Friday’s Free Refill: There is a Time

 

There is a time, when you throw out all the plotting, scheming and drama to simply put all that effort you have put into thinkinMonday morning I was awakened at 6:30 by the sound of our front door closing. Who was leaving? Who was coming home? Turns out my hubby had just returned from an hour walk to the beach.

Huh? Who is this man and what has he done with my husband?

My hubby looked at me all sweaty, wiping his brow, “I was tired of thinking about it. You know I’ve been wanting to walk for a long time now.”

Hubby is not a morning person. For the twenty something years we have known each other he abhors morning exercise. Lately, for a long time now, he has been talking about the morning time being the only opportunity he has to exercise. Three times this week now he has embarked on his new commitment, creating a new habit that has been on his mind for some time.

That’s how I was with meditation. I thought about it for ten years before I did anything about it.

We can think about it, talk about it, seek inspiration and help from others until finally one day, all that gets old and we realize, It Is Time. No big fan fare. Minus the drama. Simply enough is enough and it is time to put our money where our mouth is and step forward. Day dreaming has served its purpose. Time for action.

I think we need to honor the fact that sometimes we have to think about it and let the idea stir within us long enough before we are willing to make a change.

My husband is walking now. I am meditating now. The next thing that perhaps we are both tired of talking about is date night. We are having lunch together today. Don’t tell, but it will be our second lunch date in a month. Our second in nearly eighteen years of marriage.

Talking and thinking gets old so you just do it. Is there something you are sick of thinking about and bored with talking about? Is the only thing standing in your way your own feet? Ready to move them?

 

Hi, I’m Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Life Coach who has been leading retreats for women and coaching them since 2009. 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 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 men and women in person in Seattle and by phone. Next Sack Lunch Mini-Retreat is Friday June 3rd  in West Seattle is sold out, mark Wednesday September 28th on your calendar! info@mamaneedsarefill.com or www.mamaneedsarefill.com or 206 255 0463.

Friday’s Free Refill: Letting Go, Life Giving For All

Letting go means something unique and personal to each of us. When I let go of how I "think" I should be or how I "think" things should unfold, something much bigger than me happens. I get to witness a miracle.

Letting go means something unique and personal to each of us. When I let go of how I “think” I should be or how I “think” things should unfold, something much bigger than me happens. I get to witness a miracle.

In the midst of our morning routine yesterday my teenage daughter who is very independent and not super talkative in the early hours of the day, surprises me when she asks, “Mom are you busy?”

With those words I drop everything, even though, yes, I was busy. “I am headed to get dressed,” I tell her. “Do you need something, honey?”

“Never mind, I thought you were going to the kitchen to make brother’s lunch.”

“Are you sure?” I walk to the bathroom where she is getting ready.

“I’m sure,” she tells me.

Very typical of me to want to help even though the clock is ticking and wearing pants to drive my daughter to middle school is probably a good thing. Despite protocol, pants or no pants, when my daughter needs me, I will walk on broken glass or run into a burning building for her. What’s the big deal if I go out the door in underwear if it means getting her to school on time?

But it all stopped there. I never found out what she needed. I made the choice to trust her. She was treating me maturely, I could do the same to her. I never found out what she needed, it had something to do with the kitchen, since she thought that was the next place I was going. It doesn’t matter. She handled whatever she needed. At the same time I was given the opportunity to be okay with not being able to help. A natural giver, most moms are, I chose to let go. Not easy. Not natural. A beautiful lesson early on a Thursday morning.

The job title of mom involves doing for our children, but I think one of the best things we can do for them is to allow them to do for themselves. Yes, we die a little inside when they don’t need us. We anchor our self worth, our power and vitality to being there for them. This little death is life giving, for in our letting go we make room for others growth. Empowering them to lead the way. We provide space for our children to find their own wings and we give ourselves wings by not hanging on so tightly.

 

Hi, I’m Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Life Coach who has been leading retreats for women and coaching them since 2009. 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 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 men and women in person in Seattle and by phone. Next Sack Lunch Mini-Retreat is Friday June 3rd  in West Seattle is sold out, mark Wednesday September 28th on your calendar! info@mamaneedsarefill.com or www.mamaneedsarefill.com or 206 255 0463.

Friday’s Free Refill: Clues to Empty

 

What evidence leads you to the fact you are holding an empty cup?

What evidence leads you to the fact you are holding an empty cup?

How do you know you are running on empty and could use a little more fuel in your tank?

