A New Year, A New You?

It’s a brand new year, a clean slate, a fresh start and time for new year’s resolutions.  I have to be honest and say that I am not particularly fond of this ritual.  I feel that each January we think back on all of the negatives of the previous year, we focus on what we did wrong rather than right and we make a pact with ourselves that this year will be different.  I’m not denying that I make them, I do, I want to exercise more, eat better, spend more time with family, friends and my husband blah, blah, blah.  But rather than focus on how imperfect each year turned out to be, how about focusing on how to further maximize all of the positives of the previous year!  The traditional dropping of the glittery ball in Times Square signals the start of the new year, but for me sensing the need for change and really visualizing what that means for me, was what prepared me for the start of this new year.

I am a Mom to an almost 4 and almost 2 year old and I commute to Boston 3-4 days per week where I am away nearly 10-12 hours each day.  Needless to say, my focus has been survival for the last couple of years.  Now that the boys are getting older and I’m settling into my roll as a working mom, it feels like the right time to put the focus back on other areas of my life.  I feel ready and open to put more focus on me.  It feels like a new phase is developing and I’m accepting and excited to see it through.  Recognizing that need, going with it, letting it happen, that inspires me!

It’s difficult as working moms to think about putting anything ahead of our children, aren’t we already leaving each day and heading off to work, how could we think about adding even more to that already overfilled plate?  Because it’s necessary and healthy.  I am really excited for 2015. I will be celebrating a decade of marriage, turning 35, by making the finals to the Disney Parks Moms Panel last year, I have a Fastpass to Round 2 of the search this year, my grandmother turns 90 and I already have 2 amazing trips planned!  For some reason, this year doesn’t feel forced or overwhelming, it feels like a natural transition, and I’m loving it!

I encourage all my mama friends to do what feels right and what makes you happy in the new year.  I don’t think we always need to strive for life altering goals and aspirations, sometimes just to really live in the moment and let your life play out is an adventure too, at some point you have to stop and take a moment to enjoy where life has brought you.  Focus on your authentic self and what feels right for you and your family.  When unexpected twists arise on the road of life, I challenge you all to not be afraid to acknowledge them, embrace them and prepare to change the course.  Sometimes things not going the way we want is exactly what we need!  So wherever you are now, ready to start a new adventure or just taking an opportunity to really be where you are, I wish you happiness and love.  Have an amazing year!

~ Becky

 

2015/01/img_4339.png Photo courtesy if http://www.wdwinfo.com

Advertisements

The Guide to Creating Your Own Self-Care Revolution

Blissfulmamas!

We are so excited for our dear friend Angie Andrews and her recent publication; The Guide to Creating Your Own Self-Care Revolution in the Huffington Post

Please check out her article here and tweet it to all of your friends! 🙂

Have a fantastic night,

Becky & Erin

The Guide to Creating Your Own Self-Care Revolution

Angie Andrews is a mama, wife, yogini, entrepreneur and a radical self-care revolutionary for women. Her mission spreads the word to women all over the world that they are enough and they are worthy of copious amounts of radical self-care. She supports women through private coaching, public speaking, and soon to be born destination retreats. Angie can be found at www.angieandrewsinspire.com, on Facebook and on Twitter and Instagram @AngieAndrewsInspire.

I am starting a revolution. In this revolution women know their innate and intrinsic value. In this new world the concept of caring for oneself first is not only acceptable, but embraced. I dream of the day when women see their daily self-care practice as a non-negotiable part of their routine. I live for the day when loving oneself deeply is not seen as selfish or arrogant, but necessary.

My call to action for any woman reading this: Stop running around and keeping busy to drown out the cry of your soul. Stop putting others needs ahead of your own. Stop caring for others at the expense of your health and your happiness. It doesn’t have to be this way. There is another way. It all begins with the decision to love yourself deeply.

Perhaps you are thinking, OK that sounds great, but how the hell do I do that!?! I am going to tell you what I have learned. In the not too distant past I was working way too many hours in a job that was sucking my soul. I was always on the run between commuting and chauffeuring kids to and from school and activities. I became more and more uneasy and resentful. I felt stuck. I felt overwhelmed. I was exhausted. But yet, I kept on going. I did this for years, until my heart and soul just couldn’t do it anymore.

