THE PARENTING DARE BLOG
I love, love, love mothers.
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THE PARENTING DARE BLOG
I love, love, love mothers.
Join our community!
Imagine that you had to create a new social media account for yourself, on Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest. And as part of that media campaign, you needed to share who you were in a very authentic way. So you were told to pick the five categories in your life that you were most passionate about; those areas would be highlighted on that platform.
What five things/people/groups/activities would make it into your top five?
I know you are busy. But this exercise will actually help you live your life more intentionally. So, take a moment. And just step back from this post and think about your life.
Then ask yourself: Who am I? What feeds me? What makes me feel alive? How do I want to be seen? What represents me? What am I absolutely passionate about?
Then write down your FIVE main categories.
Examples: Faith, Family, Travel, Photography, Writing, Running, Marriage, Kids, Money, Decorating, Marketing, Fashion, Body Image, Food Prep, Healthy Eating, Camping, Networking, Blogging, Coaching, Teaching, Counseling, Beauty, Entrepreneurship, Gardening, Simple Living, Home schooling….etc.
What five things fill you with excitement for living? Joy? Pride? Passion? Fun? Holy zeal?
What five eggs are in your basket?
I’ve been reflecting on this question because Eric and I are expanding our online reach at The Parenting Dare and as part of that process, we need to be more authentic on social media.
And yes, I am doing this exercise so new people, at a glance, can see what I stand for. I’ve been pondering: what five areas am I most passionate about?
My five areas:
Oopsie Daisy. Not exactly five. So I sat with them. You may need to do the same thing. Just write down the areas in your life that first come to mind. Then let them simmer on your stove.
Over the course of the next day or two, I kept going back to my list. God and my faith life are essential to me, but simply saying those words didn’t elicit an emotional response. So I sat with that and then chose “Beloved Status.” That resonated in my soul. I love that so much. That represents my relationship with God the Father.
So I had three main categories:
Of the remaining items on my list, what was I truly most passionate about?
Well, I know it makes me sound like a nerdy birdy, but I LOVE to read. I LOVE to go to the library. Not only that, but I continually want to talk to others about the concepts or ideas that I found intriguing in my latest read. So it seemed logical to have BOOKS/personal development as one of my top five.
And then I looked at the remaining items: nourishing food, self-care, friends. All important parts of my life. Then I laughed. Do you know what I love more than anything? Parties. I love hosting parties. I love, love, love to gather people and have fun. The more the merrier.
So that was my fifth: Gatherings.
Marriage. Motherhood. Beloved Status. Books/Personal Development. Hospitality/Parties
Whenever I write, I want to make sure what I have to say sits well with my audience. And I wondered what Tara, Hannah and Ashley would think about this post. They each have six children in the space of nine years. They are in toddler purgatory. (I was gonna say toddler hell but that sounded a little grim.)
Would they want to even think about this topic? If so, what would their Top Five Things Be? So I just asked them.
Tara gave me a super well thought out list of amazing items. I called her to talk about them and this is what she said: “Lori, if these things are so important to me, why am I not focusing on them more?”
Whoa. What an observation. And just like that, I was easily brought back to 2007. Our family was in the process of adopting a four-year old, Malaysia Randolph. We didn’t know this little girl, we just knew she needed a home and a new family. Russ and I were excited and nervous and scared. We didn’t really know the next moves. What would our lives be like as we added a new member to our family? What would her needs be?
Julie Samaniego, the amazing woman that helped us adopt, gave us much advice and help and guidance.
One of the things that would help Malaysia acclimate was knowing that we are good parents. (As it was, she was totally clueless as to who we were or how we operated.) And so Julie instructed us to use words and to tell that to Malaysia often. “We are good parents. We love our kids. You are our child now. We are kind.” (Which, interestingly, made me want to be kinder and fulfill that role.)
