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STRIPPING YOURSELF ON MOTHER’S DAY!

Dearest Beautiful ButterflyMoms,

Sometimes it seems that life is stripping you raw. No matter what you try, things that are a deep part of our life fall apart, go “wrong”, break, and/or simply disappear. I have noticed patterns in my life where this happens. I’m in one of those very patterns. It started with my son Christopher accidently spilling water next to my computer. As that glass of water fell, my life’s trajectory shifted into a new direction and I entered into the LAND OF YOU-ARE-ABOUT-TO-LOSE-A-WHOLE-BUNCH-OF –VERY –IMPORTANT-DATA-AND-SPEND-A-LOT-OF-MONEY-AND-TIME-HOPELESSLY-TRYING-TO-FIX-IT! After three weeks of trying to recover it, my hard drive is being flown to Wisconsin to see if they can recover my original mother board (how appropriate with Mother’s Day this weekend). The computer I bought less than 2 weeks ago had a corrupt operating system and I spent a large part of yesterday at Apple with the technicians, talking to my computer guy, looking for files…..Believe I COULD go on and on around this but let’s move to a bird’s eye view of the situation, shall we.

It is PRETTY obvious that I’m being STRIPPED RAW of my technology. I can get into my head very easily. I know I’m doing this because I get into those LIFE MODELS of “WORK-CHORES-KIDS-TV-SLEEP” (not in that order). I carve out very little time to hang out with friends or to read or anything like that. As much as I dislike to admit it, my GREAT TRANQUILIZER is my television and BOY DO I USE IT TO MEDICATE myself. Sure it’s entertaining but when you are lacking sleep and you choose TV over sleep like I do almost EVERY night I know there is an issue. I know I could spend my time more wisely. I know my life would shift in ways I have been dreaming about. (DEEP BREATH HERE)

This is one of those BRIDGE POINTS in life where you begin to SEE what the issue is and then you add CHOICE. Sure I can HIDE from my CHOICE but that is not, not making a CHOICE. As the double negative shows here in this sentence, we cannot be NEUTRAL. Life NEVER stops flowing. Sometimes we want to stop it and say NO but life keeps on flowin’ and the same way you cannot stop the ocean, you cannot stop this rhythm of life so what to do?

Key here is to, as my good friend Keith has been reminding me for the last couple of years, “SURRENDER”. Surrender the fight! Whatever you FIGHT grows. PICTURE that and then take a moment to FEEL it in your body. If your child does not do what you want and you begin to YELL does that make the situation any better really? If you lower your voice and speak to that child does it shift things in a different direction without the ICKIES? If you find yourself in NOT TAKING CARE OF ME MODE is fighting with yourself about how you SHOULD going to help you?

This Mother’s Day consciously TAKE OFF your boxing gloves, STRIP YOURSELF RAW, knowing that you are always safe. As the beautiful Carolyn Myss and Wayne Dyer both say, it is an illusion that we control anything really. We have the power of CHOICE, like WHAT TO FOCUS ON, but the big stuff is out of our hands so instead of STRESSING OUT your whole ride, why not let go and ENJOY IT?

FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY EVER-GROWING HEART…..HAPPY MOTHERS’ DAY!!!!

Great big hugs,

Maariaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

🙂

PS No books sold this week. This week buy a copy for you and your best friend Just click here… http://bit.ly/gRxe4U. BE REPRESENTED! This is FUN!

Here is where the books have gone to ButterflyMoms…

UNITED STATES

California

Fullerton 1

Sacramento 1

Connecticut

Yalesville 1

Maryland

Chestertown 1

Massachusetts

Ashland 2

Holliston 10

Hudson 4

Medway 3

North Easton 1

Sherborn 1

South Grafton 1

Worcester 3

New York

Scarsdale 1

Stony Brook 1

Ohio

Dublin 1

Rhode Island

Newport 1

AUSTRIA

Wien, Austria 2

IRELAND

Dublin, Ireland 1

ITALY

Rome, Italy 3

JAPAN

Tokyo  1

🙂 To buy your copy Click here now…http://bit.ly/gRxe4U .

🙂 Mark your calendar to read ButterflyMoms EVERY Friday! 

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THE LAND of ONE DAY I’LL GET to “IT”….

Happy Friday Morning Beautiful ButterflyMoms,

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH MORNING. What is the weather “BEING” where you are? (we always say doing but really the weather is simply being and that is an AWESOME reminder to us, right?) For me after a BITTER cold and snowy winter today promises to be a perfect spring day. The joy of the “singing” birds outside my window tell me that it is so. 🙂 There is a sound I have not heard for a LONG time and it feels wonderful. I HIGHLY suggest that ANY time you have the opportunity to CONNECT with nature, DO IT!!! DO IT!!! DO IT!!

Sooooooo, this morning I am struck by two very different worlds. Every Friday morning I CARVE out the time to write our beloved ButterflyMoms blog. It is effortless, fun and exciting. What is NOT effortless, fun and exciting is the other, growing world AROUND the time I have carved for ButterflyMoms for in that space lives THE LAND of ONE DAY I’LL GET TO IT!!

This is the Land where we stockpile lots of emails, tasks and dreams that we have EVERY INTENTION of doing but just because of the sheer volume we would have to live 527,000 years to get to every project, belated birthday card, friend we mean to visit, item we need to return, recipe we want to try, museum we want to see, trip we want to take, email that begs for a response…..On this Planet Earth adventure we have the limit of time. The society at large thinks that is the worst thing and tries to give us tips on how to CRAM IN MORE. I’m here to tell you to GIVE YOURSELF the FREEDOM to DUMP the hope of ever getting to that list, instead give yourself 15 GOLDEN MINUTES and write down the TOP JUICY things you want to do and DO THOSE FIRST. Most of us are soooooo flooded in our lives that we oftentimes do the HAVE TOs/MUNDANE CRAP (efforting EVERY STEP of the way) instead of FLOWING with the items on our TO DO LIST THAT WE LOVE…. OR AT THE VERY LEAST LIKE! THE BEST FORMULA FOR YOUR TO DO LIST is do the thing you LOVE FIRST, Things you LIKE SECOND and things you TOLERATE THIRD. Most of us do it the other way around and then….well, most of us simply run out of time.

