By Erika Fehrenbach Prell
Since becoming a parent, I have realized one of the biggest blessings is that I have tiny, truth-telling, life coaches. (Although, in true transparency, the unfiltered truth sometimes is a bit hard to take…do not ask if you do not want blatant honesty!). For me, the sweet spot for my tiny gurus seems to be 3 ½ until they start kindergarten…you know, before the big kid attitude kicks in. Lucy is my current life coach, and she hit me with a doozy recently that stopped me in my tracks.
She had just gotten up from her nap and was coloring. We had plans to go to her big brother's first high school homecoming parade later in the afternoon. I noticed it had started raining. I said to almost 4 year-old Lucy, "Oh no, Lucy! It's going to rain on our parade."
Without skipping a beat or a pause in her coloring, she responded, "It can rain on my parade…I'll just take an umbrella." She gave the rain absolutely no consideration as she didn't even look up from her coloring. It made absolutely no difference to her that it was raining…she was going to a p-a-r-a-d-e regardless.
Well-said, little lady, well-said.
The phrase "don't rain on my parade" means to "spoil someone's pleasure or fun". As in, I don't mean to rain on your parade but…insert something that's a total bummer. Wha…wha…wha…what a downer!
Without even realizing it, Lucy found joy in the potential bust of a good time. Rain? Cool! The parade will still happen, candy will still be thrown, but now there will be an excuse to use the purple raincoat, bust out the ducky umbrella, and slip on the light-up rain boots for puddle splashing. When put that way, rain on a parade just amps up the fun factor! But, only if you make the intentional choice to find joy and fun with the curveball that life threw at you.
Guess what? That intentional choice is in your control. Remember there are really only 3 things in your control - your thoughts, your beliefs, and your actions. That's it. You can choose to see rain on your parade as a buzzkill…or as a twist that brings a different experience.
Dang. Kids are so smart.
So, DreamChaser…what are YOU choosing?
I'm choosing the umbrella, every time!
P.S. For another one of my favorite lessons from Liam when he was 4, check out this throwback blog → https://www.findyoursoulshine.com/blog/mindfulness-and-the-tee-ball-trophy
Life is Like the Changing Seasons. Finding Perspective and Intention in a Busy World
By Jackie White
Did you ever stop to think about how life is like the changing seasons? Each season brings about different aspects that provide us with different perspectives. Me and my hard head have learned to embrace the seasons as they help me to better understand this thing we call life.
Let’s begin with the fall season. Fall is a time to assess and prepare for change. Take a look at your life and what is it you need to do to thrive over the upcoming winter months. Squirrels gather nuts, you can gather your thoughts and contemplate change. I also see the fall season providing opportunities to get all the last-minute to-dos done before the first snow flies. For many of us that might include preparing our homes, and changing out our closets from shorts and t-shirts to warm sweaters and socks. Burning that cinnamon candle and sipping on pumpkin spice sounds deliciously cozy. Importantly, get out into nature and watch how it embraces change. You cannot deny that brilliant fall leaf colors aren’t proof that change can be beautiful!
Winter historically has been a tough season for me. I am the person who wears the sweatshirt that says “Yes, I’m Cold” and I usually am. However, I am learning to embrace winter, and to do that I now call it “The Season of White”. A friend introduced me to this new nomenclature and concept. This is a season for rest, retreat, and re-set. Winter or The Season of White, is about re-tooling goals, learning something new, and preparing for any opportunities that may come knocking. The key to this season is to stick with it and stay engaged. Put on a warm layer and take advantage of the time to prepare. Many of us are excited about the new year that comes in winter, but soon that excitement fades. So, commit yourself to a winter timeframe to keep your momentum going.
Spring is all about hope and the future. When your calendar turns to the spring season you can find yourself opening the windows to let in the fresh air and spring clean the house. I might also suggest you clear any clutter in your mind and refresh yourself. This may include reviewing goals and taking action to really move the needle forward in your efforts. Just as you are breathing in the fresh spring air, breathe new life into your routines and habits.
