Jackie VanCampen
What if everything that shows up in your life is by your own choosing? What would you choose? What is your wise heart within asking you to choose that you have been ignoring and that if you did choose it would give you more ease, joy, and glory?

For me it's choosing my own truth and acknowledging the contributions and gifts that I be to myself and others; and choosing awareness so I can break the limitations I have been locking in place which cause me to choose to block myself from receiving from others.

This morning I was thinking about this class I want to take and I kept asking, "What would it take for the money to show up so I can take this class?" The thought of asking my parents kept coming up, and I kept resisting it. "Well, the couple of times I insinuated I could use their support with something that involved money, I received a gentle 'I wish we could help you with that, but we're not really in a place we could do it.'" To which in my head I would respond, "I'm not asking you anyway." So I decided there's no way I'm asking now for them to invest in me so I can take this class.

Then I went into resentment of them; how they put my brother and sister through college, but not me. How they kicked me out their house because I chose my boyfriend instead of what they wanted for me. How they prefer my brother and sister because I'm my father's daughter with another woman. I had so many points of view locked in place.

The wise heart within kept nudging me to go deeper and keep asking where I have been locking these judgments in place and why I perceive I can't ask them for anything.

Then I got hit in the head with a ton of bricks! Holy crap! When I left their house, I determined that I would never ask them for anything even if I were starving and didn't have a place to go. I determined that I was going to make it on my own without their support and that I didn't need them anyway, and that if I ever asked them for anything I would be putting myself under their control once again. It's no wonder I haven't been able to receive anything from them even when they want to gift me! I have a wall with a huge neon sign that says, "No Gifts Accepted from You!"

That's crazy, right? But that's how many of us are choosing to live - from some point of view that we have locked in place and that we have completely shut off from our awareness making it unable for us to choose a different reality.

As a mother, I’m always asking myself, “How can I raise my daughters to be in more consciousness? What tools can I offer them that would leave them empowered to choose for themselves and choose their own truth?” The question also goes in my asking of what I can choose for myself so they can see what choosing looks like. It’s an interesting place to be in as I as a parent because I know that it’s a lot more about how I choose to be versus what I say to them.

So what would it take for you to start asking the questions that would unlock your points of view that keep you from receiving from you and others?

So now that I just had this aha about my own points-of-view I created about my parents, I can choose to receive from them freely, and that’s what I want to emulate to my kids, that receiving is a choice that is ever present for them.

So, mom and dad, what would it take for you to gift me everything that you have been trying to gift me that I have been refusing to receive? I now receive your gifts with the utmost gratitude! Thank you!
Tiffany Pate
This was a recipe shared w/ me that has now become a family favorite. Hope you and your family enjoy it as much as our family does!

Carla’s Chicken 'n' Spinach Pasta Bake
Italian-inspired Chicken 'n' Spinach Pasta Bake is perfect for company. But it's also speedy enough for weeknight meals.

Prep: 15 min., Bake: 45min.
Yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings
• 8 ounces uncooked rigatoni- or bowtie
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 cup finely chopped onion (about 1 medium)
• 1 bag baby spinach
• 1 package of sliced mushrooms
• 3 cups cut up rotissierie chicken
• 1 (14.5-oz.) can Italian-style diced tomatoes ( do not drain)
• 1 package grape tomatoes
• 1 (10-oz.) container Philidelphia cooking cream cheese ( Italian Herb)
• 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
• 1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) shredded mozzarella cheese
• 1 jar Artichokes (optional)
1. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
2. Meanwhile, sauté onion, mushrooms and spinach in oil.
3. Add tomatoes ,chicken and cream cheese.
4. Stir in pasta . Spoon mixture into baking dish and sprinkle evenly with shredded mozzarella cheese.
6. Bake, covered, at 375° for 30 minutes; uncover and bake 15 more minutes or until bubbly.
Tara Kennedy-Kline
You know what I just realized?

It's not that I dislike animals...I just don't like PETS!

Suuuuure, they start out all cute and fluffy and make the kids soooooo happy...

And then, 6 months later, they're nothing more than eating,pooping, stinky vet bills with feet! That MOM has to take care of.

Yeah, I just realized I don't like PETS!
Tara Kennedy-Kline
Recently, my family and I were hanging out with a group of friends and their kids. The children were playing nicely (ok, they were going nuts...but that's what kids should do outside, so we call that "playing nicely") and then one of the kids came to the group of parents and stated that one child was "being a bully".

At first, the parents all went into embarrassed, defensive mode and told the child to stop tattling on their friend...but then I asked the child "what did this kid do that felt like bullying?" Turns out, when we actually listened, we realized that the boy was right...the other kids was acting like a bully!

What happened next was kind of disturbing in that the dad of the kid proceeded to flip on his child and call him names and threaten unreasonable punishment...but I knew that was out of embarrassment so a few of us Moms politely stepped in and escorted the boy back up to the playroom where we spoke to all the children respectfully but sternly about being good to your friends.

