Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Mtn Mama: Gold steps

Learning so much about my girl,

1, 2, 3!  
Step, step, step! 
Peas!  Tay tyou!

High-five givin' 

Many Glacier's wee curly clown-queen.

Still, she's but a sweet babe when asleep.  

I am a stronger, more sure mama than I was last month.  Time outside is our gold.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

R + R = Mantras for Anxiety

I feel lucky & blessed in many ways.  For example, the opportunity in the summer for healing and resetting.  Last Spring, I got too busy, too overwhelmed, too strung out.  Did it to myself.  Full blown panic attacks left me feeling paralyzed & desperate.  Feelings of anxiety are stronger since becoming a mom.  Somewhere between Josey's tongue-tie procedure & Sandy Hook, I found myself with a new set of emotions to deal with.

With school just around the bend, I need to deal with my anxiety proactively.  My time in therapy has taught me to make lists for my ailments.  Get it out there.  Rather than divulge the scenarios that make me anxious, here are some mantras worth sharing.  

1.  "I am doing what I can, I give my daily best."  It's easy to focus on what we should & could be doing.  How about recognizing the simple, lovely progress of each day?  Make a mental list of things you did right, don't waste energy on negative self-talk.  Trust & love your efforts.

2.  "I can only do so much." It's true.  Raising expectations can be a road to unhappiness, but celebrating your unique gifts as part of humanity and the whole, that's a better way to productivity.  

3.  "What they are thinking is none of my business."  I'm often overwhelmed with thoughts of others--their happiness, their satisfaction with me.  Rather than worrying so much, I'm choosing to focus on integrity, trusting my actions & words.  We all make mistakes, we can all disagree.  Discuss concerns thoughtfully if they arise, share peace.  

4.  "Thank You for..."  Leaders need help.  Give thanks to family, roommates, friends, students, creation...anyone who helps out & contributes to positivity.  Feels good to appreciate & be appreciated!

5.  "Breathe."  My breath has been shallow, sporadic, and I tend to hold air without thinking.  Sometimes, I count breaths, listening to make them more even.  Yoga breath (sounds like Darth Vader) helps calm me, too.  In through the nose, out through the mouth.  10x to calm.  


Monday, August 12, 2013

Open, my Heart

My heart is full of love.
Sometimes, often, 


Over the edge, 
like periwinkle paint on chestnut. 
Blue is my color again.  

Darker, stormier // Brighter, funnier
Realizations of the world today.  
Being a mother means a world of emotions. 
Anxiety frequents with long, deep breaths to cope.

I open up through writing, 
Risking rejection, fighting perfectionism & comparisons.  
Like performing, it ain't easy, but it feels right for me!  

::My heart shattered at her first cry.  
I couldn't stand to hear the sound!  
Yesterday, she fell hard on the trail.  
Took the wind right outta me::

There will be those falls & disappointments & scares


My Dad says, "keep your expectations low & work hard."  Trying!  
They say, "you can light up someone's day with your smile!"  It feels good to smile.  Feels better to laugh.

my heart! 

Make room for more patience,
More truth, more trust, 
burn a light of peace.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Choir Chatter: Roots

A new chapter is unfolding for us!  We're relocating our school-year residence near the Lee Metcalf Wildlife Refuge, south of Florence.  My heart-strings first felt the tug of the Bitterroot 4 Winters ago when James & I stopped for a stroll in Hamilton after a Powder Ski at the local hill.  

That heart-tug led me to a semester of student teaching & weekly ladies nights with Peggy Leonardi, a seasoned, driven artist who's program is known for its strength, numbers, and talent throughout the state.  Increasing support for the arts is a goal, I grew up in Helena's strong support for the Arts and appreciate how special our experience was there.

I've since taught 6-12 choir in Florence for 3 challenging, expansive years.  Whew & awesome!  Florence has some established music traditions, like Cafe Chocolat, our annual vocal dessert show led by our Music Boosters organization.  Last Spring, I took 27 HS singers to Washington on an inspiring tour. opportunities for artistic expression & collaboration are what excite me about going into year 4 in Florence.

Let me tell you about my colleagues. Jennifer is a kind soul who leads her band students to be expressive musicians, while enjoying music & work, too.  A great mentor for me in teaching & motherhood.  Amy is a creative, sensitive betty with a killer sense of humor.  The experience of being in her Art room plain makes life better, whatever you're dealing with.  She's also our Union President, and our school has had a challenging past year.  Constantly raising the bear is our Drama Dept.  Our friend Derk, has made a visible difference in the two years we've taught together.  He's always there to lend a hand, and it's that spirit of cooperation I look forward to continuing in the 'Root.

JJ will go to daycare a block from my school!  Goodbye 1-hr delay in a baby-emergency, hello lunchdates with Josey!  We will play at Hideout Mountain, a sweet park built by the community.  I'm excited to fuse these facets of my life together, be the best music-teacher-mama I can!  

Family + School = Community.  
Community through music is beautiful.  I've seen it time and again.  

Hope to increase positivity, love for music, and life value where I am.  Roots are growing in Florence, visible & under-earth growth, and I think there will be many good surprises this year!  Striving to bring my love for Choral Education & love for blogging closer together this year.  Here we go!  


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