A little dose of encouragement...

A little dose of encouragement...

Hi,

Welcome to another Sunday and another little dose of encouragement to find simplicity in your home and your life wherever possible.

In a world full of uncertainty and change, I think we can all benefit from taking heart in the simple little things that make up the ebb and flow of our days.

For me, personally, that means:

  • Teaching (to pay the bills)
  • Walking  (for calm, fresh air, exercise, and my love of nature)
  • Keeping up with my (very flexible routines) for housework and looking after myself and my family (because my home, kids and myself all work better when we have a little structure!)

For the most part, they may seem like mundane, predictable tasks but in a 2020 that’s been full of change, sometimes the known feels better than the unknown!

Having said that, I’ll certainly be ready for a bit more excitement as soon as Covid restrictions let us. Fingers crossed for everyone…

If you’d like to share how you feel about your days in 2020 and the little things that you find joy in, I’d love to hear from you. ๐Ÿ˜Š


THIS WEEK ON THE BLOG โœ

This week I’ve shared a couple of new posts on the blog. You can check them out with the links below. 




THE CORE LIBRARY

The At The Core library filled with my free resources is available to you whenever you need it.

It's my way of saying thank you to everyone who joins my email community.

It's packed with really helpful checklists, printables and workbooks to help you declutter your home, your mind, manage your time, and simplify your life.

Just sign in and you will be able to access it :) 

AND FINALLY...

I’d like to leave you with a short but powerful little quote from Muhammad Ali…

Even days filled with the mundane, the predictable and sometimes the downright difficult, try to seek out the little joys. ๐Ÿ’


Connect with me:

Roadmap: Not sure where to start? This may help!

Instagram: Simple tips and inspiration for daily motivation and encouragement.

Pinterest: A wealth of ideas, inspiration, and extra resources to help simplify our complex and busy lives.


That’s it for now. Have a lovely weekend, stay safe, and look after yourself.

I’ll be back in your inbox next week.


Shanna

At The Core Website 

Simplicity = Less clutter and stress, more clarity and calm.

Let's talk about VICTIM MENTALITY...

Let's talk about VICTIM MENTALITY...
You are your home; take care of yourself. 

Who else is protecting the energy of their home right now more than ever? Once this is all over, let’s promise to continue social distancing from the toxic people and situations that drain our energy, okay? Let’s unfollow or mute accounts of people constantly debating, talking negatively about others, and encouraging division. โœŒ๐Ÿผ 

If you are feeling the negativity and it is draining you take a look at this...

SELF-AWARENESS TEACHING TIP: Over-responsible people do too much for others and try to solve other people’s problems. The self-responsible person takes responsibility for their own emotional life without blaming others and comfortably carries the responsibilities associated with life.โ 
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Women often fall into the role of being over-responsible, although it is not at all uncommon to find men who also carry this role. The line between genuine caring of others and over-responsibility becomes blurred and confused for over-responsible people and they will argue that they have no choice but to care for others. They tend to be unaware that this has become a reflex rather than a choice. โ 
โ 
So look at yourself. Are you worn out from looking after people? Do you never feel you have done enough? Do you feel that if you did not carry the burden of responsibility then your world, or the world of those you care for, would collapse? If these are true for you then take a look in the mirror and think about how you take care of yourself. Maybe it is time for a change.โ 
โ 
You have the right to say “no” without further explanation. Another way to think about this is by talking about VICTIM MENTALITY in general. According to Merriam Webster, victim mentality is “: the belief that one is always a victim: the idea that bad things will always happen to one.”

If you have anyone in your life who’s always a victim, you know how DRAINING it can be. It feels like they just suck the energy out of the room and out of conversations.

Setting boundaries with people who cannot see beyond their own suffering and victimization is extremely important.

Set the boundary now, before getting dragged down any further โค๏ธโค๏ธ. 

Your mental health is absolutely worth it.
Wishing you well, 
Shanna

Are you worth investing in?

Are you worth investing in?
Everything we do or don’t do in life is an energy exchange

You can be doing so much to heal, but if you aren’t *investing* in what fills you up, in what makes your soul shine, then what are you really doing?

Maybe you’re getting some relief but are you feeling fulfilled, whole?

When I say invest, I mean energetically AND monetarily. We can’t sit around waiting, wishing, hoping, praying. As if these things that our heart & soul desires will just fall into our lap. We have to DO

Buy that book you’ve been eyeing
Treat yourself to that massage
Book a session with that healer
Enroll in that course
Purchase supplies for your new venture
Get the new appliance
Join that dance class
Go to that $20 event
Go to that free event
Plan your own event
Do the hobby you love
Take up the new hobby you’ve been curious about
Check out that fitness studio
List that thing you’ve been meaning to sell
Post those words you’ve been wanting to share
Connect w/ the person you’ve been thinking about
Take those 45 minutes each day for you
Rest as much as needed

Give back to others. Do good for the community. Get money circulating!

