How to Stay Motivated to Find Your Calm

Black Mom's Guide to Calm

I’m sure you’re well aware that the journey to being a more calm mama can be a challenging one. That’s why you’re here, right?

You want to know exactly how you can manage/lessen your stress, overcome your overwhelm, and find calm in your daily life.

I get it — with all you have going on, it can be hard to create calm. And feeling like you have the time to do so can be harder.

There are going to be times when you feel like you just can’t deal with the ups and downs of trying to stay in a peaceful space.

  • You’ll want to just lie on the couch, binging on Netflix, munching on chips and ice cream (which, by the way, won’t actually do anything to lessen your stress in the long run).
  • You’ll want to hit snooze and stay in bed that extra 10 minutes — even though you know that time is essential if you want get centered and grounded for a positive and peaceful day.

Yeah, the journey to staying calm most of the time will get challenging. So, how do you make sure you don’t give up?

What’s Motivating You?

It’s all about focusing on why you want to have more calm in the first place. And everyone has different reasons:

  • You want to improve your physical health (lower your blood pressure, for example).
  • You want to be more balanced and harmonized.
  • You want to feel better mentally and emotionally.
  • You want to feel less anxious and depressed.
  • You simply want to feel less stressed and overwhelmed (because that’s a sucky feeling to have ALL THE TIME).

Whatever your reasons, they have to be good and you have to keep them in mind.

So, the big question is: What’s your why for wanting to overcome your overwhelm and find your calm? What will finding calm do for your life?

Many times, we think just wanting the thing we want is good enough, but if our reasons aren’t compelling enough, it can be hard to keep the faith that we can actually do it.

Here’s a quick to-do for you: Grab a post-it note or sheet of paper and write this down:

I want to find my calm because ______.

Look at it whenever you feel too overwhelmed or tired to continue with your calm practices.

A few other ways to stay motivated when the process gets really challenging:

Know that you deserve it. As Black women (and moms in particular), we’ve been taught that we just have to “deal with it” when it comes to stress and that we have to put our wants, needs, and well-being on the backburner — if we even deal with them at all.

If/when you feel like taking time for yourself is frivolous and unnecessary, remind yourself that inner peace is something we all deserve, including — and especially — you.

Remember that you’re setting the example for your child(ren). Our children do what we do, not necessarily what we tell them to. So, if you want them (especially your girls) to practice self-care and be able to stay calm in the midst of life’s challenges, you have to model that for them.

Remember it can make your entire life better. How? Learning to find your calm and live from a space of peace allows you to worry less, relax more, hear your intuition so you can make the best decisions in your life, and create more positive energy.

Of course, I also have your back in this process.  Black Mom Calm Monthly was created to guide you in going from chaos to calm. Support is also a huge contributing factor in creating more balance and having more peace. If you want to stay focused, and keep moving to your goal of more calm together, subscribe here.

 

My Theme for the New Year

Black Mom's Guide to Calm

One thing I’ve done for the new year for the past five years is come up with one word or theme to focus on. I don’t remember where I first heard about doing this (maybe Happy Black Woman?), but I really like the idea because it gives me something positive to focus on and is basically a goal or practice for the year.

With that said, My theme/word for 2019 is self-love.  This year, I meditated and slept on what my theme should be, and this is what ultimately came up. While I’ve been doing a lot of healing work the past year and a half or so, self-love is something that I’m still working on practicing, especially as it relates to my own inner dialogue.

If you’ve never done this before and want to create your own word/theme (or even phrase) for the new year, here are a couple of tips:

  1. Ask Spirit what your word should be. If nothing comes to you immediately, take a few minutes to meditate or sleep on it with the intention of it coming to you.
  2. Another option is to make a list of words that resonate with you and choose one. Maybe it’s something you know you need to work on, a goal you’ve had, or something you’ve been thinking about lately. You can also think about how you want your year to be and/or how you want to feel this year.

Some ideas for words/themes:

Abundance

Prosperity

Health

Thrive

Success

Peace

Focus

I got this.

Self-care

Move forward

Ways to use your word

  • Make a graphic for your lock screen or computer background.
  • Create affirmations around your word.
  • Write down what it means for you.
  • Make a vision board about it.

Have you come up with your theme for 2019 yet? I’d love to hear about it! Leave a comment below.

Resource used: alwayswellwithin.com.

Be Where You Are

Black Mom's Guide to Calm

Confession: I’m not the most patient person in the world; I’ve had to teach myself how to be more relaxed.

By starting my calm practices (yoga, meditation, crystal healing, etc.), I’ve discovered how to stay calm and present and how to release control (or feeling like I can or should control everything).

Of course, it’s pretty easy to do this when things are happening the way you think they’re supposed to be. The challenge comes when things are not going the way you think they should, when you’re wanting to be somewhere other than where you are now, or feel like you’re not where you’re “supposed” to be.

