Friday, September 14

iNSPiRE | Unplug for Love

Today's post is about the power of connection...
and the variety of magical ways it inspired me over the last week or so...

relishthecharmsofthepresent
(photo shared on FB this week by The TomKat Studio via AK Designs)

Breathe and notice...
Smell and touch them...
Study their faces...
and little feet and pay attention...

This topic weighed heavily on my heart this week...
and I'm certain it will strike a few chords with some of you today.

Remember me mentioning how wonderful technology is...
specifically social media...
the conduit to connections...
friendships...
stories...
and even relationships we would've never known/imagined before.

On the flip side...
the addictive nature of immediate feedback...
interactions linking us to people across the world...
the mobile devices allowing for uninterrupted interaction...
well...
unfortunately...
it can actually interfere with other relationships in our lives...
the relationships that matter most...
Our families...
specifically our children.
CONNECTION A
Ella Scarlet...my 3 year old daughter.
(story on this photo will unfold in a bit and yes that's my finger covering up part of the lens - oops)!
fortbuilding2257

As a mother who works from home...
I can tell you...
it. is. a. DAiLY struggle to find the balance...
A never ending struggle...
It's almost elusive really...
Balance between work...
and my responsibilities as a mom...
and frankly...
my desire to be the best mom possible.

You see...I believe with all of my heart...
motherhood is the single most important job I have on this earth.
I can't explain the whole maternal instinct thing...
I can only tell you that when I am fully engaged in the lives of my children...
the world feels right...
and I feel complete...
and I have this unmistakable sense of validation confirming I'm doing exactly what I was created to do.

When I get "lost in the sauce" of working from home...
or life in general...
which happens far too often...
I feel guilty...
I feel an overwhelming sense of loss.
Yes, loss.
Opportunities I've lost with my kids that I cannot get back.
It leaves me feeling out-of-sorts and deeply burdened.
I don't like that feeling.
I really try hard to avoid it.
But there are days when it still happens.

When those days do occur...
I try to make up for it the next day.
I will sometimes leave the house with Ella...
for the entire day...
Keeping my phone intentionally tucked away in my purse.
I don't want to be distracted.
I want to be fully focused on what Ella and I are doing.

I do the same thing with my older girls when we walk together in the evenings.
I will carry my phone...
but I only use it to chart the miles we are walking.
I don't answer phone calls...
I don't text...
I don't check FB...
I just "don't".

And we have a family rule: no phones allowed during dinner together.

Well this week has been busy.
I was determined to stay up super late in the evenings...
to ensure full-focusability (totally made-up word)
with Ella the next day.
I actually planned a day dedicated completely to her.
So after heading to bed at 4:30a.m. the night before our big day together...
I vowed to be completely "Unplugged" for the day.
Unplugged from social media in all aspects.
Needless to say...
Ella is always excited when I'm not working...
So...

We collected some supplies for a special project...
fortbuilding2213

And here's what we created together...
fortbuilding2224

fortbuilding2214

fortbuilding2241

fortbuilding2234

With our special fort built...we then shared lunch together inside of it.
And we read books together...
 And I kissed her little toes...
and snuggled with her...
and really paid attention to every little thing she did...
and every tiny word she spoke.
It was magic.
fortbuilding2257

It was THE BEST day ever.
In fact, I wish every day could be that way.

What I'm about to share with you next...
well...it may just be the solution I need to help bridge the gap between work & play.

Aside from my own personal struggle with finding the balance...
I'm fortunate to have developed relationships with other moms who's hearts are burdened by the need for balance.
In fact...
I only met her a couple of weeks ago when I reached out to her about the beautiful plates she makes.
(That's an entirely different post - in the mean time you can check out her shoppe here)

Anyway...
we. just. clicked.
I then discovered a campaign she's recently been inspired to start:

CONNECTION B
unplugforlove.BORDER

LOVE it!!

Here's the concept in Aedriel's own words:

"This has been weighing on me for some time. I am spending way too much time not being fully present with the beautiful world that is unfolding right in front of me. By being plugged in, I'm missing out on what really matters. Most of us are guilty. Look around next time you're waiting in line at a coffee shop or at your child's sporting event. The majority of those around have their head buried in their phone. Not only are we missing out on a valuable opportunity to get to know a stranger, we're missing out on being present with our own thoughts. We're missing out on all the stuff that's most important.

I challenge you to 'Unplug for Love' starting today. Pick your own length of time. Perhaps this will merely be a starting point and gradually we can shave more and more time off being on our phones and being with our loved ones. Now I realize posting your progress online seems counterintuitive but I think we could all benefit from motivating each other and reading the change taking place in others. Spread the word! Urge others to unplug and let's see the change in ourselves and our families.   If you're on Instagram and/or Twitter, use the hashtag #unplugforlove. "

She then took it a step further by creating a list of daily suggestions/ideas for every day in September

septemberBORDER


Again, in Aedriel's own words from her blog:

"So I thought it'd be fun to encourage a little 'Unplug for Love' time by posting an idea for each day. I am thrilled with the feedback I've received from this and I encourage any tips, ideas or thoughts. Post them here or email me at hello@aedriel.com. Spread the concept by posting this on your blogs, Instagram feed, Facebook...heck, anywhere you want! Link back to this (eventually the link will be unplugforlove.com when I get it set up....hooray!) so people aren't super confused. Tag your Twitter and IG feed related to this #unplugforlove to encourage others to check it out. I think we're onto something but it's going to take those of you that are excited about this to jump on board and launch this to the next level."

Totally going to join in on this campaign.
How about you?
I'll be posting her blog button in my side bar to help spread the word.
And if you know someone who could use this...
pass it along!!