DEEP BREATH HERE TO CLEAR THE ICKIES. REMEMER TO STAY IN WHAT YOU ARE FEELING RIGHT NOW AND NOT HAVE TO FIX IT. BREATHE……………..FEELS GOOD TO JUST BE! 🙂

ROCK ON BUTTERFLYMOMS!!!!!!!!!!! EMBRACE THE GRACE!!!

Great big hugs,

Mariaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

🙂

PS Sold five more books this week!!! YAY! One of them all the way to a ButterflyMom in JAPAN!!!!!! So now the beautiful island of Japan is being represented! Soooooo wonderful! Thank you my beautiful friend Joli in Japan! Thank you to Linda in Holliston who put it on her to do list and just kept coming until we were finally there at the same time! Thank you beautiful Darlene in Holliston! I also donated a signed copy to the Sherborn UU Church Auction with a ButterflyMoms stainless steel water bottle (gotta give back, right?) 😉 Thank you beautiful Janine in Holliston for your book order too! I ask that you buy you and your best friend a copy! Just click here… To order now go to http://bit.ly/gRxe4U. Don’t fly under the radar…BE REPRESENTED! This is FUN! The town of Holliston is starting to pull ahead…will no one stop them? 😉

Here is where the books have gone to ButterflyMoms…

UNITED STATES

California

Sacramento 1

Connecticut

Yalesville 1

Maryland

Chestertown 1

Massachusetts

Ashland 2

Holliston 10

Hudson 4

Medway 3

North Easton 1

Sherborn 1

South Grafton 1

Worcester 3

New York

Scarsdale 1

Stony Brook 1

Ohio

Dublin 1

Rhode Island

Newport 1

AUSTRIA

Wien, Austria 2

IRELAND

Dublin, Ireland 1

ITALY

Rome, Italy 3

JAPAN

Tokyo  1

When you buy a book you represent your area. Let’s see where all the ButterflyMoms live!!! :)! This is FUN! To buy your copy Click here now…http://bit.ly/gRxe4U

Mark your calendar to read ButterflyMoms EVERY Friday! 🙂

WILL YOU GET A KIND JUDGE?

Happy Friday Morning Beautiful ButterflyMoms,

So last week I asked that if you read this blog to leave a sign that you were here, whether it be to leave a comment, hit the “like” button at the bottom or rate it at the top. A few more than usual spoke out, some for the first time but most, more than 90%, quietly read and then went on with their day. There is no “good” or “bad” here just an observation. I observe the same thing in our society at large. It might be that people feel sooooooooooo overwhelmed that they simply move into WATCHING mode instead of fully participating in life. Maybe it is because most of us watch so much TV that we have been CONDITIONED to simply “observe” the world and process in our minds. In our minds we think of things to do but then we quickly add them to our MENTAL TO DO LIST where we all know most things honestly disappear forever. We remember it every once in a while but only just enough to produce more guilt and anxiety to add to our lives for not having yet done anything about the situation. DEEP BREATH HERE TO CLEAR THE ICKIES. REMEMER TO STAY IN WHAT YOU ARE FEELING RIGHT NOW AND NOT HAVE TO FIX IT. BREATHE……………..FEELS GOOD TO JUST BE! 🙂

Life was meant to live in the RIGHT NOW. Just like most things worth doing, like WALKING and TALKING, they did not come overnight, no matter who you are. They took time and the right environment for you to be able to accomplish these abilities. Now that I have these abilities I oftentimes forget what a gift they are. It’s on to the next thing…our lives become a trail of all this magical things for which we slowly lose the gratitude over time. Our kids are a PERFECT mirror of that. Kids are bombarded with things without being given the gifts of striving, gratefulness, appreciation…. Many times I hear parents blaming the children, “You don’t appreciate anything you have. You just throw everything all over the place and keep asking for more.” WE, THE PARENTS, are creating this environment for our kids. If they were a caterpillar in a cocoon they would be the caterpillars whose parents cut them out because they could not bear to see their dear child “suffer” and then hired a tutor or trainer to work out their offspring’s issues. 😉 The number of kids with IEPs (individual educational plans) are staggering. Again, this is not a blame game it is an observation, a check in to see if this is where we want to be, might not or it might be. It is only with checking in with life that we can bring the AWARENESS we need to shift our lives. This week I wish you THE GIFT OF AWARENESS WITH DETACHED JUDGEMENT….play with that this week for yourself and others.

ROCK ON BUTTERFLYMOMS!!!!!!!!!!!

Great big hugs,

Mariaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

🙂

PS   Thanks for everyone who came to the MANIFEST YOUR DREAMS NOW! Workshop. It was an amazing experience!!! We will definitely do it again!

PPS The “Book Gods” came back this week and helped me sell one more book this week to my neighbor Lisa Kaplan who has been meaning to buy the book! THANKS LISA!! I have to admit this is a bit harder than I thought! 😉 I ask that you buy you and your best friend a copy! Just click here… To order now go to http://bit.ly/gRxe4U. Don’t fly under the radar…BE REPRESENTED!

Here is where the books have gone to ButterflyMoms…

UNITED STATES

California

Sacramento 1

Connecticut

Yalesville 1

Maryland

Chestertown 1

Massachusetts

Ashland 2

Holliston 7

Hudson 4

Medway 3

North Easton 1

South Grafton 1

Worcester 3

New York

Scarsdale 1

Stony Brook 1

Ohio

Dublin 1

Rhode Island

Newport 1

AUSTRIA

Wien, Austria 2

IRELAND

Dublin, Ireland 1

ITALY

Rome, Italy 3

When you buy a book you represent your area. Let’s see where all the ButterflyMoms live!!! :)! This is FUN! To buy your copy Click here now…http://bit.ly/gRxe4U

Mark your calendar to read ButterflyMoms EVERY Friday! 🙂

RIGHT UNDER OUR NOSES…AN AWARD!

