From our May update….

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Are you happy? Why or why not? What would make you happier?  The pursuit of happiness is a lifelong aspiration for many, one that often is paired with the reaching of another goal–money, a career, a car, a partner, retirement, etc. However, when happiness is this thing waiting to be attained, “someday”, two things will happen. Either much of your life is spent not realizing the happiness that is already there or you forego happiness because the time isn’t right, you’re afraid of what someone might think, fear of the unknown creeps in, or any number of other reasons to hold back.
Before I became a parent, I vowed that all I wanted for my children was health, happiness, and for them to love each other. As life has set in, I have realized that health is not a guarantee and is out of my hands in many respects, however their happiness and teaching them how to love is something I can do something about (at least for now). With each parenting choice I make, their happiness and my demonstration of love is at the forefront. That’s not to say that I don’t make mistakes, lose my temper, or regret decisions because I certainly do! However, I also apologize a lot, learn from my kiddos, give tons of hugs, and say “I love you” quite a bit (which is probably why Isadora’s favorite phrase these days is “Love you soooooooo much!”)
My recent trip to Costa Rica with my hubby, fellow Enlightened Mama, Erin Sutton, and her hubby, brought the idea of happiness to a level I had never experienced before. The fabulous weather, of course, sent my contentedness level skyrocketing, but it was the people, the energy, and the sheer joy that exuded from the entire country that completely blew me away. What stuck with me the most was how parents treated their children. Both local and other tourist families alike were so kind, so loving, so respectful to one another. It was truly amazing and inspiring.  After coming home, I went through a mini-depression at the stark contrast between worlds (the unending spring blizzards of Minnesota certainly didn’t help.)  However, instead of wallowing, I decided that I just needed to work harder to manifest my own happiness here–though we are seriously planning to spend some longer stretches of time in Costa Rica in the not-so-distant future, as opposed to waiting for “someday.”  I am cleaning up piles of clutter, removing dead debris in my yard so the tulips and croci can finally bloom, making some big changes at Enlightened Mama (stay tuned for details!) and most importantly, spending time with my family and creating as much happiness as I can right here, right now.
In gratitude,
Liz Abbene