GET. OUT. THERE! Get out of your head & do something with your mind! Get the energy flowing through your body & out into the universe! Do the things you want to do! The things that bring you life!

What you circulate out, comes back to you in beautiful ways. Believe in that!

Get rid of the habits & pastimes that block you from being able to invest. Build the investment within you to have the stamina with what you want to create

I understand it can be scary to break free from our comfort zones or to spend the extra money. But what’s the result if you don’t do that? Remaining stuck. When we invest we open up space, we let things flow in naturally

What have you been wanting to do that’ll allow you to grow? Make a list for yourself *today*, just 3-5 items, & begin checking those things off๐Ÿ’ซ

Self-care is NOT selfish

Self-care is NOT selfish

Take a minute to check in with yourself. Do you feel overwhelmed? 


There are things each person needs to feel fulfilled. That is going to look different for you than it does for me. Being a stay at home mom and nurturing your children all day may be your thing. For others, it may be working a 9-5 job, going to the gym, and going home to cook yourself a meal. In either scenario, women are giving it their all in many areas of their life. They’re giving to their family, their employer, their friends, their hobbies. 


Where does self come into play? 


For me, there are certain practices I absolutely need in place to keep from feeling overwhelmed. Sometimes it’s hard for me to take time for myself. To get my mind quiet. It can be chaotic with a husband, kids, and dogs. I know it’s important to take a step back and do something for myself but it’s still hard. Is it hard for you too?


It’s so important to let your mind be quiet and still. We can get in such a routine of go-go-go that we forget to pause. We only realize we need a break once we get too far away from our center. Don’t lose yourself to your responsibilities, your friends, or your family. If you’re constantly giving to everyone else, you’ll eventually have nothing left to give. Trust me, I’ve gotten there a few times and it’s a dark place. You need to refill your cup so you have something to give to others. It’s not selfish to take time for yourself. You wouldn’t see taking a bathroom break or lunch break as selfish, right? Your mental and emotional state is just as important as your physical state. This doesn’t have to be an intense self-care ritual. It can be as simple as a five minute meditation, reading a book, going on a walk by yourself without being connected to social media or work. 


Take a minute to ask yourself, what do you need right now to feel supported? What do you need in this moment to feel peace and happiness?


To all the women out there that are trying to be everyone’s everything- I see you and I hear you. If you need help with your self care routine, or how you can better take care of yourself, let me know. I’m here to support you. 

Would you consider me privileged?

Would you consider me privileged?

I want to share with you my recent experiences around privilege. The definition of privilege is “a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group”. You may be privileged, or lack privilege, because of your race, gender, ability, wealth, or class. 


Recently I’ve come to realize I’ve been privileged all along. How so? Keep reading…


Let’s start at the foundation of where privilege can possibly come from, that being, the family you are born into. Let’s face it, you can be blessed with the family you are born into or you can not be. Being blessed means you never have to wonder if there will be food on the table. You never have to question being loved. Then there is the flip side of things. There are many children born into a family in which they are neglected and/or around traumatizing situations. I truly believe this ONE distinguishing factor directly influences MANY avenues of an individual's life. 


For me, I was lucky and fell into the blessed category. Growing up I had parents who worked hard to provide the best opportunities they could. Although divorced, they both were actively involved in my daily life and I always knew I was loved. I was able to go to a Catholic high school, attend college, and find employment with great benefits directly after college. As I grew up, I never thought of these things as special or unique. I thought that this was just how life was supposed to be and was for others. Ironically, now, I can say I was privileged. The fact is, if I didn’t have my parents' support, both financially and emotionally,  I never would have ended up where I did. I know that for a fact. 


The past few weeks we’ve been at the Napa Center in Boston getting therapies for my youngest daughter, Lyssie. This center was not well known in my circle and I had to do a lot of research on my own to even find out about it. There was a lot of correspondence with therapists, insurance, billing, etc. to get things in motion. Had I not been educated enough to navigate these different systems we wouldn’t be here. This got me thinking about privilege and what that looks like for me and my family and that my privileges now were directly influencing my children. They are privileged for the opportunities/experiences that they are given from us as their parents and the rest of our family. 