We all hold an empty cup in our own unique manner. No two empty cups look alike. When I am empty I am definitely not in the present moment, cussing like a sailor, yelling, defensive, reacting and not at all my best self. This can happen when I am tired, have been giving more than receiving and putting my needs at the bottom of the list.

Some of the clues I now recognize like an old friend I don’t necessarily invite for a visit: I say,” Yes”, when I want to say “No”, I am frustrated, I am judgmental, I yell, I day dream about the past or future, I clean the house. When one or all of these things show up it is like I am wearing Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter A on my chest. No, not for adulteress. A for Avoider. I avoid with a capital A when I am empty. The result emptying myself even more. The worst kind of cheating. Cheating myself.

The trick is to notice before the signs appear. I do this by tuning in and listening to my thoughts in my brain and the words on my tongue. But if humanness sneaks up on me and I am doing what I don’t want to do and acting in a way that doesn’t make me proud, I stop. I notice. I make a change.

Start with your clues. How do you know you are approaching empty? Is it in your tone, your words, your actions or some other evident way of being? Rather than keep on going down the empty road are you willing to stop? Stop and learn from your actions? Begin again with a refill. Whether that refill is a deep breath or giving yourself a “time-out” to engage in something that nurtures and feeds you. This can be short, not necessarily time intensive. Just step away whether in mind or body and do for you. Be present to your needs.

Knowing when you are headed toward empty is the place to start. Be aware. Pay attention. Notice the times you aren’t your best self and love yourself anyway. Love the snarky not best you and then go fill your tank. One refill at a time.

Hi, I’m Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Life Coach who has been leading retreats for women and coaching them since 2009. 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 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 men and women in person in Seattle and by phone. Next Sack Lunch Mini-Retreat is Friday June 3rd  in West Seattle is sold out, mark Wednesday September 28th on your calendar! info@mamaneedsarefill.com or www.mamaneedsarefill.com or 206 255 0463.

Friday’s Free Refill: Top of the List

What is at the top of your "To Do" List today?

What is at the top of your “To Do” List today?

I am a list maker. This helps me get shit done. Keeps me accountable. And, let’s be honest, to remind me of the things I can easily forget. I am proud to say, I am old school. I actually write my “to do” list with a pen on a calendar that is as big as a book. In addition I have a small white board I keep on my fridge in plain-as-day sight.  This board gets wiped clean every day so that all I see is what needs to happen. One. Day. At. A. Time.

 

The daily list includes appointments, meetings, kids’ sport activities, what I am making for dinner, deadlines I must meet. I am honest with myself. This isn’t an imaginary list as if I had all the time, money, energy and magical powers in the world. One day at a tme, keeps it real and keeps me present.

 

My favorite part of the list is the part where I write out “how” I want to “be”. Yesterday’s list, right at the very top, contained the first bullet point “love”. When I looked at the list and all throughout the day when I thought of what needed to “get done”, I reminded myself that “love” was the top priority. That translated into loving myself through the thoughts I allowed to take up space in my brain, the foods I prepared for myself to eat, the activities and words I embraced. It also included the way I interacted with my family, friends, clients, strangers. Love. Simply love through word and deed. Whether a kind gesture or genuine smile.

 

At day end, I made every appointment, my kids got to where they needed to be and I showed up to myself and the Universe with a simple intention to love. The word was inspired by the previous day’s events of being hard on myself, negative and harboring feelings of hopelessness. Love turned that around. Today’s list has a different bullet point at the very top right before bullet point #2, “Post Blog”. #1, is “Be Present.” Sure this is something I aim to practice every day, but it is the thing I wanted to ground myself in today.

 

I have six other things on the list with it now being barely noon, I may or may not get to, but I have already attended to the thing at the top of the list. Walking home from our daily morning walk my dog and I were invited to tea nearing the end of our walk. I couldn’t help but notice the lavendar house and lovely garden. I saw a woman on the deck and hollered up to her, remarking on her beautiful place.

 

Turns out we know each other. I know her by first name and as the sweet woman who walks her dog, Oliver.  We have been walking by each other for years on our dog strolls. I never knew where she lived.

 

“Come up for tea.” I didn’t hesitate.

 

She asked me to pick my cup as she had just made a pot of tea. I chose the red one. Sitting on her deck, basking in the moring sun, connecting on many levels, she told me I was the first person who accepted her offer to tea as they walked up the very steep hill past her home. She had lived there nearly five years.

 

“No one has time”, she told me.