CONNECTION C
A beautiful song:  "The Middle" by Lauren Alaina

While reading through some of the Instagram photos and comments linked to #unplugforlove...
I happened upon a song I'd never heard...
mentioned by a complete stranger...
"The Middle" by Lauren Alaina
A beautiful song about being in the present moment:

Some of the lyrics:
"Take each day and make it last...
because you turn around and the future is the past"

"Here and now is all we have...
The beginning and the end means so little
What matters most is what's in the middle"

CONNECTION D
Art Print | Here and Now
I was inspired by Lauren Alaina's song to create this Art Print as a reminder to Unplug more often
hereandnowWHITEtextOLsm
Download FREE 8x10 "Here and Now" Art Print (Black or White Background Available)

hereWHITEsquareOLsm
Download this FREE 8x8 "Here and Now" Art Print (Black or White Background available)

nowBLACKsquareOL
Download this FREE 8x8 "Here and Now" Art Print (Black or White Background available

See how all of that inspiration was magically connected together this week?
And you know that first photo I shared - with the "Relish the charms of the present" quote?
I spotted that late in the evening after Ella and I had our magical day together.
It was the perfect ending to a perfect day.
(And thank goodness I saw that after I had such a beautiful day with Ella or I'd have been in tears from guilt). *wink*

I hope you love the simple Art Prints.
The 8x8 Art Prints can be printed and framed separately and then displayed as a set.
Which is what I think I'm going to do with mine.

TiP:
Want a different sized print without compromising print quality?
You can always go DOWN in size but don't go up:

PRiNTiNG OPTiONS/iDEAS
• Print from home computer.
• Have a photo print made by your favorite photo developer.
• Don't like your printer? Have FedEx Kinko's, Office Depot, or Staples print it for you onto cardstock.
• Have a canvas print made.
• Frame it to hang in your home.
• Frame it and give as a gift.
• Email it to a friend

Be sure to check out the NEW ART PRiNTS LiNK on my sidebar...
You can now access all of the FREE art prints I've ever posted.

If you print any of the Art Prints...
let me know what you do with them and how you use them:
pnpflowers@live.com
I'd love to know!!

Here's to more "Unplug for Love" moments for all of us.
Enjoy your weekend everyone...
xoxo

KEEPiNG iT REAL
I hope you stayed with me through that super long post.
It was quite a doozy...
(Since I never even use the word "doozy", I had to look it up in the dictionary to make sure I spelled it right). Ha!

I REALLY need to get my DSLR back out and start taking real photos again.
Having to post these grainy photos didn't make me too happy.
(It's just SO easy whipping out the phone versus lugging a big ole camera around).
Guess I'm being lazy.
Guess I'd better do something about that.*wink*

8 comments:

CBH September 14, 2012 at 10:09 AM  

Thank you so much for this post. I want to let you know that I posted a link to your blog in Creative Busy Bee Craft Inspirations, under the Page 4 post on Sep. 14, 2012. Thanks again.

CBH September 14, 2012 at 10:09 AM  

Thank you so much for this post. I want to let you know that I posted a link to your blog in Creative Busy Bee Craft Inspirations, under the Page 3 post on Sep. 14, 2012. Thanks again.

Heavenly Bites Cakes September 14, 2012 at 12:15 PM  

I love this post...you've put into words something I've been feeling for awhile now and really want my family to partake in - unplugging, especially around our children, is so important!

I work in NYC and all you see walking down the street or riding on the subway are people reading or typing on their phones...literally walking and typing! It's crazy!

I was really disturbed by how often I see people looking at their phones was when I read a posting on Facebook that said "The zombie apocalypse has begun" and the photo attached was of a street scene of a number of people walking down the street, looking down at their phones. I think it was supposed to be funny, but it actually really struck me that they are right!

This line from your post reminded me of that picture:
"Look around next time you're waiting in line at a coffee shop or at your child's sporting event. The majority of those around have their head buried in their phone. Not only are we missing out on a valuable opportunity to get to know a stranger, we're missing out on being present with our own thoughts. We're missing out on all the stuff that's most important."

I definitely want to be a part of the unplug movement and hope that many others will join in! Thank you so much for posting this and sharing the beautiful story of your day with your daughter! Best fort i've ever seen! :)

kansasgirl1 September 14, 2012 at 2:42 PM  

This is exactly why I do not have a smartphone. My older children, who buy their own phones, have them and never are separate from their phones. I have a friend that I meet once in a while for dinner, and she continuously checks her email and fb while we're at dinner - I'm losing interest in these dinners. My 11 yr old son can't understand why we give him time limits on playing video games. It's all in the interest of making life more than one never-ending electrical/digital connection. Creativity needs air!

Latisha Horton September 14, 2012 at 4:24 PM  

Im definitely joining in on this campaign... Beautiful idea!

Latisha Horton September 14, 2012 at 4:25 PM  

I'm definitely joining this campaign... Beautiful idea!

CBH September 15, 2012 at 8:23 AM  

Thank you so much for this post. I want to let you know that I posted a link to your blog in CBH Digital Scrapbooking Freebies (please, notice the new url for my blog), under the Page 3 post on Sep. 15, 2012. Thanks again.

Sunny September 15, 2012 at 4:53 PM  

Wow you just brought tears to my eyes. I was just thinking this today while I quickly tucked my little ones into bed and ran to hop on the computer to get work done. I work from home too and it is so hard to keep balance. It's so important to put the same effort into family that you put into your business if not more. Too often I don't do that and it hurts me heart and I can only imagine what it's doing to my children and my husband. Thank you for awakening me to this movement I think it's wonderful.

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