I was at my chiropractor’s office one day and he could tell I was exhausted. He knows me well and is aware of my propensity to care for everyone but me. He said, simply, “Angie, where do you go for support and comfort”? That day, something clicked and I realized things had to change. I started reading books and blogs and all kinds of personal growth material. Eventually I went on a retreat that for me was a catalyst for change. The act of investing in myself and time spent really reconnecting with myself; kick started an insane period of transformation and growth.

I want to share with you a distilled version of what I have learned that has allowed me to really engage in radical self-care and fall in love with myself for the first time.

The mantra for my business is: Where Love, Gratitude and Connection create Miracles. So let’s break this whole thing down to actionable steps based on this.

Here is your guide to start a self-care revolution.

1. Love

• Love your heart. Listen to it intently. Speak to it. Ask it what it desires and needs. Then take action in the direction of what you hear.
• Make caring for yourself a priority. Shower yourself with love. Only by loving and caring for yourself deeply will you be able to fully give to others.
• Let go of old thoughts and ways of being that no longer serve you.

2. Connection

• Be still. Just be. Give up the doing all the time. Learn how to say no when something isn’t going to serve you. You’ll be amazed at what you might hear and what you might feel.
• Find your form of meditation. Meditation does not need to be sitting on a pillow chanting. Any activity that leaves you feeling connected to yourself and your higher power is meditative.
• Move your body! Walk, run, dance, hike, swim, do yoga. Do whatever sounds good to you. This will stimulate the production of hormones in your body that will leave you feeling amazing.
• Create a tribe of like-minded, supportive friends. Surround yourself with people who get you and will lift you up. If you current tribe is not serving you, consider cleaning house. Be kind. Be gentle, but do not allow those people who are bringing you down to remain in your tribe.
• Nurture you creative side. Paint, draw, write, decorate or garden. I could go on and on. Get out of your comfort zone and get creative!

3. Gratitude

• This is a BIG one. Cultivating gratitude in your life can be a game changer! Yogi Bhajan said, “An attitude of gratitude brings great things.”

• In the morning, evening or both, take some time to write down five to 10 things that you are grateful for that day. In the beginning you may find that your lists will be similar each day, but as you get into a gratitude groove, you will find there are so many things to be grateful for each day that you won’t be able to write them all down.
• Make your gratitude practice a ritual. Buy yourself a beautiful blank journal that inspires you. Make it a special time for you. You deserve it!

Radical self-care is a practice, meaning it needs to be done over and over again until it becomes part of your lifestyle. But here is the most important step to living a life of self-care and self-love, self-forgiveness. Please, be kind to yourself. Be patient. You will fall off the wagon. You will have days where you just can’t bring yourself to practice self-care and you will slip back to your former way of being. You will have days when you don’t really love yourself the way you feel you should. On those days, it is especially important, to practice kindness with yourself. Talk to yourself like you would a close friend or your child. I saw Danielle Laporte speak recently and she said, “Be fierce, but be flexible”. Be fierce in your desire and your practice of self-care. Fall madly in love with yourself and your life. But when you have one of those days where you just fall back into complacency, be flexible. Know that you can get right back at it the next day or the next week. You will do it because you deserve this. Love and joy are your birthright! So go out there. Start a revolution. I am SO excited to see what a difference it will make in the world.

Putting yourself first.

Why do we seem to continue to put each other down as mothers? Are we that insecure about our own approach that we need to find a weak spot elsewhere and pounce? What defines a “bad” mother or “good” mother? What is the definition of a selfish mother?

We don’t have a direct answer to these questions, but by the reaction to a recent statement by Giselle Bundchen, admitting you have needs and desires above and beyond your children became the poster child for selfish mothering. In a recent article by CNN.com, Kelly Wallace helps to point out that this label couldn’t be more wrong. Giselle was quoted as saying “put yourself first.” I suppose at face value, one might assume that a beautiful and successful supermodel might not be more concerned with her looks or financial gain over her children. WRONG! What she, and many of us working moms are saying, is it’s OK to still be you and be a mom, and in fact enhances the entire experience!

“You know how they say on the plane you have to put the oxygen mask on first and then put it on your child?” Bundchen told “The Sunday Times” in an interview about why she believes motherhood is her most important job. “So I think it is the same, as a mum, to take care of myself.”

