Wednesday, April 23, 2014

{haiku wednesday}

sometimes i back date
blog posts to look consistent
but i'm really not

Monday, April 21, 2014

{inspire me} Guest Post by Stephen Shives

This week's inspire me is written by a good friend of mine, Stephen Shives. Stephen might be one of the most inspiring people I've ever met. He is a friend, father, author, entrepreneur, dreamer, minister and just all around amazing person. When you hear his story of success, it's evident he is both a hard worker and a man of faith. To be an entrepreneur you have to be willing to take risks, look a little crazy and be willing to see opportunity where others don't. 

Stephen has self-published three books, and owns Runaway Campers. After years of renovating RVs as a hobby, he began selling them at a profit and eventually developed his own model. He figured out a way to build campers from the ground up in an extremely cost-effective manner, saving money in production and passing that saving on to his customers while providing a superior product.

He also has a ministry called Life IS the Mission. His vision for being and entrepreneur has a lot to do with the mentality that we shouldn't have to wait until retirement or until we feel like we've earned enough to begin enjoying life and experiencing happiness. His most recent book is titled The Venturist: Finding Success When One Thing Leads to Another. I highly recommend you read it!

I asked Stephen to write a guest post for my blog that would be inspiring to others who might need a little faith to take leaps in their own lives to live life fully. Here's what he was inspired to share:

People spend their lives in pursuit of keys to success. There will always be some new seminar or book telling you how to grow a business; retire rich; raise your kids; organize your house, etc. The truth is, life was not designed to be so complicated that only the most educated or intelligent have a chance. 

Stop searching for the keys! It was once said that Houdini gave up in frustration at an attempt to escape from a prison cell, only to discover the jailer had never locked it. I cannot give you the “keys to success”, I can only point out to you that the door is already open; you just have to go through. 

Be satisfied with what you have. I believe the number one indicator a person is trying to be something they're not, is debt. And debt is not always about money; it is often just making promises you can't keep (over-committing) as a way of manipulating others. A lack of contentment will always have you looking outside of what God created you to be; trying to be something you're not, or get something you don't need. 

Do what works. I'm not going to tell you to do what you love. That can easily get you in trouble if misinterpreted. There may be some things you LOVE to do that are not healthy for you; or you may love to do something that you are absolutely no good at doing. Let's face it, some of us LOVE to sing, but we have no business even thinking about auditioning for “The Voice”! So whatever you find yourself doing... How's it working for you? 

If it's working, you should be able to tell by the fruits of your effort; the satisfaction in your spirit; and the acknowledgment of others. If it's NOT working, you have to decide very quickly whether to do something different; or to do it differently. There's no such thing as finding satisfaction... without action. 

Keep looking ahead. Refusing to live in the past, is understanding the rear-view mirror is not there so you can see where you've been; (that's what pictures are for) it's there so you can be aware of what's coming up behind you. Its OK to reminisce, but don't live in the past; learn from it and realize the wonder of where you are. Quite often, people are defeated by their circumstances because they spend so much time thinking life's not fair, or everyone else has it so much easier. Joy in the journey is found, when you embrace the challenge of whatever you face, as an opportunity to define yourself as a champion.

I say now is the time to live your dreams. Stephen constantly shares inspiring messages through his Facebook page, and if you're not following him, you should!

Friday, April 18, 2014

{my moment}

A moment captured from the week that captured my heart.
A Friday ritual inspired by Soulemama.

Because in yoga (and in life) it's okay if you need a little support.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your moment in your comment.

Happy Weekend, Lovies!

Monday, April 14, 2014

{inspire me}

I've recently been let in on a little secret. The secret is this: I'm not the only one like me. I've always thought I was a little different, a dreamer who doesn't fit in with the crowd, struggling to fit a round peg in a square hole. As it turns out, there are a lot of dreamers like me. Most of us have "real jobs" and lives we live just to make things easier, but in our hearts we really want to be like Maria singing "The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Music!"

I attended an inspirational luncheon with other entrepreneurs a few weeks ago and as different people shared about what they "do" for a living, I saw a common theme. We all do a little bit of everything, a little bit of nothing and a whole lot of whatever it is we love and are most inspired to do in the moment. To top it off we all are miraculously paying our bills, providing for our families and actually viewed by others as successful people. Seriously? And I thought I was crazy, and maybe a little lucky.

The truth is most of us, if not all of us, feel we are different than everyone else. The truth is we are. We are all unique, and that's what makes humanity freaking awesome. The other truth is that for people like me, there's actually a rhyme and reason to why highly creative people do all the "crazy" things they do. Turns out the crazy has a big part to play in their success.