The whole thing calmed down and was forgotten rather quickly, but it got me thinking about the things we do and the "seeds we plant" as parents to raise our children to react to or even become bullies.

I believe our children are a result of their environment. As parents, we are the models of the behaviors we eventually realize in our kids.

Something as simple as telling a little white lie on the phone in front of our children is telling them that our integrity is not as important as our comfort or our reputation… That plants a seed.

• When we correct our children by yelling at them, belittling them and calling them names, we are showing them that it's okay to humiliate & hurt people and make them feel small when we are angry …And that plants a seed.

• When we discipline behind closed doors, or haul our children away to correct them, we are showing them that we are not proud of how we are handling that situation, so we must hide it. And that plants a seed.

• When parent A gets angry and flips out over an issue that parent B has already established is not worthy of losing it over, but does nothing to stand up for the child, that sends the message that the child is not worth standing up for. And that plants a seed.

• When we start a conversation within earshot of our kids that begins with: "You won't believe what so-and-so did" or "I promised not to say anything, but..." we are teaching our child that not only is it ok to gossip, but it's also ok to break promises and trust. And that plants a seed.

• When we tell our children to "be quiet" or "don't talk back" when someone offends them or someone they care about, we are teaching them to be apathetic and submissive. And that plants a seed.

• When we retreat from or ignore a person who needs help, we show them that we shouldn't inconvenience ourselves to stand up for others. And that plants a seed.

• When we contradict ourselves or our values for the sake of avoiding conflict, we show our children weakness and helplessness. And that plants a seed.

• When we've had a bad day or are PMS-ing and snap at our kids for things we know shouldn't bother us, we are showing them it's acceptable to legitimize or allow our bad behavior based on our mood. And we plant a seed.

• And when we take the time to listen to our children, to get to know them, to find out what they love and what brings them joy. When we take the time to discover each others passions, beliefs and Unique Brilliance, and we stand up for them and honor what they care about...then we empower our children to love themselves and honor themselves too. And THAT plants a seed.

• When we stand up for our children, others and what is "right" in their presence. THAT plants a seed.

• When we hold our children accountable for their actions and their words, THAT plants a seed.

• When we keep the promises we make to our children, others and most importantly ourselves. THAT plants a seed.

• When we apologize for hurting someone's feelings, breaking an agreement, or not being truthful and then we commit to not making the same mistake again. THAT plants a seed.

So I suppose that is what brings me to my Mom Reality Bytes #15:

Bringing up children is all about planting seeds. Before I sow seeds, I should consider what lesson my child will reap from them...and what kind of person I am "raising up" as a result.

Tara Kennedy-Kline
I have a bit of a "sparkle chaser" issue. Those who know me are laughing right now...I get it. But I have a hard time staying focused on the things I need to complete in a day (or an hour or over lunch) because I am easily distracted and change passion quests quickly. But I must admit, I do get quite a lot accomplished in a day. Mostly because many years ago I started keeping a "list of 10" every day.

Each night I write down 10 things I want to start, work on or complete the next day. Although I am not always focused on the time...I have become very good at determining how much time I will need to check off the items on my list and my days are typically pretty packed; though I do leave room for incidentals or "stuff my family will throw at me at the last minute".

Here's my problem (or my reality in this case) My family believes that because I work from my home, I have nothing to do all day. So because I apparently lie around the house and drink coffee and watch Oprah spin offs all day, they feel perfectly justified in assigning me chores, projects, tasks and responsibilities to take care of "for them" to make their lives easier.

What the heck?! Right?!

But the worst part of their offense is, they don't even ask me nicely! I can't tell you how many times I've gotten "HEY! If you aren't doing anything ayway, can you go blah-blah-blah for me?" Or
"Hey, do you think you could pull yourself away from your exhaustive schedule to go blah-blah-blah for me?!"

OH SUUUURE! Why not?! Since you asked me so nicely, checked with me about my plans and didn't insult me at all...I'd be happy to do that "FOR YOU"...NOT!

I actually went almost an entire week without doing one load of laundry, washing one dish or making one trip to the grocery store because I went on STRIKE due to "disprespectful working conditions and lack of team effort" (Yeah, that's right...I went UNION on their a$&es!)

So today, when my husband said "Hey...since you aren't busy today, I need you to take me to get my car."

My reply was "Honey, if you had asked me if there was time in my busy schedule to help you out, I would have carved that time out for you. Unfortunately, my schedule has just filled up, so I guess you'll have to walk."

And then my Reality hit me:
If I am going to ask someone to do something for me, I must be sure to treat them with respect, honor their schedule and ask them kindly. Otherwise, I must be prepared to hear "I'm sorry, I'm too busy to help you with that right now."
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