30 Intentions For My 30s

For my 30th birthday blog post, I started a few different lists, including 30 lessons I've learned, and 30 reasons I'm glad to be 30. But I realized I don't want to look back on what I've learned and how I've changed, I want to look forward. I want to ask, what else is possible?

I feel as if I have been waiting my whole life to enter this decade. I have idealized my thirties as a time when I will know I have arrived in adulthood. Of course now that I'm here, I realize I've been in "it" for years.

This decade of my life in this body is unwritten. My hope is that these intentions serve as the architecture for what is to come:

1. I go to bed at a decent hour.

2. I share my thoughts in personal and public ways.

3. I write and read everyday.

4. I make new friends and keep the old.

5. I practice patience and equinimity.

6. I see more of the world.

7. I submit and publish my stories, essays and poetry.

8. I enjoy the life I have built and the person I discovered in me in my twenties.

9. I speak nicely to my husband and children.

10. I choose love.

11. I moderate my internet and social media usage.

12. I move my body daily and I eat organic, whole, tasty foods.

13. I balance consumption with creation.

14. I feel my feelings without trying to numb them.

15. I am confident in my talents and abilities.

16. I value my worth.

17. I give freely and I receive freely.

18. I believe in the beauty of my dreams.

19. I do not worry what others think of me or say about me.

20. I stay true to myself and my values.

21. I measure time in inspiration rather than productivity.

22. I believe in miracles.

23. I notice synchronicities, and I let them guide me.

24. I listen to my intuition and I follow my heart.

25. I read to my children.

26. I date my husband.

27. I stay connected with my loved ones.

28. I practice non-attachment.

29. I relax into the present moment.

30. I allow the universe to show up for me in exciting ways.

Writing this list felt good. A wave of well-being moves through my heart each time I read it.

Thank you for being here, and please feel free to add your own intention for the next decade of your life in the comments below.

IMG_9506.JPG

To read more of my thoughts on motherhood, mindfulness and the creative life, please follow my blog or subscribe via feedburner.

Be the Light (+ 28 other pearls)

Today, I am 29 years-old! I have never been this old before and I will never be this young again.

As I grow older I look forward to cultivating greater self-love, traveling to foreign lands, meeting like-minded people, making deep connections and friendships, reading more books, writing and publishing more words, watching my children grow up, acquiring more wisdom and experience.

It is a privilege to be 29. I am young but I am not so young.  I have lived, learned and loved well but I have more living, learning and loving to do.

I celebrate today by sharing 29 of my favorite pearls of wisdom, lessons and quotes.

If you feel moved to, please share one of your favorites in the comments section or on Facebook/Twitter.

 

1. Life is what you make it.

2. This, too, shall pass.

3. The only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday.

4. Don't take it personally.

5. "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." - Maya Angelou

6. Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

7. Love is all you need.

8. You can't save people you can only love them. - Anais Nin

9. Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage - Anais Nin

10. Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. - Eleanor Roosevelt

11. The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. - Eleanor Roosevelt

12. All good things are wild and free. - Henry David Thoreau

13. Stars can't shine without darkness.

14. Be the light.

15. Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen.

16. Count your blessings.

17. Fear does not stop death. It stops life.

18. Make time for yourself.

19. You are what you eat, so don't be cheap, easy or fake.

20. “My suggestion is that you start with the love and then work very hard and try to let go of the results.” - Elizabeth Gilbert

21. "Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working." - Pablo Picasso

22. Live simply, love deeply.

23. Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning. - Albert Einstein

24. Try again. Fail again. Fail better. - Samuel Beckett

25. Reality is merely an illusion. Albeit a persistent one. - Albert Einstein

26. The best things and the worst things in life are tangled together, making regret impossible.

27. Never give up. - The Dalai Lama

28. There is nothing more artistic than to love people. - Vincent Van Gogh

29. Dreams come a size too big so that we can grow into them.

EDIT:

When I picked up my phone this morning, I headed straight for Instagram for some reason. The first post I saw was a quote from Maya Angelou and the words RIP. I scrolled down to see my feed filled with tributes.

A great woman passed on the morning of my 29th birthday, a woman whose wisdom I have long admired. It only makes sense that I would add an extra quote (you know, one to grow on)--a quote that has been a part of my Facebook profile for years though now somewhat buried, the information too static to be considered interesting.

And I'll resist recalling every other quote of hers that I love. (But google her name if you're a quote junkie.)

30. "Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends." - Maya Angelou

a91c486649962f7004efc2fb06407694

To read more of my musings on motherhood, mindfulness and the creative life, please follow my blog or subscribe via feedburner.

