Inspired Mama is written by a women who decided to reevaluate her life after a break down where she felt like she had lost who she was. Like a lot of women today, she was balancing a full time job with the responsibility of a mother, and the stress that society pushes on us to have the perfect life. It becomes a constant struggle between your job, time, energy, and stress. For the her own health and that of her family, she decided it was time for a change. Instead of following what she was suppose to do, she decides to make her own path and follow what made her happy and free. She calls it intentional living.
This book was provided to me by TCK Publishing. I was excited by the chance to read this book, and hear what she had to say. What I liked the most about Inspired Mama was her honesty. Sez Kristiansen spoke about loosing who she was when she had her first had her child. When she made this realization, it was a point in time when she was giving everything to her child, and it was this moment in her life that gave her the strength to reclaim her free spirit, and began to live the life she wanted and was designed by her own desires. This book is her way to help other mothers do the same thing, and live with freedom. The book is full of her real life experiences and stories, which help to inspire you and help you believe that you can follow the same path as her to improve your life.
In the first part of the book, Sez identifies some of the skills we already have and how we can use them to live our best life. The first thing we need to use is our wisdom. To break our bad habits we need to use our knowledge combined with action. The next thing we can use is what she calls our higher self. This includes our thoughts. This part I agreed with and found very true. Our thoughts have power, and we have the ability to change them. What ever story you are telling yourself, that you are introverted, cautious, or pessimistic, those thoughts don’t define you, but they do shape your world. So we need to be very conscious of what we are telling ourselves.
Actions to take that will Free you Mind
The next portion of Inspired Mama provides you with inspired actions you can do to tune into your thoughts, emotions, and actions. I like how this chapter was divided into days, where each day you can take a new action to learn about you inner self. These were some of the actions I am tying.
- Journaling- Fill your journal with thoughts, positive memories, mediation, dreams and gratitude. It allows you to look back and see themes clearly, which provides you with self awareness.
- Detachment – This step is about learning to step back and not allow negative thoughts and emotions control us. Instead we should calmly acknowledge how we feel, and respond accordingly, without reacting.
- Meditating – I try to meditate before bed to calm my mind for sleep. She suggests that only 10 mins a day can help. She provides step by step exercise for your mind in this book.
- Mindfulness – I find this advice in many parenting books. It is about living in the moment, and making sure we are truly present and not distracted. This is really important when interacting with out children, but can be used in many aspects of our lives.
- Be Compassionate – Preform small acts of kindness. Smile at strangers on the street.
- Exercise – Moving you body creates a feel good vibes (endorphins), and improves your self esteem, and can help with anxiety and depression.
- Spend time in Nature – Everyday I make my family go outside for a walk, and on weekends we take a long walk to a park to spend time in nature.
- Build a Community – Join a community of mothers. They call help you discuss things like postpartum depression and other parts of motherhood.
- Develop a Morning Routine – Start the day in a relaxing state, getting up before everyone else if necessary. Remind yourself to stay grounded, meditate, stay and in the moment
- Listen to your Heart – Develop your intuition, listen to your inner self and do what you feel is right. The following can help: Meditation, Mindfulness, and positive inner dialogue
The secret to happiness is freedom, the secret to freedom is courage.Inspired Mama by Sez Kristiansen
How to Build Your Best Life
The second part of Inspired Mama was about building a life that aligns with your “rules, values, and unique blueprint”. Letting go of others expectations on how you should be living can be hard. It may involve some difficult decisions like dropping a friend whose relationship has become toxic.
Here are a few of the steps she suggests you use to discover your ideal life.
- How would you describe your best life? What emotional words would you use to describe this life, free, confident, ease? Once you identify your best life look at your current life and find what emotions are missing. Try to find ways to include these. In parallel, what actions are you doing that do not fit with your core emotions. Learn to let these go, they may be people, situations or activities.
- Write Down your Goals, and also what is stopping you from attaining them. Once your barriers are identified find what needs to change that can remove that barrier. Or if you cant remove it you must learn to accept it, and rework your goals with this in mind.
You Deserve Financial Freedom
What I found very surprising was Sez Kristiansens’ opinion on money. She wants you to seek financial opportunities, and admit that a lack of money causes pain, and abundance a certain amount of pleasure. She wants us to let go of any phrases that we were taught like “money is the root of all evil” or ” too much money will make you unhappy”, “Too much money will make you greedy” or “Money doesn’t grow on trees”. Instead we need to realize that money is just energy, and what you attract depends on your mindset. We need to change our phrases to more constructive ones like “There is plenty of money in the world and I deserve a portion of it”, “My dreams are worthy” and “Money will give me freedom that I can share with others.” And once you change you mindset about money, remember to feel gratitude for what you have, and to give to others without expecting to receive.
