I should be shouting this from the rooftops except I don't like heights. :) But seriously, for someone who has always been late like me this information has been a miracle. It might be your miracle too.
At first it was running to get the bus.
I can still feel the pavement smashing beneath my flats as I'm huffing and puffing to the bus stop in a mild panic. I did not want to slink home and tell my mom I needed a ride to school–again.
Later it was running to get to the Michigan State University Library to open it on time.
After four years of tardiness trauma they reluctantly let me go. I was a fantastic worker once I was there but having patrons stamping their feet in the cold waiting for me to unlock the door at 8:00am was not OK. I agreed with their decision even though it broke my heart. I loved that job.
I was trying to be on time. I wanted to be on time. But no matter how hard I tried I just couldn't do it.
It also didn't matter what I was doing.
Whether it was a fun activity or a dreaded activity–I was late and nothing I tried changed it. Not timers. Not starting earlier. Not putting out my clothes the night before. Not any of the 986 self-help solutions I gave a go. As the years ticked by being late took a toll on my self-esteem. I secretly wondered if something was wrong with me. I thought I was a good person but if I was, why did I keep people waiting? Maybe I wasn't such a good person after all.
But then I learned this ONE THING and everything changed.
I was reading up on Myers-Briggs again. It's my new sparkly interest, after all. One article said (I can't recall which): If you are late all of the time you might be a "P" in the Myers-Briggs Personalty Typing System. (I know I am. I'm ENFP.) "Perceivers" are people who like things to be open-ended. They like possibility. They may go on a vacation without an itinerary or pack at the last minute because they don't want to limit their options.
But that's not why they are late.
(They are also not late because they don't care. They may care very much.)
Perceivers are late because they think they can fit in "one more thing" before they go, and that thing takes more time than they have to spare.
It's an issue of calculating project-time.
It's also an issue of being deadline-inspired, which Perceivers are.
So it's 15 minutes until I have to go somewhere and, deadline looming, I'm suddenly inspired into taking an action: I know! I'll do the dishes. Or clean out that bookshelf. Or sort the recycling that's piled up. Or write back that friend. But that task ends up taking 25 minutes and now I'm 10 minutes late.
Come to find out this happens every time.
So the solution is: DON'T DO ANYTHING.
It's 20 minutes until I have to get in the car? Stop. No more projects. No last-minute things. Either get in the car and be early or sit and wait by the clock. Just don't entertain any of those ideas clamoring for attention now.
It was a strange thing getting to a meeting at someone's house on time today. We ended up chatting for a good while before the others showed up. I didn't mind, it was great hanging out and I felt good about myself. I had actually shown up on time with that easy grace I had so envied in others my whole life.
I had finally arrived.
If you have people living under your roof who text, try creating a texting group and labeling it as a notes thread.
Whatever you want to call it.
Since it is a separate group message that texting thread can be silenced. Now anyone can message the group day or night without it creating noise or immediate disruption.
"Please remember to replace the toilet paper if you are the last to use it."
"I moved this thing over here if you are looking for it.'
"Cleaning out the fridge on Friday. You have been warned. ;)"
Having great, clear communication about living together makes things easier but having a way to communicate that doesn't turn a regular texting thread into an annoyance, something to ignore, or something to silence?
That's an awesome use of technology.
You could use a bulletin board or white board in the hallway of course, but if no one reads it or posts on it, it doesn't work. With texting you might see better results since you have a history of what was said by whom when, you can communicate from anywhere at any time, and you can lighten up the messages with some emoji or gifs.
Even housework is easier with a laugh.
You might find that asking people to change the toilet paper roll might not be what is causing the eye rolling. Interrupting someone while they are doing something fun, relaxing, or concentrating on something else to talk about an icky job might be.
Just make sure you tell them the goal of the text thread is a happier house with less nagging, not more chores. That might make all the difference. ;)
Here's a real life account of Law of Attraction and intuition in action. I know it's real because the story is mine.
So... last night I went to a Harry Potter party–Ravenclaw, woot!–and when I wandered out to my minivan I noticed eggshells on the street.
Come to find out my car and others were egged while we played our trivia game. (By the way, the goblin at Gringotts was one head taller than Harry, in case you were wondering.)