 

I had time. I made the time. Sure I had a full list at home on my fridge, but here in the sunshine I was checking off the item at the top, #Be Present. More important than washing my daughter’s  softball socks or getting to Costco. Smelly socks won’t kill her and we can always have toast. No one died from eating toast for dinner, either. But being present is filling my cup to overflowing this Friday. When the kids come home to dirty socks and an empty fridge they won’t even notice. They will notice the happy mama greeting them at the door. Being present is the key that unlocks the door to happiness. The secret weapon to holding a full cup.

 

Look at that I nearly have item #2 Post Blog checked off, too. What is important at the end of the day is not what you were able to check off the list, rather that you stayed in line with your main focus of the day. One. Day. At. A. Time. And when your main focus is being present, everything can else takes a detour when a stanger calls you to tea. (P.S. I am redoing my list but keeping #1 and #2 checked off. Less is More.) Cheers!

 

Hi, I’m Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Life Coach who has been leading retreats for women and coaching them since 2009. 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 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 men and women in person in Seattle and by phone. Next Sack Lunch Mini-Retreat is Friday June 3rd  in West Seattle. I’d be delighted to hear from you, one spot available as of today! Is it for you?? info@mamaneedsarefill.com or www.mamaneedsarefill.com or 206 255 0463.

Friday’s Free Refill: A Conversation with my Son

I get so concerned about the state of my son's bedroom. Does the messiness or orderliness really matter, does it really hinge on his being a fit person in society or not? When I let go of my agenda he comes up with his own and it is perfectly fine.

I get so concerned about the state of my son’s bedroom. Does the messiness or orderliness really matter, does it really hinge on his being a fit person in society or not? When I let go of my agenda he comes up with his own and it is perfectly fine.

My son has a friend coming home with him after school so last night I say to him standing in the middle of his messy, chaotic room,”If you have time in the morning would you consider picking up your room before school?”

He takes a breath,”I will do what I can, mom.” He crawls into his bed and we say our routine words, share and connect like always. As I leave his room, he gently says,”Mom, I probably won’t have time to clean my room in the morning. And I am okay with it this way. Just like I need to get over my fears and worries you could get over your tidiness.”

I smiled. How could I take offense? “You are right buddy. Done. I have let your room go, I am sure E has seen a messy room before.” I closed the door, aware of my grateful heart.

Because I had truly let the room go realizing it was my agenda and not life threatening to have a friend see a messy room, nor life giving to stress about, my son’s words surprised me this morning.

“Hey, mama I picked up my room, I just left my pile of clean clothes and there might be some food in my soccer bag.”

“I thought we were letting the room go?”

“I had time and so I just did it.”

I grinned to myself and did an internal happy dance. Look what happens when I let go? When I release the control reins of my agenda.

Is the order of your kid’s room a sore spot? A bone of contention? A battle you won’t give up? It has been for me and our youngest. Order is my thing. My priority. I can teach our son, I can model, but in the end the only thing that works is letting go. And closing the door doesn’t hurt.

Hi, I’m Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Life Coach who has been leading retreats for women and coaching them since 2009. 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 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 men and women in person in Seattle and by phone. Next Sack Lunch Mini-Retreat is Friday June 3rd  in West Seattle. I’d be delighted to hear from you, two spots open as of today! info@mamaneedsarefill.com or www.mamaneedsarefill.com or 206 255 0463.

Friday’s Free Refill: Vacation, A Step Away

They kind of vacation I am talking about you don't have to save up for months, take time off from work or find a dog sitter.

They kind of vacation I am talking about you don’t have to save up for months, take time off from work or find a dog sitter.

On Wednesday mornings I swing by my friend Erika’s house and she joins my dog and me for our neighborhood walk. This Wednesday when I showed up on her doorstep it had been two weeks since we last walked together. Skipping our usual hugs and greetings we both got right to the point, Time for a long one today?

Reading each other’s minds we were both in need of and had time for a long walk which meant one thing. We were headed to the beach. I even had Buford’s ball in my pocket which means a swim was in my dog’s near future. We headed down the hill catching up, breathing easily among the comfort of trees and each other’s company.

We listened deeply and laughed hard as we swapped stories. Taking in the beauty of the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound we heard the seals barking and gulls squawking. An hour later after we had caught up, Buford had a chance to swim and we had broken a sweat coming up the big hill, Erika says to me, Ahh, it’s like we just had a vacation.

Two blocks from her front door, I looked over at Erika, seeing the mountains and water behind her, my dog wagging his tail between us and smiled.