- Try to earn your own money. Start a business. Find your passion, if you have an idea that is unique, makes life easier, or specialized then there might be someone willing to invest in you.
- Learn a new skill
- Spend less money, or downsize to open more opportunities, and expand your freedom.
- Create a plan that will lead to earning more money
What is YOUR Purpose
She admits that motherhood transformed her life in a good way, but it didn’t satisfy her need for personal growth, connection and individualism. I agree with this a lot, and feel the same way. Historically this is something a women isn’t suppose to admit. Society can teach us that motherhood is the ultimate destination, and everyone should be satisfied with the life of a homemaker, and your only job is to care for your kids. But that shouldn’t mean you have to sacrifice yourself. Parents give up on dreams because it isn’t the right time for their kids, or stay somewhere because they don’t want to move them. We suppress our own desires for the benefit of creating stability for them. You may think its the right thing to do, but ultimately she thinks we are teaching our children to sacrifice themselves for others. How can you properly support your children when you are unhappy and crumbling on the inside? She is not saying your should give up motherhood to follow your dreams. She is saying find a way to do both. And don’t feel guilty about putting yourself first sometimes.
Create a High Vibrational Life
I love everything she teaches in Inspired Mama, and I think every women should take some of her advice whether they are a parent or not. I sometimes found her phrases distracting. When she uses terms such as “high vibrational” living/lifestyle. I understand what she is saying, about making sure we consume positive influences, think positive thoughts, and treat our bodies with respect. I just feel it sounds abstract, and not based on science, fact, or concrete evidence when it is described in that manner. I don’t think anything she said is wrong. I also believe that how we think, act, and feel, has an effect on our lives. And that the health of our mind, body and soul is powerful to living a joyful life.
So even with my uncertainty with her wording, I took her advice here seriously. Even if you don’t believe in the energetic abundance of the universe her advice will still help you live a positive life.
- Take care of your home – It should feel inviting, and a place you can relax and replenish. Your home should inspire you and uplift you. De-clutter your house and keep a minimalist home. Only keep things of quality and purpose, or meaning. Keep your house clean. Bring natural light into your home.
- Be aware of the media you consume – how does it affect you, make you feel? Does it distort reality, normalizing something that isn’t true, real or positive.
- “Surround Yourself with people who are humble about the successes, passionate about their self-improvement and driven by their future”
- Eat better and cleaner food – Fresh, locally sourced, seasonal foods. Personally we subscribe to a meal box, that provides us with all the ingredients for our dinners, sourced from local farms. It costs a little more, but because of it we eat more vegetables, and less packaged processed foods.
- Be conscious of what you put on your skin. (make-up, lotions, shampoo and moisturizer)
- Watch you spending – Make thoughtful choices when shopping
- Find a hobby or creative outlet. Something that brings you passion.
Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
In the final part of Inspired Mama, she describes the benefits of stepping out of your comfort zone. Sez uses her own story of how she went from feeling “lost” while travelling the world searching for something unknown, to finding adventure in her everyday life with her family. To do this we need to be comfortable with embracing change, and move out of our comfort zone, the place were we live on routine with minimal stress and anxiety. There are easy ways to do this, and she list many examples. These are a few was to embrace your #wonderlust.
- Take a different route to work
- Go on a holiday. Escape your home and work environment and let inspiration come.
- Explore your neighborhood
- Sign up for a local paper that promotes events in your city
- Plan trips together by watching National Geographic, buying travel guides, then posting ideas on a vision board.
- Go camping
- Go to Museums on free-entrance days
All these new experiences will help bond your family. Keep adventure in your vacations and avoid all-inclusive resorts, and instead find cabins, tree houses, something unconventional and a tech free way to spend time together.
Inspired Mama by Sez Kristiansen was inspirational, and taught me that you can have children and still lead an exciting life. Leading the life that inspires you, teaches your children to take care of themselves and put their happiness first when they are adults. Teach them that “to be human is to be free, present and compassionate.”
Follow this link to Sez Kristiansen’s website. Along with this book she is also a poet. Her website features articles for about parenting, travel, self-care, and more. If you are interested in journaling she has lots on her site that can help you.