How could this be? How could this amazing LOA person (moi) get into such a predicament?!
I'll tell you.
When the hostess messaged us that she was leaving a spot in her driveway open for one of us I had an instant thought: Oooh! I should park there.
Upon arriving, however, I thought that's a smallish spot maybe not, but then I thought oh you can totally fit and then that spatial part of my brain that picks the wrong size Tupperware for leftovers won out and I aimed my car for a nice big spot on the street. Bigger than I needed.
Like the sweet potatoes sitting in the fridge, dwarfed by their container.
After I got out of the car I did a double-take. Is that a real spot or am I parking in front of a fire hydrant? It was just an electrical box so I left my car there, went inside the house, and proceeded to make a wand.
Purple, of course. One of my favorite colors.
Later that night, as I surveyed the street, I wasn't surprised to note that the mini-van that did park in the driveway remained egg-free. It was in the driveway after all.
A mini-van totally fit in the driveway.
My intuition was leading me to a nice, easy evening all along, but I missed the subtle signs. The fact that they were subtle, however, is what calmed me while I washed down my car there in front of my friend's house after midnight in the burbs.
Because one thing I have learned which has kept me calm many, many times:
1. Subtle nudges meant all was well. The stakes were not yet high.
Yes, I could have side-stepped the soapy mess, but my car was going to be just fine. Raw eggs can cause permanent paint damage but we caught it in plenty of time. We had flashlights and dish soap and a whole party of people to help.
In fact, throughout the clean-up and drive home and second clean-up in the garage I felt good. Introspective since a blog post was brewing, but quite happy to turn up the volume to the greatest hits of Styx and sing it out on the ride home.
I knew I stayed zen because of one thing and one thing only:
2. Daily practice works.
My practiced vibe was one of good cheer. Born from appreciation lists, listening to Abraham videos on YouTube, changing my thoughts, choosing to feel good...I had a strong dominant high-vibe stance. So much so that it was hard to scramble my connection.
Scramble. Eggs. Get it?
Speaking of goofy humor, this morning I posted a ridiculous photo of me imitating Hermione on my Facebook page. That's it. No story of the egging, just something to make us all laugh. Not because I'm trying to cultivate a perfect picture of myself for social media, egads no, but because I have learned:
3. You get more of what you complain about.
What would posting about the incident on Facebook do? Launch a discussion about how the world is blah.. blah... blah. I am seriously not interested in that kind of discussion. Probably because of the daily practice. (See above.)
But that doesn't mean I have to pretend the incident didn't happen.
Shush it away like a superstition.
Don't talk about it! It might happen again!
No, there is no need to fear. Stories don't create, your VIBE about a story creates. Your VIBE about a potential creates.
Do I feel like I'm creating more ick by writing this out? No, it feels guided to write about it.
Do I worry about getting egged again at the next party? No. I assume the whole neighborhood got Sam-I-Am'd because it's the weekend after Halloween. I also assume the kids didn't realize how bad it was for the cars.
4. It feels good to assume the best.
And I like to feel good. It's part of my daily practice. (See above.)
So what now?
Now I will use this incident as a great indicator that I'm a wee bit busy and not taking as many mini-breaks throughout the day to check in as would benefit me. Just three seconds here and there to tune in and catch any subtle messages will completely alter my trajectory over the months to come.
That is totally cool to know.
In fact, now I have goosebumps.
And now I have some tears in my eyes.
And now I feel like I just learned a HUGE AMAZING THING.
Something my Guides have been trying to tell me for some time but, gosh, I wasn't taking the three seconds to tune in. Ha!
Now we are all having a good laugh.
And I have such gratitude for this thing called life.
This idea has been on my mind lately. Weeks ago I was really struggling with something–I can't even remember what now, ha! But I do remember feeling stuck in some negative spiral about a topic. So stuck I couldn't decide if I wanted to get angry or give up. So stuck I didn't know what tool to use or how I was going to get myself out of this one.
In a wee moment of surrender (or maybe I was just taking a breath) a message popped through so loud it could have echoed.