Nothing Lasts Forever

I turn 29 tomorrow. My golden year is nearly over. Though it terrifies me to think of myself as 30 years-old in one year, in some ways I feel older than 30. As if I've been 30 for years. Which somehow makes sense considering that I also feel like I am my 13 year-old self at times.

Birthdays often bring introspection and this one is no different.

Right now I am sipping my espresso and milk, nibbling on ultra dark chocolate, nursing my baby and typing with one hand… Now she's in the swing next to me, asleep. I can see mountains and tree tops and water from up here on my perch. Though I have many things I still want to accomplish, many moments to look forward to, I am perfectly content where I am right now.

Things continues to change rapidly. Time never stops nor slows. Everyone is getting older. People come and go. Nothing lasts forever--a truth that troubles me deeply because I am happy now. I am aware that I have it good. I love being a mother to small children and though it is exhausting it is delightful and precious and wonderful. When James is at home we exchange glances a hundred times a day, smiling over the unbearable cuteness, grimacing over the tears, laughing over the funny; we are partners on this glorious adventure. We are in it and we love it and we love each other.

But nothing lasts forever. Our children are only getting older. So are we.

I might be especially preoccupied with time right now because it gallops along at an unfair pace when you have a baby. Just the other day Skyla was a skinny-legged newborn who slept all day and now she has rolls beneath her chin and she is attempting communication. She has beautiful brown inquisitive eyes and a generous smile. The rest of us won't stop gushing about her. That's four people head over heels in love with one tiny person. She handles our affection with grace. She soaks it up and makes it her own and beams it back at us.

The thing about having children is the love they bring into a home. Every challenge in parenting is punctuated with love. You've got to work for the love I suppose, but oh sweet universe, the rewards outlive the work.

It's like anyone's life's work, really. You don't need to have kids to experience this kind of infinite love. You need only to give your best away, offer it up to the greatest good. Your best efforts, your best creations. It's the only way to live properly: find what you can (and love to) do to add value whether it's by raising a person or founding a movement or taking care of people.

We have to do it now. Today. There's no time to waste. We must run with ideas, listen for callings, ask God and other people for help.

We're only getting older and nothing lasts forever.

Yet there's an undeniable beauty to growing older because youth is replaced with wisdom. Each day is a new experience and each experience lends itself to our understanding of why the hell we're alive and what we're supposed to do while we're here to make the most of our brief forays on this four-dimensional plane. So that we may not only leave the earth better than we came upon it, but we may in the process delight in the taste of water and chocolate, the sensation of sunshine and wind, the swell of love and connection.

Since I enjoy quotes and learning and wisdom, I will celebrate my birthday tomorrow by sharing 29 of my favorite quotes and pearls of wisdom--lessons and philosophies that have enriched my 29 years of life, whether or not I have mastered or even understood their meaning.

Until tomorrow.

IMG_6865

 

To read more of my musings on motherhood, mindfulness and the creative life, please follow my blog or subscribe via feedburner.

You Came Into My Life Four Years Ago Today

IMG_2012 To Giovanna on your birthday,

You came into my life four years ago today and I knew you already. Your cheeks. Your eyebrows. Your will.

You came into my life and shook all the pieces into place. When I became your mama many other things became clear. Who I am and who I want to be, what I want to do and why I must do it. Things I've always known somewhere but left unknown because not knowing is sometimes easier.

You came into my life and brought with you a spark. A flame in the seat of my heart, a magnetic force field between us. Once physically connected, our spirits have been and will be attached for eternity. For now, we are slightly codependent. A phase equally challenging and temporary, both of which pale in comparison to the beauty of it. But you will not always shout "mama!" when I pick you up from school and you will not always say good-bye with a long row of kisses. I have to also believe that I will not always miss you the way I do now (or I might end up stalking your elementary school).

You came into my life and you sped up time. Never before have days passed so quickly. Never again will you be a baby. Never again will you be three years old. You say things a certain way, many times a day ("okay, mama?"), and each time a little piece of me melts and molds into joy, gratitude, wonder. You exhaust me and you energize me.

You came into my life and the pitch of your voice captured me, captivated me. It still does, every day. Though peace and patience often eludes us, we are all trying. I am searching for ways to be a better mother to you. I will never stop searching.

You came into my life and you taught me about my biggest flaws. You act as a mirror. You help me to hear my own voice and in hearing my own voice I am able to better understand myself. As you grow up and I grow up, we will evolve and transform according to the knowledge and wisdom collected along the way. I will try to teach you as much as you teach me.

You came into my life and you made me a mommy. Someday you will understand the magnitude of this shift and the power you hold, not over me alone but over the entire universe. The world is yours, my baby. You're four years old and you're already on the fast track to taking as much of it as you can hold in those hungry little hands. I love watching you grow.

With all my love,

Mama