Photo by tom@hk
Written by contributor Megan Tietz of SortaCrunchy
Are you on Pinterest yet? I love the daily dose of inspiration it brings into my life. I’ve found project ideas for my girls and myself, sewing tips and tricks, imaginative recipes, and amusing social commentaries.
As someone who believes strongly in the power of words, some of my favorite pins are quotes that speak powerful truth into my life, seemingly always at the moment I need to hear it.
A few weeks ago, I came across this pin of a sign proclaiming a message from Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor:
Please take responsibility for the energy you bring into this space.
Such a simple statement, but it touches on a profound principle: we are creatures composed of energy, and that energy is always radiating outward into the space we inhabit. We simply cannot minimize the impact of our energy on those around us.
Moreover, as adults, we have the benefit of fully developed and matured emotional, physical, and psychological systems, which equip us for taking full responsibility for the energy we exude in our homes.
Does this thought frighten or excite you?
I have to admit, when I first began to ponder it, I felt convicted of another way I was doing things wrong as a mother. Sometimes I revert into Survival Mode and it’s all I can do to make sure everyone is physically safe with tummies fed and bodies clothed and shelter provided. It can be daunting to think about how to reign in my energy so that our home is an emotionally and spiritually safe place to be every day, too.
But then I remembered that the other side of the responsibility coin is privilege. In a season of life when I feel that I am being tugged on in a dizzying number of directions, this is something that is completely mine. I don’t have to be a victim of the energy of others. I can experience the joy of being able to nurture, guide, and direct how everyone around me experiences me in any given moment of the day!
Photo by AJ.Mat
As I’ve been more mindful of taking responsibility for the joy I bring into my home, I’ve found a few practices that make the process fun and fulfilling.
1) Start the day with centered energy.
Many of you are familiar with fellow Steady Mom contributor Kat’s Maximize Your Mornings challenge. Though I haven’t participated formally in the MYM challenge, I’ve been doing my own version by implementing a wake-up time that allows me at least one full hour of alone time before my children are up for the day. I can meditate and pray, read, write, or just sip coffee in absolute quiet.
This practice, more than any other, has had an incredible influence over how my days go. When I can start the day centered, that steady feeling follows me through the ups-and-downs of days at home with children.
2) Tap into physical energy.
We all know that encouraging our kids into big energy play helps them as they work through the big feelings of growing and changing. Frequent physical activity works wonders for children in bringing equilibrium to all of their systems. But how often do we as moms allow ourselves that same outlet?
Though I’ve resisted it for a long time, my husband finally talked me into starting an exercise program with an emphasis on lifting weights and building muscle. There is something so therapeutic about working out frustrations with a set of weights!
The stronger I feel physically, the more strength I feel emotionally, the more emotional strength I have, the better equipped I am to manage my emotional energy!
3) Make it a priority to nurture your energy.
Photo by antwerpenr
Many mothers feel guilty for carving out moments of the day to care for themselves. Instead of viewing these moments as selfish or unnecessary, I’m encouraging all of us to view these moments as imperative!
As you would with any priority in your life, make an appointment with yourself daily to stop and tend to your own personal energy. What brings a boost to your day? For me, it’s something as simple as skimming through Pinterest right after lunch. The beauty and humor and incredible ideas never fail to put wind in my sails.
For you, it might be giving yourself permission to flip through a favorite magazine or listen to your favorite playlist or call a treasured friend. Energy checkpoints should become part of our routine for the day. Nurturing your energy in a way that ministers to your soul is the reward for being mindful of the energy you bring into your home.
I have found that the more I focus on being aware of how my family is experiencing me, the more ready and able I am to help them learn to get back on course when they are putting off negative vibes.
Yesterday afternoon, my (almost) four-year-old was feeling a little stormy. Rather than framing myself as a victim of her bad mood, I was able to be proactive in helping her get back on track in enjoying the day by pulling up our Laurie Berkner playlist on Spotify and dancing and singing and being all kinds of silly. It only took 15 minutes from my day, but it made an incredible difference for both of us.
What have you found works best for you in nurturing your own energy so that you can remain a steady and enthusiastic leader in your home?
Megan spends her days with her two daughters and husband seeking the steady amidst the endless activity. She blogs at SortaCrunchy, where she leads a community of like-minded people in discussion and dialogue at the intersection of faith and a life more natural.