I do remember thinking for a moment: How odd that the Guides told me what not to do. Wasn't Law of Attraction about focusing on what you DID want? So I laughed and that's when I remembered to let go.
Not of the outcome.
Not of the dream.
Not even of the people I can't control.
I remembered to let go of fighting reality.
I don't remember what was bothering me but I do remember the feeling I got when I stopped my invisible battle and I just...looked. It was the most powerful, freeing sensation.
Imagine not trying to change anything.
Not judging it. Not condemning it or even praising it. Imagine not trying to shift it, put an affirmation on it, or make it go away.
What happens when you can create a space like that?
Source fills the space.
Over the course of the days and weeks that followed my life changed in some pretty miraculous ways. Deep, core shifts where relationships that seemed stuck completely changed. Ideas were new. Solutions arrived from all directions.
My Guides are telling me that not pushing opens up every area of life to a system upgrade. Health. Finance. Fun.
When we let Source in, EVERYTHING WE WANT STARTS TO MEET.
I'm a huge believer in cycles. You do need contrast to bring about new ideas but you also need to allow that contrast to setting into solution. Sometimes it feels great to tackle a misaligned vibe with a handy check-list item.
Appreciation list. Check!
But if all that starts to feel like plastering a smile onto your face and you long for relief you just can't find...
Or rather: how I came to enjoy the mornings because I have to get up early, but let's face it, I will probably sleep in again when my lifestyle allows it. :)
I have to get up early. I have a 3 year old. I also have a 13 year old and a 10 year old so this kid-waking-me-up thing is not new. Now I even have a puppy so I'm really in for it. ;) But I'm not phased. Even though I'm a total night owl–like theatre and RPG geek night owl–I taught myself how to enjoy getting up early in the morning. Today it was before 5:00am. WHO WOKE THE TODDLER?!
So when a friend on Facebook asked yesterday how to shift her 'not so much of a morning personality' thing I thought it would be great to share how I did it.
To being, let's stop for a minute and look at the statement I wrote above: I HAVE to get up early. Do I have to? If I believe in the Law of Attraction can't I have anything I want, including sleeping in, no matter the circumstances?
Let's not get into a whole discussion about highest good and you can't control other people even with the best of intentions or this blog post will be ten pages long. Instead, let's start with choice-point.
I actually DO want to get up early.
It doesn't feel right to have my three year old in the house awake by himself and you try to make him sleep if he's up and doesn't want to go back to bed after 4:00am, so yes, I do want to get up.
This is step one in becoming a morning person: Shift out any victim thinking.
This step is very important.
Until you actually want to become a morning person there is nothing anyone or anything can do for you.
So if you know that you want to become a morning person (or at least enjoy mornings while you are in need of them), what next?
Here's the program I used:
1. Set the flow before you go.
Before you go to bed, set the flow for the next day. This gives you momentum before you even get up. What is your intent for the next day? When my intent started to get really complicated and felt like work I stopped and just intuited my keyword for the next day.
That helped a lot.
It was simple. It was clear. And it didn't contain any clutter like "to do's" in it. It gave me a goal I could relax and trust.
Intuiting a keyword also lets you be where you are.
Sometimes we think being a morning person means waking up chipper. That's not always the case. And if you think you have to be a certain mood–a mood you can't or don't want to reach–it can trip you up before you even get started.
For example, if you have been having a rough week, waking up chipper the next day sounds super annoying. UG. Instead, intend to wake up feeling relief or something like it.
If you have been having a great week but are worried about something unwanted that might happen, set the intent to wake up feeling empowered or something like it.
Now you are not resisting tomorrow.
I often use a Boogie Board before bed to jot down my intent for the next day. I find that writing it down helps a lot. My thoughts can be tangled yet I can get really clear on an appropriate emotional goal for myself when I write with my hand.
Now that you have an intent-goal for the next day...
2. Go to bed as up-vibe as you can
This is like setting the flow but instead of thinking about tomorrow you are thinking about right now. How high can you get your vibe right now before sleep?
This step is important because, like hitting the pause button, you wake up in the same energetic perspective you feel asleep in.
It's much easier to have a higher vibe in the morning when you go to bed with one.
Now that you are feeling as good as you can before sleep... know that as soon as you wake up...
