Hey friends! Today we have Shannon Maclaggan from Prana Parenting as our guest (our 12th inspiring guest) and i am so excited. This beautiful yogi mama is full of warmth and wisdom and feel-good vibes. She helps mamas bring the beauty, calm and clarity from their spiritual practice into their journeys as whole-hearted mamas. A gorgeous soul inside and out. Enjoy!
Where do you live?
Rural Ontario, Cananda
Describe your abode.
This is actually kind of a sweet story. My husband and I had been driving by this old stone farmhouse for about a decade just drooling and dreaming and coveting this piece of property. We were smitten. Its 170 year old stone farmhouse, 5 acres, two beautiful barns, gorgeous fields and it simply took my breath away. I can remember saying to Pete, “Those people are never going to move. Who would leave that house??" Well, two years ago, we drove by it one day and there was a 'for sale' sign. And instantly I started to bawl my eyes out. We pulled over onto the side of the road, called the realtor and bought it two weeks later. We’ve been living and loving here ever since.
What makes you a creative?
Creativity is so subjective, isn’t it? A person can be creative in the way that they dress, the food that they make, the words that they speak, the thoughts that they keep, the dynamics of their relationships ~ all of it can be such an expression of creativity and I guess in some way, they all show up in my life in one way or another. I would, however, have to say that the part of myself that makes me feel the most creative is my writing. I have been putting pen to paper (or pencil to locked Strawberry Shortcake Diary) since I can remember and I have always processed the major events in my life through my writing. Its always been very cathartic and healing on a deeply personal level and its become an outlet I have come to value and trust and turn to daily.
Where does simplicity show up in your life?
Well, to be honest, my life is pretty complex running two businesses and raising three babes, so I do try to simplify in most areas that allow for it. Saying no to activities or projects that aren’t completely resonating, choosing my purchases with care, choosing to go to bed early, using the slow cooker for healthy and easy meals, keeping free space on my schedule to just breathe and BE ~ all of these result in a little less crazy and a lot more happy. My yoga practice, while it used to be pretty wild and sweaty, at this point in my life, is simple and slow and so, so sweet. Its tender, familiar and comforting and such an expression of clarity and ease in my life. So grateful.
Describe your personal style.
Farm chic :) Natural colours, stripes, cardigans, layers, scarves. Bluntstones and birks. Simple outfits with tons of jewelry to feel unique and feminine while being practical and comfortable.
Have any daily habits or routines or yoga rituals?
I wake up (most) mornings and do yoga ~ 20 minutes of postures, 10 minutes meditation, 10 minutes journalling intention/gratitude/insights. Then I typically sneak downstairs to put the kettle on and drink a glass of warm water, lemon and apple cider vinegar. I bring my huge cup of chai into the living room and quietly check my emails and get my to do list together for the day before my littles wake up. I LOVE this time. Any day that begins on a yoga mat is a damn good day in my books.
I teach three evenings a week at the studio, so on my nights off, I like to put my kids to bed fully present. I try not to rush them. Usually we do dinner, clean up and outside play (rugby at the moment) together. Then we head upstairs for a bath and some yoga. Bedtime yoga for them is a few stretches on the carpet and lots of thai massage from me. They love it. They love the attention and how much it relaxes them. Then we read a bit and I put a children’s meditation on for them (there are some cool apps out there) once the lights are out. Its simple but sweet and I really, really treasure it.
How do you approach living well?
I think the secret to truly living well - for me - is mostly trying to find balance in my life. I love drinking green juice and eating delicious salads, but I also really love pasta, red wine and almond croissants. For years and years (like, 20) I was so, so hard on myself for not having the perfect body (whatever the eff that is) and I have finally come to see that I am most happy when I choose to love myself. No matter what I ate or did today. To love myself as I am. Living well is making great choices for myself but not being afraid to grab life by the cajones and enjoy it, too.
What does balance look like for you being a creative and a mama?
Its a work in progress, but something that I am trying to be really diligent about is putting my laptop and phone away in the evenings to be with my family. After a few complaints from my little ones ("Mama, you are ALWAYS on your phone!!!”), I am trying to practice presence when we are together. Once I get them down, I usually do a bit more work, but I’ve found that carving out this time works really for us, and that allows me to be more productive when I do need/want to work on my creative endeavours.
When/how do you feel the most beautiful and most aligned with yourself?
Always, without fail, in Savasana. When everything just feels so sparkly and aligned. Every day in Savasana, I feel beautiful, I feel on purpose, I feel congruent, I feel lit up. Its very rare that I spend time in Savasana without wiping a few tears from my eyes from just pure gratitude and bliss for this life I get to enjoy.
What are some of your imperfections and how do you embrace them?
I can be impatient. I can be angry. I can be judgemental. I can’t say that I necessarily embrace these shadows, but I do remind myself that kindness and compassion starts with the self and if I’m to teach these lessons to my children, then I need to lead by example.
We are constantly growing and working on ourselves. What are you working on now?
>> Radical, unapologetic self love. Catching my thoughts of self loathing or my old patterns of limited and habitual thinking and choosing a new way to speak to myself. This has been transformational.
>> Recovering Control Freak. My house doesn’t need to be spotless, my husband isn’t hear to follow my rules and I’m not in charge of anything, much less my relationships. That is a daily practice for me and the one that I struggle with the most.
>> Accepting my partner for all that he is. Letting love in. Marriage is so, so challenging it has to be an everyday practice for us. Its our very highest spiritual practice, I believe. So, taking the time for him, speaking from my heart, softening, slowing down, practicing presence. Everything flows when I let go of the expectations and the stories and just remember to look into his heart and meet him there.
What is your beauty regime?
>> Every morning, I dry brush my entire body in the shower before turning the water on.
>> I wash and moisturize my face with Sweet Almond Oil and moisturize my entire body with Coconut Oil.
>> I typically cover myself with a few essential oils in the morning too, just for good measure ~ lavender for stress, citrus for energy, clove when I’m sick and peppermint for clarity.
>> Really simple makeup application - concealer, blush and lipgloss and I’m ready to rock.
>> In the evenings after the kids are down, I preform Abhyanga ~ an Ayurvedic self massage with oil before sliding into a hot bath to end my day.
What are five things you are loving right now?
1. Trevor Hall. All day, every day.
2. Tons of basil (from my garden) in my eggs every morning.
3. When in doubt, slowing down.
4. Playing around with and figuring out my camera.
5. Cuddling on the couch with my sweetheart, dreaming and scheming and planning.
What advice do you have for mothers looking to find balance in both being healthy and staying creative.
Listen to what you need most right now. Close our eyes and ask yourself whats most important in this very moment. Be brave enough to let go of the rest. Say yes to the things that feel harmonious and say no to the things that are no longer serving your purpose. Remember that you are running your own race, take your time and lead with love.
Om Shanti Shannon. Thanks so much for being a guest here at C + W. Your beautiful lifestyle is inspiring and uplifting. Please go check out her site where you can sign up for her FREE ebook, Mindful Mornings for Mamas as well liking and sharing this post with all of your creative mama friends!!!! Until next time...
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