The treasures of the universe are right under our noses. Those of us who like to travel do so because it gives us the ability to see ourselves more clearly.  When we travel to different place we get out of our routines and given the rare opportunity to travel without many of our ASSUMPTIONs and SHOULDs. We see more of our core. One of the biggest missed resources, are the people right under our noses.  We oftentimes get enamored by some big author or star but it’s those people under our noses that carry the most treasure for our hearts. The most magical ones are the ones that most people do not notice if they are moving too fast. I think you know what I mean. If you live mostly in your head you can travel at WARP 3 light speed which SEEMS pretty fast but when you live mostly in your soul you don’t need to travel anywhere because you just think it and you are already there. (SIDENOTE: Can you imagine if housework were like that – that is a working mother’s wet dream!!!!! 😉 ) 

Our beautiful ButterflyMoms... Nancy Senior

Our first "RIGHT UNDER YOUR NOSE AWARD" WINNER!!!

Today I would like to share with you someone who is very special to me. Someone whose heart is one of the biggest ones I know. When I first met her she intimidated me. I could not “figure” her out. That was because I was “processing” her through my head, not my heart. It is my deep honor today to nominate Nancy Ellen Senior as the very first RIGHT UNDER YOUR NOSE AWARD. I asked take the “boring” out of how most “bio’s” are written and write about her SELF as if her life were a roadmap. Could she share some of the points that stand out for her as major gifts/lessons/aha’s. If she could give a gift to all mothers, what would that gift be? My Beautiful ButterflyMoms, it is my deepest honor to present to you, THE Magnificent NANCY ELLEN SENIOR (sound the trumpets)!!!!!!!!!!

A BIO by Nancy Ellen Senior 🙂

I start by feeling what it feels like to be honored.  An honor with someone I love and loves me back is such a big part of my life.  It leads me right into what an honor Life is.  I have had my share of the bad, the sad and the ugly and can still say “Yes, living is an honor.”   If I didn’t have my battle scars I could still feel that this Life is an honor and that is what I most wish all Mom’s got as a gift if they don’t already have it.  Life is an Honor.  That could be all I need to say in my Bio.

I didn’t always think that in those curious times of doubt and pain.  I don’t always think it now but that is in times of being outside of my core.  I don’t travel there very often anymore.

So now there is this interesting request for a map of my life.  I am getting out my crayons and markers; rulers and scissors, oh and glue too.

Nancy as a little girl

The journey began when my Mom said yes to my Dad.  Another child?  Okay.  We will call her Nancy Ellen, sort of after her grandmother, sort of from a name I heard in the park one day.  “And well, Red, we are running out of names as we birth our 8th child.”  So my map includes 7 sisters and 3 brothers.

One of the places on my map is when I was stopped along the way because I was not encouraged and not allowed to be me.  Those you can see colored in gray.  I cut them out of my life but recently glued them back in.  It is hard to know where you are going if you don’t know where you have been.   The trick is not to stay in those gray-dingy places and that is another gift I would love to see all Mom’s open, the gift of not getting stuck in those old dank places, keep moving forward.

Next there is a place marked with sadness, sorrow, confusion, anger and a bit of black, blue and blood.  I have never been able to cut out of my Life map entirely the times when violence reigned down on me though I was able to get off that highway and change directions.  But it is like having pebbles in your tires, not doing any harm but you can hear them.  Well, I just bought myself new tires and there are no more pebbles.  I got them at the FORGIVENESS STORE. 

The place that is seemingly the most dense in my Life map is when I battled breast cancer.  My son was only 13.  I think to every Mom I don’t need to say more.  Leaving my child behind was not an option.  It was the most painful experience ever to see the fear in his young, beautiful eyes.  It was the power I needed to get us through it.

In that “forest” I found the gift of FORGIVENESS.  All these years later I am still turning pages in that book to learn what it is and what it is not.   I am giving my Self the gift every person should receive, FORGIVENESS of oneself.  This is a map separate from the others.  I am putting it in the pocket over my heart.           

The thing I most want to not have in my knapsack as I continue to travel is doubt.  The mileage I can get out my life sinks to a big low when I am carrying doubt with me.   So without doubt I submit this bio of my life.  Here is what I love to share.  We all have a map with all the places we have been.  Some of mine I ran through, I may or may not want to go back.  There are places I have no idea how I got to and places I have no idea how I got out of.  I am a silly, excited girl when I think about the places on my map I have yet to go.  I have CHOICE when I pack my AWARENESS and that allows me the power to change the roads I take and even take others with me from time to time.  So without doubt I am keeping my crayons and markers, scissors and glue, adding in a compass in case I decide (on purpose) to get “lost”.  The little girl inside of me continues to like it best when my feet are bare and whenever I get a cut, it is a gentle reminder of how I am always healing.

Nancy and some of her sisters. She is one of eight "kids"!

Nancy Ellen Senior is a full-spectrum healer who has a wonderful blog. You can receive more of Nancy’s musings and wisdom at http://frontporchhealing.com/

Great big hugs,

Mariaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

🙂

PS Special prayer requests go out to ELLIOTT from our blog a few weeks back who just had open heart surgery. Our good wishes and love are you with you beautiful Elliott! I hope you are reading this and know that you have made the world a better place by simply following your heart.

PPS Second special prayer request to the beautiful people of Japan, especially the mothers, who are unable to find food or water for their kids. May all of us find several moments today and for many days to send them as much LOVE LOVE LOVE as we each know how. Our heart goes out to you!!!!!!!

PPPS “Mom Entrepreneur Extraordinaire” Book sales were great last week! My friends got together and sold five more books which was AWESOME! Please take a moment today to support someone’s heart work and add a little more to your own life! It is an example of 21 women who are successful at making money their own way so they can still have time for their kids. People really love the book because it’s ACTUALLY USEFUL!! There are three ways you can buy it.

  1. Send a check for $25 to Maria Salomão-Schmidt, ButterflyMoms 783 Washington Street, Holliston, MA 01746. Let me know how many copies and where you want it sent.
  2. Come buy a copy at 783 Washington Street, Holliston, MA 01746.
  3. Order online right now…http://bit.ly/gRxe4U

ANGRY AT GOD!