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been noticing that I’m ready to get “there,” feeling anxious about the things I’m intending to manifest in my life. As many of you know, I’m currently back home due to separation/divorce and trying to build myself back up after all I’ve gone through. It’s been a little over a year now, and I have times when I “should” on myself (as Iyanla Vanzant says) — like I should already be further along or I should already be where I want to be.

When I have these moments, I remind myself that even when it doesn’t feel like it, I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be and where I need to be. I might not understand why things are unfolding the way they are or how things will work out, and I don’t have to. I also have to remember to stay in the present moment, not only so I can be more calm and content, but also so I can take action from a place of inspiration and peace.

Here are some ways I bring myself back to the present moment when my thoughts become overwhelming:

1. Pause and take a breath (or breaths). Also, I choose which thoughts I want to keep (the ones that serve me) and which ones I want to release.

2. Allow myself to be present and in the moment. Sometimes, I literally tell myself to focus on what I’m doing at the moment, and I when I start having thoughts that cause me to worry (and notice it), I am intentional about releasing them and bringing my awareness back to the moment.

3. Remember that it’s not my job to figure out how or when something is gonna happen. My job is to set my intentions, take inspired action, and let Spirit handle the rest.

4. Don’t compare my path to anyone else’s. Everyone is on their own unique journey, and I don’t know what they’ve done, or even gone through, to get where they are. Also, I remind myself that everyone gets to their “finish line” at different times; I’m not in a race or competition. Therefore, I shouldn’t feel like a failure just because it’s seemingly taking me a longer time than others.

5. Know that there are different seasons in life. The Earth has different seasons on this planet, and we do, too. There are certain times of the year when we plant seeds and other times when we reap the harvest of what we’ve planted. Both are necessary — and it’s important to remember that.

“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.” – Eckhart Tolle

Moving Through Overwhelm

Black Mom's Guide to Calm

I have to admit, I’ve been feeling pretty overwhelmed with life lately. In the past few weeks, I was in a car accident (no one was hurt, thankfully, but I was driving my parents’ car). After that, I ended up getting my own car (yay!); however, the process of getting there was a little stressful since I had to rearrange my schedule to look, sign papers, etc. Additionally, I’ve been feeling like I’m behind on my business-related work, dealing with issues with my ex more recently (Venus retrograde, perhaps?), and just day-to-day life.

During this time, I’ve really had to remind myself and practice staying calm, at peace, grounded and centered.  And I say remind myself because even as the calm coach, I, too, have to remember to practice what I preach: Peace is a choice, and it’s up to me to actually do the things that bring me peace because my inner peace is inside of me, no matter what’s going on around me. With that said, here are some of the things I’ve been doing, just in case you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, too:

1. Pause and breathe.

If you’re anything like me, when you’re stressed, you can find yourself overthinking and overanalyzing things, which — of course — leads to more stress because you’re probably thinking of all the things that might go wrong. Or, you’re obsessing over your to-do list, wondering how it will all get done.

When you have these moments, stop (and you can do like I do sometimes and literally tell yourself to “stop” out loud). Bring yourself back to the present moment, and take 5 to 10 few deep breaths. As you inhale, fill your belly with air like a balloon and count to four. And as you exhale, bring your belly button back towards your spine, counting to four.

2. Release any physical tension. 

As you may already know, we often physically hold on to stress, and it’s usually unconscious — we don’t realize we’re doing it.  Most commonly, we hunch our shoulders by our ears, clench our jaw, furrow our brows.

So, when you notice that you feel overwhelmed or stressed, take a moment to scan your body, starting at the top of your head and going down to your feet. As you do this, breathe deeply and note if you’re tense in any area of your body; if you are, relax that area. (This is also a good practice to get in the habit of doing regularly).

3. Stay present and focused.

Like I mentioned before, thinking too much about the future is a big cause of our overwhelm (trust me, I know). Being mindful and staying present, brings you inner peace, improves your mood, reduces anxiety, and brings emotional balance.

Some ways to practice mindfulness are:

4. Practice gratitude. 

When you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s easy to have a “woe is me” attitude and feel sorry for yourself, like nothing is going right. Taking time to focus on the positives in your life and what you have to be thankful for brings you more joy, calm, and contentment. A couple of ways to do this:

  1. Start a gratitude journal, and every day, write down three to five things you’re thankful for or positive things that happened during the day.
  2. When you feel stressed, take a couple of minutes or so to write down everything you can think of that is going well for you.

5. Choose a different thought and affirm.

It’s challenging to just change how you feel from one minute to the next, especially when you have a lot going on. But, one (relatively) simple way to start feeling better is to choose to think differently (because generally, our emotions come from our thoughts). Again, you can literally tell yourself to “stop” when you feel yourself going down the path of thoughts that don’t serve you. Then,  bring your awareness to what’s actually going on in the moment. You can also use affirmations or reminders to shift gears. Here are a few of my favorites:

  • All is well.
  • Trust the process.
  • Focus on one thing at time.
  • Life/Spirit/God/the Universe is conspiring in my favor.
  • Everything is working for my good.
  • I got this.

Do you have another suggestion you would add? Do any of these resonate with you? Let me know by leaving a comment below.