Privilege doesn’t need to be seen as a bad thing. Everyone wants privileges. Everyone wants  access and opportunity. The problem is not privileges. The problem is that not everyone is given privileges. For example, the intensive center that we are at now, these types of high-level therapeutic supports for a child that qualifies as needing so, should be available to all.  It makes me sad to think this is not a basic level of care that is provided to people. It makes me disappointed to know there are other children like Lyssie, that don’t know about centers like this and all of the other opportunities out there. 


These advanced centers are something that I feel should be available to everyone regardless of their employment, benefits, or financial status. Don’t get me wrong, there are services provided for free, and for anyone with a disability by the state of CT from birth to 3. I’m incredibly grateful for that and the therapist that we have developed a wonderful relationship with. The difference between those free services and a center like this is the intensity level of it, the newer kinds of therapies/equipment utilized and the resources provided. This is the best of the best. And who doesn’t want that for their child? 




So again, when talking about privileges I am privileged because I can get my child into a center like this. I can utilize my insurance.  If insurance wasn’t an option, I still would be able to find a way to pay for it. Now to tie this all together...let’s work this privilege backward to see where it lands. Do you see it? I owe it all to my parents. So thank you, mom and dad, for the privileges that you worked so hard for me to have. I’m sorry it took me so long to see them as what they truly are.  


I want to know what your thoughts are on this topic. Have you thought about your privilege? If you don’t have privilege, I want you to share it as well. I want to hear your perspective. Do you think a lot of it had to do with your life growing up and the opportunities you were/weren’t allotted? I want to have an open dialog conversation with you about this topic and how we can make changes. I may not have all the answers but together we can work to make a real impact in this area. 


Take care everyone.


If you’d like further information about this center and how to navigate insurance etc. please DM me. I’ve attached many videos/pics of Lyssie’s sessions on our FB page, Perfectly Placed. Please come join us :) 

Who else FEELS this?

Who else FEELS this?
Healing will not make your life worse

Will things change? Absolutely
Will relationships shift? 100%
Will there be setbacks? You bet
Will you question it all? Most likely
Will it be trying at times? No doubt
Will life feel uncomfortable? Of course

You were put in the place you’re at now to give you the opportunity to turn it all around & come back better than how it was before.

Growth is a gift even though it may not always feel like it. You owe it to yourself & your future to embrace what’s in the palm of your hands!

Place your hands in front of you & take a look at them. Seriously. Do it right now. Really study your hands. Do you feel connected to yourself? To your journey? Do you feel the energy you hold?

If you’re having trouble feeling or seeing your power, *know* that it’s there. It’s waiting for you

It will get easier
New relationships will form
You’ll remember your passions
You’ll find your purpose
You’ll have many victories
You’ll gain great experience & knowledge
Your life will expand in beautiful ways
You’ll find your peace & freedom
Miracles will happen

You’ve come this far, that’s a miracle in itself! Keep going!
If you'd like my guide to self-healing click here: 9 steps autoimmune
๐Ÿ™๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ’œ

What my daughter said that crushed my soul

What my daughter said that crushed my soul
How many of you have had your kid say something to you at one point or another that completely crushed your soul? If you have I pray that it doesn't consume you. If you haven't I pray that you avoid hearing it. 

There are few things in the world that hurt a parent more than hearing their child say “You need to be a better parent.” The words cut like a knife. The child you love so much and have sacrificed for in so many ways now thinks you suck as a parent. When Elliana said this to me it was a huge red flag that something was up because she is never intentionally unkind or hurtful. 

 In general, when a child is hurtful, they are seeking revenge for some perceived hurt feelings on their part. They have a problem they don’t know how to solve, whether they’re angry or stressed. Not being able to handle problems leads your child to feelings of discomfort—and pushing your buttons and getting a strong emotional reaction from you helps to make up for those feelings of discomfort.

A million thoughts were running through my head as to why my daughter said this to me. It then hit me. Sometimes, as adults, I think we forget how powerful our own energy is. With what’s been thrown at us the past few months, our vibrations individually & as a whole have been lowered. Globally, I’d say the vibration has shifted massively downward.

Panic. Fear. Distress. Confusion. Concern. Disinformation. Anger. Frustration. Restriction. These are all known as *LOW VIBRATING ENERGIES*. It’s everywhere we turn right now on a global level. Low vibrations create stress and anxiety and everyone that has been stuck in this house for the past 3 months is feeling it. Including my daughter. And little did I know that my energies were being picked up on even though I was doing my best to hide them. 

Elliana has watched me "go to work" each day from 8-3. I am in the house but not available to her because I am working. As a 5-year-old she doesn't understand why Mommy can't play with her. I'm navigating teaching, emails, meetings, phone calls, Elyssa's therapies and all she sees is me "not here but there." I keep hearing the words "you are always working." In kid language, this means she misses me. 

