Monday Mindset – The Power of Reframing.

Reframing is the ability to change your life without actually changing your circumstances. It is a powerful shift that costs us nothing but can make a huge impact on our daily lives. This is not to say that you have to pretend sh*tty things are actually rainbows and blessings – that is toxic positivity. But instead considering things that we come across in our daily lives that we tell ourselves are problems or burdens. What mountains have we made out of molehills? What story are we perpetually telling ourselves? In theory reframing is great but IRL it can be harder to implement, especially if all you’ve known is to reflexively look at situations through a lens of criticism, blame or negativity. Below are some tips to actually make reframing something you can put into action versus just a far off concept that you’re never able to wrap your hands around!

Start finding the good – The harder you look for it the more you will find. The easiest and most effective way to start finding the good is something I’ve talked about before, gratitude. Simple gratitude lists will shift the way you see your day to day life and the more you do it the more powerful this practice becomes. It doesn’t have to be fancy or in-depth, keep it simple. Keep a gratitude list pinned to the top of the notes section in your phone. Next time you’re standing in a line instead of mindlessly scrolling see how many things you can find that you’re grateful for.

The power of pause – when you find yourself doing dishes and telling yourself “this sucks, there’s always dishes, I can never keep up, my kids make such a mess” pause! Try to create some space and reframe. Often times we can’t control what happens to us in life, the dishes will inevitably be there day after day, the unexpected work project, the cancelled babysitter, so much is out of our hands. But the control we have lies in how we choose to react and respond to our lives. There is immense power in seizing that control versus simply relying on old habits or built in reactions. Pausing and reframing takes practice like all of these – often times you won’t pause until well after you’ve complained about xyz, but even catching yourself later that day is progress. As you continue to reframe and look for the good it will get easier to catch yourself in real time. The first huge step is even just realizing you were building a negative narrative in your mind whether you notice a minute after or a day after, progress is progress!

Write. It. Out. Journaling is talking things out with yourself, a diy therapy session… How are you supposed to know what you want, or what’s bothering you, or how you actually feel, if you never give yourself a moment to be with your thoughts. In today’s world we are bombarded by stimulus through our phones. We so rarely turn inward to assess our inner dialogue. At the end of the day all this stimulus can leave us feeling some sort of way that can be difficult to pinpoint. Was it that rude interaction at the store or in traffic, was it the triggering tiktok that you stumbled upon, was it an off handed comment a friend made, was it a narrative your subconsciously told yourself? Writing can give us clarity. It can help us find the good.

Ultimately reframing, like most mindset changes doesn’t happen immediately. It takes practice, and each day present new circumstances and challenges. With mindfulness and mindset improvement it’s so important to remember the journey is not linear. On my own personal journey I’ve often felt the idea of two steps forward, one step back. I’ve thought “I’m writing gratitude, I’m meditating, why is this so hard, why am I still losing my cool and yelling at my kids?” And the reality is it’s because life, and motherhood is freaking hard and I’m human! Over the years I’ve learned how important it is to hold grace for myself the same way I give it to others. We are human and life is hard. But that is what makes it beautiful, and choosing to lean into our emotions and become more aware of our thoughts is powerful. It allows us to feel and live life more deeply, even if it feels like we move backwards from time to time.

Monday Mindset: Affirmations For Every Situation

Consider this: “We think in words, and these words have the power to limit us or to set us free; they can frighten us or evoke our courage. Similarly, the stories we tell ourselves about our own lives eventually becomes our lives.”

Dan Baker, What Happy People Know

Try This: Affirmations. I used to roll my eyes at the idea of affirmations, but science has shown us that affirmations are in fact a way to help alter our internal dialogue, that will otherwise gladly tell us: we aren’t good enough, smart enough, we’ll fail etc. For many of us if we let our subconsciouses run wild they will chatter at us in negative and anxiety ridden tones. It takes work to change our narratives but one of the most powerful ways we can do that is through affirmations.

