rule” wasn’t working. She stopped lessons somewhere in the sixth grade.

Fast forward four years and guess who has been playing the piano since spring? Yep, Margaret. One weekend morning I heard her playing “Heart and Soul” and I did everything I could to hide my enthusiasm. After a few weeks of that familiar, da, da, daaaa, dadada, da, da-daaaa and the C scale, piano books started to appear on the piano. For three more weeks it was Christmas music all of June. Then Margaret revived sheet music from deep in the piano bench and it was Louis Armstrong and Adele instead of Hark the Herald. She now knows of my enthusiasm. Do you think making up dance routines in the living room  while she plays was too big of a clue?

I backed off for four years, gave up hope to be honest, and let her discover her own joy, on her own time. Of course we have strong ideas of what we want our kids to do and how we want them to behave and yes, rules have a place, boundaries are necessary. But sometimes our rules are for the wrong reasons or just don’t work. Margaret has always been an independent soul, dancing to her own drum, the pressure I put on her to play piano only served for so long. Maybe it gave her a foundation, but maybe she gave herself her own foundation.

Do some of your rules need some backing off, some allowing of discovery on your kids’ own time?

Hello! I’m Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Coach for your Life and Spirit. I have been leading retreats for women and coaching them since 2009. One of my favorite ways to fill my own cup is by writing. May my weekly blog give you a sip to reflect, a nugget to chew, a thought to refill. If it is an accountability partner you seek, I offer life and spiritual coaching for women, men, teenagers, and couples, in person in Seattle and by phone.  2017 Mini-retreats in West Seattle 9:30 – 2 pm. Next one, September 15 (1 seat left). Limited availability, register early. info@mamaneedsarefill.com or 206 255 0463.

All moms deserve a re-fill, ideally before they run on empty.