Life wouldn’t be complete without summer. Summer is a great season for play and adventure. We can get outside with ease and take in the warm sunshine. We also tend to make more time for friends and family. Revel in these connections and work to create memories that will last a lifetime. As with the prior seasons utilize this timeframe to capitalize on the opportunities it allows. In summer, indulge in play and joyful activities, take that vacation and try new adventures! And when summer begins to fade, prepare again for the next season of opportunity.
It’s all about perspective. I am thankful for the seasons as they help usher me into a new phase of thinking, planning, and doing. As well, they help us be mindful of the days and the seasons of our lives.
By Jackie White
Self-care seems to be a popular buzzword these days. Women’s magazine covers seemingly can’t be published without some reference to self-care. Blogs, podcasts, and health and wellness gurus all talk about self-care. I think it’s become a word and a concept we are numb to.
I am not saying that we aren’t interested in it because for sure we are! In fact, 80% of women said they would feel relaxed and refreshed if they spent taking time for themselves. Doing something as simple as taking a bubble bath would feel like a spot of heaven! Yet, fewer than ⅓ of women spend less than 30 minutes on themselves a day!
Herein lies the problem, we talk a lot about self-care, we hear about self-care, but still, we don’t take the time for self-care. Let’s take a moment to get aware of why it is not such a good idea to disregard the importance of self-care.
The Importance of Self-Care
Self-care is about caring for yourself whether it is physically, mentally, or soulfully. It is about jumping off the busyness of life for a spot of respite. It is easy to see why we should all do it, but the truth of the matter is that it is many times the first thing to go when life gets hectic aaaand life is hectic!
Making time for self-care is critically important in your overall health and wellness. Oh and by the way, your health and wellness should be one of your top priorities. It's sort of like car maintenance - something that you have to do or the car will not run properly. Without the maintenance, the car might get out of alignment or it might just need some fuel for the car to keep going. It’s the same for you to keep going, you have to fill your tank (with love, care, joy, peace, or calm) and ensure that you are living in alignment with your priorities in life.
We have all had seasons of burning the candle at both ends and sure that happens and we get through it, but to persistently function at that level you may start experiencing significant consequences, such as depression, anxiety, resentment, overwhelm, and overall burnout. So, you see you just can’t function like that indefinitely. But, here’s some good news: these negative implications can be mitigated with a little self-care!
How to Mini-Retreat
A great way to kick off a self-care routine is to take part in your very own mini retreat. I love this idea because first of all, you have made yourself a priority! Yay, You!! And second, this is time set aside for you to soak in the things that bring you joy and respite.
Where: Ideally, you can actually go somewhere away from your usual routines, like a bed and breakfast, a tent in the woods, or even a friend’s house that will do the retreat with you! How fun would that be?
If you cannot go to another destination, that is totally fine. Instead, commit to yourself that for the day or half-day, you are not going to engage in anything other than self-care.
Set Some Rules:
Set Up a Schedule: I love this because you are structuring your time around things you love. A sample schedule might look like this:
8:00 - get up, make a nice breakfast or go out for breakfast
9:00 - go for a walk outside (getting sun in your eyes is beneficial for your brain, hormones, and total body wellness, who knew?!)
10:00 - schedule an activity you enjoy (knitting, dancing, drawing, visiting with a friend)
12:00 - make a healthy lunch or go out for a healthy lunch
1:30 - take time to meditate/quiet your mind. Journal your experience when you are done.
2:00 - schedule another activity or perhaps a short nap (not a long nap, you’ll get too tired)
3:00 - stretch your body, do yoga or take a walk. It’s important to move.
4:00 - read something stimulating for your brain. Engaging your mind is a great stimulator for inspiration and motivation.
Remember this is a time for you. Personalize the time around what makes you happy and what takes care of you! This season, start taking time to put yourself back on the list and make it a practice that you engage in often!
Jackie White has been writing about life and its ups and downs for many years. With a degree in Industrial Psychology and a life-long student of personal development she is intrigued by how each individual chooses to live their life. Jackie feels strongly that truly living your best life is imperative to attaining peace and fulfillment. SoulShine was borne of her desire to inspire and teach others to live their best life. This is her mission and her dream.