Category Archives: Mom support

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.

Friday’s Free Refill: Sacred Pause

Nothing more loving than receiving the gift of a sacred pause from the Universe.

No one LIKES to be sick. No one says, “Hit me up with something big so I can be in bed for a few days.” When illness or injury strikes we usually fight it and if we can’t ignore the inevitable, we want a cure and we want it fast.

I would like to offer a different perspective.

When I woke up on the Fourth of July with a sore throat I had forgotten was possible, having been cold and flu free for a few years, I started to fight it. I gargled. I boiled the hot water, sliced the lemon, got out the honey. How dare you arrive now, and on a holiday. Then half way into the day when it was clear my body didn’t really want or need to see fireworks, I surrendered. I rested and rested some more. On day two when I was feeling normal again, I started doing more. On day three my body wasn’t ready for more. She ached and barely had enough energy to help me get out of my pajamas.

That’s when I saw the gift in this summer cold that I didn’t see coming. I was being offered an opportunity to pause in the midst of summer activity. I was invited to chill out. I was not only being invited, I was being told this was happening by my tired body. I could fight it some more, or I could listen. So I kept on the pajamas and I crawled back into bed. I read, napped, read some more. I had no idea my body was so tired and in such need of rest and healing.

See these are really sacred pauses being bestowed upon us. Our bodies are so wise. They call out to us when it is time to take a break. What if we received this calling out as a blessing?

Also on the Fourth of July, my friend witnessed a car accident in front of her house and as she was running out to help, she broke her toe. She broke it good. Walking boot for the rest of the summer, good. Her attitude, although incredibly bummed, is to take on things she hadn’t planned on for the summer, like knitting and building her core. Running races cancelled, hiking postponed, she chose to take on a different perspective.

What if these messages from our body to slow down and chill are big gifts waiting for us to receive?

I get it. We are the doing generation, get it done kind of people. Slowing down is where the wisdom waits. Slowing down not only rests and heals are bodies, it rejuvenates are minds.

Spending six and a half months this year myself in a walking boot was the greatest wake up call I could ask for. And of course I would never intentionally ask for it, but on some unconscious level I certainly did.

There were lessons I needed to uncover, awareness begging to be learned. And instead of thinking, “Would have been nice to receive these lessons without all that time in a walking boot, without two foot surgeries, without a cold that wiped me out for a few days,” I will take on a different perspective. “Thank you for the time to be off my feet, thank you for this body and all the hard work she does to support me.”

Ok, maybe you aren’t in a place to think of a foot injury or summer cold as a sacred pause, but what about taking intentional sacred pauses? What about taking pauses initiated by you before you are takin’ by surprise? Try starting your day with stillness. Play music. Go for a walk. Take a long shower. Sit outside under a tree. Do something that invites stillness and allows your body who does so much for you to just chill a bit. She will thank you. I know it.

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: A Whiff of Summer

For me the smell of Earl Grey and flowers EVERY season warms my heart and fills me to overflowing with joy.

My husband swears I would make the best bomb sniffing dog. Let’s just say I know someone is thinking about chocolate before they even open the hidden bag of chocolate chips at the back of the baking drawer.  When someone leaves out the milk, I know it before the carton turns warm and that’s while sitting in another room. Light a lavender scented candle and I drop to the floor and begin meditating.  More strong sense of smell has the ability to change my mood, transport me to another place and inspire immediate action.

 

For me raspberries are more than the smell and  taste of summer. The slightest hint of raspberry takes me back to 1973 standing in my grandparents garden. The sun is out, the birds are singing, grandma is inside their white house making apple pie and grandpa is mowing the lawn on his riding lawn mower. I am happy, barefoot, stepping through the garden picking the ripest plumpest berries and popping them into my mouth. I am not just in their garden, I am in heaven.

 

More than forty years later, that is what the smell of a raspberry does for me. Takes me to one of the happiest times in my life. More than happiness, more than a sign of summer, for me a raspberry is pure joy.

