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self-transformation

katy allred on fox 21 news

A Terrible, Awful, Wonderful, Amazing Thing Happened

I got a tweet from Lauren Ferrara telling me she wanted me to speak about mindful parenting on the local evening news. A spot on the news is something I’ve been visualizing, even going so far as to start a media 1-pager I’d never found the time to pitch. Here was the opportunity I’d been hoping for, landing right in my lap!

You may be wondering, “So where’s the terrible, awful part?” As those of you who know me personally or have been following my blog for a while already know, I struggle with a fear of public speaking. I’ve been tackling this fear for almost a year now and still my initial reaction was that perhaps I should ignore her because I was afraid.

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I Have a Confession to Make…

Join me for the #mostlymindful10! | mostly mindful mommy

Last Wednesday I embarked on a trip to the Wisdom 2.0 Business conference, my first visit to NYC in over 12 years. The first time I’d be away from my daughter for more than a single night. My first mindfulness conference. Many firsts I faced alone, as I knew no one who would be there (but this didn’t matter for long).

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10 Reasons I Wish I’d Learned Meditation and Mindfulness as a Child

10 Reasons I Wish I’d Learned Meditation and Mindfulness as a Child | mostly mindfuil mommy1. BETTER SLEEP
As a child I’d lay awake at night for HOURS with my mind racing as I replayed the events of the day over and over and over. After learning my first simple relaxation meditation I gained the ability to quiet my mind and fall asleep within minutes no matter how crazy my day. Many children in my classes have the same complaint and are finding it easier thanks to breathing and relaxation meditations they can do themselves!

2. LESS STRESS
My parents never put pressure on me to excel in academics or sports, I took care of that for them. I was a born perfectionist and I’d agonize for endless hours over whether I was going to be valedictorian, maintain perfect attendance, or place in my next swim meet. I actually had welts and stomach problems as early as the 10th grade which my doctor attributed to stress. All these symptoms disappeared when I learned how to breathe and center myself when I felt overwhelmed. I teach breathing and grounding exercises tailored for children that ease their anxiety and overwhelm. By developing these habits early they’ll know what helps them during stressful teen years and into the pressures of adulthood.

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Be Happier Today By Asking Yourself These 3 Questions

Be Happier Today By Asking Yourself These 3 Questions | mostly mindful mommy

What if I told you that simply by asking yourself 3 questions each day, you’d be a happier person – would you want to know what those 3 questions were?

You don’t just have to take my word for it either. ACTUAL SCIENTISTS are now studying the science of happiness! In 1998 the field of Positive Psychology was born out of the realization that while we were spending lots of time researching how to fix our brains (understanding how to treat things like anxiety and depression to get us back to a baseline of normal) no one was researching how to enhance our brains – to improve from our baseline!

Here’s what they found – HAPPINESS IS A CHOICE.

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Not enough time in the day? Check again!

mindful-tasks

I used to be one of the most organized (read: inflexible) people you’d ever meet. Each and every item on my to-do list needed to be done each day. I’d stay up until all hours to the detriment of romantic relationships and friendships to complete my “responsibilities”. I couldn’t handle a single deviation to my routine. Happy hour after work? Can’t, sorry. I was already planning to go to the gym.

Thank goodness I let go of those neurotic habits out before becoming a mother. Or at least I thought I had.

One day just after I’d returned to work from maternity leave, I was lamenting to my husband about how little time I had to play with my daughter between picking her up from daycare and when she was falling asleep. He pointed out to me, quite diplomatically, that I spent my first 25 minutes in the house freezing my pumped breastmilk from the day, cleaning all the pump parts and bottles, labeling her empty bottles for daycare the next day.. you get the idea. Continue reading

The One Thing You Can Do That Will Transform Your Child’s Future

The One Thing You Can Do That Will Transform Your Child’s Future | mostly mindful mommyI was not a shy kid. I loved to dance, sing, and ask LOTS of questions – in front of anyone who would listen. Then one day my mom asked me to call and order pizza and I was suddenly terrified at the thought of speaking to the stranger who would be on the other end of the line.

I dialed, and immediately hung up. Mom made it clear that there would be no pizza if I didn’t order it, and I was able to make the call.

Later that week, it happened again. She asked me to take some birthday cake over to the neighbors, and I was afraid to. Afraid they wouldn’t want it. Afraid they would think I was dumb for bringing it over. I was 8 years old, and already beginning to fear rejection from others on a daily basis. She made me do it anyway (I left the cake on their front doorstep, rang the doorbell, and ran. But it counts!).

It wasn’t until I was in my first month on the job in corporate america that I fully appreciated what my mother had done for me. I spent my entire DAY emailing people I didn’t know, calling strangers on the phone, and delegating tasks in meetings to people I’d never met, yet none of it was the slightest bit uncomfortable for me. It was then that I realized: by giving me no choice but to face my fears my mother saved me years of social anxiety.

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How a Momentary Loss of Attention Almost Cost My Daughter Her Life

How a Momentary Loss of Attention Almost Cost My Daughter Her Life | mostly mindful mommyI had my first child on New Year’s Eve of 2013, and she is the light of my life. I was 31 years old when we conceived, and I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to have children until the day we decided to start trying for one. She has changed my life in so many ways that would have been unimaginable to the childless me.

One day last June my husband and I took her camping, not for the first time, but the first time since she had started pushing up and rolling around. We have a pop-up camper, and I was playing with her on one of the beds. I stood up, and for an instant my attention was stolen by a father across the campground berating his son, who was no older than 7, for trying to help fold up some part of their camping gear in the “wrong” way.

I was appalled by the way this man spoke to his son.

I was horrified by the way he forcefully yanked him away from the item.

I was heartbroken to see that when his son got smacked SO HARD on the back of the head that he didn’t even flinch – this was clearly not the first time.

I was… pulled back to my 6 month old daughter by the most heart-chilling THUD I’ve heard in my life.

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Lessons in Self Love from a 13-Month-Old

Lessons in Self Love From a 13-Month-OldMy daughter is her biggest cheerleader. It’s not that she doesn’t have competition. Believe me, her dad and I think pretty much everything she does is the most impressive thing we’ve ever seen. But this child is something else – she has her hands together in exuberant applause for herself before my neurons even have time to send the signal to my proud mommy hands to move.

 

She stacks blocks 3 high – YES!!! Opens and then shuts a door herself? Definitely applause-worthy. Just this past Saturday she took her first steps down stairs walking, rather than crawling backwards, and clapped. (She raised her arms up to take both of my hands, which she held tightly as she took those 2 steps. I’m not trying to take anything away from her, I’m just painting a picture here..)

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