"Mom" can get a bad rap sometimes. In spite of all the laundry, washing, chauffeuring; the cooking, cleaning, and shopping she still seems to be plagued by the "mean-one" reputation. Yes I encourage, admonish, and sometimes demand my kids to do chores, write thank you notes, care for their pets but that is every parents' job. Mom sees the socks hiding under the bed, the dust gathering in corners, the 3 week apple core left at the child's bedside. She instructs, leads, and disciplines. She encourages us to church. At least in my household I am not typically considered the "fun" parent. Even on vacation I get a bad rap when I implore the kids to order water for their beverage and limit the white pasta and french fries. Yes, moms do get tired of begging, pleading, praying that their kids' make decisions that will grow healthy hearts, clear minds, and strong bodies. Redemption for me, from the stigma and stereotype of being the dogmatic totalitarian came in the form of a 2200 foot zipline with an 850 foot canyon drop in The Canyons, Utah. I did not hesitate to jump (literally) at the opportunity to redeem myself in the eyes of my children. All moms have a fun side but we only discover it when we give ourselves the freedom to step out of our box and do something different. And honestly, I know I don't need to "redeem" myself for my kids...they see me as they see me and they know I care about them. Sometimes I need to redeem myself for me which is why ziplining a canyon was a healthy personal choice!
Electing to play on a state tennis team this summer was also an emotional challenge for me but a healthy choice. This might sound strange, it's just tennis, but for me it was a lot more. For a variety of reasons including lack of consistent practice and confidence at the game; a tendency to be rather introverted; and relationship dischord that seemed to increase with my involvement in the sport it took three requests for me to actually commit to the team. Once again, I benefited from the encouragement of others to take a risk and step out of my box. My kids' again displayed a little awe...not only does mom zipline...she's going to the state championships! Yes, our team made it to the finals this past weekend in Madison, Wisconsin...an exciting experience and a memory I will recall with good humor. There is nothing better than spending time with a diverse set of women all drawn together by a love of sport. I am thankful for the new friendships.
Stacy and I won a match at #2 doubles. We stuck it out even when my legs felt locked and my head felt woozy from the desire to win. Performing well has a lot to do with decreasing anxiety , particularly for someone like me who doesn't have a lot of competitive match experience. We overcame this anxiety by imagining we were playing against our usual hitting partners. Thanks Pam and Carrie!
Finally the past few weeks have been particularly empowering by focusing with a group of friends on how our nutrition affects our body emotionally, physically and spiritually. Food is often used as a way we reward ourselves...sometimes we use it to punish ourselves. It may be our friend when we are lonely....our enemy when we have failed. Food can be the most powerful medicine or potent destroyer. That may sound extreme but ask someone with an addiction to food about the struggles they face with obesity, diabetes, bulimia, anorexia; food can have a peculiar control over our relationships, our work, even our play. This process of following The Conscious Cleanse for 14 days to take us back to real, whole foods; limiting fancy ingredients; and slowing down and consciously tasting and enjoying the most natural of earth's products has been an encouraging process. Much like an endurance sport there are times you want to give up and times you feel that sudden adrenaline rush that says keep moving forward. As a group we have progressed forward to day 8! Many report more energy, more pleasure, more love for their bodies. Cravings are reduced and energy comes from a natural source rather than caffeine or sugar. I will likely host another cleanse process in the fall. This is not a diet (although a positive side-effect is often weight loss) but this can become a way of life should you choose. Although I have facilitated the group we have all educated one another on new recipes, foods, environments and emotional strength. Food is seldom just about food. Food can be complex issue and relate to the clutter in your home; perhaps work stress; maybe stuffing down emotional distress. It's not over yet, but this past week alone, by following the guidelines in The Conscious Cleanse we have tapped into some of these issues, improved our well-being, decreased our risk for disease, and increased the sense of simple abundance in our lives. Thank you Conscious Cleansers!
Thank you for reading. Enjoy the rest of your summer. If your blessed kids are already back to school then enjoy your vacation, "Moms!"