Thank you ButterflyMoms for your help especialy Helen for reaching out!

Beautiful ButterflyMoms,

First, I want to thank Helen Bannigan for her wonderful guest post yesterday. It is wonderful to have heart friends like her and those who reached out. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for lightening my burden and giving me a renewed sense of hope!

I find myself in a very precarious part of my life’s journey. For the most part, it does not feel very good to be where I am right now.  If I take the fear and the judgment away I can say that I am definitely experiencing a lot of deep “shifts”. There is a river of rapid, unexpected CHANGE currently re-arranging my life… and that usually does not feel very good to us humans, especially when you seem to be following “the” rules, but not getting the promised results.

I’ve been in a phase where something “icky” happens and I dust myself off,  put on a “stiff upper lip and conjure up all the self-help advice I’ve acquired over the years. Then another “Icky” thing happens, then another, then another, almost like “instead of it’s raining men, it’s raining icky.” It gets so bad that you start to think that the universe is pulling a cruel joke on you. It is seems like your whole life is deconstructing without your conscious consent. You think you are at that bottom and then you arrive at a new lower, bottom. Your life seems to be in free-fall mode. You feel scared, disconnected, and angry.

Life sometimes feel overwhelming!

As someone who has been to third world countries and seen how many/most of the people of our planet Earth live, there is a part of me, THE JUDGE, who rides me like a mule. “Look at you! You have running water, heat, a car that works, healthy children, a body that works, etc…SNAP OUT OF IT! “ And I did,  I did “snap out of it again and again but there is a part of us that we bury when we simply “snap out of it” without acknowledging what is going on because it’s not convenient, or it makes others uncomfortable, or because it does not feel good, or_____________ (you fill in your own answer).

I get the sense that many feel this way but being raised the way we have been it is not “proper” for us to feel “icky” for very long or even simply be ANGRY. Well-wishers and loved ones also tell me to think about all that I have and to be thankful for that. It is true that I do have a lot to be thankful for but sometimes we feel what we feel and cutting off those feelings or sugar-coating what is going on in life, well quite honestly, sometimes life just SUCKS!

I remember back to a time when we had someone from Early Intervention coming to the house when we first had Sophia. Wise, white-haired Barbara was a wonderful soul who came to the house once a week to help us cope with Sophia having Downs and to make the most out of her life. She had a conversation with Doug once that helped snap everything into place. Barbara also had a special needs son who was now a man, she just blurted out one day, “Ya, it sucks.” Just saying those words released Doug in a very deep way. To be able to say that it sucks that you are in that situation without all the KUMBAHYAH fanfare feels REFRESHING! It is acknowledging your true feelings, not what you are supposed to feel.

What does it all mean when it's all falling apart.

It is only when we acknowledge that things do ROYALLY SUCK that we can begin to “move past the sucking”!!! Ignoring it just lets the SUCKINESS grow and fester. It may seem to go away but it only gets nastier and when it finally oozes back into your life you will wish you had addressed it MUCH sooner.

I spent my whole life creating a plan and working that plan of how to avoid pain and have the life I wanted. Over the last few years the universe has completely blown up that world. I AM RAW. Right now my life feels like it’s coming at me full speed. I feel like a rag doll getting thrown around. I don’t know where life is leading me but I will continue to be as authentic and present as I know how. Mark your calendars to come back every Friday for the unfolding journey. Feel free to share your comments below. This is how we can all learn and grow our ButterflyMoms souls.

Great big hugs,

Mariaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

🙂

PS  My first book “Entrepreneurial Moms Extraordinaire” is scheduled to be shipped at the end of next week. For ButterflyMoms who order it online it is discounted to $19.99 for ButterflyMoms (down from $25). Please order a copy and recommend to your online friends. Click here to buy, and post the link on your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, …. http://bit.ly/gRxe4U.

PPS Yesterday we had our first Stitch n’ Bitch at Doug Sent Me Green Cleaners in the downtown of an idyllic New England town called Holliston, Massachusetts. It was sooooo incredibly cathartic. It was so wonderful that the people who came asked if we could do it again in two weeks instead of a month. If you don’t live close enough to Holliston to come Thursday, Feb 3 from 6-8pm then join your own group. Building community is another way we feed our soul. For more information you can go to their official website…. http://stitchnbitch.org/

CONNECTING AGAIN…(AND a call from THE Oprah Show!)

Now this is a Park!!!! Parque das Conchas - Lisboa, Portugal!

HELLO! HELLO! HELLO! MY BEAUTIFUL BUTTERFLYMOMS!!!!

Have you missed ButterflyMoms? 😉  I’ve missed YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wow! It seems like forever and at the same time like just yesterday. I stopped writing two weeks ago because I was spending so much time trying to get online. I had a really bad connection, EFFORTING all the way! It was taking time away from my kids, family, friends and vacation. Sometimes it took me more than 8 hours to download the content I had written with photos for ONE posting onto the ButterflyMoms site! It was very stressful and of course I took it mostly from MY sleeping time – when the kids were asleep. After a while I got a “little” cranky. Who wants to be cranky when they are surrounded by beauty, sun, history, good food and summer in Portugal?! No one, that’s who! 😉

So why am I writing now? Well great that you should ask! Check out how the universe works….Most of you know that when I started writing daily for ButterflyMoms it was like I put on HUGE antennas out into the world and immediately STUFF started SHIFTING! The biggest was that I got a call from an Oprah Show producer about being ON the show! (A big “ZOWIE” with cartwheels!!!!!!) That dream had laid dormant (cocooning) because of motherhood and life in general (you know the drill! ;)) While I was talking to the producer he went to the ButterflyMoms site and checked it out! I was soooo thrilled!!! I sent them what he requested (some more information and a headshot). He said he would pitch it to the other producers and if were good enough they’d be in touch. It’s the ‘ole “don’t call us, we’ll call you.” 😉 An amazing thing happened! Instead of worrying like I was culturally taught to do ;), I let go of the OUTCOME! (deep breath – really feel this) Just being asked was AMAZING! I basked in how cool it was and took BEING PRESENT all in! (That is a VERY important part of the recipe y’all! – You are not truly LIVING if you are not IN THE PRESENT! Living in the PAST is called REMINISING. Living in the FUTURE is called HOPING. Being in the NOW is called LIVING!)