3. Anchor your vibe in 68 seconds
When you wake up you have 68 seconds to anchor your vibe. Imagine a mountain climber putting an anchor in the rock with a rope attached to their waist. They can climb up and down from that point but never get farther than the rope will allow. It's just like that. Wherever you are in your overall vibe at 68 seconds after you wake, that's about where you will vibe all day.
Some 68 second up-vibe ideas I have used with great success:
Notice in my examples I haven't gotten out of bed yet. I'm also not doing cerebral things like scripting or writing gratitude lists. Those may work for but they didn't work for me. I only have 68 seconds and it will take me that long sometimes to sit up, get a notebook, find a pen... and I do my 68 second vibe setting before I even sit up. But you can get up if that works for you. You get to choose. Try it out. Experiment. :)
But wait, did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed where your vibe was lower than you like at 68 seconds? Be easy on yourself all day. Tomorrow you will have another chance to up your vibe again.
I'm not kidding.
If you wake up in a really bad mood... sometimes waiting for bed is the best answer to that issue. Don't make any life-changing decisions that day if you can help it. ;)
If you WANT to be a morning person, you set your flow for the next day, you go to bed as feel-good as you can (relief counts), and you set your vibe as high as you can the first 68 seconds you wake, your morning life–and all day life–will change into awesome in 30 days or less.
P.S. If you only pick ONE of these to do, set your vibe as high as you can the first 68 seconds you wake.
P.P.S. Good Morning! :)
I adore my kids and I know you love yours too but that doesn't mean every day is roses. Sometimes it's boring. Sometimes the kids are whiny (which means we are whiny because the littles reflect us, but that's another story). Sometimes we are tired. And sometimes, sometimes, it's just a short-order-cook day with "Mama! Mama! Mama!" and hurry up and DING! here's another request like a short-order cook and all.the.demands.
So if your ability to appreciate your life on a day like that (or a week like that, or heck, a year like that) is waning, you aren't alone.
How are you supposed to appreciate a day that doesn't look like it's going to let up all week?
Sometimes you can't.
But you can appreciate a moment.
Here is a true life story. I know, it's mine.
I'm getting chewed on once more. I'm sitting in the pen with the puppy and the three year old and the puppy is chewing on me and it's not his fault because the three year old is tossing toys at his face and waving his precious blanket around like a bullfighter in the ring.
I am not enjoying this.
Those little teeth hurt.
Those Petco products hurt.
I cannot find a smile at that moment and think I love this time and all the times today I get to do this again and again to care for these two little ones because I don't. I don't love it. What I really want to do is curl up in a pair of sweats and read the book of the short stories on my Kindle that my friend wrote without being touched. I can't remember the last time I read a book at leisure or sat down without being jumped on....
But then there was a moment of calm.
One beat. Maybe three, of peace.
That's when I found appreciation again.
Ooh! I love this moment.
Here. This moment here. The puppy is warm on my lap and my beloved boy is giving him a gentle hug. This is beautiful.
Ack! Too tight! Puppy bite! Redirect, teach, redirect, teach!
Wait. Here is a moment. The puppy is sitting down and my amazing child is petting him so lovingly. This is beautiful. I love this moment.
Ack! Puppy attack!
And on it went.
When I found a spot of lovely–and there were a surprising number of them once I paid attention to them–I held it in my mind for a moment and gave it the doe-eyes.
You are so awesome. You. This moment right here.
That I could do. I couldn't see into the entire rest of my day and feel the love but I could appreciate a moment I genuinely liked so I kept it up. Not all day. Not every moment. But I found true moments to appreciate enough that...
Little by little, everything got better.
You've heard it before and it really is true: life is just a string of moments all put together. If you can't appreciate the string, find a pearl to admire. They are there, even in the midst of the most trying days they are there.
I'm at that stage in my marriage again and I've seen it time and again in the marriages with kids around me. Heck, I've seen it three times in my own marriage so far because I spaced my kids out so much.
It's called "reconnect with spouse."