Below you’ll find affirmations for most situations! It can sound so silly when you first start saying them. But other ways I like to incorporate affirmations are:

  • Write it on a sticky note and put it on a mirror you look at daily
  • Pick one or two to say daily at a specific time (ie: waking up / going to bed / rocking your kid etc.)
  • Save an affirmation as the background on your phone, when you’re going into a tough situation or experience. It’s the perfect easy reminder to see some words that should bring you calmness or courage!
  • Save my PDF version with these affirmations!

Monday Mindset: A holiday pep-talk

Let’s talk IG vs. reality… On the daily instagram serves us ultra-curated snippets of perfection. Perfect angles, perfect lighting, spotless homes with farm sinks and all white aesthetics. And then the holidays hit and it multiplies – elaborate family costumes, porches decorated to the nines, kids smiling in photos. It is so easy to scroll on social media and feel like you aren’t doing, buying, planning, being “enough”. This Monday Mindset is here to remind you are enough and your reality is beautiful even if it looks nothing like one of those curated squares. Let go of the pressures to do/be/buy more & instead just be. Let’s embrace the parts of the holidays we truly enjoy and let the rest of the expectations go! This halloween is completely different for us, because everyone is sick. I’d be lying if I said I haven’t felt the pangs of disappointment that Will is missing wearing his costume to school and their Halloween Party, but at the end of the day I’m disappointed because I’m attached to that expectation. As soon as I let go of all the expectations I had and welcomed our reality it felt easier to shift gears and decide to make the most of our halloween at home this year. So whether you’re a crafty mom, and event planning mom, an amazon prime mom or some combo like most of us, here’s your reminder to leave your phone in the other room, let go of whatever expectations you’re putting on yourself. The funny thing is when we take a deep breath and slow down and be, our kids mirror that energy and you might just get a genuine smile.

Monday Mindset: How to harness your hardships & why it matters!

We think it’s the happy experiences, the birthdays, the week long vacations, the promotions, that make us happy in life, but it’s not. Ultimately what allows us to find happiness and joy even for the smallest moments is in fact, hardships. How can you appreciate the warm sun on your face, if you’ve never known what it feels to be cold. The same is true in life. Glennon Doyle reminds us “The truest, most beautiful life never promises to be an easy one. We need to let go of the lie that it’s supposed to be”

All of our lives are shaped by a mix of circumstances, choices and luck or lack thereof. And “being happy” is deeply connected to our ability to find joy and optimism regardless of our circumstances.

Consider This: “Your worst memories don’t go away and they don’t get better. But you can get better. You are more than the sum of your suffering.”

Dan Baker, What Happy People Know

Your struggles ultimately leave you with this choice of allowing them to shape you for better or for worse. Choosing to do so isn’t as simple as a flick of a switch. It takes acknowledgment and reflection. For me personally, writing about my experiences has been key to allowing myself to learn and grow from that experience. I wrote a post about Chris’ encephalitis and how I really struggled to process that experience. A textbook trauma response to a situation I had yet to really come to terms with. I so desperately wanted to step around it, vehemently resisting reliving it or talking about it. I simply wanted to “move on”. The funny thing about trauma is, it doesn’t work that way. The harder you slam the door shut on it & the stronger it will boomerang back bursting open. Ignoring hardships or choosing not to engage is not processing. And you certainly can get better by ignoring it.

No matter what your struggles are, big or small they play a key role in your mindset. If you’ve allowed every struggle, every misstep to accumulate, if you’re holding on to blame, and grief, and anger it is undoubtedly weighing you down. Dan Baker puts it simply “other people can hurt your, but only you can victimize yourself”.

If you play this life game long enough you realize that bad ish happens to everyone. Even the happiest person you know has not had a life free from suffering. The magic happens in your response when life is throwing obstacles in your way. We get the opportunity to write our narrative. The story we tell ourselves becomes our life.

