Those who have owned a business know it is more than a full time job, often more like 24/7 on call. I can be the most demanding boss… but I can also be the “employee” who sometimes microfocuses on things that may not be the highest priority. (The inner conversations can be a bit comical.)
And being a mom as well is very much like owning a business. YIKES there is so much to do in so many directions. It’s like balancing on multiple off-balanced high chairs, while juggling TOO many balls, with someone trying to throw extra odd things to juggle in the mix, like pots and pans, and Social Media’S, and sick kids. WHOA ! Let me get off my high chairs and really LOOK at what is most important. Please try to ignore the juggled items I just stuffed under the couch.
After reading “Choose LOVE – 21 Day Challenge” on the Hands Free Mama blog by Rachel Macy Stafford, I was inspired. I highly recommend anyone to read this, to feel the spirit of love, the perspective of “being the mom who always comes”, and accept this very personal 21 day challenge.
With a little more research, I determined this I Choose LOVE challenge began with Renee Trudeau and shared through her website and blog, LIVE INSIDE OUT. The graphic is wonderful and simple, it reminds me of a mandala, and she is willing to share. I found it interesting that her challenge was more about choosing LOVE over FEAR – which is an extremely valid and needed goal in the world right now.
“Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we learn.
Love is the essential reality and our purpose on earth.
To experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life.
Meaning does not lie in things. Meaning lies in us.”
~ Marianne Williamson
For me, it is more about the “battle” of leading a balanced life, where sometimes the crazy schedules, and what I need to do takes us so much of my time, that it is easy to lose sight of what is most important. For me, it is also about approaching the process of parenting with the right perspective of how to come from a place of love and respect.
TODAY, and for an intentional 21 days… I Choose LOVE !
Sharing LOVE with those who mean the most to me… THAT is what is important, more important the the little urgent things that “demand” my time until there is no time for the important things. I choose to share love with my family and my friends. And I choose to share love with many families… through Kindermusik, and with all the resources I have (details about Sharing Kindermusik Love will be in a separate article.)
THIS is not about being a perfect parent, a perfect teacher, or a perfect person. It is not about reporting to someone, or marking a chart. It is simply about a personal focused mindfulness on choosing love.
It could be about sharing stories of how this works for us… if you want. I like stories ! Please share in the comments below, or on my Music Connections Facebook Page !
Do you KNOW what happens when you practice something daily – for 21 days? I has the potential to become a habit, and possibly, hopefully… a way of life.
I Choose LOVE – as I make time for my family and friends.
This month, when my 11 year old daughter wants to cuddle just before going to sleep, or just as she is waking up… I make the time work so we can CUDDLE ! I am so pleased she still wants me to be there with her like that.
This month, my daughter and I are taking a Yoga class together for the first time. And I am learning to let go of expecting her to follow directions like everyone else. I accept and LOVE the overwhelming fact that she does things her own way, and it’s OK.
This month, I will make time to call my hubby every day as he works out of town to share something that makes us laugh, not just to take care of family “business”. I Choose to retreat and fall asleep with him instead of working all night.
This month, I am making time to play games with my parents and my children more often, and to play some upbeat tunes on our stereo in the evenings so we can get back into some family dancing !
Last night, I had a full out conversation with my 19 year old son at 1:00 in the morning. (Is sleep considered urgent, or important? I need some feedback on this.)
This month, I will reach out to extended family and friends to reconnect and share time, even if just for a few personal moments on the phone.
As Rick Warren so eloquently shares in his book, “The Purpose Driven Life, What Am I Here For?“,
“Time is your most precious gift because you only have a set amount of it.
You can make more money, but you can’t make more time.
When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you’ll never get back.
Your time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time.
It is not enough to just say relationships are important; we must prove it by investing time in them. Words alone are worthless.
“My children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action.”
Relationships take time and effort, and the best way to spell love is “T-I-M-E.”
Reading the book, “To a Child, Love is Spelled T-I-M-E” was incredibly insightful and inspiring, but that was years ago, and it has become time for a refreshing dip into that pool. I found it, and I hope you enjoy this little video by Chris Cade, based on this book:
Perspective is everything. It doesn’t necessarily require drastic changes, just a slight adjustment in mind set and time schedules, like letting the answering machine take care of that phone call until after the 200th reading of “Skippy John Jones”. Or waking up a half hour early to be fully ready to focus on your morning together before school and work. Of course, the urgent things will be taken care of, just maybe in a slightly different time frame.
I Choose LOVE – as I open ways to share the powerful magic of music !
Kindermusik Moves Me ! Since 1998, close to 17 years now, I have LOVED sharing the power of music with families through Kindermusik programs. The evidence of the effects of music are undeniable. As a high school student, I knew that my life’s path would lead me to use music to help make life better for people, so I got my degree in Music Therapy. Yet, I wanted to reach people… families… in a more interactive way that focused more on the music and the process and not so much paperwork and politics. Kindermusik has provided a perfect path for me to make this happen for as multitudes of families !
I LOVE how music can bring out the best in people – of all ages – in so many ways.
I LOVE how music brings people together – from strengthening intimate bonds, to gaining friendships for life.
I LOVE how music leads us to FEEL more deeply and LIVE more richly.
I believe so deeply in my heart how IMPORTANT music is in the lives of families, that I am compelled to SHARE this LOVE, and this PROCESS, both in and outside of the Kindermusik classroom.
A little chuckle of reality just escaped from me as I realize, this is not part of the 21 day challenge… I’m actually working on decades, and it’s just getting better and better.
Please bear with me if I am not the perfect business person – as far as responding immediately to messages or sending emails or posting regularly on Social Media. Please consider that something IMPORTANT may have redirected my TIME for a bit. But know that I LOVE what I do with my Kindermusik families, and when I do it, I will do it with LOVE, and to the utmost BEST of my ability. I WILL connnect with all those who want to connect with me… but maaayyy-beee not always within 24 hours. PLEASE know that it is OK to bug me – by text (fastest) or email – so that we make sure to connect.
I Choose LOVE – as I open ways for camaraderie and support with parents and those involved in the lives of children.
I CHOOSE to share my LOVE with others who are in pursuit of lovingly guiding and nurturing individually unique young people.
I LOVE seeing that there are parents and teachers striving to be the best they can be in this modern free-flowing chaotic world of raising unique people. The river is rushing along on it’s merry way… slowing or stopping it would cause irreparable damage. What can we do, together, to help it find it’s way in the world?
I don’t want to TELL people what to do, or how to do it. I certainly don’t have all the answers. I don’t think anyone does. But there are a lot of good answers out there to explore.
I want to be involved in genuine conversations with others that help all of us really look hard at what is most important in the process of nurturing and guiding this new generation of souls, and sharing ideas for the variety of tools we need to make this happen. There are so many “manuals” for raising children, but each child is so uniquely different. Each person is a special treasure in this world.
I have some ideas, and some processes are in the works, but I’d really like to start some conversations with those who would like to be involved in these “round table” type discussions. Interactive get-togethers may happen locally in the Lakeland, Florida area, and we might schedule some tech-savvy discussion groups and/or get-togethers we can enjoy from the comfort of our own homes.
Stay tuned for more. A perfect plan has not been developed yet – as I am not sure how to JUGGLE this new ball in with my existing ones and still be able to CHOOSE LOVE in all the ways I’ve dedicated myself to.
But, in Choosing LOVE, I KNOW each of these is IMPORTANT… for me… for my family… and for others.
Will you decide to take on this challenge… to Choose LOVE?
Each person’s journey will be so incredibly different, so unique and personal. If your LOVE choices, and my LOVE choices meet together for awhile, I look forward to our journey together.