Totally. You nailed it. And it’s not even 10 in the morning.

Vacation is a time to rejuvenate. A stretch of time when you let go of responsibilities and gain new strength. Good weather is often involved. Surrender a necessity. Laughter and good company both an added bonus. I was indeed recharged from our morning spent among trees and walking near water.

Erika’s comment is the essence of Mama Needs A Refill, to go within and authentically recharge. It doesn’t have to be a vacation with the family to Hawaii or a yoga retreat by yourself in Taos. A vacation can be stepping outside of your usual or simply stepping outside. Allowing yourself to let go and receive.

Every Wednesday morning I get to take a vacation. Flight takes off at 8 am when I land on Erika’s front porch. When will you schedule your next vacation? Remember no travel agent, visa card or long stretch of time needed. Start with thirty minutes, put it on the calendar and strap on your favorite shoes. (And of course, to be clear, shoes are totally optional.)

Hi, I’m Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Life Coach who has been leading retreats for women and coaching them since 2009. 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 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 men and women in person in Seattle and by phone. Next Sack Lunch Mini-Retreat is Friday June 3rd  in West Seattle. I’d be delighted to hear from you! info@mamaneedsarefill.com or www.mamaneedsarefill.com or 206 255 0463.

 

Next Sack Lunch Mini-Retreat

This is your life. Do you want to live it holding an empty cup or one that is full- (1)

What are these mini-retreats all about?

Mama Needs A Refill Sack Lunch Mini-Retreats are about taking a break from taking care of others and turning inward to take care of you. When we are quiet we hear our wisdom. Each mini-retreat provides both time to share in an intimate group and silent time. Optional private one-on-one life coaching session or inspirational card reading.

Laugh, Share, Create, Receive. Simply Be.

Bring a sack lunch, open mind, journal and leave your worries at the front door as we gather in a private West Seattle home.

June 3rd Theme: It’s All About You. Summer means kids home. Discover what fills your cup and come away with a plan to honor your FULL CUP in a season with school out for the summer!

Here is what some women have to say about attending a Mini-Retreat:

Reita J, says: I  signed up for my first ever retreat not quite sure what to expect but very much looking forward to some time away and unplugged. Boy was I WRONG! I ended up getting more plugged  in to MYSELF and it felt absolutely amazing. The atmosphere was just perfect. Jenny is such a warm and caring coach and leader it’s like she knew exactly what each of us ladies at the retreat needed. I definitely left feeling more at peace, with my cup overflowing.

Sonya E. shares:  Thank you Jenny! This is my third Mama Needs a Refill retreat and it won’t be my last! I love having a few hours tucked away to focus on me and my happiness, which of course in the end means more happiness for my entire family and others around me. Each retreat, I have felt thankful to have had that time to really breathe and just be, and each time I have come away with a new tidbit of insight into being a better mom, a better wire and a better me. Thank you. Thank you.

Amy A. offers: These retreats are like a day spa for the soul. (Six time attendee.)

Cost $125 (Register before 5/27, pay $85).

Questions/Register contact Jenny: 206 255 0463 or info@mamaneedsarefill.com.

Friday’s Free Refill: Real Boys Cry

My vision is for a world that supports boys who cry instead of teaches them to hide, stuff, ignore and be ashamed of their tears.

My vision is for a world that supports boys who cry instead of teaches them to hide, stuff, ignore and be ashamed of their tears.

My kids wanted to show me a You Tube video of a seven year old rapper performing on America’s Got Talent. They wanted me to see this talented little guy. This totally cute little boy got on stage in front of thousands of people if you count those watching on TV. He performed his heart out. And then one of the judges, Howard Stern, hit his NO button. Apparently that means he can’t go on, show over for the seven year old.

The boy began to cry. A very normal emotion. Tears welled up in his little brown eyes. The crowd proceeded to chide Stern. At this point Stern got up from his seat and approached the boy on stage. He offered him a genuine big hug. He then did something that made me want to scream.

Stern told the boy to not cry. That his crying made him feel bad. Then in his dramatic flare he told the crowd and his panel of judges that he wanted to quit. If this job was going to make kids cry, he wanted out.

The absolutely best thing that little boy could do was cry. Heck, I’m 48, never mind that I can barely carry a tune, but I’d cry.

Crying is liquid emotion getting out of us. When ignored I can only imagine what it does. It grows, festers, turns hard and bitter. I get it, Stern felt uncomfortable. No one likes to think they made someone cry. When will crying cease to be the thing we fear?