Try This: Harness your own hardships

Write! This is my biggest tip for transforming hardship. Write. Write about what it was like. The way it made you feel, give actual names to emotions that come up: helpless, disappointed, lonely, anxious, jealous etc. Whether it was a job you didn’t get, a string of bad luck, whether it was something life altering or something on a smaller scale, these are all opportunities for us to grow. You know how you feel better after a good cry, writing is very similar. You’re able to empty out your mind and your emotions and often will feel a weight lifted.

Reflect on the story you’re telling yourself – is it one of blame, insecurity, anger? Or is it a story that is hopeful, perseverant, joyful, energetic? The words we tell ourselves our incredibly powerful.

Give yourself time – Not every hardship is created equal. Some may effect us for longer or just take more time to sort through. And that is okay, after Chris was in the ICU I so badly just wanted to snap my fingers and for life go back to normal. When in reality it would take over a year before he felt like himself again & it would take me a whole other year to process from that experience.

Ask yourself “what can I learn from this experience”… Once you start writing a page or two a funny thing happens it all pours out!

Monday Mindset – 5 Life changing books for unbelievable growth

Personal development can get a bad rap, mostly from people who never read it, however, it opens your mind and increases a narrative of positivity, meaningfulness and can really help combat some negative talk tracks we have playing in our minds subconsciously. So for today’s Monday Mindset I thought I’d share 5 personal development books that really empowered me & left their mark. Narrowing this list down to 5 was not easy…

Think Like a Monk – Jay Shetty grew up in a family where you could be: a doctor, a lawyer or a failure. He ditched his college graduation and flew to India to become a monk, meditating for hours a day and devoting his life to helping others. This book recounts the lessons, the mindset, and the knowledge he gained at the ashram in Mumbai and his re-entering of society three years later. This book is meant to show how you can incorporate this way of thinking and living in order to find your own peace and happiness without having to fly across the world and check in to a monastery.

Breathe Mama Breathe – Bite size mindfulness for mamas. Short 5 min reads and exercises about how to intertwine mindfulness into your daily busy life. Brimming with great quotes about mindfulness and motherhood. This book really set me on my own journey of mindfulness and meditation. I was gifted this book by a dear friend at my baby shower and it took me nearly 4 years and 2 babies later to finally read it. But it was the message I needed at the perfect time. And it was my personal gateway to mindfulness and meditation.

Atomic Habits – This practical, to the point book about how to transform your habits is a must read! James Clear is all about tiny changes and big results. This book will have you re-evaluating your habits, finding ways to make them easy, obvious and satisfying. His gives concrete tips, and endorses the idea that immense change happens slowly and consistently. If you read one book off this list, make it THIS one!

What Happy People Know – Dan Baker dives into the science of happiness, the happiness traps we set for ourselves: attempting to buy happiness, trying to be happy by resolving the past, trying to force happiness to name a few. He also shares six simple skills that we all can practice to boost our own happiness. He talks about how his own happiness journey emerged from tragedy. This book is a great reminder of what really matters in this life.

The Happiness Project – Gretchen Rubin, realizes she can’t just uproot her busy NYC life with her two daughter and move to Bali to “be happier” so she goes on a mission to find ways to make her current life happier. She spends each month focused on different areas of her life. This book is a great reminder that when it comes to happiness there’s a lot of low hanging fruit for boosting happiness under our own roofs.

Monday Mindset – The one habit that transformed motherhood

If I were to look back and try to pinpoint what set in motion all my mindset and habit changes over the last four years, one thing in particular stands out. Waking up ahead of my kids… This ability to safeguard a little bit of time for myself at the beginning of each day without a doubt transformed my motherhood.

When I started waking up early I was pregnant with Johnathan, Will had dropped down to one nap a day. Suddenly I was scrambling for time to get things done, uninterrupted. My day would start with fussing and crying and I would instantly feel behind. I had started my coaching business, and my to-do lists were long. I was feeling frustrated, short tempered and was quickly realizing I needed to change something. I started small, just 15 minutes ahead of when Wills sound machine would click off. I’d take a few minutes to wake up, maybe jot down a plan for the day, wash my face in silence, sit and pet Juno. This quickly increased to me waking up 30 min early so I could get my workout done first thing. An amazing thing happens when you start giving your body and your mind this space. You begin to CRAVE this silence, this peace. I pretty quickly noticed a shift. Mornings where I didn’t get up early felt tense, I was easily thrown into a bad mood, I was on edge. Mornings where I gave myself a few minutes to wake up allowed for a sense of calm and the ability to handle whatever came at me!

