Michele Minehart

words & yoga

Category: great ideas (page 1 of 2)

Where’s Terri?

Terri saved me more than once already. We’ve been in our new/old town for just over a month, but the number of times I’ve left her office full of gratitude is greater than the number of times I’ve went to Walmart. (I think both Terri and I can all consider this an all-around success.)

The most recent occasion for my visit to Terri’s corner office was my upcoming mortgage payment. These new houses – well, they need paid for. Which required me knowing the amount of my monthly payment, along with finding a way to get money into and out of the checking account that would pay it. And if we could make all this happen in a way that repeated itself without so much effort, double word score. So I slumped into Terri’s office to admit I had indeed lost the passwords to make my online banking come alive AND I couldn’t find the payment books the bank had just sent. (Banking is hard. And so is moving.)

And then, she fixed it. Zim, zam, zoom, everything worked. I signed my name. She picked up the phone. Magically, all things banking-related worked again. How do real people do this? I wondered aloud.

How do real adults keep passwords and mortgages and school registrations and apply to see new doctors and salvage hearing aids left in the rain and read aloud to their children and potty train? And some of them – they even WORK. ALL YEAR ‘ROUND. How do they do this and not loose their ever-loving minds? 

It turns out that not just banking is hard. Or moving. Adulting, my friends, is terrible. Terrible! I’m not sure why this is a thing. Who decided we all needed to “become responsible” and “take care of ourselves” and “become productive members of society”? I’d like to talk to that person. I’d like to hire them to keep my calendar straight. And also, potty train the baby. This is going terribly as well.

Sometimes I look around and try to find the Terri’s of the rest of my life. Who around here is going to make this easier for me? People like Terri have spoiled me. Now I’m put off by people who aren’t trying to make my life easier. Like the woman at our former doctor’s office who wouldn’t let me email a form to the office but instead insisted I mail the hard copy with a stamp. (Add “buying stamps” to the list of hard things adults do. This task derails me every time.) And don’t tell me the office “doesn’t use email.” They do all their doctoring on ipads and laptops.

And where is The Terri at the school? If I suddenly go missing – after checking the laundry room – it would be best to look under the pile of 37 pink and green forms that the school requires. Per child. I could be buried alive. One person was so kind to point out that this is going to be my August activity for the next 14 years of my life. Times four. Can we please get a Terri in this office who will make things work electronically, so that all 62 people who need my cell phone number “in case of emergency” can simply pull it off the database?

I need a Terri everywhere. Someone who makes the day work just an eensy bit better. People who love their job, no matter what it is, enough – or so much – that it makes life better for others: these are my people. Like last week: I drove through Starbucks. The barista cheered for me when I made my selection. This. This needs to happen more. Cheers and helpfulness. Not forms and stamps.

Go, my friends. Be a Terri. Make some magic happen for someone. Make life a little better. Cheer, help and encourage.

(And just so you know that I practice what I preach, I just woke up my husband so HE could go be an adult. I didn’t even wake him with loud noises or a smack on the leg. We can do this, friends! We can be helpful to one another! And kind! It’s not as hard as we might think!)

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Now Hiring

I really only make 2 things in life: babies and ideas. They’re my best assets. I was basically raised to sit around and have ideas. In fact, I bet my first words were, “A guy ought to…” However, ideas  generally stay in my head or perhaps escape in a very excited voicemail and then are left to die with the wind. So sad. Good bye, genius idea!

On the off chance that I might ever get my brilliance to take the form of a physical representation in society, the first person I would hire with my newly minted millions is the gal who would make my next 15 ideas work. (Or at least a portion of them.)  Let’s face it, I would probably be Kristy. But she won’t want to move, so I will have to put out an ad on Craigslist. I swear, I could change the world if I could just find someone to make my ideas actually happen – to come up with the actual thing. Don’t worry, I’ll be a part of it. I’ll go on Shark Tank and defend it.

The entire prospect of finding me a Doer led me to ponder what else I might outsource with said millions. So I composed a brief list.

1. Personal Dresser. This has already been established.

2. Personal Assessorizor. Once I’m in the clothes I wear the same scarf or red necklace every day. Can someone please tell me what socks are acceptable for these flats?

3. Personal Gas Attendant. It takes no less than 962 buttons to buy a tank of gas. If you’re an Mperks member, add 14 more. This person doesn’t have to ride around with me or anything, just show up at the gas station at the appointed time so I don’t have to get out of my car.

4. Gardner. I know, a throwback to the 1960s. Or the 2000’s if you live in Genoa City with the Newmans. In either case, I love fresh veggies and despise weeding. JJ remarked again this summer that my participation in the care of the food patch has decreased exponentially every year. This year I couldn’t write it off to pregnancy or that I just gave birth, so he caught me.

5. Hearing aid battery replacer. I swear I’ve spent a good year of my life finding and replacing batteries for the things. The oldest is almost to the self-care point where he can be responsible, but every few weeks I’m reminded once again that “these don’t work!”

6. Personal Phone Call Maker. To the doctor. To the mechanic. To the hairdresser. (Scratch that! Ruby’s does online appointments! Also, it’s a Beauty Revolution. Go there, my friends.) The act of quieting my children and waiting patiently for someone to answer my questions requires more patience than I can muster sometimes.