She’s right! If you don’t take time for yourself, and nurture your needs, how can you be equipped to take care of someone else? I’m surprised by some of the reactions I saw, name calling and accusations of abandoning children. I personally do not feel my children need my undivided attention 24 hours a day. As they grow, I’m proud that I am fostering independence. I know I’ve done my job as a mom when my boys are laughing and playing and enjoying life. I agree with Wallace’s sentiment of “you go girl, Giselle.”

I let many things fall by the wayside and am now feeling like it’s time for me to put some focus back on me again. Is it selfish to want to get a haircut, go shopping alone, or meet a friend for coffee? If you continuously deprive yourself of some moments of peace and relaxation, is that healthy? I think we are putting way too much pressure on ourselves to be the perfect mother. Our goal at Blissfulmamas is to support one another and remind each other that you’re doing an amazing job and that you can balance family, career, and ME.

Our careers and friends in life gives us confidence to be a strong and happy mothers. Does this mean that I don’t feel my children are a priority? Absolutely not, most days, my kids do come first but there are days where I need to refuel. This is not an idea or privilege of the wealthy, it’s important for all moms. It doesn’t much matter how you spend your alone time, just that you give yourself a pat on the back and remind yourself that you are important too. On days when I can’t escape the house, I might go outside and walk around my yard while the kids nap. Sometimes I let the kids play alone, gasp, and catch up on a tv show on my laptop. I also have help, I have a wonderful childcare giver, a husband, and parents who pitch in. I can’t do it all on my own, and I am grateful for the moments like now, sitting on a train typing away. No matter our circumstances, we all deserve a break now and then to foster our own inner spirits and desires, this will only trickle down the line to our children and inspire them to do the same. If you truly feel that all needs are met in caring for your children, that’s great and this article probably isn’t speaking to you. We all need to do what makes us the best moms possible, we all have a different route and approach, I just happen to agree with Giselle. Rather than continue to promote more hate and shame, lets say thank you to another working mom who is finding a way to balance it all!

Round 3 of Disney MP, here I come??

 

IMG_1728This is the last weekend weekend of Round 2 of the Disney Parks Moms Panel Search.  A recent Twitter update from @gary_jerry, alerted us to the probability of emails arriving this Tuesday around 1:30.  Truthfully, I’ve not really wanted to write about it for fear of bursting the magic bubble. We have all been told countless times that the cut from R2 to R3 is substantial. Our amazing leader and voice of reason, Gary, keeps reminding us to be proud of how far we have made it and the move from R2 to R3, does not define us. For the most part, all of us in the waiting room are cautiously optimistic and it would be amazing to keep this ride going.  Between the cryptic clues on Twitter and many discussion in our FB group, the “waiting room” has been a really wonderful experience.  Seeing the overwhelming passion for wanting to help others plan magical moments during their vacations of a lifetime, just continues to reinforce the absolute fact that Disney Parks are truly the most magical places on earth.  What other vacation destination provides such an escape and opportunity to bring your family together?  Where you are completely immersed in a world of enchantment and your children are welcomed everywhere, it’s truly one of rare places where families can enjoy a unique all-inclusive experience.
As I have said before, this competition is made up of the friendliest and most supportive group of “hopefuls” and it’s truly been an honor to be a part of it. Regardless of my fate on Tuesday, I have had a great time and feel like this has been a really fun couple of months.  If I don’t make it through this time around, I will definitely try again another year.  Thank you to everyone who has been following and sending well wishes my way!  Wishing pixie dust and magical moments to all of the hopefuls out there who are eagerly awaiting our fate!  I’m chEARing you all on and thank you for the magical opportunity!

“If you can dream it, you can do it!”

Becky

Two weeks down and 3 to go???

IMG_1864

The latest news for this years Disney Moms Panel hopefuls….is no news until October!  Everyone is dying to know their fate, but many of us are just enjoying the ride and supporting one another on this journey!

I am keeping up with the latest info via twitter, specifically @gary_jerry. Gary works in social media and PR for Walt Disney World and Disney Parks, and has been really fantastic at answering questions and giving us updates from the judging panel.
I mentioned a previously rumored number of 10, 000 applicants for this small panel of moms and dads, and gary shocked me with a tweet that the rumored numbers were and are, underestimated! This is amazing for 2 reasons, the first being that there is that much interest for fans to want to share their vacation planning secrets, and the second being that each of these applications are read by an actual human. None of us know who is on this panel and their names are not likely to be released, at least not in early rounds. The information that we keep hearing is just how good the applications are looking this year, and just how hard it’s going to be to narrow it down. My guess is they anticipated a high interest and that is the reason for the increase from 3 to 4 rounds. This fact makes me hopeful that I have a chance for round 2.