Now I know what you’re thinking “there’s no way I could wake up any earlier than I have to”, stick with me here. I want to be clear, I was never a morning person. I love to sleep in. My former nightshift self relished in getting to sleep until 5pm. However, for the season of life I’m in, with young children, sleeping in is not only unattainable but also not functional or efficient for my life. In this season, when my kids are at home the majority of the day and still need me for many things, I need to front-load my day. When I do this I’m happier, I’m more patient, I’m certainly more productive. I’m able to approach my kids and my family from a place of calm and compassion. Instead of waking to the onslaught of toddler demands, I’m able to exert a little control in how I start my day. If I want to listen to a podcast, if I want to sit in silence and drink coffee, if I want to meditate outside, I can. When I give myself this gift of space and time to wake up, I’m no longer thrown off or upset when I find my two year olds night time diaper malfunctioned or whatever unforeseen event is waiting for me when the rest of the house wakes up. The reality is there are few places throughout your day where you’re able to find some extra time, so giving yourself even a 15 minute cushion of time in the morning allows for you to feel less stressed and more prepared for the day. As mothers we act from a place of servitude, however resentment can rear it’s ugly head when you feel like you’re serving others from the moment your eyes open each day until you fall in bed that night.

** Important caveat here – there are seasons of your life where this is not possible and sleep takes priority, hello newborn bubble. If you are in a season like this, grace. Grace is your biggest friend. Give yourself a big serving of grace, take seconds if you need to, and know that this season will pass **

consider this:

We tend to wear our ability to get by on little sleep as some sort of badge of honor that validates our work ethic but what it is a profound failure of self respect and of priorities. Then nearly a quarter of us do something else that starts us out on the second wrong foot of the day. We reach for our cell phones within one minute of waking up. Over half of us are checking messages within ten minutes. The majority of people go from out cold to processing mountains of information within minutes every morning. There are only six cars that can go from zero to sixty in under two seconds. Like most cars, humans are not built for that kind of sudden transition, mentally or physically. 

Dan Baker, What Happy People Know

Try this: skip the AM scroll.

Pick a day or two this week to set your alarm 15-20 min early & hold off on immediately scrolling, instead focus on a transition. When we immediately start our days by staring into our prized little rectangles we are giving our energy to other peoples messages, emails, we begin subconsciously comparing and our minds are instantly drawn to things we thing we “should” be doing. When we start our days with high pressure or high stress, we program ourselves to stay in that state the rest of the day and it can be hard to self correct out. By giving ourselves even just a few minutes to transition we can drastically alter the tone of the day.

I’ll share the framework of my morning routine in an upcoming post, but know, it has seen many iterations through the years. And ultimately our needs and circumstances are all different. Some women will want this time to read, to make lists, to workout, to pray or to run their businesses. What works for me in this particular season may not serve you as well. It’s less about how you fill this time and more about creating time that serves YOU. If spending 5 min unloading the dishwasher before everyone is up will make you feel on top of your game do it. If spending 15 min reading while you drink coffee will energize you do it. Consider you pain-points. What is making your morning feel chaotic… is it trying to get ready while little hands grab at you, is it never having time or motivation to workout, is it trying to prep school lunches and make breakfast? Most of our morning tasks can be completed much faster when we’re alone, it’s those tiny people that drag efficiency down… love em’ but it’s true!

I would love to hear if you already do this, or if this is something you’ve tried but struggled with or something you’ve just never considered. For me, waking up 30 – 40 earlier than my kids gives me vastly more energy than staying in bed would for that same amount of time. It sets my day off on the right foot, I dictate the tone and the energy. Try it and see how your motherhood transforms!