7. Personal photographer and digital memory organizer. First, I don’t have pictures of my family because I never take them. And once I do, I put them in one of 132 places in my digital world. So if someone could just come and snap our finest memories and then put them in an easy-to-understand format, I would be so endeared. Actually, make sure you also monitor for Shutterfly coupons and print off some for free every time we get a coupon, and then put them into albums. (I actually asked for this for Christmas one year and was utterly disappointed when no albums were under the tree. And we only had 2 kids at that point. Making up for lost time would be a nightmare.)

So, what say you? What jobs will you outsource with your imaginary millions?

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Currently changing my life: Bedtime routine

Perhaps this post is a tad premature – we’re still in the early stages of creating this ritual. But my excitement for how our evenings have shifted is so great, I can hardly contain the words. Also, a strong sense that no one in this world does things exactly as I tell her gives me freedom to offer a jumping off point as opposed to the solution to change your entire life, forevermore. 

The Background

  1. I hate bedtimes. It’s my least favorite part of the day because I have the least amount of patience and they have the most energy to ignore what I say. Long before I read Glennon I referred to bedtime as a lifesize version of whack-a-mole , making the ordeal excruciatingly long. I know this is normal for all small children but it doesn’t decrease my frustration. I’ve added our foot and breath practice after all stories are read, teeth are brushed, potties are visited, blankies are found, drinks are drunk and prayers are prayed. I turn down the lights so afterwards I give a kiss, a hug and walk out the door.
  2. I’ve tried to become a tad better about using my DoTerra oils to enhance our health. This became an easy place to began to integrate oils, specifically OnGuard (feet) and lavender (forehead), in our routine.
  3. I recently shared how a shift in my own sleep has made a world of difference to me personally so I began to examine what would translate well for the children. One of these things is rubbing the head and feet – the body’s positive and negative poles – before bed to help release the day’s work.
  4. I appreciate the sentiment of taking “a few cleansing breaths” yet I’ve always lacked the practice. Because children’s imaginations tend to be stronger than our own, I decided to use the breath practice as an end to our day to help on multiple levels. For me, this becomes a spiritual practice as much as a physical one, a practice anticipate shifting and evolving as they and their understanding of the world and God grows through the years. We still say our prayers so our breaths are an active anticipation of God’s work in our lives.

The Foot Practice 

Most of the time, these are one-on-one moments, but at times of flying solo in the bedtime hour, we do the foot rubbing as a group and the breathing in individual rooms.

First, I lather my hands with a few drops of neutral oil (coconut will work) and just a drop of OnGuard. I rub each foot individually – I pull on their toes gently, rub my thumb on the top of the foot between each of the toes, rub all over the bottom with close attention to have a few long strokes down the inside of the sole, and I use my knuckles to rub from to to heel to give the entire foot stimulation. I end each foot with three light fingertip strokes, toes to heel. This takes only a few minutes, but my kids are very receptive.

Instead of telling you anything about reflexology and the benefits of rubbing your tootsies, I’ll let my brother-in-law Chad explain it. He’s got more education and training. I’m just telling you my kids love it.

I also use a drop of lavender on my thumbs and rub their foreheads, down the sides of their face and under their eyes – all around the sinus cavities. Because we’re all fighting off a massive amount of mucus, they found this very helpful, especially before bed, to help clear their breathing.

The Breath Practice

I chose 3 breaths because I love random rules and the numerology involved with Christian and Jewish prospective favors 3 and 7, but 7 seemed like a lot (for me, I will be doing this x4). So choose your number.

The first breath, I ask the kids to gather in the day. Reach down to the toes, out to the fingertips and up to the head and grab all the pieces of the day. All our words, all our thoughts, all our frustrations and fears. I tell them that as we take a deep breath in, we gather those together to make a ball in our center, and as we breathe out we imagine them leaving us. We envision the day leaving us like smoke coming out ears (H boy loves that imagery). Sometimes I ask if we need to do it again, just in case we missed any spots.

For the second breath, we breathe in God. We replace the day with God’s presence. I tell them that we breathe in God and as we breathe out, imagine God sitting down in our heart, living inside of us.

For the third breath, we breathe in Jesus. I know, a tad redundant theologically, but I wanted 3 and this started on the fly. So we breathe in Jesus and as we exhale we imagine him moving down to our feet, so he is present wherever we go the next day. We imagine him moving into our hands, to be a part of whatever work we do. We have him go up into our heads with our thoughts and what we see, hear and say tomorrow. We’re bringing Jesus into our days by visualizing his presence throughout our being.

One morning, after having added our breaths to bedtime, the beginnings of an argumentative ride to school was in the works. I nipped it by offering to do our breaths, which the children gleefully agreed. On this trip, we did God & Jesus in the same breath and for our third breath we breathed in kindness, asking it to infuse us. Then we talked about how if we’re filled with kindness we would be able to show it to other people. We talked about the ways in which we could be kind to others and I asked them to look for ways that morning to be kind. A really good mom would ask them on the way home how they did, but I have lackluster follow through skills.

I like the idea of expanding the practice to include a quality (in my mind, that would be the fruit of the Spirit) for the kids to look toward. Sometimes broad, sweeping generalities are tough for our little minds to grasp, but smaller chunks of familiar ideas are more digestible. So if you decide upon your own practice, you might use one of these qualities or intentions (as my yogis would say) to include.

My bedtime practices have not completely absolved me of bedtime frustrations. Someone inevitably bounce out of bed to ask something. Yet we all end the day in more peace – including me. They relax, knowing the sun has set on our day. It’s become a punctuation mark to symbolize that this is done and tomorrow we begin anew.

I hope it blesses your family in its own unique way.

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