I’m sat here at my desk, with a glass of wine and a packet of crisps. Ok, so it’s red wine, and they’re pretend-to-be-healthy crisps, but you get the picture. It’s also late, and my son’s tucked up in bed fast asleep. He’s five now. Usually, I like to write in the evenings but, as a rule, come seven o’clock, when I’m putting him to bed I’m absolutely wiped out. I run a business and practice from home, so I work all day while he’s at school. By the time his bedtime comes around I could very easily pass out next to him. But here I am, 2 hours after his bedtime, fresh as a daisy, and feeling all creative and awake. So what happened?
Well, instead of flaking out in front of the telly, I checked in with my energy. If you’ve read any of my other writing you may already know that I practice something called ‘energy awareness’. Which is basically about developing my awareness so I can recognise what I need to do and when to sort myself out. It’s simple, yet requires some effort.
This evening I had two choices — to go with the flow of my body, become one with the sofa, and tell myself it’s quite right I should be so tired, after all, what a hard day I’ve had. Or, I could listen to my energy — the voice of my spirit, which was quietly squeaking at me to do something to pick myself up and feel sparkly again. For the night is still young! Obviously the first option, the sofa, had the biggest pull. But, if you practice this thing called living with intent — that is living being guided by your spirit instead of your head — then after a while you generate enough energy to kick the ass off of your suffering, and do something constructive instead. Of course, some nights, the sofa wins. And that’s OK too. But tonight, it was one-nil to my spirit.
I got out my stinky old yoga mat, which is enjoying a come-back, and did 15 minutes of intense dynamic yoga, followed by some slower, more meditative weaves (energy awareness techniques) for about 10 minutes. Then I hopped in the shower, slipped into some sexy underwear, put on some make-up and came to my computer feeling 100% energised. And happy. Now I don’t usually do the getting-dressed-up thing after I’ve put my son to bed, but tonight it made a difference to my energy. And that’s what I try to do. I do things that make my energy ascend, instead of descend. So tonight, I managed to change my energy — resulting in an article (this one!) and some time to relax and watch some TV with my lover.
Being a mum is hard work — no doubt about it. But you have to look after your own energy otherwise you’ll wither away and dry up. All too often we put the kids first, and end up ragged and worn out. It doesn’t help that it’s socially and culturally unacceptable to put ourselves first. But, I say it’s not just OK to put yourself first — it’s absolutely necessary. If you’re in a mess, then you really aren’t going to be able to give your kid much energy. Not to mention your partner (or potential partners!). So Mommas, here’s some easy ways in which you can get a bit more energised – without having to hire a babysitter and go to the gym 3 times a week.. (Great if you manage that already – but I never did!).
Happy Momma Tip No. 1: Power Up
Learn the Sun Salutation. It’s a simple set of flowing yoga postures, which brings you instant energy. The idea of doing a full-on yoga session can be overwhelming, but a blast of Sun Salutation is easy to do. And just 10 minutes a day builds strength and flexibility. There are different styles, but if it’s instant power and energy you need then go for the Ashtanga style. You may need to go to a couple of classes to learn it properly, but once you’ve nailed it it’ll be your friend for life.
I’d recommend getting a yoga mat if you don’t already have one. For some reason it makes you feel more motivated. And it’s safer too.
Happy Momma Tip No. 2: Zone In
After your Sun Salutation, try sitting for 5 minutes just feeling your breath at the tip of your nose. So much of our energy gets used up on incessant thinking! That thing that happened yesterday, what we’re going to say to that person tomorrow – it’s a rare thing for our minds to be happily engaged in the present moment. Although it takes some concentration, bringing your attention back to feeling your breath at the tip of your nose will cause your energy to brighten up. And you’ll start sensing more of what you need to do. Or say. Or not say! It’s a very simple yet powerful meditation. And can be done anytime anywhere.
Happy Momma Tip No. 3: Nix the fix
Avoid refined sugar and corn syrup. I know it’s boring and everyone says it – but it makes a BIG difference to your energy levels. Develop a taste for 85% organic chocolate instead – ideally with non-refined cane sugar. It’s good for your happiness, and won’t wipe you out like other sweet stuff does.
Happy Momma Tip No. 4: Re-Charge
There are some neat little products out there made to bring you more energy. But what works for one doesn’t necessarily work for another, so be discerning. Before I learnt to develop my energy awarness I used a pendulum – which I found super helpful at testing what was right for me. Learning to use a pendulum is easy and fun and can serve you well along your journey – and it’s quick!
Happy Momma Tip No. 5: Feed Your Spirit
This tip is almost last because it’s the hardest. When your life is filled with babies/toddlers, making dinners and changing nappies – it’s really easy to forget what it is that makes YOU feel fulfilled. Remember what you’re passionate about, and make sure each week gets some time dedicated to that cause – even if it’s only 20 minutes. It’ll help you stay sane and that’ll have a knock on positive effect on those around you.
Happy Momma Tip No. 6: Be happy, Be Gorgeous
Make time for yourself. Easy to say but hard to do. But just half an hour of ‘you time’ after putting the kids to bed is enough to recover some energy. With the above tips, you can transform yourself from a worn out wreck into the tip-top, re-charged, super-sexy momma. And your life will reflect this new level of energy back at you tenfold. Go shine mommas, your inner sparkle is always there, just waiting for you to reveal it to the world….
With a whole lot of love and more,
The Everyday Alchemist(TM)
© Natalie Fee 2009 – this document and its contents may not be copied or reproduced without the authors permission.