 

A plethora of smells have power over me, taking me to another place. A place of calm, surrender, inspiration, or peace. Lavender calls me to calm the hell down and invites me to create something with my hands whether it is a big green salad or to color with crayons. Lemon grass whispers my name to actually enjoy doing nothing. Peppermint invigorates my mood and lifts my spirit.

 

I could go on and on and on about how certain smells trigger particular memories and remind me of specific moments. Smell moves me. I make scents that have a positive impact on me a part of my daily life, whether it is in using essential oils, lighting candles, cooking certain foods or stopping on my path to smell a rose.

 

I encourage you to discover the smells that move you. What inspires, calms, invigorates or relaxes you? Is it a fresh tomato off the vine? What about the first whiff of coffee in the morning or the last smell of vanilla before you fall asleep. Choose the smells that take you back to that summer where you were standing barefoot, happy, immersed in heaven. Put them on, breathe them in, cook with them, burn them strongly. Play with their power. Allow yourself to be transported to your happy place.

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 (2 seats left). Limited availability, register early. info@mamaneedsarefill.com or 206 255 0463.

Friday’s Free Refill: Put That Worry in its Place

We allow worry to take over our entire being. Worry is fear and concern about the future and dear reader the future IS NOT HERE, so why pray tell are you worrying about it?

How do you handle worry? Do you allow it to permeate your being and get the best of you? Do you show it on your face or feel it in your body? Do you give it permission to control you?

I bring this up because recently I had a new inspiration as to what to do with the little worries that enter my daily thoughts and the big worries that take up residence in the curve of my neck and right shoulder blade. This new idea came while in meditation. A place where much of my inspiration comes. It is in meditation that I not only clear the clutter, but I make room for what must come in. One of my visualizations is me sitting in my imaginary garden at a long table. There is always a shed in this scene. And after years of not knowing what was in the shed I decided to start placing my worries inside this sturdy shelter. It makes sense to only me and it is working so that’s all that matters. Logic need not enter the picture.

Did you know that your mind can not differentiate between real and imagined thoughts? If I visualized it, then it happened in my mind’s eye. According to Dr. Joseph M. Carver the brain doesn’t know if a file is real or imagined. Dr. Carver tells us, “The Brain makes files based on information it is given, usually through our senses but often through our thoughts.” The brain will only react to the file or image of putting the worries in a hole, a shed or sending them off to space in a rocket ship.    

I also have used a worry box over the years. I write down my worries, fears, prayers on small slips of paper and tuck them inside my little purple box that only I know where it is in my closet. The idea being when I start to think of them again, I remind myself that they are being handled in the purple box, they are no longer my concern. I recently checked on my purple box and discovered that every slip of paper could be removed from the box and recycled. These concerns no longer consumed me, they had been resolved.

This is what I am doing with my shed. At the beginning of my daily meditation, I open up the shed in my mind’s eye and invite the worries to scoot on inside. It is a great check-in with myself to see what worries are getting in my way, what I am holding on to, and what is clouding my vision. I tell myself, (ok, here I may get a little woo-woo for you), but I tell myself that my angels are handling my concerns. There is also a window in my shed (the beauty of imagination) so that light can get in and transform the worries into something life giving.

Before using the shed, I forgot to breathe and I held my concerns in my body. The tightness in my shoulder, my furrowed brow and the ache in my neck have been released because I gave the worries another place to go rather than taking up residence in my body. I am beginning my day lighter, making space for thoughts that nurture and grow my spirit. At the end of the day I have noticed the worries have stayed in the shed, no longer obstacles in my path. I imagine in this new place they are transformed or simply they simply have flown out the window.

Do you have worries taking up valuable real estate in your body, perhaps clogging your brain? I invite you to have some fun, play with putting them elsewhere. Try a shed, a cloud, a deep hole, a rocket ship, anywhere, but within you. Give yourself permission to not hold on to them anymore. They aren’t exactly helping you, so what are you waiting for?