It's such a major milestone I actually put it on the calendar. In advance. Like, before I even had the baby. Once I knew I was pregnant I got out my iPhone notes and wrote something like:
2013: Have baby (late in the year)
2014: Baby Year
2015: One Year Old
2016: Two Year Old
2017: Three Year Old: Reconnect with husband.
2018: Go on retreat.
That way, when things got crazy, instead of thinking EVERYTHING IS HORRIBLE OH ME OH MY OH DRAMA I could look at my note and say: Oh, it's 2014. I have a baby. My hormones are still coming back to normal, I'm sleeping when? And I have a little dude who needs constant care. So, yeah, probably not showered all of the time or spending a lot of hours hanging out with the girlfriends to recharge. But at least I can carry him around still, let's go to Harry Potter World before he can walk!
In 2016 when I had a two year old I could look at it, remember I was in the most intense toddler phase of getting-into-everything and if I could still smile or had any sense of humor despite the shenanigans and clutter and inability to go to the bathroom by myself I was winning at life.
I could also look at it and remember that when little dude was four I could go on my women's retreat again. (Yes, I *could* go before that because my awesome husband supports things like that, but *I* could not go because I would not be able to handle it until he was older. MY BABY.) This gave me something to look forward to that was just for me. Me. Me. Me.
That list was a life-saver.
It helped me remember to be easy on myself. To appreciate where I was because it would not last. To put myself on a map and realize I am not lost.
But the biggest gift it gave me was the consistent reminder that I'm not the only one going through the intense baby-toddler period, my husband is too.
Both of us are stretched with a 24/7/365 care-taking job. Both of us probably miss each other even while we are living under the same roof and sleeping in the same bed. Both of us are doing the best we can with what we have. And, once that intense period is over (usually around ages 3.5-4.5 depending on a zillion factors) we will need to take the time to dig out our relationship closet, sort through the piles that got thrown on the floor in our haste and exhaustion, and organize ourselves again for the next phase of life so that we can enter it TOGETHER.
I see so many couples fall apart once their kid (or last kid) reaches the ages of 2-4. Sometimes it's inevitable. But if:
You can reconnect after having a baby. You can.
I brought this up with my husband before we had our third child. Our oldest was nine and our youngest was five at the time and so our relationship was already full again with dates and lounging around having actual conversations about interesting things we were getting to do and think about outside of child-rearing. I knew the cycles by heart now.
I asked him directly, "Would our marriage survive this?"
If he had hesitated, even one blink, I might not have had our baby boy. I love my husband and I adore our marriage and I had zero judgement about whether or not he could take it. I was wondering if I could take it again.
He didn't blink.
So I'm over here all struttin' my stuff. Check me out, I've got the laundry caught up, and I can find the kitchen counter, and I know what I'm eating for dinner this week... I'm totally kickin' it. Uh-huh. Uh-huh.
What is my new program? I ask myself. What is the miracle I discovered that transformed me?
Nothing is new except one thing: My baby got older.
Suddenly, I find myself feeling more in control of my life and more aware of my surroundings. I am remembering friend's birthdays again and I'm often showered. I've got a more robust sense of humor. I'm smiling and saying hi to strangers across the street just because the sky is blue.
I'm Mary Poppins, Y'all.
Since my three kids are spaced four and six years apart this is the third time this has happened to me. One day I look up and think: Hello World, you're awesome. Where ya been?
And it is a wonderful feeling to look up.
To look up, look around, and not worry someone is going to dash into the street, dump a cup of water on the floor, or randomly eat something off the ground. The delicious feeling I had when I did dishes yesterday and there was silence. Not the dreaded silence because someone has found my purse or figured out how to climb on the counters but the calm silence because they are playing–even with the puppy–so harmoniously....
...I can't even describe the feeling but it's like a rainbow mixed with a truly funny meme.
I remember asking a dear friend of mine who had kids well before me how she did it. Her kids were closer in age than mine and her answer was immediate:
"I lived in filth for three years."
She said it so matter-of-fact it stunned me.
It was her calm in that moment that has helped me all of these years. She made it. So can I.
