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Mala Stories: Tiff Delancy on Presence

The Mala Stories highlight women that use motherhood as a catalyst for personal growth, strength, and connection. Showing that Motherhood isn’t something that robs you of your time and identity, but rather is something that brings to the surface a deeper connection to yourself, your community and the universe. That motherhood can be a time when you shed your insecurities, and self-doubt to step fully into the woman you are meant to be.

Today we are so excited to share Tiff's story. Tiff is a mother of 3 and a birth doula. You can follow all of her adventures on Instagram! Put the kettle on, your feet up, and enjoy!

 Every day as I get dressed, the last thing I place on my body (besides a baby on my hip) is my Mama Mala. 

Depending on how I feel and which mala I choose, with a deep breath in I take a moment to receive the healing energy of the mala and set an intention for my day. 
Throughout the day, each time that I feel that stone in my hand it reminds me to breathe deep and brings me a sense of peace and calm. This beautiful piece of intentional jewelry signifies that we have a choice in every moment. We may choose how we perceive and react to our surroundings. 


These malas, to me, symbolize the idea that every action and all the energy that we put out into the world, no matter how little it may be, will cause a ripple effect. And we have the power to choose if that will be positive or negative to our world. 
In a sense, we are literally creating our own reality. 
These malas are my constant anchor; bringing me mindfulness, awareness and accountability. 

It is through these little conscious efforts of love and light that we may bring more positivity to our own life, and the lives of others. That light will spread and spread, healing the hearts of all until it ultimately leads to the healing of our planet, and universal peace. 
I truly believe this with all of my heart. "In a gentle way,
you can shake the world."

 

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Using Mindful Accessories to be more present, patient and intentional with the ones you love.

My Motherhood: Dalea Faulkner

For the My Motherhood series, we ask different women the same series questions about mindfulness and motherhood to see what works for other women, but also to show how even though we may be different, we are all in this together.

I'm so excited to be featuring Dalea Faulkner on the blog today. She is a Wellness Advocate, Certified Crystal Reader, Leadership Coach, Wife, Mother, and creator of her brand That Crazy Oil Lady. Follow her on Instagram to see all the great ways you can incorporate essential oils in your life! 

What does your perfect day look like?

My perfect day starts with a quiet morning ritual. I stay in bed and read and journal before my son and husband wake up. I also love to go into another room for a beautiful meditation session. I make it very intentional, by wearing my mala, putting essential oils into my diffuser and wearing earbuds. This also helps if my little man wakes up! I’ll make myself a hot cup of something, be it coffee or tea. More often than not, I will smudge our home with sage and palo santo in the morning, which feels so calming and freeing. Spending time with family is also part of my perfect day. Going on a nature walk, having an impromptu dance party, or baking up something tasty in the kitchen… are all some of my favorite family activities. I love what I do and work from home, so believe it or not, part of my perfect day does include a little bit of work! Whether I’m connecting with other mamas to support their health and wellness goals, or I’m writing… it’s one of the big things that fills up my cup!

 

Do you have any daily rituals you use to center yourself?

 

Oh yes! I feel like it is one of the most important gifts I have given myself the last few years. I tend to be super high energy and need to get into a calmer head space to “function” on a higher level. My morning routine is very much the same every day, and I switch it up depending on how I’m feeling that day. Maybe I throw in a yoga flow or some buti yoga after meditating. I also love to take a relaxing crystal bath regularly. Usually I do this in the evening. I add the crystals I am feeling most called to use to my bath water, epsom salt, and the essential oils that are calling me as well. I step out of the water feeling like a brand new woman! The rest of my evening routine is much like the morning, a meditation session, some journaling and a little bit of reading. My husband is the bedtime guru, so I do this as he is tucking in our little boy. I also feel like my son’s bedtime routine is part of mine, since I oil him up and get his diffuser going for the night.

 

How do you make time for the different facets of your life?

