Pure Sweetness


Gorgeous and absolutely makes your heart smile. :). Have a beautiful weekend!

Originally posted on Bees Knees Photography:

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wm 11This baby girl is a true gift from above. She was full of smiles for her mommy and daddy and you could simply feel how much she is loved. I truly enjoyed spending one morning with this beautiful family!

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Who Am I – My Own Words

Storm_cloudsWhile I want to say thanks so very much for all the love you sent my way regarding the last post, I also would like to clarify that I really feel that I just paraphrased some of the ideas presented at the beginning of The Untethered Soul.  So here is my own response to the post regarding who I think I am.

I have been thinking about the concept of stripping away all the layers we assume as we move through the days.  Our roles, our physical selves, our thoughts and emotions.  Ultimately I do believe that those aspects of our being do not define us nor do they even describe who we are.  But with that said, I would like to state openly and honestly that, when things get stormy, I struggle enormously with separating myself from my Self.

Case in point – the past couple of weeks have been busy busy busy.  Last week of summer and first week of school.  Need I say more?  And when it gets hectic, this mommy gets snappy.  And a little grouchy.  And sometimes a lot grouchy.  And my kids seem to drop more clothes and shoes on the floor.  And the dogs intentionally shed extra hairballs just to annoy me.  And the dishes become like gremlins multiplying at an alarming rate in the presence of water.  And my husband (who is a very good and kind man) will casually say or do things that grouchy mommy isn’t able to laugh at the way chill mommy is.  The whole shebang is very un-Disney movie-esque and sends me into a serious funk.

So this time, I watch it all happening with my last post in mind.  I am highly aware that I am watching it and trying to be cognizant of my feelings and experiences without allowing myself to become those feelings and experiences.  I am trying desperately to be zen dammit.  But of course I recognize the whole zen vs. desperately zen dammit dynamic and I try to extricate the desperately and dammit portions.  But they won’t budge!

I know that I am a spiritual being having these human experiences – but I just can’t figure out how to tilt the scales back in favor of spiritual and away from human.  The mental chaos continues to plague me until suddenly, for one reason or another, it dissipates.  At that point, I feel like I can step back once again.  But am I really stepping back into my spiritual shoes?  Ironically I never actually left them, but it certainly felt like it.  This is the struggle I face when I try to figure out who I am.  Despite my belief that we are living players in this game of Life (but without the little pink and blue plastic stick babies – of which we all had 8 in our multiple plastic cars), I still get so caught up in the moments.

So when I want to find me – the me that I pray is the real me – I focus on the gaps – the spaces in between the noise, chatter, and emotional rip tides.  It doesn’t mean that I won’t stumble again or that the storms will fade forever.  But I know that as long as I keep seeking the Light in my Self, I can continue to get closer to who I really am.  That me can take it all in and then get back up, learn, grow and hopefully shine a little brighter each time.  That’s who I hope I am.

Who Am I?

Vortex_interiorSo my initial plan was to write a post covering the first four chapters of The Untethered Soul.  Well here’s the skinny – that isn’t going to happen.  So my new and improved plan at this moment is to just start with this question:  Who Am I?

The book opens by giving examples of how we perceive and define ourselves. Perhaps if you were asked the question, your immediate response would be that you are a parent, sibling, friend, or employee.  But is that really WHO we are?  No.  I recognize that my role as a friend or employee does not truly define who I am. As an example, I could cease to be friends with someone but I would still be me. The same is true with employment status. It doesn’t definitively define your existence.

Ok well let’s look at this physically. I am a tall woman who has been 29 years old for quite a while.  So does that define me?  Once again, it really doesn’t.  If I get shorter with age or ultimately decide that 29 has to go, I no longer fit those categories.  So do I stop being me?  Nope.

Well so then who am I if I’m not what I look like or the roles I serve?  Perhaps I am my thoughts and emotions.  But maybe not because those can clearly change and be changed in a split-second.

If I peel back the layers, I can see that I am the one who is having all these experiences and perceiving the occurrences happening around me.  Please notice that I didn’t say “the person” or “the human” because to me, we are so much more than that.

So with all that in mind, who do you think YOU are?  I would love to read your thoughts on the question.  Are we more than our experiences and the roles we play each day?

Listen Up Book Nerds!

Isn't this tidbit scrumptious?!?!  So adorable!

Isn’t this tidbit scrumptious?!?! So adorable!

