The crazy thing about Modern Mothers is that we want two really important — yet conflicting — things:
To have everything our way – and perfectly.
And, to have more time for ourselves.
And this is absolutely the critical standoff for the Modern Mother.
This mindset that we have to do everything ourselves, that we’re the only ones who can do certain things holds us back as women — as Abundant Mamas — from feeling a true sense of freedom.
Freedom to be easy going, laid back and all go-with-the-flow-like.
Freedom to find our groove in just about everything — feeling more balanced, feeling more joyful, feeling more free and playful, feeling more loving and simply being able to give more of ourselves to others more freely.
How Can We Get More Freedom?
Trusting others — and ourselves — can be super hard and letting go of control can have many layers of guilt wrapped up in it. Count me in on this very complicated issue that I’ve been tackling for more than 9 years.
- We want time to ourselves but we aren’t always willing to leave the family behind.
- We want to be alone but we want meaningful family time.
- We want to pursue our dreams but we aren’t sure we can sacrifice family time for them.
- We want to empower our kids but we are afraid of them getting hurt, making a mess or failing.
- We want our partners to do more but we criticize what they do and how they do it.
Our extremely high expectations of ourselves and others are often the real reason we can’t trust and let go so that we can just relax and enjoy life more.
But we can change this!
What’s amazing is that we can absolutely let go of the reins and take simple steps to relax, trust and be more playful in our daily lives.
When a mama emailed me this week to say she’s been talking to her therapist about how she can’t seem to relax and be playful — that she’s JUST SO SERIOUS all the time — I knew exactly where she needed to put her attention.
On her ability to trust herself and others.
In the four-week Abundant Mama Online Program we spend a whole week working on building, honing and strengthening our trusting and letting go muscles — and it’s ALWAYS the hardest week. It’s the week we feel the most resistance of all. And it’s often the one that many let slip over time if they don’t keep up their practice.
Because we don’t want to seem lazy — like we’re giving up on life. And we don’t want to let go of our big dreams, which sometime require serious brainpower. And we don’t want to let go completely because we like a smooth running life.
But trusting ourselves — and those around us — is not about being lazy and not getting things done — or even giving up on our lives. It’s the opposite, in fact.
It’s about knowing when we have to take action, or not. It’s about knowing when it’s OK to stop working and start playing. It’s about knowing when rest is more important than doing. It’s about realizing that play — and living — is important to us.
Once we start seeing that, yes, it feels really good to let others make decisions, try new things, succeed and fail on their own terms, we start to realize that, yes, we do have more control over our time than we thought.
And everything blooms and blossoms around us.
- The kids feel empowered.
- Your partner steps up more.
- You actually feel like you have less to do.
- Time expands and you are more at ease and less rushed.
So how do we begin to build trust?
Years ago, when I first realized I had a serious control issue, my first thought was all I need to do is just stop and let others take over.
It wasn’t that easy. It’s never that easy.
So I started in the smallest way possible — by asking myself a question each and every day:
What small worry can I let go of today?
The very first day, I gave my toddler daughters tubes of glitter and some glue and paper.
And then I walked away. Out of the room. I listened to their giggles from the kitchen. I delighted in their shrieks as I sipped my coffee from afar.
A mess was made. Piles of sparkly glitter lined our dining room floor. I breathed my way through the cleanup.
But, their sweet faces were lit up like shimmery rockets — and I had given up the worry of a mess for that one day.
That was it. I then became hooked on experimenting with building my Trust & Let Go practice. Just like like you have to meditate often to get better and meditation, many of us who want to trust more need to practice on a regular basis. It doesn’t just come naturally to everyone.
When We Empower Them, We Help Them Thrive
The glitter story continues to remind me of what it can feel like to empower my daughters so they thrive.
Once I got over one small obstacle of trust, the door swung wide open and I was able to start trusting myself more and my children more and my partner more. That trust led to this blog and business, a coaching practice and two children who know that they can pick up any art supply in our house and do something with it.
Today, I don’t make a move without tapping into my Trust & Let Go practice first and foremost. And when we’re off track as a family, I know it’s because somewhere along the way I started controlling things too much again.
Coaching other mothers to Trust & Let Go — and tap into their inner mother wisdom to know when they can and should stop worrying — is my highest power.
I love when I can show a mama through a hard patch in their life by trusting herself and highlighting the places where she’s stuck — and, more importantly, where she can move forward for progress. And it’s working! They are feeling more empowered as women and seeing the growth in their families lives. (You can read their love notes here.)
Being an Abundant Mama is about discovering these Modern Mother inner conflicts and moving beyond them so that we can feel abundance all around us — and part of that is being able to sit back, relax and just enjoy the ride once and a while — and let others handle the little (or big!) stuff for a little while!
What keeps you from trusting yourself or others more?
Rocks Photo Credit by Snow Lynn.