Five Things To Be More Conscious About

By Alicia Harper

Lately I’ve been feeling extra blessed and extra content with where my life is right now. I’m so happy not only to be in a really good place, but also to feel as though I’m in a really good place because, as optimistic as I like to think that I am, as a single mom, there were times in the past that I didn’t think this feeling would be possible.

I want this feeling to last as long as possible. So lately I’ve been thinking about ways to enhance my life even more. Chalk it up to the New Year. (Not to mention that there’s always room for growth.) As such, I’ve taken stock of my life and realize that there are a few things that I need to be more conscious of as I continue to ride out 2012 and beyond. I need to be conscious of:

How often I actually listen to what my body is trying to tell me.

Sometimes if my shoulders and back (and thighs and feet) could talk, they’d scream at me for the maltreatment. I’m not talking about exercising and working out because please believe that this single mama gets her workouts in there three times per week (for the most part). I’m talking about the “go-go-go-I-must-do-it-all-and-do-it-well-by-trying-to-find-the-25th-hour-in-the-day” type attitude. I can be one heck of a Supermom (woman) from time to time and I can do it all (and do it well), but as the saying goes, “even Superwoman took a break – a commercial.” Sometimes I need to remember that I am NOT a machine. I need to unplug and sleep. And rejuvenate. In order to continue doing all that I do (and doing it well).

How often I meditate and reflect on where my life is and on my goals.

This one (sort of) goes along with the first one. Whether it’s once per week or once per month, I need to stop and reflect on what I’m doing. Is it rewarding? How so? Is it elevating me in anyway? How so? Is it beneficial to both Aiden and me? How so? If I do not have a satisfying answer to these questions, then I need to change some things up. I need to be able to take control over the things that I have control over. Likewise, I need to accept the things that I cannot control. This will surely help me stay on track while constantly working towards my goals.

How often I actively play with Aiden.

I’ve faced the facts: I’m a super busy single mom. There’s no getting around that. That’s just the way it is. And I don’t see that changing anytime soon. But spending quality time with Aiden is so important to our relationship, our happiness, and his development. 25 minutes playing on the floor with him and being engrossed in his world is not a long time. At all. But sometimes it’s all the time that I have. Sure I could be cleaning or cooking or writing or doing something work related in order to pay the rent so that we can have a floor to play on, but sometimes those things can wait. He’s growing before my eyes and I want to be able to soak it all up.

How often I unapologetically own my true feelings and actually express them.

Believe it or not, this is not an easy process for me. While I don’t consider myself shy at all, I am very protective of my feelings and the things that I’ve gone through in my life. So much so that I wear my burdens so lightly, almost as if it’s my makeup. But I know that I deserve to be understood for who I truly am and in order for this to happen then I will need to be able to (1) own my feelings, and (2) effectively express them. (Writing helps with this. A lot.) The more that I listen to myself is the more I learn what I truly need and the more that I can express what I need and how I feel. And trust me on this: it’s been totally freeing and really good for my soul.

How often I add people in my life that enhance it, not suck the life out of it.

I’ve learned (and I’m still learning) that I can still be cordial and sweet and nice to people… from a distance. No need to surround myself (or Aiden) with people who exude negative energy. Plain and simple, it’s toxic and it sucks the life out of me. But positive people? They’re my true “ride-or-die” folks who want to see me excel and be great!

What about you? How are you taking stock of your life to live it the best way possible?


  1. Great post Alicia; I totally get where you’re coming from. I had an 8 week stint of ‘single-motherhood’ recently as Hubby was working away from home and OMG! It is exhausting stuff. I totally and completely take my hat off to women who do this day in, day out and with no end in sight. Well done you!

    Over the past 2 years, I have also taken stock of my life and the 2 things that I have concentrated on are

    1) accepting that I don’t have to be perfect and that in fact I am not – big revelation for me I’ll tell you. So, now, I say a lot more of ‘no’, ‘I’m interested in that, but can’t commit to anything at the moment’…and so on. I no longer take on too much and I don’t feel guilty for not doing so either!

    2) managing expectations – my own I mean. I heard a video from TD Jakes a while back and it really helped to me to adjust my expectations of my ‘friends’. I wrote about here: This has really helped me not to feel disappointed by people and just get on with doing me… : )

    It’s great to have mum’s like you and Tara out there who say it like it is – great post! : )

    • I think you hit the nail on the head with number 1 — accepting that I am not perfect was also hard for me and my Type-A personality. Very hard. But I’ve come to terms with it (for the most part) and it’s so so freeing!

  2. Alicia – These are words of wisdom for any woman, not just a mother. Thank you.

  3. I’m learning that it’s ok to think about myself first sometimes. That’s something that as women, we don’t often do.

    • Ditto. And DITTO!!! I think that sometimes we put so much before ourselves and sometimes we’re made to feel badly/selfish if we don’t. But I’m working on ditching that feeling. I’m learning to take care of Number One first so that I can be WELL enough to take care of everything else.

  4. I’m actually answering this in a post I JUST wrote. How ironic? For me, a big part of that is allowing myself the freedom to dream and believe in those dreams.

  5. Great tips!!! I particularly love the one about listening to what your body is telling you! That’s the truth! And AMEN to adding positive people to your life who enhance it.

  6. Great post, not easy to be happy with who we are. So important to take time to be present and reflect. I am with you Positive people are where it is at!!!

  7. I have to remind myself to slow down and play with my daughter from time to time because that’s how you build that bond.