The people have spoken!! Or technically…written. It sounds like most of you would like to blog about the books we read. Completely unexpected given that many of you are bloggers! ;)

So here’s my plan to get this moving. I’m going to write a post on the first four chapters of “The Untethered Soul” sometime in the next couple of days. If you would also like to write a post (either before mine or in response to it), please let me know. I would love to add a link to your post in my corresponding entry. Does that work for you??? If so, let me know! :)

***Completely random side question – Can anybody possibly explain to me how one underlines in WordPress. I have tried repeatedly and I just end up with weird spacing. What am I doing wrong here??? It bugs me to pieces to use quotation marks when I should be underlining a book title. I know – it’s seriously dorky, but it really bothers me! Suggestions?? Thanks!

Question for the Bookworms

bookworm2I mentioned the idea of starting an online book club a few posts ago and definitely received some indications of interest. The book du jour (or really du next few weeks) is “The Untethered Soul.” Amazon affiliate links to the book versions are below.

Soooo here is my question – how would YOU like to do this? A couple of possibilities are tackling a few chapters each week via a blog post or potentially going through a free conference call service in order to have an actual live conversation as a group. Honestly I like both ideas. What do you think? And do you truly want to participate or are you just kicking around the thought? I’m completely okay either way. I just want to have an idea as to the number of participants to be able to gauge how to move forward. Please let me know! :)



Kindle http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003TU29WA/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B003TU29WA&linkCode=as2&tag=momofjoy-20

Big Worry in a Little Package

small-packageMy daughter is typically carefree or running full throttle in high energy mode (no idea where she got that!). But when she starts to worry, she reeeeaaally digs deep. One frequent concern she raises is with regard to going away for college. She doesn’t know where to go or what she will specialize in, but she is certain that she wants to stay close to home. She brings it up over and over again, and I continue to reinforce that we will be supportive of whatever choice she selects. At that point, I also remind her that she is six years old.

And then this evening she brought up how she wanted to live with us in the new house forever (we are building a new house that is supposed to be THE house we will live in for many many years to come, or if my husband gets his way, until the kicking of the bucket has come to pass). So when she mentioned living with me in the house, she also wanted to discuss her being able to sleep in my bed when she was older and also a mom. At this point, I asked her if she was planning to be married but also quickly clarified that her older brother would not be a suitable marital option – talk about a buzzkill! (She didn’t know that was against the rules.) Well after she recovered from that bombshell, she decided that a couple of boys she knew “would work.”

I explained that there were still a few remaining points she might need to contemplate. 1. Most married men don’t want to sleep with their in-laws (Don’t tell me if you do. No part of me wants to know that.). 2. She could wait a bit and pick someone down the road who might be the perfect fit at that time. 3. She didn’t even have to get married if she didn’t want to. That was a great choice, too, if it was what she decided.

Well she was still struggling with the whole “husband not wanting to sleep in the same bed as his wife’s mother” thing but I told her that I was pretty inflexible in this department. Nevertheless we agreed that she could live with me forever and ever if that was her choice. Thankfully that soothed her little soul.

I don’t know why she stresses about all this stuff, but it absolutely plagues her. She melts my heart completely and totally. I adore that she loves us so much that she can’t imagine ever leaving us, and I certainly don’t look forward to the moment when she will.

I wonder if this is how God sees us. All wrapped up in our worries and waiting for the sky to come crashing down on us at any moment. Although we aren’t sure how our lives will play out, we will always be cared for and we will always have a safe loving place to call home – forever and ever. And that soothes my little soul.

Much love and light to all of you. Joanna

More Meditation

This is exactly what I look like when I meditate.  Except I don't wear earrings.  And I am in  sweat pants and a ratty t-shirt.  And my belly is full of scrambled eggs and cheese.  And my hair is blonde.  And I'm ten (twenty) (ish) years older.  And I'm probably talking or looking around the room.  But other than that, this is exactly what I look like.

This is exactly what I look like when I meditate. Except I don’t wear earrings. And I am in sweat pants and a ratty t-shirt. And my belly is full of scrambled eggs and cheese. And my hair is blonde. And I’m ten (twenty) (ish) years older. And I’m probably talking or looking around the room. But other than that, this is exactly what I look like.

So I have continued to partake in daily meditations per the aforementioned 21 day challenge. Admittedly I ordered a completely different Chopra series that focuses on abundance, but I’m still meditating daily.

Thankfully the mental madness seems to be toning down a bit. I focus on the Sanskrit mantras and repeat them over and over again when I start down the mental chatter path. When I say that I repeat them, I mean that I recite something in my head that sounds relatively similar and hopefully has a comparable number of syllables. Hopefully effort counts in the abundance manifesting world. Being the eternal believer, I have a strong feeling that it does. And if not, well I’ll just have to attract better Sanskrit pronunciation skills. :)

Any updates your way??? I’d love to hear if you have been trying anything new or even just getting back to your tried and true practices. No matter what, I send you wishes for a wonderful week! Much love to you. Jo :)

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