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 (2 seats left). Limited availability, register early. info@mamaneedsarefill.com or 206 255 0463.

Friday’s Free Refill: The Joy of Inspiration

This past weekend my long time college friend Lisa and I said, Sayonara, to our hubbies, kids, dogs, all of our responsibilities, packed up her car, hit the highway and never looked back. When I asked Lisa on our drive to Portland what her intention for the weekend was she took a deep breath, “I want  you to have fun this weekend, that will bring me joy.” It was my first trip away after a long winter of foot surgery recovery, I was ready to choose joy for sure.

 

We stayed with her aunt and uncle, whom I could easily adopt as my own family. I acclimated quickly to their beautiful home, open hearts and peaceful way of living.

 

It is impossible to spend time with another person and walk away unchanged. Our interactions, sharing, connection and simply the experience of being in their energy motivates, inspires and wakes us up to our own creativity and purpose within. For instance, on this visit, our first conversation of the weekend was about their newly inspired kick to follow the advice of internationally renowned, Japanese born, de-clutter and organization expert, Marie Kondo. The author is all about tidying up based upon her method of keeping only “what brings you joy.” My friend’s uncle and aunt have always been tidy and organized, this new motivation deepened that awareness of organization. Their united passion for the way they live is fueled by inspiration from a particular era. My first visit with Lisa, a decade ago, was during their Victorian period. Their homes have been in magazines and their own expertise has been written about in a number of publications. In their new since my last visit, current home Japanese antiques adorn their 1920’s bungalow. I was revisited with memories of living in Japan back in my early twenties as a recent college grad. This sparked sharing stories I had forgotten with our hosts as well as chatting in Japanese with my friend’s uncle, watching a 1953 Japanese film and of course going out for sushi. Forgotten memories resurfaced of a very happy and exciting time in my life. Although, I didn’t come home ready to move to Tokyo, I did come home with new inspiration.

 

On Monday, attending to the grocery shopping, household chores and mom responsibilities, I had the sudden urge to plant and fill the house with beauty. I stopped at the local nursery and bought petunias for our front porch pots and more basil and bright colored plants for the back deck. Basil brings me joy, I make lots of pesto in the summer. Bright pink flowers call out to me to smile.  This yearning for beauty found me buying sunflowers for the living room and a new succulent potted plant for our entry way. I felt myself re-energize as I dug in the dirt outside and arranged flowers inside.

 

On our way back home to Seattle, Lisa and I discussed how we could create our own de-clutter method for each of our homes. We aren’t necessarily going to follow the Kondo rules, but instead adopt rules of motivation that work for us. We are calling it the JenLi method. (I will keep you posted in future blogs.)

 

This visit ignited planting more flowers and creating a new de-clutter plan. Interactions change us. Transform us beyond words. Even if Lisa’s uncle and aunt were slobs and didn’t serve our tea from an antique teapot, the experience still could have inspired me to choose flowers and keepsakes from a place of joy. The fact is every experience is an opportunity for inspiration. On our drive both to and from Lisa and I caught up on each other’s family life, work, challenges and we sang from the top of our longs to music from the 1970’s. If that doesn’t bring joy then I urge you to find your own era and a person who warms your heart to sing along with you.

 

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 (3 seats left). Limited availability, register early. info@mamaneedsarefill.com or 206 255 0463.

 

Friday’s Free Refill: Start With One

My daughter took this pic of me back in 2010 meditating on Spring Break.

At last week’s sack lunch mini-retreat a couple of the women in attendance talked about their desire to meditate. It was something they had been curious about. The desire was strong. The commitment not yet a priority. We had spent part of our time together discussing values and priorities. At the end of the retreat inspiration had entered in and there was motivation to make meditation a priority in a couple the women’s lives.