 

This was a total learning curve, and to be honest I still am working on getting this to be more balanced. I have struggled with perfectionist tendencies my whole life, so I think that sometimes this can be an asset. In the past, I have let this overwhelm me because I would load up my to-do list, and not really give importance to specific tasks (in my mind, they were all equally important). Once I let go of that, I was able to identify what things were most important to me, and help me avoid burning out. It definitely helps to divvy up the household tasks with my husband, but even still there are tasks he is limited in with his injuries (he’s a disabled Army Veteran). I do use a planner, and in it I put everything… household tasks, homeschooling, my oil business, any writing I need to do, catching up with friends, sending an email… it all goes in there. Now, it might not all get done on the designated day, but it helps to keep me on track with my goals and intentions.  I do feel like this has helped me to create even more time that I need to do the things that I love and that are truly important. Even now, I find myself finding more time to spend sitting down to watch a movie with my husband, or play on the floor with my son. Keeping my morning and evening rituals have been a super help in this area too, because I don’t walk through my day feeling like I was neglecting myself.

 

 

Do you have any special family rituals?

Not specifically. I would say that we often do large puzzles together, and go on walks. I did just start a fun activity with Daen (5, my son) that is all about the phases of the moon. We get to learn all about the different moons of the year and it is so much fun! I did mention dance parties earlier… those are so much fun! Daen will come and see me (usually while I’m working at the computer) and ask if we can do a dance party. I’ll save whatever I have been working on and turn on some tunes for about 10 minutes. It is such a welcome break, and a great reminder that we can always choose to stop what we are doing to experience more joy and be present in the moment with our families. 

 

What is the best advice you have ever given or received about motherhood?

 

Hmmm… I actually say this a lot, in so many areas of my life, but I definitely remind my mama friends about this often: “It doesn’t have to look a certain way”. My motherhood looks different than yours, and yours looks different than hers, and that is totally ok. Letting go of the idea that your home needs to be x while the child does y is just a recipe for disappointment, especially if you are comparing your outcome with that of a close friend. Don’t compare your motherhood to someone else’s, and remember that it doesn’t have to fit some specific mold or recipe. It doesn’t have to look a certain way.

 

 

What is your favourite part of motherhood?

Is it cliche of me to say the cuddles? Gosh I love feeling the love of my son. He is such a sparkly little empathic soul, and his cuddles are epic! I did love breastfeeding when we did that back in the day, and the closeness that came along with that. I also love knowing that I’m helping my son discover who he is by navigating the world. Maybe it’s intimidating some days, but it is always, always, the most important contribution I have ever given to this world. 

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Using Mindful Accessories to be more present, patient and intentional with the ones you love.

My Motherhood: Kelly Gulbrandsen

For the My Motherhood series, we ask different women the same series questions about mindfulness and motherhood to see what works for other women, but also to show how even though we may be different, we are all in this together.

I'm thrilled to have Kelly featured on the blog today. She is the owner of Poppies Pilates, mama of three and an inspiration to many (us included!) on Instagram and Youtube. Follow along with her on her fitness journey! 

What does your perfect day look like?

A perfect day to me is waking up after 6am! Coming downstairs, cooking breakfast as a family. Then staying in our pjs snuggling watching a movie. Perhaps a family walk after that!

Do you have any daily rituals you use to center yourself?

I try to workout or move at least once a day.  This really helps me stay as calm and relaxed as I can.  I also enjoy a cup of tea every night.

How do you make time for the different facets of your life?

Sometimes its hard, but I am a very organized person. Being a pilates instructor and trainer, my life is on an hour to hour basis. This has same mentality has poured over into my day to day life as well.  My kids love organization so we work together planning everything this way. It's truly all about planning!

Do you have any special family rituals?

We eat big breakfasts together as a family every Saturday and Sunday.  It's our time to catch up.  We also ask each other every day our highs, lows, and laughter of the day.

 

 

What is the best advice you've ever given or received about motherhood?

Try to not say "no" as often as possible.  Listen to your children as if they were adults.  When talking to them, get down to their level so you see one another eye to eye, and show them the same respect they show you.