When I go into work it is different for her. She has her own schedule. She is at school interacting with her friends and teachers. She goes to dancing class and gymnastics. She sees her Poppy and Grandma at least once a week. Nothing about this has been easy for her and because children are so seemingly resilient I just went with the flow of the everyday. Even though we are doing our best to keep things "normal" around here she was well aware that it's far from our normal. No wonder her behavior was off! 

So at that moment instead of being defensive and going into a tailspin of "all that I do" as a parent, I simply asked if she was feeling anxious about anything and if she wanted to talk. Her response let me know that I should've checked in sooner. 

She let out a heartbroken cry and quietly said, "I'm afraid of the virus, I miss my friends and my family, and I miss going to the playground."

That’s when the floodgates opened for both of us.

I tried to say the right things like, "I know. This feels hard and unfair because it is." I hugged her and assured her that in time things will get better. We grabbed some ice cream for good measure and went on with our evening.

Watching my five-year-old process the loss of her first friends, school experience, teachers, family—is the most humbling moment I’ve had as her mother. I always knew she was capable of feeling deeply. Though, I had no idea she could verbally express it in the mature way she did.

As I put her to bed that night I couldn't help but smile thinking about what transpired. In shifting perspectives I came to these thoughts...missing all of the things that she described also means she has been very lucky. She has been the recipient of good love, from many people and places, and yes, my sweet girl, sometimes when you get that kind of gold, it’s incredibly hard to let it go.


No Rush

No Rush
I knew you needed a laugh! How many of us can relate to that right now with distance learning taking place? Let's hope no-one has actually experienced it LOL! 
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In all seriousness, though, what has been happening the past few weeks is traumatic in every sense. We are going through it collectively. Trauma is often thought of "too much too fast." Of course we are exhausted. Of course we are afraid. Of course we are itching to get back to normal. 
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But in the rush to return to normal, let's use this time to consider which parts of normal are really worth rushing back to? If you think about it normal never was. Our pre-covid existence was not normal other than we normalized greed, inequity, depletion, disconnection, rage, hate and lack. We should not long to return to that.
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When no major disasters are taking place, we get lulled into thinking the future is certain — that we’ll wake up in the morning, that we won’t get hit by a car on our way to work, that we won’t get fired, that we won’t pick up some terrible disease from the bacteria living on our computer keyboards. But the future is never certain — and we’re fortunate any time we get to pretend like it is.
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I realize it’s not a particularly comforting thought to dwell on — that nothing is in our control, now or ever. But maybe we can find solace in the fact that yes, these are uncertain times, but they always are. And maybe, while absolutely nothing feels “normal” right now, we can take comfort in the uncertainty itself as the only normal we have.
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When circumstances are out of your control, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by fear and negative emotions. You may think that bottling up how you feel, trying to put on a brave face, or forcing yourself to be positive will provide the best outcome. But denying or suppressing your emotions will only increase stress and anxiety and make you more vulnerable to depression. 
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I can tell you that having a routine for your days is huge for emotional wellbeing. Each person in your household should have a routine that they follow. I  have been on one since the start of all of this to make sure I stay in a healthy mindset. I know how I can get if there is endless time available and no productivity. That is a no-no for me. 
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So, here is what works for me...I wake up early and start gratitude journaling. I then put on my essential oils specific for how I am feeling or need to feel. Most days it has been the following oils (Endoflex for energy and thyroid support, gratitude, grounding, stressaway, present time, joy, progessence plus for hormonal balance.

On weekdays, I am teaching online all day. I check in with my students to make sure they are understanding their work and feeling well. Around noon, I check in with my family and we eat lunch. Once 3 pm hits, If it's a nice day we go on a family walk. Then we take advantage of all of us being home together at a reasonable hour and have a family dinner. Weekends are free for all- we go with the flow depending on weather and things we have to catch up on. If you haven't made yourself follow a routine yet- go do so. You will feel much better. 
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Here are some additional thoughts that have crossed my mind over the past few weeks-

For the parents...Since I changed my mindset from home-schooling to home-learning I've learned ballet from my daughter, she learned how to ride a bike and the importance of taking vitamins from me. We went on a scavenger hunt, we played hide and go seek countless times. We've laughed so hard our bellies hurt. Remember learning can happen in many ways. Go and learn together. 

For the teachers...Ditch those timers, scheduled tests/quizzes & mindless busy work. Let the students self-pace, watch recordings, have a personalized check in with you. That is what's cool now. We begged for no tests so let's stop teaching like they still exist. Teach kids. No one is going to be looking at their elementary or middle school report card. Make greater connections. Learn some new ways of technology yourself- even if you mess it up at first. 
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Let's not rush. Let's breathe. Let's not live wondering about the future- that only creates anxiety. Let's stay right here right now. 