Look up "Fernando Pessoa" on Wikepedia...Amazing Portuguese writer. Here is his statue. They sell Cuban cigars right next door! 😉

Energetically what was happening is that I was sending out wonderful energy and the results just kept pouring in…Next thing I know seven friends, who don’t know each other at all, sent me emails about an Oprah contest for people who want their OWN SHOW. I resisted at first but then it gets pretty CRAZY-OBVIOUS that this is definitely an OMEN when people just kept emailing me that “this is so you”! I decided to confront fear and go for it! But how? I asked friends for help and together we created a rockin’ video entry that got over 30,000 votes in about 11 days! Soooooooo many ButterflyMoms and Dads spread it to their friends, put up posters, took it work, posted it, and voted as many times as they could! We got into six publications including the Boston Globe and Middlesex News and a call from one of major news stations who wanted to do a story. It was simply AMAZING and HUMBLING! I had made plans to spend the summer in Portugal with my girls (as I had done as a child) and decided to go even though I had not heard back from the contest – they were supposed to have an answer by beginning of July…. always follow your heart 🙂

Always follow your heart, huh? Ok, that is all cool and dandy but the heart also gets restless! When I think about all the time I spent on “boyfriends” over the years, morphing into who they wanted me to be so that I would be loved! Let’s just say I wish I had learned my lesson FASTER! 😉 Everything takes its time. Sometimes we try to force things to happen quicker but just like with growing a veggie garden or making a baby, everything has its “GERMINATION” time. 😉 I was again reminded to “let go” and “trust”. Like many others, that is not exactly the message I picked up from my childhood. It is a very important one though, very important! If you are focusing on what you don’t have, more of that will come to you. It’s actually more like, the more you focus on something, the more you only SEE THAT and the “stuff” that you DO WANT virtually disappears. “WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT, YOU SEE MORE OF”….Think about what you like/love/are passionate about. Keep a gratitude journal and write about those things in there. I promise you, you will start SEEING SHIFTS, BIG and small! Stay with it! Invite your friends to join in! Have fun with it!

Six o'clock tea anyone? In front of Castelo Sao Jorge (St. George's Castle)

EVERYTHING you do is leading you somewhere! EVERYTHING! Most of us want to do what we are SUPPOSED to do AND THEN “when”:

-the bills are paid

-I win the lottery

-I get promoted

-I get in shape

-I get a better job

-The kids are older

-The house is paid down

-I pay off my student loans

-I lose weight

-I pay off my credit cards

-I pay for the kids’ college

-I retire…..

THEN! YES! THEN I WILL be happy and do the things I love!……..Rrrrrrrrrrrrright, like that’s how it works! YOU KNOW that’s now how it works but that is how we think when we fall into that HOLE of DESPAIR, mostly seeing the “empty” of our lives and not the “FULLNESS”! See your passions! Talk about them! Dream about them! Write about them! Seek them out and you will see them EVERYWHERE!!!!!

Weeks go by………(tick tock tick tock) Ok, so I was getting restless. I LOVE being here in Portugal and was having (and am having) a GREAT time! It’s just that I wanted to know about the OWN SHOW contest. The expectation was that we would hear by early June. There had been no further announcements and I just wanted to know either way if I was one of the top 40. Again I decided to LET IT GO. Just TRUST that whatever answer would come would come in the right time and that IN THE NOW I would concentrate on TRULY BEING HERE! SOAKING IT ALL IN! I’m on a budget here but I’m having wonderful fun just seeing, smelling, tasting, hearing, feeling the TOTAL EXPERIENCE of BEING in PORTUGAL! The time I stopped writing here was about re-connecting with that!

Well, two days ago I got a call from my studly husband Doug saying that THE OPRAH SHOW had called again! I had put it out of my mind so it totally caught me off guard. The same producer who had called a couple of months ago called again and asked me to send him a new video of the letter I had sent in describing an Oprah episode that had GREATLY helped me from giving up on life when my baby girl Sophia suddenly died in my arms. Each time I tell the story about the show I still cry and get goose bumps. It was VERY powerful show! The producer also said….(drum roll) that Oprah will be watching the clip herself!!!! WOW! NO PRESSURE PEOPLE! He apologized that he needed it by the next day but that he would be editing it. I just needed to send him footage. “PSHAHHHH!!! Not a problem I said hanging up.”

Almost immediately things started going “not as I expected/wished”. It was sooooo much stuff going “wrong” that my (very Catholic) aunt was asking the sky if there was a witch up there. “I certainly hope so,” I responded “because we need all the help we can get!” 😉 The biggest obstacle was the internet connection. My connection was VERY weak and to download each video was going to take almost 9 hours! YIKES! The pressure was building! At first I EFFORTED BIG TIME, but at some point I just LET IT GO, not with frustration but with knowing that I had done the best I could and that my BEST AND HIGHEST GOOD was on its way!

LIFE's REFLECTIONS...

The solution came in the form of a neighbor who heard from another neighbor, who heard from another neighbor who heard from his wife that “D. Olga’s-niece-who-is-visiting-from-America” was having trouble connecting to the internet! IT TAKES A VILLAGE!!! YES IT DOES! The simple solution was that he gave me his security code and I now have a FABULOUS internet connection! With the new connection I was able to send the biggest file in 14 minutes, instead of 9 hours and I can also download my ButterflyMoms blog faster too which means I can write again! YAY!!!!!!!!

I know I wrote a lot today but there are soooo many lessons popping up! Savor your lessons. Most of us get mad at ours but see what happens when you BEFRIEND YOUR LESSONS! They are here to SERVE YOU!

Great big hugs,
Mariaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

🙂

PS Oh and the producer also told me that for the Oprah contest they have not picked their final 40 yet. Practice saying this more in your life: “If it serves my best and highest good, then it will happen at the perfect time.” :)!

PPS If you like what you read:

1. Post it on your FB, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

2. Share it with your friends!

MWAH!

