Edible Flower Tea

Photo by Ornella Binni

Photo by Ornella Binni

My new favorite way to relax is making a cup of edible flower tea.

It's so simple. Boil water. Grab your favorite vintage tea cup, yes I think a special vintage cup makes a big difference because it supports a sustainable world (vintage things are about reusing and recycling).

Add a few slices of fresh ginger root or mint leaves or juice from half a lemon to the cup.  Go with your mood. Pour in hot water. Then drop a few edible flower petals on top from your garden. I love German chamomile (shown above). Voila!  Super simple I know, but that's the point. Simple means I do it often.

Here's a nice list of edible flowers. Remember this not just a treat for us, it's good for our world. For when we take time to notice and enjoy our blooming planet, we release positive, compassionate energy into the world. This helps create a world - that I believe one day - will be fueled by this compassion.

Inside an Artist's Calendar

I recently met with a friend and local artist, Tjasa Owen, for coffee at Cibo. While sipping our caffè lattes chatting about life, she opens her moleskin calendar and there on the pages were little colorful paint palettes and sketches amid the scheduled meetings and events.  

It inspired me to write this YMoment: Paint Your Change. We can all call up our inner artist to manifest the change we want in our own lives.  I hope it inspires you to try. I just did it for a change I've been trying to make for YEARS and it's working. Really working!

Here's an inside peak at Tjasa's calendar. Thank you Tjasa for honoring your creativity by living it daily and sharing your wisdom with all of us.

Check out Tjasa's instagram photos for even more creative inspiration! I just LOVE artists!

Overcoming Decision Fatigue with Family Meetings

My husband David shared something interesting he read about recently called Decision Fatigue.  I couldn't believe it's actually real and affects so many people these days.  It helped explain why we both were feeling tired at the end of the day, sometimes to the point we couldn't remember our name or what we did yesterday.  Yes, we're getting older but come on!

That week I thought about how many decisions I was making on the spot. So many of the same questions from my kids, requiring the same decisions over and over. Like a computer program on a loop, wearing my brain down.

For example, when I'd pick Delphine up at school she'd ask "Mommy, can I have a play date today?"  Finnegan who loves to cook would say "What are we cooking tonight?"  I had put their sports and piano activities on the calendar, but not these routine decisions. Was this causing decision fatigue? 

Time to figure it out. So I told everyone to meet at the dining table this Sunday at 1:00 for our first family meeting. 

We began the meeting by going around the table. Everyone shared one inspiration from the week. Then one frustration we had with another family member. Risky I know, but the person speaking had to practice respectful communication and the other person active listening. They could offer a solution or simply repeat back what was mentioned.  David and I had to take our turn (must role model for the kids was my selling point!) The truth is, it's an easy way to let go of normal marital stress before things build up.

Next agenda item: meals. My kids love to cook so Finnegan broke out the calendar asking others for input on what they wanted to eat, then writing down weekly meals. We don't spend time noting all the details like an exact dishes. The key is to keep meetings short, 15-30 minutes tops. Just things like: Monday - fish, Tuesday - beef, Wednesday - veg. Then Finn and I plan the details when we grocery shop. 

Next, events. Any new events this week? Finnegan notes them down as people speak.  Gone are the repeated questions "When is the next play date?" or "What are we doing today Mommy?" Delphine knows Tuesdays is her big play date day.  Friday is family reading night. Saturday family movie night (except when David and I are on dates which is now at least once a month). Family chores are Sunday morning, game night that evening.  

My mom knows I call every Tuesday at 2pm while walking to school. Less missed calls and voice mails. My mom is happier and I have less reminders floating around my head to call Mom. 

It's only been 3 weeks since our first family meeting. I have more white space to live like a carefree, creative woman! We even crossed a corner with the kids. Finnegan wants to take my job running the meetings. Delphine told me she isn't going to tell me all about a new frustration with her brother because she wants to save it for family meeting.

And best thing ever. I can finally remember my name at the end of the day!

Want to start a Family Meeting? Keep these tips in mind:

1. Schedule for same time each week.
2. Pick a location that suits your family (dining table, outdoors on hike).
3. Remove all distractions, everyone must look people in the eyes.
4. Keep short, 30 minutes or less.
5. Use a consistent agenda.
6. Let your child run meeting if they want.
7. Practice compassionate speaking and listening.
8. Make sure everyone is benefiting in some way. And have FUN!