Spotlight- featured in business blog

In the Arena

In the Arena

In life, I understand that self-protection is always our default. It’s how we are wired. However, I believe this pandemic experience is a massive experiment in our abilities to surrender and accept being vulnerable. 

In the last week, while concern about the Corona Virus has increased, it has been interesting to observe the behaviors and/or the words of others. The ways people are handling this time of scarcity, uncertainty, and isolation is from a place of fear. Rightfully so. I know it is hard to feel alone in your struggle and fear. I know the pain of feeling isolated and the pain of a special occasions going other than planned. 

As a special-needs mom, and a teacher, I have become exceptional at accepting uncertainty. This is not the first time that I’ve been told we’re going to have to do something that feels nearly impossible. It is not the first time that I’ve had no guarantees on the outcome that I tirelessly pray for. I’ve learned to surrender to what is and not waste time and energy putting up resistance. In the end, we can only change what we can control.

With that being said, while this period of time in our life is hard, we NEED to dig deep. My greatest push to remain calm is my children. I know they are watching and learning about how to respond to stress and uncertainty. I want to wire them for resilience, not panic. Resilience is the capacity to recover quickly and persevere. So, while this situation sucks for ALL; we have to pick back up. We are all grieving the loss of something at this time. Let’s show empathy with the array of experiences because our perspectives are based on what is in front of us at the given time. 

The Corona virus is affecting us all in some way- whether directly or indirectly. Lets remember…

*People who are extremely worried about their older family members
*Those that are already sick w/ the virus
*Those that are immunocompromised
*Kids that miss their friends at school
*Families that don’t have food
*Those w/ asthma or other pre-existing conditions
*Small Business owners struggling to earn an income
*Parents trying to manage working & their own kids school work all day
*HS Seniors w/out proms and graduations
*Any student at the graduating level of schooling
*Health care workers on the front line
*Teachers missing their students 
*Athletes that lost their final season of sports

Some suggestions for parents…

*Home schooling is a new thing for most of us. Many of us are trying to work from home while tending to our children and making sure they stay up to date on their school work. There are many plates that we are trying to keep up in the air. Rather than setting academic goals every day focus on spending extra time just being together with no expectations. There will be a time to resume school work. But accept that it may not be now because without emotional regulation, children can’t learn.

*Let them experience boredom. Every minute does not need to be accounted for. Remember just as we can come out of our skin at times, they will too. They will spend hours complaining before they settle into that strange place that’s rarely visited by today’s children – their imagination.  We don’t need to entertain them, we need to model for them. Boredom is sacred. We shouldn’t deny our children this experience.

*Never forget that your little family is the best team you could ever have. Lean on each other and soak in this precious time that you have been given to reconnect. 

Some suggestions for teachers…

*Breathe. The space that you educate from doesn’t need to be the classroom. Lead with your heart. The students will feel that no matter what curriculum you throw at them. Make this new space one that the kids look forward to showing up for. Let them release the crushing weight of what is going on. You are the guardian of this new space. Make it count. Find a way to make this experience memorable for them in a positive way. 

As we move forward let's give each other grace. And don't forget to give yourself some. Just know that, if you are struggling in anyway during this quarantine, I am here. I’ll be connecting online and you are welcome to join me at any point. The space will be safe and exactly what you need. Just click the link below. 

Stay safe. Stay well. Stay connected

The power of your mind...

The power of your mind...
What are you doing on a daily basis to achieve the goals you have for your life? This is the question we should be focused on, but we aren’t . Often, we are too busy comparing ourselves to other people which causes envy and misery in our own lives. We continuously berate ourselves for making mistakes disregarding the fact that if you don't make mistakes, there are no challenges and no chances for personal growth. We put our happiness in the hands of others knowing full well that true happiness can only come from within. This line of thinking and behavior is toxic and has to be brought to an end in order to get what we want out of life... & I mean now. 

Focusing on things that make you feel bad will only prolong negative emotions. I encourage you to shift your focus from the external to the internal and go after what you really want. There are lots of victories ahead for you, and to reach them you have build a sustainable solution that will open doors to success in every direction you choose.

I see how hard you are working. I know how much you want to change. Your work and your life is ever evolving, revealing new layers. Just when you think you’ve reached a new level, there’s another layer hiding underneath that will take you to new depths of growth. When reading this, I encourage you to be open to the possibility of change. Your next breakthrough is right around the corner.