I hear and see dads and moms on the sidelines of my kids sporting events regularly tell their kids to not cry. Shake it off. Buck up. You don’t need to cry. Like laughter when it bubbles up within us all we can do is let it out. Tears aren’t to be feared. They are to be honored. Loved. Respected.

I can only trust that little boy is going to take this experience and have it grow him. If he still loves rapping, I hope this encourages him to keep practicing.

When will old stereotypes of boys crying stop? Wouldn’t it be lovely if we lived in a world that supported boys emotions instead of teaching them to buck it up and stuff that feeling in a corner?

A release of waterworks is transformational. Acknowledging emotion is life giving. When I have the honor to witness it in another I want to applaud. I don’t. I simply sit still and allow them to feel.

Hi, I’m Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Life Coach who has been leading retreats for women and coaching them since 2009. 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 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 men and women in person in Seattle and by phone. Next Sack Lunch Mini-Retreat is Friday June 3rd  in West Seattle. I’d be delighted to hear from you! info@mamaneedsarefill.com or www.mamaneedsarefill.com or 206 255 0463.

Friday’s Free Refill: Down the Rabbit Hole

We all know what we are doing when we make choices that keep us from what we REALLY want to be doing. We all have the wisdom within to stay out of the rabbit hole of distraction.

We all know what we are doing when we make choices that keep us from what we REALLY want to be doing. We all have the wisdom within to stay out of the rabbit hole of distraction.

Are you standing in your own way? When I’m not moving forward with my goals, I am the obstacle blocking my path. I can blame outside factors, other people and even use the old standby excuse “there isn’t enough time in the day.” There will always be outside demands, responsibilities to other people and only twenty four hours in a day. This is life. Where I have total control, where I hold the key, is in my choices.

I write every Thursday with my friend Sonya. We have done this for over nine years now. We carve out two hours for tea and writing. It’s our religion. Our writing passion lived out in our weekly church of attending to the blank page. If we didn’t make this choice our blogs wouldn’t be written, our progress on our books would not be as far along and most of all we would be unhappy. When you ignore the itch to create, the pull to forge on, the hunger to fulfill and honor your passions within, you empty your cup.

Yesterday, like every Thursday after our ritual of writing for 10 minutes with a pen and sharing our filled up pages with the other, I made a choice. I opened up my laptop and looked at my two work email sites to see if there is any business that needs my immediate attention.

As I began that process, Sonya spoke up. Are you going down the rabbit hole?

Damn you caught me.

Me too. She confessed. Let’s give ourselves two minutes.

Go.

And so my email received my attention for two minutes. Typically I stay in the rabbit hole for an unmarked period of time that ends up being way too long. I read one email which leads to writing an email response that could actually wait.  That task leads to looking something up on the internet. Before you know it twenty minutes of our writing time, down the drain. Out the window. All because I chose to hop down the hole. Yesterday, I stayed the course refusing to jump down the hole of distraction, the crater of resistance, the pit of procrastination. Done, no one would die without my attention, time to do what feeds me.

This falling down into the void can happen in the evenings. Until recently, when I made a new choice. I now turn my cell phone off. I don’t mean on silence, it is always on silence. I mean power OFF by 8:30 and no house cleaning allowed. Period. This rabbit chasing I have made a habit of has kept me from my dream goal to have my evenings at home filled with reading, creativity and nurturing self-care. I make the excuse of getting caught up on social media and picking up the house instead of doing what my heart desires. Wiping down the stove, leads to scrubbing the floor, which brings me to scrubbing all the floors and if you are going to really have clean floors you better get out the vacuum. Are you exhausted? I am. No more.

I got real with the reason behind allowing my time to be used in a way that was not feeding me. I told myself that checking social media kept me connected and that the clean house created a peaceful environment. Lies. Both big fat lies. Truth be told the social media disconnected me from myself and the perfectly ordered home had no effect on me being more peaceful. The work getting there left me frazzled and empty. If the dishes aren’t done by 8:30 my hubby says nothing and does them. No one in the family utters a word about how shinny the bathroom sink looks or even notices the dust behind the toilet. Dirty or clean, all excuses keep me from where I really want to spend my evening body, mind and soul.

We all create our own diversions and make choices that keep us from what really matters to us. At the end of the day I would much rather have written a poem, read a chapter in an inspiring book, have had a conversation with my husband or drawn a picture to mail to my three year old great niece then have a dirt free bathroom and spotless kitchen. A little dirt and used dishes are signs that life happened here. And a sign that things have been created else where. Mama has listened to the stirrings of her heart. Mama has stopped making excuses. Mama has stepped aside and removed the obstacle.

