This morning, the first thing I did, which is my custom, was to read a little bit of something inspirational. The book that I picked up this time is "The Power of Positive Living" by Norman Vincent Peale. (This is not the one he is best known for, "The Power of Positive Thinking".) This one he wrote nearer the end of his long life, and it is filled with what I would term "old fashioned common sense".
One of the things he was talking about was his recollection of the days during the Great Depression, when everyone was walking around New York City being fearful and filled with anxiety and depression of a more personal nature. He mentioned how some of the "gloom and doom" people were saying that the United States would never rise again.
Since I just blogged about some of the economic problems we are likely to be facing in the near future, I felt that this time I wanted to focus more on the positive thinking solutions we all need to be focusing on.
After finishing my morning's reading, I went on to the next item, which was letting the dogs out to do their thing. While doing that, I have formed that habit of remaining outside, swinging my arms a bit, and taking deep breaths to get my circulation going for the day and breathe in some fresh air and encouragement. Some mornings I have a beautiful sunrise to greet me. Other times it may be a little gray, but there is always fresh air and the sound of birds (and barking).
The last time I was in Portland to visit my daughter, there was an Asian man in the park doing his morning "slow" exercises in the Oriental tradition. One of them was circling his arms. It looked like he was "pumping himself up" for the day, and that is what started me doing something similar in the out-of-doors in the mornings.
This morning, I spontaneously began saying some things while I was consciously breathing in and out to replenish my fresh air. I guess I figured I might as well replenish my attitude at the same time.
"I'm breathing in faith, I'm breathing out fear....I'm breathing in enthusiasm, I'm breathing out discouragement....I'm breathing in health, I'm breathing out disease...I'm breathing in power, I'm breathing out inadequacy." It quickly became an exercise in thinking of opposites."
I know that most of you who read my blogs are mothers. When the children are little it is hard to remember to take time to replenish your own inner strengths. But you've got to remember that if you don't have power, or faith, or health, it is much harder to send your children out into the world each morning (or to start the day together, if you are homeschoolers) with the right attitude.
In my cd, "How to Avoid Being a Mommy Martyr", I talk about the importance of attending to your own needs. When you have unmet needs yourself, it is almost impossible to meet the needs of your children, or anyone else for that matter. In workshops, I've often stated that the mother's real role is being the emotional heart of the family.
When your husband comes in a little out of sorts, or the kids are having an argument, I've found that if the mother remains calm, everything eventually settles back down. However, when it is the mother who is just a little crazed, it doesn't matter what the general mood of the family is, because everything will start going down hill.
So I encourage all you moms out there to consider how you are beginning your day. Are you making the time for a little quiet time? A little inspirational and/or Bible reading? A few minutes for prayer? A time for some exercise or a little fresh air outside? You are not being selfish by taking the time to fill up your own reserves of health and power....you need them to make the rest of your day productive and happy!
It's not even 8:00 this morning and I've already had my inspirational reading, done my exercises, breathed in some fresh air and written this blog. Now I can go make some breakfast and greet our overnight guests. The only thing that would have been different back when I was homeschooling is that I would have had a baby nursing while I was writing this, and I would have told my older kids a few times to go back to their rooms and I'd let them know when I was ready to deal with them. Just because you are a mom doesn't mean you have to be a mommy martyr!
Have a great day, today and every day!