If we are peaceful, if we are happy, we can smile and blossom like a flower, and everyone in our family, our entire society, will benefit from our peace.
— Thich Nhat Hanh

My daughter has a tendency to argue.

I mean, really argue. About everything. It started when she was three.

If I’m not careful, I could end up in an argument every couple of hours.

I’m an Abundant Mama. I know better. I trust myself. I trust my skills as a mother to know that some battles just aren’t worth fighting.

In the beginning, I didn’t always know that. I didn’t always take the higher road. I thought I needed to change her. I needed to change her behavior. I needed to change the outcomes, the mood, the tension.

And then I realized that I could read all the magazine articles in the world with all the tips in the world and even once her behavior changed, another challenge would pop up. It was a vicious cycle of chasing happiness.

Being a peaceful, abundant and grateful mama takes a different mindset.

That’s what the Abundant Mama Project is about … practicing so many levels of Modern Motherhood with a grateful heart.  Finding new ways to appreciate the tiny moments in our day. Beginning to trust ourselves. Learning to let go. Discovering how good it feels to care for ourselves so we can care for our children and help them thrive. And, of course, creating  a daily gratitude practice that leaves you feeling at peace and full of hope over the way things are — even the brutal life moments that leave you scared or full of despair.

But, you’ll hear enough of my stories in the Project itself. I want you to hear this amazing story below from another real life Abundant Mama — and a new member of my brand new Peace Circle that I’ll be telling you about very soon.

Below is a glimpse at the story Hillary has written about being an Abundant Mama, which Abundant Mama alumni affectionately nicknamed AMP.


My Abundant Mama (AMP) Experience: Hillary Houseman

I thought I was searching for tools on how to better handle my daughters’ tantrums, how not to let their misbehavior ruin my day, how to turn the grumpies around, how to be more playful with them, how not to feel so stuck in a routine, how not to feel so uninspired and stressed.  I had glimpses of the most genuinely wonderful moments with my family, and I wanted to make those happen more often.I was looking for someone to tell me, “You need to do this and that and that and this … and there you have it”.

What I learned through the AMP (x2!) is that rather than searching outward for those answers, I needed to look inward.  Not with discern, not with criticism, but with love and compassion for myself.  I first learned some basics on how to take better care of myself; I found myself more aware of my own reactions  to my life; I learned how to incorporate gratitude in my day.

Without knowing I needed to accept all of me, strong and weak, I found myself in the AMP, giving myself a hug.

Shawn’s gentle guidance, her encouragement, her ability to be real yet wise at the same time, her mindfulness, her natural ability to lead mothers to their own place of peace is truly a gift that she gives, creatively, via the AMP.

I have been able to see with more clarity my weaknesses as a human that translate to weakness as a Mom, and I have seen progress in how I choose to handle those situations as they are presented to me.

Hillary Houseman lives in California with her husband and two daughters ages 3 and 4.  She craves truth, genuine moments, balance and coffee.  She created her blog in hopes that other moms might find comfort in her honest journey through motherhood as she relishes the good and learns from the rest. She blogs at Pinecones and Pineapples. 


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