Honoring One of Our Beautiful ButterflyMoms Who Died Last Week…

Hello Beautiful ButterflyMoms,

One of my FAVORITE yoga posses Child's Pose - "BALASANA" in Sanskrit "bala" is child and "asana" is pose.

Inspiration comes from the most simple (right in front of your nose places). Poetry…..when is the last time you ENJOYED a good poem, if ever. Not for a class or to impress but to simply take it in at whatever level you were at? I got a poem called WILD GEESE from the wonderful ButterflyMom Maureen Gormely who writes the UU Sherborn “Church” bulletin.  Doug grew up Lutheran and I grew up Catholic. When Sophia died we really struggled with the lack of community support around us. Our therapist suggested we go try the Unitarian Church in Sherborn, Massachusetts (UU Sherborn). That was almost four years ago and it has been an incredibly loving, safe, nurturing place where we can join with other like-minded people who believe in helping make our world a better place. It’s an amazing place because there it’s about human beings being kind to each other and working together for causes we believe in, both simple and big things like having gone down to New Orleans to help rebuild 10 times since it Katrina happened (about twice a year), creating temporary housing for people with no home, feeding the hungry, acknowledging teenagers. We also have an incredible community support so when someone is sick, or has a baby meals are provided for sometimes months. We received this AMAZING GIFT twice, when Isabella was born we had just adopted Olivia three months prior and then again when Doug had his life-threatening Vasculitis. It was an INCREDIBLE gift with no strings attached. They just showed up because we needed help. I also like that whatever your religious beliefs it does not matter there. You can believe whatever you want, even be an atheist!!! I lovingly call them the UN-CHURCH.;)  Again, just like with the yoga example above, I grew up VERY Catholic so when fear rears its ugly head, my brain whips out the “be careful this must be a cult”. And my brain was right! Oh ya baby, it’s a cult all right, The CULT OF LOVE!!! 😉

Our Beautiful Nancy Barton!!! She LIVED FULLY!

IMPORTANT TRIBUTE HONORING ONE OF OUR BEAUTIFUL BUTTERFLYMOMS WHO DIED LAST WEEK:

Yesterday was the memorial service for the gorgeous ButterflyMom Nancy Barton, 47, from Hopkinton, Massachusetts, who team taught with me at UU Sherborn. She is SUCH an incredible soul! Nancy was an example of angels living among us, people who are living their lives in LOVE. They use their full five senses and open heart as they live their lives. They soak in life completely and leave nothing on the table!!! Yesterday at Nancy’s memorial, UU Sherborn was sooooooooooo packed that people had to park several parking lots away. Some even drove back hours and hours from their vacations to honor her. I wish I could have been there. If you had known her, you would have ADORED her too! She has left behind two beautiful young daughters Meghan and Halley, wonderful husband Jeff, and a sea of family and friends with broken hearts. When I taught with her, she knew she was sick but never complained and only once casually mentioned that she even had cancer. It caught me off guard because I thought I had misheard what she said. Having cancer for her was just not the focus of her life, LIVING was!  Nancy was an accomplished artists, teacher and gardener. She brought art and creativity into everything she did. When you looked into her eyes she was ALL THERE, fully open to connecting on heart level. She appreciated everything down to the simplicity of her children’s giggles. When her kids were young and colicky resourceful Nancy would simply do laps around the house to get rid of her ICKIES. When she was getting one of her many chemo therapies Nancy met The Red Sox’s Big Papi and was so present that she even remembered what he smelled like. She used all her senses to live in the moment! She was one of those beautiful people who easily befriend everyone because she is full expression of LOVE! If you are living your life ungrounded and not present you would have totally missed her because she lived live in the most REAL and simple of ways. The time I spent with her was around children and she was wonderful at connecting with them. I am thankful for even the briefest of interactions we had. Nancy was the mom I aspire to be. I have her creativity but not her patience!  😉 I have stored the example of her life and love in my heart. It makes me a better person having had the honor of calling her my friend. We will miss you beautiful Nancy!

I pass on this beautiful poem from one of our ButterflyMoms, Maureen, TO YOU in memory of one of our very own ButterflyMoms, Nancy, who has left our Earth “game”.  May you take a moment to use your breath to take in where you are right now and honor her journey.  Even if you have never met you her essence reaches you even now. She is a gentle reminder that our time here is limited no matter who you are, what you own or how much you have accomplished. We all have an end. It’s what you do with your middle that counts. MAKE IT COUNT! Nancy soaked in every sweet part of her life. She left nothing unsaid and fully loved those around her (and let them love her). Read this one as slowly as you can. See if captures your imagination! I think Nancy would love that! 😉

Wild Geese 
You do not have to be good. 
You do not have to walk on your knees 
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. 
You only have to let the soft animal of your body 
love what it loves. 
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine. 
Meanwhile the world goes on. 
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain 
are moving across the landscapes, 
over the prairies and the deep trees, 
the mountains and the rivers. 
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, 
are heading home again. 
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely, 
the world offers itself to your imagination, 
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting–
over and over announcing your place 
in the family of things. 

~ Mary Oliver

Nancy went to New Orleans to help rebuild!

Great big hugs,

Mariaaaaaaaaaaaa

🙂

PS If this blog feeds your soul please send it to friends. It’s less calories than chocolate and FREE!

PPS I’m thankful for you! Thanks for coming back every day to feed your soul!!!

PPS If you have a poem you want to share honoring Nancy’s life please post it here. I think she would be tickled pink that we all join together in this wonderful game of sharing poetry with each other!  Please share something even if you did not know Nancy. 🙂

HELP! THE STRESS MONSTER IS AT MY DOOR!!

Hello Beautiful ButterflyMoms!

After a month of writing pretty much every day the last week has been a bit off. The Oprah contest has taken up a lot of the time I usually write here. I’m also leaving today for Portugal with my three little ones for the summer so these two things have side-swiped me a tad. Let me re-phrase that. I CHOSE to spend my time on other things. I wish I had more time! There are soooooo many COOL things to do in the world! I look forward to the time when I can get paid for writing because I LOVE it and wish I could do more of it.