Is there an area in your life that you are ignoring because you keep entering the quagmire of excuses? Are you filling up your time with stuff that actually depletes you or going down a rabbit hole of distraction to avoid what your body, mind and soul truly desire? Are you open to taking a real hard look and discovering your truth?

 

Hi, I’m Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Life Coach who has been leading retreats for women and coaching them since 2009. 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 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 men and women in person in Seattle and by phone. Next Sack Lunch Mini-Retreat is Friday June 3rd  in West Seattle. I’d be delighted to hear from you! info@mamaneedsarefill.com or www.mamaneedsarefill.com or 206 255 0463.

Friday’s Free Refill: No Foolin’

Happy April Fool's! May this first day of a new month bring you playful joy that inspires your heart and soul.

Happy April Fool’s! May this first day of a new month bring you playful joy that inspires your heart and soul.

I’m pregnant. I texted my childhood friend this morning when I remembered the date. April Fool’s Day. We grew up across the street from each other and I seem to remember that was our favorite joke even long before we even really knew what sex was all about.

I’m 48. Way done with birthing babes. She will know immediately, I am kidding. She knows me, old jokes keep coming back around.

I love how a date on the calendar invites a childhood memory to surface, even better, a childhood friend. What a gift when that friend wrapped up in those delightful memories ignites laughter and love that make you smile.  Life is complex, no foolin’, but it is rich with joy if we are open to playing.

I didn’t get around to April Fool’s jokes this morning. You can rest assure I am inspired now for later when the kids get home. I will probably begin with my pregnant joke, they believed it a few years ago. They will know immediately I am kidding. They know me, old jokes, especially the bad ones,  keep coming back around.

In the course of writing this blog, my childhood friend texted back. The fun game of whose prank is bigger has begun. All in jest. All for no reason at all if only to be cognizant that life can be light, you need only open the door.

How will you play today? How will you be inspired by a joy from your past that can spark a moment in your present?

 

Hi, I’m Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Life Coach who has been leading retreats for women and coaching them since 2009. 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 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 in person in Seattle and by phone. Next Sack Lunch Mini-Retreat is March 11th in West Seattle. I’d be delighted to hear from you! info@mamaneedsarefill.com or www.mamaneedsarefill.com or 206 255 0463.

Friday’s Free Refill: Be Here Now

When you BE in the moment all is well. When you surrender and ALLOW all is well. The biggest cup drainer is occurs when we are not present. Stop. Breath. Get present. Be. Here. Now. When you BE in the moment all is well. When you surrender and ALLOW all is well. The biggest cup drainer occurs when we are not present. Stop. Breathe. Get present. Be. Here. Now.

 

Nothing distracts me more than my thoughts. My cup is emptied faster than a bathtub with no plug in the drain when I allow my thoughts to take me out of the present moment. I don’t have to react to every thought, idea, bit of inspiration right then.  I can first take a breath. And then…BE. HERE. NOW.

Being present involves awareness. Deep awareness. Checking in with my body. How am I feeling? What does my body have to share? Am I tired, hungry, in pain, out of whack, feeling light, feeling refreshed? Checking in with my mind. Are the thoughts in my brain serving this present moment and allowing me to experience what is in front of me? Checking in with my spirit.  Am I disconnected? Am I getting in my own way? Is it possible I am forgetting to connect to not only my wisdom within but to the Divinity in the Universe?

This alignment check brings me to the only thing that matters. The present moment. I practice. I get distracted. I get back on track. I wander. I come back.

I know this and I still drift to the past or meander to the future. In those moments of feeling empty, lost and overwhelmed, I stop. And in the awareness when I realize I have deviated from the present moment and I realign to the current here and now, it is like someone has magically put the stopper in the tub and I fill back up.

How can being aligned body, mind and spirit in the present moment support you in holding a full cup? What personal awareness can you bring to help you self adjust?

 

Hi, I’m Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Life Coach who has been leading retreats for women and coaching them since 2009. 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 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 in person in Seattle and by phone. Next Sack Lunch Mini-Retreat is March 11th in West Seattle. I’d be delighted to hear from you! info@mamaneedsarefill.com or www.mamaneedsarefill.com or 206 255 0463.

Friday’s Free Refill: Not Yours, Mine

Mama Needs a Refill

I am responsible for the energy I bring into the space I am standing in.

