Live by example – You’re doing it anyway.

As a parent – well, really, as a human, whether you have kids or not – you will find, in this life, that you’re always setting an example for others. Be those others your children, or fellow humans, your choices will have an impact.

I’ve often heard the term “lead by example”, but recently I find myself thinking a bit differently. I think the onus is on us to “live by example” – every choice we make has an effect on those around us, whether we recognize it or not. And chances are, if you have toddlers in your house, you’ve been forced to recognize this rather inconvenient truth (with apologies to Al Gore and Leo). Your choices are mirrored back to you everyday, from the words you use to the habits you’ve unconsciously sidled into.

Our twins are two now and have the uncanny ability to mimic our behaviours exactly. It’s like living with world class impressionists. And it’s made me more aware of the habits, behaviours, attitudes and beliefs that I’m passing onto my kids. That realization can hurt. The truth is, I haven’t always done things well. I haven’t always set a good example (unless, the reverse is true, and I have been establishing an excellent example of what NOT to do in life).

I have been a binge eater for years. I associate food with stress relief, which leads to overeating, which then leads to berating myself and making myself feel worse for having behaved badly in response to whatever stressor set me off this time… which, in turn, leads to more self-destructive behaviours. The cycle is vicious and can seem endless when you’re trapped inside it. It feels too hard to make a change. The reality is, you may not be happy in self-destruction mode, but there’s comfort to be found in the consistency and the complacency of your actions. At least, that’s been my experience. Recently, I’ve been making some significant changes for my own health. I want more for myself in this life. And I want more for my kids.

So, these days when I catch myself wanting to find comfort in all the wrong foods for all the wrong reasons, I stop and check in. What is this behaviour? Where did this thought come from? Is it going to serve me well in the choices I’ve made to make positive, lasting changes in my life? Is it going to help me be a living example of strength and good health for my kids?

If the answer is no, then it’s time to take a step back and ask myself if it’s truly worth it. One tasty cheezy poof is a slippery slope for me, simply because I can never stop at one. So, it makes sense to ask myself if I can handle the consequences for the one small step that unleashes an avalanche of bad behaviour.

Plus, they’re watching. They’re always watching. And taking notes, I swear. So I choose to live by example for my kids. I don’t always get it right. I am definitely a work in progress. But practice makes progress (so says the Happy Monster Band), and I believe I’m moving in the right direction.

With love and gratitude,
Karma

 

Just Ask

I love this article by Elizabeth Gilbert so much, I wanted to share it again in a place I won’t lose it! There is so much to be said for searching your heart, and asking for what you truly want. I’m not talking about the stuffology style ask, where we allow our inner consumerist to run rampant over our lives. This is the type of ask that gets right to the core of who you are and what you’re meant to do in this world. As Gilbert states:

…the mere act of saying aloud “This is who I am and what I’ve come for” seems to awaken a powerful force within.

Another way to say it is, when we ask the question, “How can I best serve?” we will be amazed at the response. Service can refer to a specific situation, a moment in time, or a life’s calling or vocation. Either way, this type of “ask” speaks to the heart of who we are.

But I digress. The gracious and eloquent Elizabeth Gilbert said it way better, here:

http://www.oprah.com/spirit/How-to-Be-Happier-Elizabeth-Gilbert

Accountability

One of the biggest reasons that the Beachbody Challenge appealed to me is that it offered accountability. I am accountable to myself and my partner, Les. I am accountable to my kids. I am accountable to my Team Beachbody Coach. I am accountable to the challenge group that I joined. And now that I’ve become a coach, I’m accountable to my team of coaches who are there to support and mentor me, and help me reach my goals. Continue reading

Karma Pratt Love, Light, Laundry blog

Transitions – My Messy, Beautiful

Everyone I know is going through some form of transition, myself included. Really, this is nothing new. We are constantly changing, moment by moment. The thing is, I’m starting to become more aware of the importance of transitions, of honouring those moments: where we are, where we came from, where we are heading.

Transition is defined as “the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another”. When we are in transit, we are moving, changing, shifting, growing. Ultimately, a series of small, continuous changes can lead to transformation and healing. I truly believe this is why we are all here slogging it out and sharing our life experiences. We journey together through difficulties, good times, gains, losses. When we make the effort to embrace each transition we create space for healing. Sometimes we struggle and that’s ok. Struggle is movement too, and it will take us down a path of healing, we just need to follow it where it leads us. Continue reading

Karma Pratt Twins 2014

The Phantom Hand

Yesterday I was looking at the photo of my sweet little kids (the one that adorns this blog), and realized that I had missed something important: the scary phantom hand that appears to be holding my son back… only slightly creepy, right? My first instinct was to Photoshop that hand out of the picture quicker than you could say, “Cap’n Jack Sparrow!” On reflection, though, I realized that would be doing us all a disservice. Continue reading

kindness in life

Why is it that we can be incredibly kind to the random stranger in the grocery line, but often struggle to be kind to ourselves? Our inner critics absolutely LIVE for the moments when they can jump all over us. Is there any way that we can bring our treatment of strangers and our treatment of our selves into alignment?

Now, I’m not advocating that we need to start getting mean with everyone we meet. Quite the opposite, in fact. I believe we need to start treating our own selves with the same respect and courtesy that we typically show to others. If we allow our inner critic to run rampant in our lives, we end up in situations like these: Continue reading