Back in the 1990’s I was curious about my own non-existent meditation practice. My curiosity was strong, while my commitment weak. I thought about it. I made excuses as to why I didn’t have time. I thought about it some more. I met people in my life who would increase my inspiration, fuel my interest and provide tools for me to begin. After at least a decade of thinking about it, I finally got sick and tired of thinking about it. One morning lying in bed, I thought, When will I ever have time to meditate? The answer was obvious. Now. Instead of beginning each morning wide awake thinking about nothing and everything as I lay there tossing and turning I could use this time to do the thing I have been thinking about doing.

I got up and left my husband sleeping. I sat down on the living room couch. I closed my eyes. Then I open them. I looked around. I got up out of my seat. I thought about meditating some more as I made a cup of tea. The next morning I set the kitchen timer for five minutes and sat down on the living room couch. I closed my eyes. I thought about opening them. Before I knew it I got up off the couch to check the kitchen timer. Four minutes and thirty three more seconds left in my five minute meditation. My armpits dripped and my hands grew hot as I adjusted the time on the oven timer. One minute. Go. I can do this. I went back to the couch. I sat. I closed my eyes. I noticed I was holding my breath. I exhaled. My only focus, my breath. In. Out. In. Out. My shoulders dropped, I allowed myself to relax. When my mind wandered to what I would make for dinner, the email I needed to send, how much time was left on the timer, I came back to my breath. In. Out.

BUZZZZZZZZZZ.

Wow, that minute went fast. I stayed with one minute for weeks. I showed up daily. No judgment on the length of time. Soon I was ready for three minutes. Then five. This is how I started my meditation practice close to a decade ago. Baby steps. A timer. My breath. One minute. Then a few more. Then twenty. Then thirty.

I had to think about meditation  long enough until that no longer served me and then my only choice was to sit my but down and begin. And like the retreat attendees I had to decide if I was going to keep thinking about it or make it a priority. When I discovered a more peaceful me inside, a more focused and aware woman, it was clear that meditation must be my priority.

Happy to say I have heard back from those two women at the retreat and they too have began with their one minute. What about you? Have you been thinking about beginning your meditation practice? I invite you to toss out perfection. Stop waiting for the house to be clean or the room to be quiet. Go within and create your clean and peaceful place within. And give yourself permission to begin slowly with 60 seconds. Your soul will thank you.

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 (3 seats left). Limited availability, register early. info@mamaneedsarefill.com or 206 255 0463.

Friday’s Free Refill: Ebb and Flow

When we let go of getting things done exactly how we think they should be done and simply see them getting done, a natural flow, for our greatest good, ends up as the result. We need to get out of our own way.

Flow. Oh, how I desire for my life to ebb and flow naturally like the tide. Speaking of the word FLOW, it was the first word for both of our children. Only we spelled it F – L – O, for it was the name of their first dog, our beloved Florence Irene. There I go getting distracted from the main point. Focus, Jenny, Focus. Let’s dive into living in the rhythm and flow of life.

Do you have a gnawing within your soul for life to flow more easily than perhaps it is currently flowing? Do you too, have a long, full agenda in your mind and at the end of each day you feel like none of those things got checked off the list?

I imagine you are holding many responsibilities and juggling many roles. Like you, I wear many hats and in this balancing act of raising a family, running my own business, and living this life, there is an ease and natural flow to my day only when I have clarity about my priorities. Otherwise, it is like the beginning of this blog, and I get pulled into a new idea, attracted by the shiny red ball, totally distracted from my agenda. As I learn to let go of how and when things happen while staying committed to my priorities I discover a natural flow I couldn’t have planned on my own.

If your DAILY aim, and yes, I recommend breaking it down to ONE DAY AT A TIME, is to live in harmony while feeling accomplished, the first thing I invite you to do is to let go of what you don’t have any control over. You CANNOT control what happens, but you CAN control your response to what happens. And this makes all the difference contributing to a natural rhythm of your day.

Your second invitation is to get clear on your daily priorities. You can do this by asking yourself, “What MUST get done today?” Be realistic. Allow space between your to do list items. Please, please, PLEASE, be sure to add a desire on your list, that thing that gives you joy. You must create space for the part of you that longs to dance, play, laugh, relax, be filled up with what makes you smile. (Trust me, this contributes to the flow of life.)