The other thing Julie helped us understand (and which is pertinent to this post) is because Malaysia’s whole world would be turning upside down (leaving one family and being placed in another), she would need some anchors in her LIFE. Julie told us to be very specific with Malaysia; we needed to let her know what’s coming next and how our family did life and celebrated each holiday. The more details we could give her, the better. This little girl needed to predict her future and as each week, month and holiday came and went and as she experienced each tradition, she would feel more comfortable and safe.
Now, on the surface, that sounds like a reasonable request, right? The issue was I had been operating in survival mode for many years. We had six other children at that point and it was a good day if everyone could find their shoes.
So when Julie told us to make sure we shared our traditions with this new little girl entering our family, I drew a blank. What were our traditions?
There was the way we did life, which was pretty basic. I was shocked to realize we had never really established what I would call true traditions. “This is who we are and this is how we do life” type of thing. We didn’t operate from a set of principles or a mission statement of any kind. Unless “fly by the seat of your pants and put out all of the fires” could be considered one!
So. Russ and I spent some time talking about our lives, who we are, how we want to raise our kids and what is important to us. Truth be told, I was blown away by the whole process. We looked ahead and more or less mapped out the sort of life we wanted to live. It was incredibly satisfying and life-giving and energizing. And because we had declared it to this new little girl, we actually followed through. (Since her comfort level would depend on us living out what we had proclaimed.)
Simply thinking about our life and declaring Who We Are elevated the whole family. (I always say that adopting made our whole family more intentional. SO, if you want to live in a higher realm, adopt. Not kidding.)
So back to the idea of this post: Deciding on Your Top Five Passions. When you can make the time to think about things like this, you can become more intentional in how you live your life.
These five things are more or less your idealistic way that you want to show up in the world. They are your declaration and interestingly, as Tara noted, they can become your road map. Recall that she asked, “If these are so important to me, why am I not doing something about them?” That’s what a map does. It tells you when you are on the wrong road and it can direct you back to where you want to go.
I have been sitting with my Top Five and thinking how I can integrate them even more into my daily or weekly routine. For instance, I love to talk about books. I love sharing titles. How can that be integrated into the social media platform?
And. It’s a bit nutso, but one of my other passions (Eating Clean) is trying to nudge out “Parties.” I keep hearing in my brain, “Lori, you love food and you love to make food that loves you back. And that’s a daily thing. Parties are monthly.”
SO…I may have to alter my list. Eating Fabulous Food that makes me feel Fabulous is wanting a bigger place/space in my life. We’ll see which five actually make the top five list.
Back to you. What lights you up? What makes you happy? What are you incredibly passionate about? List your top five categories. Post them up in your house so you can see them. See how they beckon you to be a better version of yourself.
(And if you are feeling excited about this, invite your family into the conversation. Ask them what their Top Five are. See what your spouse thinks. How can you live those out in a more intentional way?)
As always, I love love love hearing your thoughts! Lori
Okay. About the retreats that I offer. First off, if you are a mother, I created an ONLINE retreat for you! I know I shouldn’t say this, but I love it. I have loved the response I’ve received; I love interacting with mothers in the trenches. Here’s that link to enroll (it’s free!): At Home Retreat for Moms.
For the other retreats, which are in person, the most up-to-date (and ever changing) info will be on our website, The Parenting Dare under the “retreats” tab.
Here’s the link: RETREATS
I truly enjoyed giving retreats in my home but they became a lot for me to do all of the things (plan, host and present). Plus, my whole family had to leave for four hours every time I hosted one. So I have opted to do this whole thing a bit differently. You host. You invite (and I can help with that). I show up and give the retreat to your friends, family and community. We have a great time learning and growing together. I love meeting new people.
There are three retreats coming up in the next two months. One has a firm date, the other two are still working on the details.
Keep checking our website under “retreats” or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
You are worth the time.
I'm Lori Doerneman
Wife. Mom. Catholic.
Idealist with 8 kids,
keeping it real.
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