As I am packing for a seven week adventure, I find myself constantly getting off my “zone” and into total “HALF EMPTY” mode. Every time I do something sixteen more things pop up and my heart starts to race, the kids get more annoying, I start moving more quickly, my voice gets louder… I’m going into panic mode. THE FEAR races in the form of questions…..”What am I forgeting?” “How will I get all this done?” “How much time do I have left?” “Why didn’t I do this earlier?”…you get the drift. Without AWARENESS the day turns from “BAD” to “WORSE” and most of us don’t even realize it, and that is THE SECRET, REALIZE IT!!!! It’s right there under our noses. It’s not hard to do. All we have to do is NOTICE, BREATHE and RE-FOCUS on HALF-FULL.

So for me in this situation right now, I can CHOOSE to shift back into my zone by remembering that whatever I give out I will get back. This blog today is actually more for me because I actually just had to MINDFULLY SHIFT myself back to what I want my life to look like. The direction we are “sailing” in and the ATTITUDE we are “wearing” today DIRECTLY AFFECTS the quality of our day. Today as you read this YOU have a choice. If you don’t choose,  just like with sails on a boat, you are giving the direction of your life to forces outside of yourself. So later when you hit the rocks, hard, you wonder, like in the Talking Heads song, “HOW DID I GET HERE?” You gave up your power by not noticing.

Start today. Start where you are. Let go of the control. Enjoy the steps. There is no place to “arrive”, that is a big, ugly, fat ‘ole MYTH! Don’t believe the hype my beautiful ButterflyMoms! Have fun today! Embrace your now! Use your feelings to see if you are in your zone or not! Surround yourself with people and things that you LOVE in the core of you! Do something VERY silly today. Then do it again! 😉 Notice nature. You will have so much fun and it’s a “natural” way to re-connect with yourself. When you notice nature you will notice that your breath changes, your heartrate changes. The STRESS MONSTER has a VERY hard time sticking around when you are truly NOTICING NATURE. Go outside right now wherever you are (unless you are on a plane ;)) and go Notice, Touch, Smell, Feel…maybe even TASTE! It’s always been there waiting for you to notice…. :)!

Great big hugs,

Mariaaaaaaaaaaaa

🙂

YOU can be a part of the legacy! Please help!

PS  ONLY THREE DAYS LEFT TO VOTE!!!!!  As some of you know, I’m on an incredible journey following my life’s mission and passion, being the FIRE THAT IGNITES PEOPLES’ SOULS. Oprah is starting a new network and she has put out a contest to find a talkshow host. My Show Idea is called THE MARIA SHOW. I ask you to please go here :), see my video 🙂 and vote for me as many times as you can :)… http://myown.oprah.com/audition/index.html?request=video_details&response_id=13674&promo_id=1

Also a really cool article was written about this journey yesterday. If you want to check it out here it is….

http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/news/x2071995078/Holliston-mom-hopes-to-join-Oprahs-network

You can help me on my quest by:

1. VOTE for THE MARIA SHOW (as many times as you can each day until July 3)

2. SHARE with family and friends. One ButterflyMom, Rebecca, is even hosting a Wine and Click Party in honor of the cause where moms bring their laptops and vote! Sooo cool! Use your creativity. THANKS REBECCA!!!

3. POST on your FB, website, Twitter, MySpace, blog,…..

Here is the link again: http://myown.oprah.com/audition/index.html?request=video_details&response_id=13674&promo_id=1

I hope you come play with the other BUTTERFLYMOMS and ME!!!! THANK YOU SOOOOOOOOO MUCH!

The BEST “WEDDING” ADVICE I EVER GOT…

Our family including Daniel and Nicolie on Daniel's special day! 🙂

There were two pieces of wedding advice I got when I was getting married a few years ago that really HIT THE SPOT! I sooooooooo wish I could remember who said it!!!  It’s that mommy brain that won’t go away!!!! (If you’re a mom you know what I mean ;))

At one point all the planning was becoming overwhelming. We already had my stepson Christopher, Mialotta was less than a year old and (no one knew at the time) but I was pregnant again with our Sophia. All that with work and planning the wedding I had in my childhood mind was making things very FULL, as in STRESS + FULL = STRESSFUL!!!!  Not exactly the equation you want for your wedding!!! In the middle of all these expensive little decisions that make or break a wedding someone cut through the chaos with these words, ” A wedding can either be a PRODUCTION or a MEANING + FULL = MEANINGFUL event.” (pause)

WOW! That comment gave us both amazing clarity (my future husband and I , not you and I  😉 Can you tell I’m feeling “funny” today – that’s because the Universe has a HUGE sense of humor. Look for it and laugh often. But I digress….). Before we heard it we were in the storm feeling a large, overwhelming sense of FEAR. After that comment we felt as if the house had landed and we could finally feel the ground again….and it felt grounding (pun intended! 😉

We realized that the most important thing was to keep the MEANING of the event alive. I think everyone who was there had a pretty fantastic time and that is what we wanted, a good time had by all, an event that produced a lot of Ohhhhhh’s and Ahhhhhh’s, tears and cheers, and that “I know I’m tired but I don’t want to go home” feeling! You know what I’m sayin’! 😉

The other bit of fabulous advice we got was to counter the feeling that with events like this it all goes way to fast. You could easily describe it as MONTHS of PLANNING FOLLOWED BY A BIG BLUR OF A  DAY. We were advised several times during the event to stand next to each other in a corner, holding hands (I added that part ;)) and quietly observe what our love had attracted and what our planning had created. It was soooooooo incredibly satisfying to SEE, HEAR, FEEL the people we love around us laughing, eating, dancing, drinking, talking, dancing some more. Smiles were the outfit of the day and everyone wore them effortlessly. 🙂 These two tips made our whole day EXTRA special because it allowed us to truly GET BACK TO BASICS, to get back to what is REALLY important, to the things that MAKE or BLUR a life.

In raising children two of the complaints most of us have are that they grow up so fast and that we are so busy. If you apply these two simple rules to how you raise your children they will act like a major luxurious grounding of your life! Let’s take the one about pulling away from your day and simply observing. The cool thing about this one is that you can do it alone or invite your kids to join you so that they can learn this amazing tool for how to enjoy your day.