Today, be inspired by Gnarls Barkley's song Crazy, and know you're not alone:

I remember when,
I remember, I remember when I lost my mind
There was something so pleasant about that place
Even your emotions have an echo in so much space

And when you're out there without care
Yeah, I was out of touch
But it wasn't because I didn't know enough
I just knew too much

Does that make me crazy?
Does that make me crazy?
Does that make me crazy?

And I hope that you are
Having the time of your life
But think twice
That's my only advice
Come on now, who do you
Who do you, who do you, who do you think you are?
Ha ha ha, bless your soul
You really think you're in control?

Well, I think you're crazy
I think you're crazy
I think you're crazy
Just like me

My heroes had the heart
To live their lives out on a limb
And all I remember
Is thinking, I want to be like them

Ever since I was little
Ever since I was little it looked like fun
And it's no coincidence I've come
And I can die when I'm done

But maybe I'm crazy
Maybe you're crazy
Maybe we're crazy


Friday, April 11, 2014

{my moment}

A moment captured from the week that captured my heart.
A Friday ritual inspired by Soulemama.

Honeybee Baby #29!

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your moment in your comment.

Happy Weekend, Lovies!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

What is Normal Birth?

"Normal" is a relative term. We all know that normal can mean everything from "average" to "perfect," but what does it mean when it comes to birth? Does it mean natural? Does it mean vaginal? Does it mean you decided to give birth the way the majority of women in your country gave birth? I think it's time to clear up the confusion and ultimately figure out how to make birth better for women across the board.

What is Normal Birth?

We can define Normal Birth as physiological birth, where labor begins and progresses spontaneously, and the mother moves around freely throughout the process, and she intuitively pushes in advantageous positions." Think of Normal Birth as Old School Birth, as nature intended it. Before there were IVs, Electronic Fetal Monitors, synthetic oxytocin (Pitocin) or forceps, childbirth could only occur within the the provisions of nature.

I like to think of childbirth as the train and Normal Birth as the train tracks. As long as your birth stays on the tracks of Normal Birth, there is no need to intervene by medical means. As the adage says, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Medical interventions exist to help birth get back on track when there is a bump in the road or a complication that could pose a risk to the mother or baby.

Normal Birth Has Three Stages 

There are three stages of childbirth:

  1. Stage one - The first stage of labor encompasses everything that happens until just before your baby is born. From the time you begin to feel contractions in any semblance of a regular pattern, until just before you push the baby out, you are in what is known as the first stage of labor. This is the stage of cervical dilation, where the opening to the uterus dilates from 0 centimeters all the way to 10 centimeters. The cervix also has to thin out, efface and move forward to line up with the birth canal so the mother can push her baby out in the Second Stage. This stage of labor can last as little as a few hours or as long as a few days, and it's normal for it to even stop and start back up again. Understanding the labor hormones that enable the birth process is helpful.
  2. Stage two - The second stage of labor is where the mother pushes the baby out of her body. As the uterus contracts, the mother will feel urges to push and work with her body to birth her baby. When a laboring mother is unmedicated and able to work with her body, she will usually choose one or a variety of advantageous pushing positions to help her easily birth her baby. This includes squatting, lunging, kneeling and even birthing while submerged in labor. These kinds of positions allow the mother to work with gravity and accommodate the baby in whatever position he is in to effectively give birth. This stage can take moments or hours.
  3. Stage three - The third stage of birth is delivering the placenta. The uterus clamps down and releases the placenta. The mother will continue to feel urges to push and caregiver may gently pull at the umbilical cord to help ease it out. This may take a few moments or more. It may take a little time, and there is no need to rush. Forcing the placenta out too quickly can cause hemorrhage. The doctor or midwife will examine the placenta to ensure it came out in its entirety. 

Why is Normal Birth Important? 

Understanding Normal Birth empowers you to make informed decisions about your birth. You will likely be presented with many medical options and interventions during your birth experience and it can be difficult to know what is necessary and what isn't. Medical interventions exist to help get your labor back on the tracks of Normal Birth when you encounter a bump in the road or a complication that gets your train off track.

The problems arise if you intervene when there are no problems present. There are many variations of labor which all fall within the realm of Normal Birth, and if you intervene just because you want to speed things up or make the labor look like the average, you can unwittingly cause complications. If you understand what Normal Birth looks like and you are confident that your labor is progressing as it should, you will feel confident refusing procedures you feel are unnecessary or not right for your family. On the other hand, if you recognize that your labor has likely fallen off the tracks of Normal Birth, you will feel confident proceeding with various procedures because you understand they are necessary to prevent further complications.

The Most Important Thing 

The most important thing is for you to know that you are in control of your birth experience. No one gets to do anything to you or your baby that you don't give them permission to do. Just make sure you make your decisions based on quality information and evidence-based medicine, rather than fear or based on someone else's opinion of how they think your birth should look! 

5 Steps to a Better Birth