One morning recently my son was feeling rushed with the tasks he needed to finish before catching the bus. He had a new after school soccer practice which would require leaving straight from school to the field, no time to stop at home before hand. He kindly asked if I was able to give him a ride to school.

It worked with my schedule, so I said, Yes.

With the realization that “we” had more time than usual my brain kicked in to overdrive.

Hey, sweetie, I began. Since you have more time this morning what about brushing your hair, putting away your clean clothes and making your bed? I rolled out my expectation list. Completely forgetting that this was the kid who felt rushed by adding one more thing in his morning. Now I wanted to add three more things. He took responsibility and asked sweetly for more time. I responded with creating more busyness. Packing a soccer bag and all the pieces that involves: putting cleats in bag, getting a water bottle, different clothing options all weather dependent, getting clean socks out of the dryer. All this organization which he normally doesn’t have to tend to at 7:45 am on a school day and asking for what he needs rather than blowing up for feeling overwhelmed was a huge step in growth.

Mom, I could hear him bite his tongue. I love that you want me to brush my hair and make by bed but I will do what I can.

I was like a mama tiger springing into action at the sight of an opportunity. I took a breath.

Honey, I want to apologize for jumping on you with adding more to your morning. I got a little excited about you actually having time to make your bed. I will reign in my enthusiasm.

He smiled and replied, It’s okay. I will do my best.

I had only one choice. To let it go. So I did.

Standing in the kitchen finishing my cup of tea I realized how much I do that. How often I see an opportunity and leap before thinking. He wasn’t going to die if he didn’t brush his hair or make his bed. I wasn’t going to die if his clean clothes sat another day on his dresser. It is my expectations that add big energy to the room my children are standing in.

When it was time to head out the door my son says, Mom, I straightened one blanket on my bed, I can make the rest of it later. That’s all I have time for.

Smiling, I told him, Thank you, honey.

In the car I owned up to recognizing how I create more stress, additional drama, basically more of what is unnecessary.

Thank you, mom. I recognize too that you are my mom and you want me to do all these things because you love me.

Driving to school that morning I forgot I had an eleven year old in the backseat. Instead I was reminded I had a young man who is doing the best he can with the tools he has to figure out how to manuever in this world. That’s what we all are doing. Even us adults. We don’t have it all figured so I say we figure it out together, one morning at a time. One thing at a time. All without adding more to the agenda at the first sight of an opportunity.

Hi, I’m Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Life Coach who has been leading retreats for women and coaching them since 2009. 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 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 in person in Seattle and by phone. Next Sack Lunch Mini-Retreat is March 11th in West Seattle. I’d be delighted to hear from you! info@mamaneedsarefill.com or www.mamaneedsarefill.com or 206 255 0463.

Friday’s Free Refill: Uncover

Attending to your plants in the garden can be therapeutic for your soul.

Attending to your plants in the garden can be therapeutic for your soul.

Walking up my front porch steps after yesterday’s morning walk with my dog I saw them, plain as day, speaking to me with their bright faces. Again. The front porch flower pots currently have these lovely primroses with sherbet orange petals and trimmed in blood red-orange. Some of the dead flowers hang limp begging to be noticed. Under a chewed up leaf and another spotted yellow one I see tiny buds just waiting to be blossoms. I have noticed them for a number of days now. I finally answered the nudge I received every time I passed them. This was the morning to spend a moment with the flowers. I unleashed my dog as he waited patiently at my side and bent down to inspect closely. I gently removed the chewed up leaf some snail or bug must have dined on happily in the night. Removing the past-their-prime dead petals I was making more space for the tightly budded primroses waiting to spread their wings. Dead heading not just done on my tomato plants in the summer time. A mini-pruning session for my beloved annuals. Ahhh, my happy place.

Today’s Sack Lunch mini-retreat is centered around the theme, Uncover. We will shed lightt on what we are ready to unearth, explore, give birth to personally. An emotion, an idea, a goal, a dream, an awareness. Whatever it is that nudges us in our sleep, whispers to us as we stop at a red light, wash the dishes, fold laundry or walk up our front steps and in our busyness we say, One day. When I have more time. If. If only. Oh, I wish.

As I pruned the petals and leaves which were no longer serving the plant knelt there on the front porch I was aware of the things that moment which were no longer serving me in my life. Doubt. Worry. Uncertainty. As I plucked away the dead stuff tossing it into the garden to be recycled into good fertile soil for my hydranega I smiled. When I release those things holding me back, I am making room for Faith. Joy. Confidence.

