Thursday, January 13, 2011

Making Space for What Matters Most

Jumping on clothes

So far the beginning of 2011 has been really insightful.  I've taken some time away from blogging mainly because I've had to be honest with myself.  (I've missed you all!)  I have about 553 ideas, projects, goals, and dreams that I want to pursue all at once and I've had to come to terms with the fact that it just isn't possible.

I've had to slow way down to enjoy some concentrated time playing with my sweet boys.

Ash at 12 weeks

And also to clear my head.  I'm still learning how to run a creative business from home while being a full-time stay-at-home mom.  And I'm learning a lot about my limitations.

Keeping my children out of daycare and being fully present during their foundation years is extremely important to us.  My husband and I have made some sacrifices to make this happen and we feel an enormous sense of gratitude that so far our choices are working out pretty well.


there are days when I think, "How can I do all this and stay sane!?"

How can I nurse, change diapers, potty train, keep up the house, cook healthy meals, blog, run an e-course, paint, workout - all day and night - without going just a little big crazy?

Well...I. can't. do. it. all.

So I have to let some stuff go, pick the things that are most important to me, and find peace in the middle of the challenging and chaotic times.

My mom laughed at me the other day when I told her I was staying home because going out would involve taking a shower.  (Along with doing my hair, finding pants that fit, getting the boys dressed, packing up the diaper bag, getting snacks ready, trudging through the!)

Being a mom is hard work.  We get very little breaks.  We love our children and we love what we do.  But we MUST, for the sake of our own inner peace (aka: sanity), nourish our creativity and personal dreams, and this may mean having to let go of other things to make sure it happens.

Living Room Mess

I may not have the cleanest house on the block, but I know that when I make time for my art, for inspiration, and for playing with my kids, I am much less likely to feel overwhelmed, frustrated and stressed out.  Of course we still put our toys away at the end of the day, but to me that's just as important as carving out space to nurture my creativity.

Reducing clutter and creating space was my theme for 2010.  My theme for 2011 seems to be reducing MORE clutter to create MORE space for what matters most.  I'm learning how to let go of the stuff that doesn't matter, so that I can fully embrace the stuff that does.

Playing Dress Up

So in between jumping on beds, adjusting to a new baby, messing up the house, and playing dress-up, I've been preparing space for the fourth session of my e-course, Inside Out: A Creative Adventure of Self-Discovery.

My heart is exploding with excitement as the explorers who have signed up this time around have already been sharing their introductions in our private community forum.  Their energy is contagious and they remind me why nourishing our creativity and connecting with other like-minded souls is so important.

I do have limitations.  I can't do it all.  But, with a little practice and an open heart, I'm dedicated to living NOW and making space for what matters most.

Family Sign

This is a plaque that my husband made me for my birthday.  It's the first thing I see when I wake up now and it offers a great reminder for me as I start out each new day.  

Play, be silly, laugh and create!

Your Personal Reflection:  Are you making enough time and space in your daily life for what matters most?  Do you have a theme or intention set for the new year?  Now that we are a few weeks into 2011, how do you feel and are you staying focused on the change you've set out to make?

(psst...There are a few spots left in my art-journaling adventure - wanna join us?  Inside Out starts Monday, January 17th!)


  1. I so love reading your blogs.

    Today, I am exhausted and all I am doing is my creative business- I can't imagine what it would be like have two little ones on top of that right now.

    I over-booked myself yesterday. I went to bed early last night. Slept late today. And still, I am exhausted.

    Okay, Universe. Lesson learned.

    I can't pile on things all in one day- I need to spread it all out so I can have balanced days everyday, because frankly, the after effect of having an overwhelming day isn't worth it.

    I can feel the cranky brewing inside me.

    So thank you yet another reminder to stay in align with my vision of balance and ease.

    Love you,

    PS. Congrats on your 4th eCourse!

  2. I so love the red sneakers with the naked little legs. <3

    As far as finding time for yourself, absolutely. I'm a stay-at-home mom of two (now 9 and 12), and when they were little, I just couldn't deal with myself unless they went to daycare about twice a week. One day to madly run errands without them, and one day off to nurture myself, take a pottery class, or just honor myself with a therapy session. :)

    I just spent two years home-schooling them and now they are back in school (private and charter). My house has definitely not ever been tidy, and the best thing I did for myself while they were home was to find outside interests and lots of playdates where I could talk to other parents. Or run and have a cup of coffee and journal for an hour while they played at an open-gym. Or knit while they played in the park. You get the idea.