 

What is your favourite part of motherhood?

My absolute favourite part of motherhood is when my children look at me and tell me they love me.  It warms my heart every time to know these little beings love me, they love all of me.  Even when I have a bad day, they still tell me they love me. Also, I get to hang with my best friends every single day!

 

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Using Mindful Accessories to be more present, patient and intentional with the ones you love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Motherhood: Lauren Matthies

For the My Motherhood series, we ask different women the same series questions about mindfulness and motherhood to see what works for other women, but also to show how even though we may be different, we are all in this together.

I'm thrilled that Lauren is featured on the blog today. Lauren has her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy, but ended up changing paths to be a yoga instructor. She is a wife, mama of one little boy, with another boy on the way! She is the creator of the wonderful blog called Boon & Boys. Follow her on Instagram to see all her great yoga adventures! 

What does your perfect day look like?
Honestly my perfect day would consist of being with all the people I love most. I've always said that where I am and what I'm doing doesn't matter as long as I'm with the people I care about the most. Though, I will say that my perfect day would consist of my son sleeping better than he ever has, me not feeling any pain or fatigue, lots of good food and dessert (that is somehow magically really good for me too), and some pampering. Add that to a slow day spent loving on my family and I would be in heaven.
Do you have any daily rituals you use to center yourself?
I've never had one thing that I've done on a regular basis to center myself. I've meditated, kept a gratitude list, done yoga, and written in a journal, but nothing has stuck as something that I do daily without fail. Although it may not seem like a centering ritual in the traditional sense, one thing that centers me every night is watching TV with my husband. It gives us time together and is something I always look forward to at the end of a long day.
How do you make time for the different facets of your life?
I don't know that I excel at this. Becoming a mother upturned my life in ways I didn't imagine. My son wasn't a particularly easy child and my life shifted in many ways all at once. It hit me harder than I thought it would. I still don't know that I've found a good way to make time for myself in all the ways I need, but it's a journey and I'm getting there. I do know I don't want to miss anything. I have had to learn how to cherish the time I have with my husband even if it isn't just the two of us. I've found ways to workout while also playing with my son. I've been able to continue teaching yoga at least a little bit by bringing mommy and me yoga classes to studios near me. I've given myself permission to let my son play independently while I work on my book. It's a dance and sometimes I am more graceful than others, but part of life is learning as we go.
Do you have any special family rituals?
We are definitely creatures of habit. I always joke that if we ever needed an alibi it would be easy to remember where we were because we do the same things every weekend. Weekends are when we go out to eat. We've moved a lot (while my husband finished his doctoral program and then entered active duty as a Psychologist in the Air Force) and we always find our favourite restaurants in each place we live and then go to them religiously. We have attended story time at Barnes and Noble since my son was 4 months old and still do so to this day. 
I also bathed with my son from two months old until the beginning of this pregnancy. Even though I no longer take a bath with him, we have nightly ritual of brushing our teeth together as a family (accompanied by a silly song), bath time, and then family reading in bed. My son still nurses to sleep and sleeps with us every night. We didn't enter parenthood planning to bed share, but we chose that path based on my son's temperament and how we wanted to raise him. Now we love being able to watch him sleep every night and spending that extra time together as a family (even though I'm the one who ends up often sleeping at the bottom of the bed). 
What is the best advice you've ever given or received about motherhood?
I'm not sure it's advice as much as a sentiment that has stuck with me, but growing up my mom always said that it is much harder to be a good parent than a bad one.  I'll never forget that.  
What is your favourite part of motherhood?
This was by far the easiest question for me to answer. Without a doubt, my favourite part of motherhood is how deeply loved I am. Nothing beats holding my son at the end of the day as he sleeps nestled in my arms. No matter how long the day has been and no matter how many challenges we've had, I forget it all in those moments and want time to stand still. When he runs up to me and throws his arms around me like we've been apart for a lifetime, when he wants me over anyone else, when he defends me and tries to fix all my problems, and when he tells me he loves me, I know it's all worth it.