Letting go of the dead stuff to make room for the light to get in so the other buds can expand feels good. My front porch pots look nicer and I feel lighter. Funny and wonderful how a simple tending to the actual garden can mend my soul. Awaken me to possibility.

What needs pruning in your life? What ‘dead stuff’ is no longer serving you and is ready to be released and recycled into the ground? Don’t you desire to see the what the waiting blossoms will unfold?

Hi, I’m Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Life Coach who has been leading retreats for women and coaching them since 2009. 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 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 in person in Seattle and by phone. Next Sack Lunch Mini-Retreat is March 11th in West Seattle. I’d be delighted to hear from you! info@mamaneedsarefill.com or www.mamaneedsarefill.com or 206 255 0463.

Friday’s Free Refill: Come Together with a Capital T.

All trouble roots in disconnection.

All trouble roots in disconnection.

All trouble is rooted in disconnection.

Scene One, Take One: Dinner time. A family of four sits down to share a meal. It is later than their normal meal time, everyone is hungry. The two children are arguing over who gets to sit in which chair. The mother is mad the father was late without calling to let her know. The teenager doesn’t like what is on her plate and she gets up to make something else in the kitchen. The mother thinks to herself, no one respects me, hubby doesn’t call, daughter doesn’t like my cooking. The father had a stressful day and is quiet, processing recent work events. The youngest child, a son, is so excited about having the best day ever at school and he won’t stop talking. Everyone in their own head can’t even digest what he is sharing. The boy notices no one is listening, he goes silent and disengages.

When there are issues of any kind the root cause is disconnection. Without a doubt. Separation from self, others, God, Universe, Spirit, Mother Nature or those you love, will lead to trouble in River City. That’s with a capital  T. (A little Music Man reference, if you are a fan of musicals.)

Scene One, Take Two: Dinner Time. A family of four is focused and ready to come together around the table.  Everyone is hungry. All pause briefly before digging into the food and conversation to say a grace. A moment to connect to those around the table. Two family members offer a word of thanks, the other two listen and pass on speaking out loud, preferring to acknowledge their gratitude in silence. Plenty of room around the table for words and silence, different ways to come together honoring everyone’s need. The father, asks the daughter about her day. She shares the highlights and politely tells her mother she is appreciative of the meal, but it is not her favorite and asks to get something else from the fridge. Gone only briefly she returns with leftovers from the night before and asks her mother about her day. Mother has a lot to share. The mother asks the son about his day. The boy has lots to share. After sharing the boy thanks the mother for the meal and asks the father about his day. He shares a highlight or two.  All taking turns to share in their own way. All honoring with their listening. Bread broken, given and received. Shared as one. Together at the table with a capital T.

Scene Two, Take One: Meal over. Everyone gets up from the table. The father puts away the food. The mother finds music on Pandora, while the children clear and wipe the table. As music fills the kitchen it fights to be heard over the laughter. Daughter washes the dishes, son dries, dad puts away and mother dances while sweeping.

All trouble is rooted in disconnection. All resolutions come from connection.

End scene.

Where in your life is there a bit of Trouble with a capital T? Are you disconnected from your highest self? Are you disconnected from those you love? What is the first step you can take toward connection? When are you willing to make that first step?

 

Hi, I’m Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Life Coach who has been leading retreats for women and coaching them since 2009. 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 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 in person in Seattle and by phone. Next Sack Lunch Mini-Retreat is March 11th in West Seattle. I’d be delighted to hear from you! info@mamaneedsarefill.com or www.mamaneedsarefill.com or 206 255 0463.

 

Friday’s Free Refill: Surrender

Less is more, what will you surrender today?

Less is more, what will you surrender today?

I have a whole other blog written for today, but in order to say all I wanted to say in a clear way I need to spend more time getting my words on to paper. And I instead, am catching a ferry in an hour to spend the weekend with girlfriends. With the list of all that needed to get done I am choosing to let this one go.

I need to surrender and my Friday blog so that I could show up to me FIRST.

Less is more.

Hi, I’m Jenny Gwinn McGlothern, Certified Transformational Master Life Coach who has been leading retreats for women and coaching them since 2009. 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 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 in person in Seattle and by phone. Next Sack Lunch Mini-Retreat is March 11th in West Seattle. I’d be delighted to hear from you! info@mamaneedsarefill.com or www.mamaneedsarefill.com or 206 255 0463.