Feng Shui Friday ;Soji

In many Zen Temples, after morning meditation, the monks participate in an activity called Soji. During Soji each member of the community is given a chore that they do for about 20 minutes.  When the twenty minutes is up, everyone stops doing their chore.

The monks clean for the sake of cleaning. They don't clean to achieve a goal or to even complete the chore. They clean as a way to bring their meditation to action. The monks also can't choose their chores. It doesn't matter if they like the chore or hate the chore. They just do it.

Imagine if we tackled some of our own projects in the Soji manner.

We could be so much more creative if we kept our focus on the action instead of the outcome.

We could let go of the angst of procrastination.

We could get so much more done. Every 20 minutes adds up.

Tomorrow is the date to start filling out the FAFSA.
I am going to do it Soji style.
I will not complain. I will set a timer. And I will just do it one small step at a time.

Single Mom Thriving: As The Nest Empties

It seems just yesterday I was in the crazy single mom race of leaving no kid behind.  There were picnic dinners in the van. Homework help as we waited for a sibling at practice. Endless loads of laundry. More games than I could count. A few cases of the flu that derailed the sytem. And only one child left behind. Bless that coach who waited those 20 minutes.

Just like all phases of parenting,  I thought it would last forever.

It didn't.  One child is at home and his two older siblings are in college.

Dropping my daughter off at college was sad and it took me off guard. You can read that here.

Once the sadness lifted something else came up.

I got excited.

As each child heads off to college I receive a gift: I know I succeeded as a single mom.

Statistically, being raised by a single mom in a certain income bracket equals marginal student success. I tossed out believing in any statistic right off the bat 14 years ago.

I chose to believe in something else.
I chose to believe in myself.
I chose to believe in my family.
I chose to believe that my family was whole.
I chose to believe in my children.

That success did not come easy.  There were times I felt so scared I could barely breathe. There were many late nights crying. And there were typical family dynamics.

But this chapter is ending.

After 14 years of single parenting and putting my children at the front burner of my life I see a clear space opening up. I get to be on the front burner. And as the nest empties I am already taking advantage of it.

However, empty nest or not, I will never grow tired of being with these three


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Watch on Wednesday

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Monday's Course In Miracles

In quietness are all things answered and is every problem quietly resolved. ACIM

Monday's Course in Miracles

Today I will accept God's peace and joy in glad exchange for all substitutes I have made for happiness and peace. ACIM

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Many blessings,

Single Mom Thriving: A Gift.

My goal was to give them a happy childhood.

I look back and I know I did.

My goal was to let them dream big.

They did. They still are.

My goal was to encourage them to work hard and not give up.

They did.  They still are.

I told them how proud I am of their hard work.

The response, " You taught us."

Could a single mom ever want a better gift?


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Watch On Wednesday: Toddler Care is Self Care

It is another Watch on Wednesday. Enjoy.

Treat yourself as you would a child. You deserve it.

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Many Blessings,

Monday's Course In Miracles

Try not to shape this day as you believe would benefit you most. For you cannot conceive of all of the happiness that comes to you without your planning.ACIM

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Seven Ways To Beat Sadness

I dropped my daughter at college last week. She is my second child to fly the coop.  I thought it would be easy since it was my second time launching a child to college.

It wasn't easy. I felt sad really,really sad. I felt silly for being so sad. I had the urge to compare my feelings with everyone else's feelings.

The burden of sadness, like all moods, did eventually pass.

Here is what helped.

1. Allow the sadness.
     My sadness caught me off guard and my first response was to deny it. Then I made it even worse when I judged my sadness. Feelings are just feelings.  They come and go.  Denying and judging  them makes them stay longer.

2. Don't compare.

     Everyone experiences life differently.  As Franklin Roosevelt said, "Comparison is the thief of joy."

3. Move your body 

     I am an avid exerciser ,but in that sadness, all I wanted to do was curl up with netflix. I forced myself to get outside for a walk. It helped immensely.

4. Cry,

     Crying is beneficial and usually makes you feel better. In allowing my feelings, I also allowed myself to cry.

5, Clean

In the words of Gretchen Rubin  "Outer order brings inner calm".  Clean kitchen counters always brighten my mood.

6. Eat 

    I am an emotional non-eater.  So I picked the cheerful color orange and ate that; cantalope, carrots, oranges, mangoes, cheese, cheese doodles, salmon.

7. Gratitude

   Even in the midst of any sadness there are shimmers of light. Be grateful for those shimmers.

Monday's Course In Miracles

For you will be content only in magnitude, which is your home. ACIM