It's easy to take on too much. I know I do sometimes (well OK, often), but I have found lots of very simple ways to stay calm, grounded and relaxed amidst some weeks that could otherwise feel overwhelming and chaotic.
I recognise that I have a tendency to saying 'yes' to just about everything that sounds interesting, positive and worthwhile. This past month for me has been so wonderfully busy, that I think I have actually found new levels of capacity.
|I love being down at the University of Sunshine Coast Community Garden. I'll be there again in the morning.|
I am amazed sometimes at how much I can fit in and like many people, I wish I had a few extra hours each day. It's often a bit of a juggle to find those extra hours and maintain a good balance - to keep this balance over the past few weeks I have only written a few posts and been out on my bike less. I am raring to get back into both.
I do need to remember to be gentle with myself and I thank my family for being onto this - they read my energy levels before I do, and the kids especially encourage me to delight in the present moment.
|These past few weeks I have led a workshops most days of the week - permaculture, sustainable living, community gardening...|
|With a little one around, I am always reminded to slow down, get outside and play.|
I am a mum with 3 children under 10, two of them homeschooled. I run an education and design business from home and a not-for-profit foundation. I love to cook things from scratch and tend our edible landscape. Our house is often open to the public so I need to keep it looking relatively neat.
In busy times, doing all this can sometimes be a stretch - we don't have cleaners, gardeners or childcare - but somehow it all works and I love it. The kids are thriving. I feel nourished by my work. Evan and I love feeling productive and active in our communities of practice. We all spark off each other's enthusiasm for what we do.
I value simple living. That doesn't always equate with a 'quiet life', but for me it's a 'good life'.
This is how I stay calm, relaxed and focussed when the simple life sometimes gets a bit too busy....
- I actively plan my time.
- I have become a supreme list maker - so things to remember are not swirling around in my head.
- I always carry a notebook and jot down ideas and new things to do - lots of mindmaps.
- We plan our family's week together to make sure everyone's needs are being met and keep a shared calendar.
- I aim to get everything ready the night before (lunches, clothes, workshop resources) so our morning can be relaxed and happy.
- I have found my quiet niche - the time when everyone else is asleep - no TV, radio, music - just me and my myself. At this time, I can clearly and effectively think, plan, write, focus, create...
- When things do get busy, I let go of some non-essential expectations I have of myself (e.g: writing every day).
|I love riding my bike!|
- I eat well and usually take homemade food out and about.
- I carry a glass jar of water infused with rosella, lemon myrtle, tulsi, turmeric and ginger (vitamin C, relaxing, refreshing, immune-strenghtening) and sip throughout the day.
- I take a nap cuddling with the kids (I do this at their bedtime) - that extra hour or two makes all the difference especially to be able to do my 'quiet-time' shift at night.
- When I need to 'veg-out' I avoid the telly or shops - instead play, talk, make, read, walk, think, write....
- Ride my bike, or play tennis, walk and bounce on the trampoline with the kids.
|Baking with the kids - we always love to experiment with healthy sugar free ideas.|
- I potter in my edible garden - planting, tending, harvesting - noticing the little things along the way.
- I cuddle the chooks and talk to the birds.
- I spend time outside in fresh air and amongst the wildlife (I make my office on the front verandah - birds visit, kangaroos pass by, waterbirds visit lake below and I cast my eyes regularly to the hills and national park across the valley).
- We sit and eat meals together and check in with everyone, tell stories, joke around.
- We play music and dance together after dinner. (We have a great big box of instruments.)
- I lie down outside with the kids and watch the clouds or stars, chatting about their questions and big ideas.
- I love to play with the kids - whatever story they make up. I'm often a horse for little Monty!
- I ring my parents (interstate) and have a long chat.
|Paint, create, get messy and have some fun!|
|Cuddling chooks always brings a smile.|
|A slow stroll through the garden, smelling the flowers and noticing the small things always helps me to refocus and slow down.|
- I spend time in community gardens with wonderfully positive and engaged volunteers
- I acknowledge the positive things that are happening and think about how I am contributing, and can add more value to that.
- I regularly reflect on what is important, try to keep things in perspective, and keep the bigger picture in mind.
- I am conscious to not complain about being busy. I make it so. There is a good level of busy-ness.
- Smile - and the world does smile back.
- Mindfully do housework. When I wash the dishes, I am just dishwashing (or daydreaming out the window) not thinking about the next thing.
- When I go to bed - I empty my mind, slow my breathing, relax my body before drifting off to sleep. Sometimes I set my self a challenge - to come up with new ideas in my dreams - but usually I aim to just 'be'.
- I remind myself to breathe - especially when there's a need to finish some work and the kids also need my focussed attention.
|Flowering rocket and in the background, mustard spinach - it's great to just sit and watch what happens around these flowers - so much life!|
Labels: At home working mother, birds in the garden, community, community gardens, cycling, education, family, happiness, health, homeschooling, parenting, permaculture, wellbeing