I’ve already got that second kid syndrome!

Breastfeeding in public often creates quite a stir, despite being one of the most natural and necessary processes on the planet.  Unfortunately, many women don’t feel comfortable whipping out the boob in a crowded setting due to social stigmas, so babies suffer being covered or hidden (my daughter snatches off anything covering her face while eating), and mamas have to excuse themselves from otherwise exciting situations anytime baby must eat.  Fact: we all know what’s happening under that dang blanket!  Choosing to feed in privacy is a personal choice (that I often enjoy), but I also believe it shouldn’t be mandatory just to make other people comfortable.  It’s even illegal in some states to breastfeed in public…What the hay-ll??

This Luvs commercial is spot on from a mother’s perspective, a baby’s, a siblings, and from many others’…especially a waiter of the male persuasion LOL!



Meditation Redefined: Dropping Your Assumptions

Whatever you believe, whatever you do, the truth is, we can all use an opportunity to quiet the mind…



Original Post found at Tiny Buddha

How to Meditate at Any Time Without Meditating  

A Meditation at Morro Rock

Editor’s Note: This is a contribution by Amanda Cook

“If we are not fully ourselves, truly in the present moment, we miss everything.” ~Thich Nhat Hanh

Flour. Salt. Water. Yeast. As I push the warm, soft dough against my palm, I feel the cold stone countertop underneath. I feel my hips leaning up against the cabinets. I hear my breath inside my head.

As I knead the dough, it changes. The dough becomes more elastic and flexible, ready to rise and be baked into a crusty loaf.

As I make bread, I change. My thoughts go quiet. I come into the now.

I have struggled with an inconsistent meditation practice for months. In those moments when I successfully meditate and clear my mind, I feel such a sense of accomplishment and peace.

But as any beginning meditator knows, those moments are few and far between.

Usually, my scattered mind is split between keeping track of the time, trying to quiet the voice in my head, and chastizing my body for fidgeting. 

I struggled and pushed myself to meditate properly with little success, until I realized that any act can be a meditation.

I discovered this fundamental insight through books by Eckhart Tolle and Thich Nhat Hanh. It is not so important to sit with a perfectly erect spine for 20 minutes per day in meditative bliss. What is important is to be here, in the now. Living your life. Noticing what is. Noticing life.

So often throughout our days we are lost in our thoughts. We may be on the train or in the shower, but in our heads we are already giving that important presentation, having the difficult conversation, worrying about and planning for what might happen next.

If you step back and think about it, this is a strange way to live. With all of this planning, worrying, and thinkingwe’re missing out on our lives.

I came to this realization a few years ago when I moved to Paris, France. I had been living the overachieving, type-A personality lifestyle in the United States my entire life.

It’s a common cycle. Working hard in school to get into a good university, then landing a “good job” and working to get promoted, all the while trying to upgrade my belogings to match my desired lifestyle: a bigger apartment, a new car, high thread count sheets, and gourmet kitchen appliances.

My whole life was geared toward reaching some undefined point where I would have “made it,” so I could then take a well deserved vacation.

Then, I moved to Paris.

Suddenly, everything I knew about status and lifestyle was irrelevant. Instead of talking about work all the time, my new French friends talked about hobbies, food, books, vacations, movies—anything except work.

I met people who really enjoyed their lives on a daily basis. Spending time with friends. Savoring delicious lunches. Continuing their artistic pursuits on the side of their career. Hiking in the mountains on weekends and reconnecting with nature.

Moving overseas made me realize that my life isn’t going to start at some undefined point in the future. My constant planning, thinking, and obsessing was making me miss out on my life! I suddenly realized that my life was happening right now, in this very moment.

By living in our heads, we’re missing opportunities to connect with our family. Opportunities to feel the pleasure of sunshine on our face while standing at the bus stop. Opportunities to feel our creative energy spark when we watch a child playing. Opportunities to be in nature, even for just a few minutes, and find our footing again.

Slowly, over the past few years, I have been working on showing up to my life on a daily basis. Trying to live in the present moment. Trying to really be here, now.

So now I have a new meditation practice. I make our weekly loaf of bread by hand.

It doesn’t take that long, once you know the technique. But it’s such grounding, salt-of-the-earth, staff-of-life stuff.

Making bread by hand connects me with the generations before and after who have done this daily practice. I take it slowly. Measuring the flour, salt and yeast. Then slowly pouring in warm water to form a dough. Then the fun part—digging in with my hands. Kneading bread is an almost childlike pleasure because it’s so tactile.

When I make bread, I am reminded of the simple pleasures in life. I’m reminded of the importance of health and nourishing our bodies. I re-discover, week after week, the miracle of transformation. The miracle of basic ingredients becoming something so pleasurable, delicious and a cornerstone of our diet.