This is not my first interview/audition with the Disney company, however, my previous experience has been live and in person. I was a Disney College Program participant and spent about 6 months living and working on Disney property. During that time, I auditioned for a character part and was lucky enough to be offered a position, but my family was a little less than thrilled for me to bail on yet another semester of college to fulfill my dream of being Pluto. In those circumstances, I was able to talk with an interviewer and really show my personality. Because the Disney Moms Panel communicates via written responses, it stands to reason that round 1 is comprised of essay/short answer questions. Round 2 will have a video component, perfect!!! I am already working on a strategy in the event that I am lucky enough to be asked to provide one.  At this point I can’t think beyond round 2, just making it that far would be a major victory!
Despite the odds, I am feeling hopeful.  I have a passion and knowledge for Disney, and I truly enjoy sharing it as much and as often as I can.  What this process comes down to is, does my particular style fit with the group they are putting together for 2015, and that remains to be seen.
Hoping and Wishing!
Becky

IMG_1931

 

Let the waiting game begin……

Application for Disney Mom’s Panel complete! I only had until Friday at noon to make this perfect! I was surprised to only see one page of questions this year and because of that, I worried that they wouldn’t know enough about my background to understand why I was the woman they want for this job. Then I decided, I just have to be myself and answer to the best of my knowledge.
You might be wondering what this online application looks like. I was required to answer the first question as if I were already a panelist. They wanted to know if I had applied before, when my last WDW vacation was, what area of Disney Parks I wish to represent, (Walt Disney World, of course!) and how you I discovered the Mom’s Panel. There were a couple of fun fact questions, one of which referred to Frozen, but nothing to stump or trick you. Lastly, they requested a family picture, showing your “Disney Side.” I submitted a picture of my family with Goofy from our recent trip!
I kept reading and re-reading my answers until I thought of another Disney quote that I love. “Why worry? If you’ve done the very best you can, worrying won’t make it any better.” Once again, Walt comes through with some great advice! I had answered to the best of my ability and now it’s up to the judges to decide if I fit what they are looking for in this fabulous group of Moms and Dads! I took a breath and clicked submit. For now I wait, at least a month or two, and hope I receive an email stating that I will advance to round two!
If you haven’t already, head to http://www.disneyparksmomspanel.com and read some of the great advice for planning your next dream vacation!
Have a magical day!

#disney, #magic, #vacationofalifetime, #vacationmama, #dream

“All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them”

IMG_1938

A favorite quote of mine from my favorite animator, innovator, and creator of all things magical!  Any guesses?  Who else, but Walt Disney himself!  I have been a fan of Walt, and the Walt Disney Company, for as long as I can remember.  I am a Disney enthusiast and former cast member. I participated in the WDW College Program in 1999 and have made several trips back since that time. This past April, I traveled with my family to the Walt Disney World Resort to celebrate our first trip as a family of four, and to celebrate our children’s first and third birthdays.  If I’m not planning a trip for myself, I am often offering advice to friends and family traveling themselves.  I keep up with what is new or upcoming in the parks and love to dream of what our future trips will consist of.  There isn’t a week that goes by that I don’t speak with someone who shares a special memory or story of their own vacation experience. Some think I am a little over the top or perhaps have a Disney addiction, but I believe that there is something unique and special about the Disney experience and I just love everything about it!

So with that being said, I am excited to announce that this year I will be applying for a spot on the Disney Mom’s Panel!  I have applied previously, but unfortunately did not make it to the next round.  After I submitted my application, I was told that if you did not advance, you would likely hear nothing.  I felt encouraged when I received a letter saying that I did not make it, but to keep trying and so this year, I am!  It is sure to be a very competitive and exciting experience and I cannot wait for the process to begin! This feels like a great opportunity to turn a hobby, into something that I can share with families who may feel the Disney love, but might need a little help turning fantasy into reality!  The applications open at 10am on September 2nd, and I am so excited to throw my EARS in the ring!  The difficult part will be waiting and keeping my fingers crossed for a chance at round two.  So, wish me luck and stay tuned!
“All it takes is faith, trust, and a little pixie dust”
Becky