When you are clear about your priorities, leave space for life to happen and let go of what you can’t control, the circle of life flows naturally, without you forcing it.

When the dog barks and it isn’t on your daily agenda, give thanks for the interruption, and consider it another invitation. An invitation to breathe. In and out like the tide.

 

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: June 2 (sold out), September 15 (4 seats left). Limited availability, register early. info@mamaneedsarefill.com or 206 255 0463.

 

Friday’s Free Refill: Unplug – 2 more Sack Lunch Mini-Retreats in 2017

 

Your retreat view!

Only two  more Sack Lunch Mini-Retreats left in 2017. Friday June 2nd and Friday September 15th.

One seat left for June’s mini-retreat, text Jenny today, 206 255 0463, and the spot is yours. Four spots open for September, seats fill up fast.

What exactly do we do? Well, as nine time, soon to be tenth time attendee, Amy says, “This is a spa for your soul.” With that being said, we gather in a small group and share on a chosen topic, we listen, we laugh, we meditate, we step away from each other and we reflect, journal, go for a walk, create a work of art, read a book, turn off our phones, give ourselves space to just BE and if desired, have a one-on-one private coaching session or inspirational card reading from me, Certified Transformational Master Life Coach for your Spirit.

How often do you give yourself permission to listen to your stirrings within your beautiful soul? We think we don’t have time to simply BE. I have an opposite view. I believe when we honor refilling our cup with doing less and going within we have more time, we are less chaotic, we discover clarity and the flow of life doesn’t feel so suffocating.

I have been leading these mini-retreats for seven years now and I’d love to meet you. Please don’t consider joining us, JOIN US!

Contact Jenny: 206 255 0463 or info@mamaneedsarefill.com.

Friday’s Free Refill: Spread too Thin

When we let go everything falls into place.

You don’t know you are at the end of your rope, until you are at the end of your rope, my friend told me as she quoted a friend, who heard it from someone, who had read it somewhere. She shared this with me because days earlier I had found the end of my rope. At that point I was on on week eight from recovering from foot surgery. This atypical pain journey piled on with life had got the best of me. Thank God, I know how to apply extreme self care. I ran the bath water, boiled the tea, called the friend, shut out everyone else and focused on me, myself and I. Then I did that the next day. And the next. Gratefully the family had been use to me not picking up the household needs and demands because of being bed bound for nearly five weeks. See, they took care of everything then and this was my wake up call that I was spreading myself thin by taking on too much and doing more than necessary.

Often you don’t know your cup is empty until your cup is empty.

I know the signs. I know the prescription. I wrote the book on the way to avoid it, but sometimes it needs to happen so that I can walk the talk and not just sell the Kool-Aid.

The time has come. I have spread myself too thin. Family and friends who know me well are not surprised. But for me, this is is how I have always been, the caregiver, the rescuer, the one with a ton of energy who s happy to help. This also leads me to another awareness, I am wired to be self-forgetting. Others first comes naturally. Slipping off the rope a couple of weeks ago, was my gift. A present to remind me that I am the only one in charge of how I use my energy. I get to do it differently than before. It is up to me where I spend my time, put in the effort, and show up. Often it is difficult to recognize the cup getting empty because you are so use to being in motion and operating on fumes. It’s what you know. Since I know the prescription, it is time to get it filled. Allow me to share it with you:

  • Me First – Connect to my higher self, tune in to the Divinity within. Ask myself what I need and what I desire, listen to the answer.
  • Less is More – Say no to others when yes doesn’t come from a place of peace and joy.

When planning your day, leave breathing room.