Perhaps bread baking isn’t your thing. But you can turn any daily activity into a meditation practice: washing the dishes, brushing your teeth, ironing your clothes.

5 tips to incorporate mindfulness into your daily routine:

1. Notice, don’t think.

Pretend you are a traveler or student encountering this activity for the very first time. Don’t judge, label, and think about what you’re doing. Just notice. Notice every detail with an open, beginner’s mind.

2. When in doubt, check your breathing.

If you feel your thoughts wandering from the present task, take a minute to hear and feel yourself breathe. Just paying attention to a few breaths will bring you back to the present moment.

3. You have 5 senses, use them.

Mindfulness means truly experiencing what is going on right now. This is more than just noticing what something looks like. What does it smell like? Feel it with your hands. What is the texture? Temperature? What do you hear?

4. Have a strategy to handle nagging thoughts.

Occasionally we all have thoughts that won’t go away—so you need a strategy for how to handle them. I like to have a notebook with me at all times to write any nagging to-dos, ideas or issues. If you write them down, your mind can relax because it knows you can go back to them later.

5. It is what it is.

You don’t need to analyze your mindfulness experience. Don’t worry about what it all means or if you’re being mindful enough. Just try to be mindful every day. Come more fully into the present moment. Let the experience be what it is.

While this might not fit the ideal of a perfect, solitary meditation practice, it works for me. It works because it gets me to the right place—the present moment.

Every week when I make bread, I re-discover that by mixing, kneading and baking, I am able to come more fully into the present moment and really connect with life.  And isn’t that the purpose of a meditation practice in the first place?

Photo by ChuckThePhotographer.

My Beautiful Sisters,

I am writing to you with a desire to share some newfound wisdom.  It may or may not be the farthest thing from your mind at this current time, but as many of us are learning, there is no time like the PRESENT!  As women, one of our main functions is giving birth.  We give birth not only to babies, but to ideas and dreams.  We bring forth life full of meaning and purpose; we are blessed with a feminine energy that only we can emit, and yet many of us haven’t realized our full worth…

This blog, and the information, links, and videos it contains, serves as a starting point into the world of motherhood.  I have not yet birthed any children, but as I mentioned before, giving birth is not an action that only produces offspring.  My hope is that you will come to know the ‘journey of motherhood‘ as something that transpires throughout a lifetime, before and even after child-bearing years.  Our bodies are sacred, and we come purposefully equiped with instinct, intuition, and insight.  We are unique!  We were designed differently from men and the masculine energy with intention, and until we come to understand this, we will continue to struggle (without success) to be equal to our male counterpart.  This is futile on so many levels, and has nothing to do with gender roles or sex, but everything to do with spiritual awareness and existence of a higher energy and power abundant within all of us.   Regardless of your religious or non-religious beliefs, there is no denying the fact that women give birth and men don’t.

With that said, I’d love to share with you some of my findings, and engage in healthy dialogue around the topic of birth.  There is so much knowledge out there, and unfortunately since humans are creatures of habit, it is not often that we question what is traditionally seen as “right” or “normal”.  In earnst, there will be some topics that may ruffle your feathers, but this space is set-up for the transfer of positive energy.  Know that we are all coming from a good place.  You will not agree with everything shared, or what everyone says at all times, and that is fine!  My only guideline is that you stick around long enough to listen, and to be heard, keeping all comments peaceful and informative.  Words like weird have no place here, and rhetoric made in the spirit of hate or negativity will be removed.

I am excited for the opportunity to engage in discourse with my sisters!  When I look around this complex world we live in, I find myself both amazed and disheartened with what’s taking place.  We (sisters) don’t support each other like we should.  We are to quick to judge, compare, and compete against each other, instead of uplifting one another.  And at the same time, we are getting back to the basics.  Natural body care, healthy living, and a true desire for change.  This leaves me hopeful; we are not doomed if we reset our minds, and leave the societal programming behind.  We have a choice, and we have each other.  As for the men?  They will come and rise to the occassion of true Kingmanship once we act as Queens, and treat them as Kings.  There will be no elbow-bending necessary!  Contrary to popular belief, it starts with us.

Lastly, if you are inspired to share this information with others, by all means, please do!  If there is someone you think would benefit from taking part in the discussions, or if you have information you’d like to share, please let me know so I can post it as an entry.  For now, this information will also be available on Facebook (when available), since many of us still convene there.   However, with constant changes and updates being made to Facebook, I want to be sure that nothing is lost and copyrighted without our permission.

I hope that this blog becomes a place we can all come to depend on as a source of enlightenment and support.  When feminine energy unites, there is no limit to what we can birth!

In Love and Truth,


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