    Enjoy your time home with them, I'm so blessed to have been able to do that. So many parents can't. But. I most certainly created "alone" time for myself and my sanity.


  3. Happy Happy New Year, dear Shannon!!!
    I totally feel with you, with how (insane) I felt when my girls were little, with 2 years difference. My house still looks like yours, sometimes.... I still feel scatered among my millions of wants/duties! It's not the same of course, now they're much more independed (11-13), but sometimes I still feel lost, and I know it's time to sit back and get the right perspective.
    Just on the pick of such a "being lost" and mixed-up period, the best for me is reduce More clutter, to create More space in order to find my BIG purpose!
    I think that being with like-minded group will help you a lot!!!
    I send my love,
    P.S Love your plaque! So handy to have it there in front of you!!! ;-)

  4. What an honest post. I love it! The pictures are so refreshing and honest as well. Love the dress-up shot! Kids are just too funny!
    My theme for the year is FOCUS and I'm always working at creating time and space for what matters most. I think it's a life long process which we get better at with age. Helps to start early!

  5. missed you too!! a LATE happy BD to you, and I hope the new year brings you the clarity - intermittently, I'm sure ;) - you seek. Doesn't it suck that buying a second clock never gives you more time?! I have so many things I could fill those extra hours with too...

    I LOVE the picture of Kestan all dressed up in scarves, hat and sneakers :) those will be the pictures showing the future the choices you make now, and from what I see, there is nothing not to love!

  6. Your boys are so beautiful. Lovely pictures! I think we are on the same wavelength as I am continuing to declutter. I think my husband is a little afraid as I have become ruthless. Your house looks like it is lived in and loved in!
    I think beside declutter, one of my themes is "nuture". Thanks to you I am learning so much!
    much love to you and your sweeties,

  7. This reads like a page in my own journal, Shannon.

    I'm a particularly clean person and have slowly moved into being okay with more mess in the house because playing has almost always won in the little battle in my head of what to accomplish "now." At least since becoming a mommy.

    Can't wait for Inside-out to start on Monday!!

  8. This post hits home in a BIG way!...and I don't even have children! unless you count a dog and 3 cats:)

  9. Happy New Year, pretty lady!

    Oh man, being a full time mom is very difficult. You can't punch out on the clock, there are no clear assignments with firm deadlines, and no one to give you a bonus for a job well done. In fact, the pay is downright awful. Still, I love my job as full time mom, and I consider it a blessing that I can grow up with my kids.

    I love all your photos, especially those in your year-end review! The boys are super-high in the AWWWWWWWW factor!

  10. Your little loves are adorable and that is the most rocking dress-up outfit EVER!!!

  11. Hello Shannon, I came to you via Kat (Wright). What a beautiful blog you're putting together... I'm going to enjoy being here.

  12. I am sticking to the changes I planned this year. So far its been working. Yesterday I came up against a serious challenge though. I was tempted to follow the earlier familiar negative habits but I stopped and remembered that i have changed or that I want to change. It is an uphill climb somedays..

  13. I've found my way to this post this morning as if it was meant to be. I'm struggling this morning to prioritise and think straight. It is so hard to do it all because you just can't do it all. Lol. I think us Mums need to be reminded of that. But you're right that making time for our creativity & self care is important. I used to feel selfish to give myself time but now I realise that it makes me a much calmer & attentive Mum.

    This morning I was feeling exhausted and a little bit down. I decided that I'd visit some of my inspirational friends online. I had a feeling I would find the answers, inspiration & support I needed. Your blog has made this decision the right one, thank you :-)

    Gorgeous photos of your beautiful babes. And I love the plaque your hubbie made. I think I may make myself a plaque, maybe do a collage of words & image that will lift my spirits.

    Thanks Shannon!
    Kat X

  14. Getting rid of the clutter is a constant theme for me with 3 kids, 3 birthdays, holidays, grandmas, etc. I think I call Amvets at least 2 time a month!!!!

  15. Shan, your writings are so inspiring and beautiful. The photos are so precious! I so admire your path to give your babies such a sound, loving foundation. You're a great mommy, and I know you're enjoying each step of the way. xoxmom

  16. Those boys must make it much easier to overlook whatever "mess" may be about!

    Why, oh why do we feel like we need to do it all, and by ourselves? Why is it so hard to ask for help or to let things go WITHOUT feeling guilty?


Thanks for sharing!