Breathe. Breathe deeper. Repeat.
Take a moment to be present, to pause. You set the tone. We set the tone. In our hearts, in our home, with those we love, in our circle of influence. In real time we are building our resilience. And as we do so, I wanted to take a few moments to share what I am doing to lead my family well.
Writing it out. Each morning I start my day with gratitude as I set intention in my journal. It centers me and my emotions. It sets the tone. It is the foundation for a well lived day. It is a way for me to continue my daily routine while keeping the long view in mind.
Being kind. To myself. To others. One day that looked like a 20-minute afternoon nap during quiet time. Yesterday, it was a four-mile run on my back-country roads. Each day, it looks like me encouraging kindness in my home. Take today - it's raining, we needed a mental break, so my daughters put on their flower girl dresses and we performed a concert on our front porch for our neighbor. Yes, The Git Up was played twice (out of three songs). But our neighbor, she loved it. She's over 60 and lives alone - she came out on her porch, big smile, and danced along. We’ve made and delivered meals, crafted special cards, and my 5yo designed a parade of one for St. Patrick's Day to share with friends and family. All to share kindness and a few smiles.
Learning. When looking at the amount of learning I personally did over the past week, compared to what I was consuming, the balance was off. WAY off. The minute I came to and recognized that, I’ve doubled down on personal development. Instead of endless scrolling, I’m now seeking knowledge from mentors and leaders. I’m reading books. Revisiting an online coaching program from 2019. Intentionally seeking thought leadership. If you’re interested in doing that, I’ve included a few of my favorites below. Now is the time to grow, enhance our skills and be a role model.
Bringing the joy. Did I mention that last weekend I consumed way, way too much news, media, social? The result: a color coded at-home school schedule for my Kindergartner. Bless. It was ambitious. With me, it always is. And it worked well on day one. It certainly helped me to feel as though I had it together. As the week unfolded, what I quickly realized is the opportunity I have, WE have. The opportunity of time, of play, of living out our values. For me, it’s an opportunity to bring the joy, to homestead, to get creative, to give freedom to my girls while continuing traditional learning in small, focused chunks.
My mantra during these times: be the light. These kids of mine, they do not need an overly scheduled day. They need open arms with extra cuddles, exploration in the great outdoors, an open invitation to play, create, grow, engage in the world around them. Even if that world is confined to our home, property, and open space trails.
If you’re looking for insightful voices, here are a few of my favorites. I've linked their websites or in some cases social, where you'll find the information I mention.
Rachel Hollis – best-selling author, motivational speaker and CEO of The Hollis Company. She brings the joy. For those in business, check out her LinkedIn platform.
Brendon Burchard – business strategist, thought leader, author. His free training, titled "How I Am Thinking Through This Crisis," is gold. I highly recommend if you are in business.
Shawn Fink – twin mom, entrepreneur, overall calming force, founder of The Abundant Mama Project. Especially great for mamas with kids trying to figure it all out.
Rebecca Hanlon – mom, President at Our York Media, good news ambassador. I really liked her recent article, "Learning to be Mindful When the World is Uncertain."
The Annetta G. Wright Learning Lab – Amy is a mom, education advocate, homesteader. She’s sharing a tip a day for hands-on learning with your kids. The link is to her Facebook page.
Also, if you're looking for something tangible, I created free a journal guide to help you sort out your thoughts - here. Take 20 minutes to reflect and capture your feelings while setting your tone. Talk to your partner about it, constructively. And share it with a friend.
Be the light.