Sign up for your FREE Copy of the Mama Malas Guide to Mindfulness

Using Mindful Accessories to be more present, patient and intentional with the ones you love.

Using Your Mala Beads To Cultivate Gratitude

It can be so easy to be distracted and preoccupied by everything going on around us, especially in this age of cellphones and over stimulation. I will be the first to admit that I look at my phone too often and check my social media accounts more than I should around my kids. So what can we do to slow that down and grab a little perspective?

I love to have disconnected weekends. It’s a great way to appreciate each other as a family and find that quality time without the distractions of school, work, activities that need to be done during the week.

But for every day connection, I turn to my mala beads. My favorite time to meditate is at night once the kids have gone down. I often used to sit outside under the stars and in the silence and that’s where I found the most peace. Now that it’s winter I settle in by the fire, or my bed and I reflect on the day.

I start with all the “bad” things that happened. Did I yell, or get upset today, and was it the right way to go about it? Did I apologize to my kids after I got upset, and how can I handle it going forward? I find as mother’s we cultivate a lot of guilt, and we just have to reflect and meditate upon it and let it go. We can’t change what happened, but we can learn from it.

I spend a lot more time focusing on the good things that happened that day, and how incredibly lucky I am to have the life I do. Focusing on gratitude is the main intention. Throughout the day I touch my mala beads when I’m happy so that it gives my beads that energy. Later when I’m going through my mantra I can feel the positive energy already there.

It’s not easy to always feel gratitude. The days are long, the sleep is short and sometimes there just isn’t enough time to appreciate everything around us. Using your mala beads as a touchstone throughout the day is one way to start, and the days reflection is the best way to tie it all in. Whether you start your day off with the intention of gratitude, or end the day with the knowledge of gratitude, your mala beads will be with you.

 

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Using Mindful Accessories to be more present, patient and intentional with the ones you love.

My Motherhood: Mecoh Dixon

For the My Motherhood series, we ask different women the same series questions about mindfulness and motherhood to see what works for other women, but also to show how even though we may be different, we are all in this together.

Today I'm really excited to be featuring Mecoh Dixon on our My Motherhood blog. Mecoh is the woman behind an amazing blog that's for the free-spirited, modern, mindful women called Lionheart Mamas. Keep up with her on Facebook and Instagram!

What does your perfect day look like?

My perfect day starts early, alone, over a cup of coffee and podcast while my family sleeps. In the summer, you can find me in the early hours on the deck enjoying fresh air. When my family wakes, breakfast is a must and you can find my daughter on the counter helping prepare it. I would fill our day with some travel, exercise and creativity. We are always out and about exploring local neighbourhoods, road tripping or backpacking internationally. We love adventure and meeting new people. My husband Kevin and I both played college level sports (football and basketball), so we need to be moving. Creatively, we paint, write and read. As a family we’re trying our best to journey towards a lifestyle that is slow and simple. One day we’d like to be in a tiny house living abroad. That’d be the perfect day.

Do you have any daily rituals you use to center yourself?

Yes, my quiet time in the morning is essential to my self-care practice and allows me to center myself for the day, week, and season. Whether I find myself listening to a podcast, out for a walk, or practicing yoga, this time helps me align my energy and intentions. I also use the time to write affirmations and express gratitude –a daily journaling practice.

As a mother, I spend a significant amount of time nurturing and caring for others with my mind, body and soul. If I fail to stay centered and aware of my emotions and energy, I can be left depleted grasping for quiet and space. It is vital that I show up for myself through nurturing my creative and free spirit it allows me to be the best version of me for myself and family.

How do you make time for the different facets of your life?