 

  • Listen to my gut not my head – Although my head is wise, it gets shit done, it also causes me to make decisions for the wrong reasons. When I choose my answer by tuning in to my intuition, I am not led astray.
  • Anchor myself to my intention – Decide on one to three words each day that tether me to the way I want to feel and accomplish being the person I want to be. (These only need to make sense to me.)
  • How can I help? – Ask how can I serve, how can I bring light to another today? Really listen for the answer. Lately in my-spread-too-thin fashion, I keep hearing, “take care of you”, “slow down”. (I really keep hearing, “enough bitch, you don’t have to do it all,” but I didn’t want to freak you out.) Focus on what is in front of you. The best offering you can give another is by giving of your best self and that can’t be done when you have given and received nothing to yourself.

 

Standing with the rope at your feet or holding an empty cup isn’t horrible. It most certainly is not the end of the world. It is a beautiful wrapped gift of opportunity. And it will keep showing up until we receive its precious message.

So thank you very much, I get it, I don’t have to do and be everything. That’s what the rest of the people in this world are here for.

Cheers!

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 men, women, teenagers, and couples, in person in Seattle and by phone.  2017 Mini-retreats in West Seattle 9:30 – 2: June 2 (2 spots open), September 15 (4 seats left). Limited availability, register early. info@mamaneedsarefill.com or 206 255 0463.

Friday’s Free Refill: Who is Mother’s Day For Anyway?

The second Sunday in May is not the only day Mothers can be celebrated. Mother’s Day is every day! Hold out your cup and ask for what you need then you’ll have plenty to pour for others. Cheers!

Seven years ago I decided that Mother’s Day was about me, not my mom, or my mother-in-law. Before you freak out on me and think I am an ingrate, allow me to tell you more.

The “holiday” was stressing me out. Go here for breakfast, do this for lunch, go there for dinner, all to honor and fit in everyone. My hubby felt like he had to honor all three of the moms in his life, me (the mother of his children), his own mother and his mother-in-law. Well, nothing stresses him out more than cramming everything into one day. Nothing stresses me out more than being with stressed out people. I was receiving “stuff” he “thought” I wanted, which left me feeling unnoticed. Don’t they know what I want? I was cranky, feeling bitter and underappreciated.

That was the year I changed it up. I asked for what I needed from my family and I offered what I could to the two moms in my life. I honored my mom and mother-in-law with quality time, phone calls, flowers, words of affirmation the days precedding the Hallmark Holiday. The day before I attended a yoga retreat. An entire day of focusing on me and not taking care of others. Heaven. Then on the actual day I asked for my favorite meal and a trip to the beach. Terryaki and saltwater, simple. I was grateful for being heard and I felt like a queen.  

Around that time I was also hearing from clients, friends and other moms that they were dreading the actual “day” because they weren’t doing what they wanted. Story after story of being happy when Mother’s Day was actually over.

Stress comes from adhering to shoulds. Overwhelm comes from doing what you don’t want to do.

I invite you to ask yourself what you can give this year then take a big breath and ask what you would like to receive. And if you even feel “guilty” about wanting to be alone, wanting to do nothing, wanting something not up to the typical Mother’s Day protocol, I will hunt you down and give you a BIG, FAT PERMISSION SLIP.

Ask for what you need. Offer what you can. It’s one day, but it can be a day of joy rather than a day of obligation and should. I invite you to choose joy.

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 men, women, teenagers, and couples, in person in Seattle and by phone.  

Friday’s Free Refill: Crank up the Volume

Music, the great mood changer, my drug of choice.

Do you know anyone who doesn’t like music? I wonder if there is anyone on this planet earth, who doesn’t like music? I don’t mean at certain times they just want silence, I mean actually would rather never hear music again? Dear Lord, is that possible?

 

Ahhh, I can’t imagine a world without it. Sure the sound of the ocean is a symphony, rain on a tin roof a lullaby to my soul and I love being awakened by the birds’ love songs, but nothing fills my emotional, spiritual and mental cup like music. Rolling Stones, Neil Diamond, Neil Young, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Vivaldi, The Three Tenors, Jimmy Buffett, Shawn Colvin, Prince, Split Enz, Queen, The Boss, Take That, Robert Cray, any participant on The Voice – you name it, I love music.