Yesterday I was talking to a very old friend of mine, Albert, who said he used to sometimes just go across the street from his house and look at his kids playing in the yard and the house and his cars and give himself the room to say, “WOW! I’m a lucky man!” It is moments like that MAKE A LIFE! Take time a few times each day to PULL BACK and TAKE IT IN! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! MMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmm! 🙂

The second part has to do with “BEING” BUSY. There really is NO “BEING” BUSY, it’s more like “DOING” BUSY because BUSY is a sign that you are out of alignment. Note that FULL and BUSY are not the same thing, although people lump them together. For example, which would you rather have, a FULL LIFE or a BUSY one? Well, if you are IN a lot of pain and have not realized that you can actually CHOOSE to let that go and MOVE THROUGH it then you might answer BUSY, but otherwise FULL means JUST ENOUGH. BUSY, means so much that it’s OVERFLOWING. Red wine can be delicious but overfill that elegant wine glass of yours and those stains on your favorite pants help us brilliantly demonstrates this point, dontchathink? 😉

The point of the second point, (the point of the point ;)) is the same thing as the wedding advice. Your life can be a PRODUCTION where you try to cram all the things you SHOULD be doing, living your life comparing yourself to others and not checking in with YOU!  Some people call it “keepin’ up with the Joneses”. How is that workin’ for ya???? Huh???? Huh???? Don’t worry. It’s not working for anyone else either. Some of us can just FAKE IT better than others! 😉 TRUE DAT!!!! :)!!! That is one choice. The other choice is to CHOOSE to make it MEAN + FULL = MEANINGFUL! The choice is yours.  We attract the life we think we deserve. I offer you the chance to give yourself the permission to be open and actually CHOOSE a better life! By “better” I mean one in which YOU live according to what brings YOU JOY, as compared to NO ONE ELSE!

Take that in for a loooooooong moment. How does that feel to you? The answers to this will help you shift your life into a more meaningful one. 🙂 My work here today is done!!! 🙂

GREAT BIG HUGS,

Mariaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

🙂

PS As some of you know, I’m on an incredible journey following my life’s mission and passion, being the FIRE THAT IGNITES PEOPLES’ SOULS. Oprah is starting a new network and she has put out a contest to find a talkshow host. My Show Idea is called THE MARIA SHOW. I ask you to please go here :), see my video 🙂 and vote for me as many times as you can :)… http://myown.oprah.com/audition/index.html?request=video_details&response_id=13674&promo_id=1

Also a really cool article was written about this journey yesterday. If you want to check it out here it is….

http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/news/x2071995078/Holliston-mom-hopes-to-join-Oprahs-network

You can help me on my quest by:

1. VOTE for THE MARIA SHOW (as many times as you can each day until July 3)

2. SHARE with family and friends. One ButterflyMom, Rebecca, is even hosting a Wine and Click Party in honor of the cause where moms bring their laptops and vote! Sooo cool! Use your creativity. THANKS REBECCA!!!

3. POST on your FB, website, Twitter, MySpace, blog,…..

Here is the link again: http://myown.oprah.com/audition/index.html?request=video_details&response_id=13674&promo_id=1

I hope you come play with the other BUTTERFLYMOMS and ME!!!! THANK YOU SOOOOOOOOO MUCH!

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU HIT THE “BUMPIES”…

My Sleeping Beauty

Hello Beautiful ButterflyMoms!!!

I LOVE TALKING TO YOU EVERY DAY! Thanks for showing up my dears! It means a whole lot! Here’s today’s blog. Hope you LOVE it!

When we were growing up our parents had a lot of respite (time away from their kids). Once we got home from school everyone pretty much went outside and played until it was dark outside. The street lights coming on is a childhood symbol of many people which meant that it’s time to go home – where you will wash your hands and sit down to dinner. Those are happy memories for most of us. We got to play with our friends, hang out outside and move our bodies.

Now, with the FEAR of “WHAT IFs ” that has prevailed this generation most children don’t have that same experience. Instead, as you all well know, it’s the AGE OF THE  PLAYDATE! Many moms have their own calendars and one for the kids. Social pressures tend to push people to fill their children’s lives chock full of interestingly named classes. All this fueled by the fear that if we don’t, our child will somehow be left behind. 🙁 Add to that pressure the feeling that it seems like everyone is doing it. The FEAR VOICES flood our heads. We feel a tightness in our chest, jaw, and stomach when we think of our kids in pain. So even though we are exhausted and/or cash-limited, we find a way to add “just one more” thing to the kid calendar, in the hopes that this will be the thing that will make his/her life that much better.

A fact that is hardly ever discussed or observed by our society is that if you are raising children in America you have absolutely NO support unless you have family/friends around who can help you, or cold hard cash. This puts many moms into very challenging positions. If you find yourself in this position, step back and check in with yourself. Activate your “HOW DOES THAT FEEL? button” and your “WHAT GIFT DOES THIS COME TO TEACH ME? button. Remember to access your breath to help you connect. You will start getting INTUITION HITS. They will be “vewy”, “vewy” quiet at first. Nurture them. Give them breath. Believe in them. They will grow louder and stronger and over time it will be easier (and FUNNER-ER ;)) to hear!!!

Be kind to yourself. Being a parent is an incredible journey! If you don’t give yourself the space to BE and LISTEN and NAP, you are going to hit the BUMPS! REPEAT AFTER ME…WHEN I HIT THE “BUMPIES” I will immediately take a nap OR at the very least start using my breath again. BREATHE BABY BREATHE!!!!

Go out there and have an absolutely delicious day! I MEAN IT! Your day is a complete reflection of the thoughts you are sending out! Remember that!

Great big hugs,
Mariaaaaaaaaaaaaa

🙂

PS I’m filming my three minute audition for the talk show competition for the Oprah Winfrey Network. This is different from what they called me about but my goal is strong and I am taking all roads I can to get to MY promised land! I have a dream! I hope it inspires you to follow yours! The world would be a MUCH better place if you did.

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