Each day, with life’s ebbs and flows, I am learning what balance means to me, it changes with each season. I am a mother, a wife, I work full time, I am an aspiring entrepreneur, a traveler, a creative and a wannabe blogger. It would all be easy if I was one-dimensional. However, my priority is me, my marriage and my little family of three (plus puppy). In order to protect our magic, I’ve learnt to set boundaries and become okay with saying no. I have had to let go of people, commitments, and expectations that didn’t leave me feeling enriched and full of light. I find self-care time before my family wakes and after they’ve gone to bed. Creativity and exercise is easier when my family is involved. After work, I decompress and disconnect from work to be present with my family from 5-8:30pm when my daughter goes down. I don’t have it all figured out, but that’s the beauty of life. Some days are coffee fueled, while others require naps.

Do you have any special family rituals?

Yes, each day on our commute to daycare Xaria and I recite affirmations or power words. The statements include; I am kind and friendly, I love myself, I make a difference, I am smart and powerful. Also, Sundays are the one day we try our very best to stay disconnected from our phones. Lastly, evenings are always dedicated to us, even if one of us has a game we are all on the sidelines supporting one another.

What is the best advice you have ever given or received about motherhood?

The best motherhood advice I’ve ever received and give is to let it go and practice grace. Let go of the expectations of perfection. Let go of comparison. Let go of the negative self-talk. Let go of the mistakes. Each day we have an opportunity to live a life that ignites our spirit, to fuel our heart with love, and nourish our minds with grace and that’s exactly what we should be doing.

What is your favourite part of motherhood?

There is so much I love about motherhood; watching her sleep in my arms, her hugs after daycare, co-sleeping, “mama” in the morning, nursing, baby wearing/hip slinging, and brushing her hair. My favourite part of motherhood is learning alongside my daughter. As she grows into her personality I am learning how to connect, teach, discipline, and speak to her. She teaches me something every day about myself, life, and motherhood. Consistently she inspires me to view the world with an open heart. It’s beautiful to watch her explore lifes simple joys. Additionally, the motherhood community – online and offline, has claimed a powerful space in my life. The sisterhood that I found connecting with other women is irreplaceable and I’ve been called to share, build and cultivate it through Lionheart Mamas.

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Using Mindful Accessories to be more present, patient and intentional with the ones you love.

How To Choose The Perfect Set Of Mala Beads

One of the questions we get asked the most is how to know which set of mala beads are right for you. It can be so hard to choose, when deciding between stones that you love, descriptions that resonate, and a gut feeling for one that doesn’t seem like it should be right at all.  

Hopefully this guide will provide a bit of insight into how we choose our own mala beads, and how you can find the perfect match for where you are in your journey right now.

In order to choose your perfect mala, you must first see what intentions you are meaning to find, and what your journey needs. Are you looking to cultivate strength, security, happiness or more grounding? Keep those intentions in mind as you start browsing the mala beads.

As you look at the malas, read deeper into the meanings of the ones that catch your eye. Pay attention to any physical sensations you notice as you look at the stones and read the descriptions.  As you do this, there will be one mala that you keep coming back to and the answer will become clear.

But sometimes it’s not as clear cut and you will find yourself coming back to a mala that doesn’t seem to align with your goals and intentions. This is almost always the perfect mala for you. I find that our hearts know what we need before our head has time to catch up.  What we consider beautiful and are drawn to is influenced by the needs of our soul.

Once you have chosen your perfect set of mala beads, you will begin to carry your intentions and energy you set with you throughout the day. A quick recharge or a moment of mediation is right with you. It’s a wonderful daily reminder to take time for yourself, and honor your intentions and live in the moment  as you care for others.

Sometimes you will be drawn to more than one mala, and that is totally natural. We are multidimensional and have more than one intention, vision and path. Some days you may need more peace and calm, and others you may need strength or grounding to help you through the day.  

Photo Courtesy of @thissweetove

Whichever mala you choose, we hope you absolutely adore it and it brings you much joy.

Still having  trouble finding your perfect match? Send an email to hello@mamamalas.com. We would love to help!

 

Sign up for your FREE Copy of the Mama Malas Guide to Mindfulness

Using Mindful Accessories to be more present, patient and intentional with the ones you love.

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