Maybe there are parents out there who can keep everything together in their own zen just like it was before their baby came into their lives. (WHO ARE THEY? WHO?!) But for me it's just a real-life blend of "aaaaahhhh" and "awwwww" and "whhhaaaat?" and "oooops" and "sweeeeeeet" during the baby and toddler years because it's so awesome and so hard sometimes and so loving and so frustrating sometimes until one day, before you realize it, that stage is over and you have clean socks.
Two of them. Paired up. They actually match.
Once again, dear friends, I have arrived and let me tell you–it was a messy ride but it was totally worth it.
I have a puppy now who is old enough now for walks. It's so adorable. He's all fluffy, tail wagging. But since he is still trying to eat everything he finds like his harness, the leash and.... oh, hello bicycle! I keep my eyes on him.
Way down there.
Near the sidewalk where his little legs carry him.
I was half-way around the block one day when I felt this sad feeling wash over me. I knew this feeling. I had felt it so many times before.
This is the looking-down sadness of having little kids.
They say: go out in nature to be uplifted but you don't have to go outside to feel uplifted. Right now, wherever your are, lift your eyes. Not your head, just your eyes. Keep your head still and look up.
Now try to think a sad thought while your eyes are looking up.
HA! It's magic! Strange, crazy eye magic!
I'm sure there is some scientific reason for this about eye positioning and how it relates to the brain but I did a quick search and I can't find it and if I don't post this right away the kids will find me and this information will sit forever in "drafts".
Quickly now. I CAN HEAR THEM COMING.
So I'll let you Google that later in your free time but even without the footnotes to prove it I have unabashedly tackled many of my friends and tested the theory on them.
When they look up they, too, feel better.
Years ago, somewhere around my second child, I remember my husband asking me if I wanted to go to Europe. I remember saying, "Not with my kids–I want to look up." I imagined the trip as it would probably be, me holding little hands getting to know all of the gutters and sidewalks of Paris intimately while the breathtaking church steeples faded into the distance behind me, unseen. There was a sad little violin playing in the distance.
I was probably exaggerating.
(I have been known to do that.)
It might have been great.
(I do adore my kids.)
But once in a while when I go on a vacation all by myself and I walk through the airport all by myself I spend the entire trip looking up. Into faces. At people. At things. At the window. Out the window. At the life all around me. I'm usually that one person in the airport grinning like a goofball for no apparent reason.
"Oh, sure, anyone is happy when they are on vacation!" you might counter.
But right now I'm here, in the house, in my puppy jeans (already full of tiny puppy-teeth-sized-holes), needing a shower and having to go to the store and I look up and...
So if you feel down and you are busy parenting little ones who are much shorter than you, it might be that you are just looking down. A lot.
Also, check out where you hold your smartphone all day long.
I sometimes wonder what would happen if we all held them a little higher. Kids. Teens. Adults. The world.
What if everything we did with our eyes lifted them–and us–up?
I'm a mom and sometimes... sometimes... I lose my cool.
(Really? Nah. Oh yes, it's true.)
The biggest challenge I have found when I'm irritated is that as an extrovert I tend to vocalize when I'm upset. This really, REALLY, doesn't work with kids. No child thrives in a nagging, negative environment. Heck, no adult does either, but at least the adult can walk away and go to a movie or something. That little kid who is just getting more upset and acting out because of the icky vibes will be with you all day. Like right with you. Probably even while you are trying to go into the bathroom and shut the door.
When you have an adult roommate or you live in an open office environment you can usually put up a hand and the person will back away lest they upset the tiger. Little kids? Not so much. They probably forget you are in a terrible mood. They might remember for... say... 30 seconds.
So one day years ago, after realizing the old adage again was true–if you can't say something nice... I had an inspired idea.
What if I put a sticker on my mouth?
That way I would not talk from my non-heart place, and the kids had a visual when they looked at me to remind them that Mommy was not in a good place to be talking to.
Not only did it stop the stem of unnecessary nagging and negative commentary from me, it stopped questions from them which would open the floodgate of nagging and unnecessary negative commentary from me. With this small measure of peace, peace began to descend. Or maybe I just got a chance to breathe through my nose and calm down. One thing happened that was unexpected, though.
It eventually made us laugh.
It's hard to stay mad with a sticker on your mouth. Try it. My favorite stickers are the ones from Trader Joe's. I also like their bacon.
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