 

It just takes one song to shift out of a shitty mood. One note to bring me into the present moment. One verse to spark a memory or get me up on my feet. Music heals. It’s cheap therapy. And I highly recommend it.

 

I invite you to remember the gift music has to support and nurture your spirit. If I am driving down the road on my way to pick up carpool and I haven’t had a moment to catch my breath, I crank up the volume and sing along. The pause between lyrics reminds me to breathe.

 

Years ago a client was having a hard time with getting her children up and going out the door before school. I suggested playing music in the morning. It shifted their moods, elevated their spirits and as the morning routine was now more fun, they got out the door a whole lot easier.

 

Where in your life can you use a little more music? Next time you need a shift in mood or an elevation of spirit, would you be willing to turn up the volume? Warning: May cause heart to beat faster than normal, random encounters with strangers, sweaty armpits, giddy spirit, broken hip from spontaneous break dance move on the kitchen floor, weight loss due to forgetting to eat, skin rash from skidding on the pavement, sleepless nights from raucous dance parties. Play at your own risk.

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 men, women, teenagers, and couples, in person in Seattle and by phone.  2017 Mini-retreats in West Seattle 9:30 – 2: June 2 (sold out), September 15 (4 seats left). Limited availability, register early. info@mamaneedsarefill.com or www.mamaneedsarefill.com. 206 255 0463.

Friday’s Free Refill: The Gift of Morning

Regardless if you are a morning or night person the tips below help you WAKE UP and get connected to yourself and the moment you are standing in.

Are you a morning person or a night person? Do you slowly awaken to the day or wake up ready to go? Do you shut down early or come alive at midnight when most of your world is asleep?

 

I am both. Not at the same time, but on separate ocassions. But if I had to pick one, I definitely am a morning person. I awake ready for the day. My feet hit the floor grateful for a new start. My mind starts to race about all the possibilites before me, no caffeine needed. At the same time I don’t necessarily want to talk to you, I want to connect to myself first, for that is how I fill my cup and find my best self. In silence. In stillness.

 

I have a number of morning rituals that allow me to find myself. My practices ground and nurture my soul. What is wonderful is that these grounding tools and cup fillers can be done any time of day. Knowing how much they rejuvenate my spirit I can call upon them and tap into them if needed during another time of the day.

 

Regardless if you are a morning or a night person here are some cup fillers and fresh start ideas to wake you up:

 

  • Stop where you are and ask yourself: “What is my intention for the rest of the day?” Is it to feel peaceful, accomplished, joyful or to be open? Whatever it is, speak it out to yourself in the present tense, “I am peaceful. I am accomplished. I choose joy. OR I am open to what comes my way.” Living intentionally provides a path to opportunity.

 

  • Play music. Choose a song that makes your feet tap and most importantly your heart sing.

 

  • Pull out your journal and jot down your feelings. Whatever they are GET THEM OUT. If you are concerned about someone seeing it (most people’s fear) have a colored pen handy to color over it. Transform your feelings to art.

 

  • Imagine you are holding an empty bowl, fill it with all that you are grateful. Imagine writing these things “good and bad” on slips of paper and tossing them into your bowl. Gratitude gets you present. Gratitude is the pathway to abundance.

 

  • Place your hands on your heart and take three, deep, long, breaths. May your inhale and exhale be matched, so count if needed. Just breathe sister.

 

These practices wake me no matter the time of day, connecting me to what matters, bringing me back to the present moment aligned with my best self.

 

Are you willing to tap into the morning person within you with one of this cup fillers or do you have your own way to wake up? Wake up already and cheers to the moment no matter the hour on the clock.

 

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 men, women, teenagers, and couples, in person in Seattle and by phone.  2017 Mini-retreats in West Seattle 9:30 – 2: June 2 (sold out), September 15 (4 seats left). Limited availability, register early. info@mamaneedsarefill.com or www.mamaneedsarefill.com. 206 255 0463.