Laura Mills

Next?

2018-10-10T15:11:50-05:00

  By Laura Mills       At this midpoint of 2014, consider: how many times this year so far have you asked yourself “What next?” It’s a question that reflects our awareness of life’s constant flow…and whether we ask it with enthusiasm or exasperation reflects whether we feel we’re flowing with life or struggling against it.     Lately, when I’ve thought “What next?” it’s been in the context of life’s flow feeling too fast and too strong. Time has passed, things have happened….  In posing the question again and again with a heavy sigh, I’ve admitted that that time and those [...]

Next?2018-10-10T15:11:50-05:00

All Talk?

2018-10-10T15:11:51-05:00

  By Laura Mills     This summer I’ve done all kinds of neat things—like attend a yoga retreat, spend a weekend downtown as a Chicago “tourist,” install granite countertops in my kitchen, reorganize my basement, master Mandarin Chinese, learn to play the banjo, and drive across the country—in my mind. That is to say I’ve daydreamed over and over that I made these things happen. Some of these things I’ve even wistfully discussed with friends, making them all the more delicious. Yet as of this moment each remains, well…unfinished. Some even remain un-attempted.     Yep, I dream big. I make lists [...]

All Talk?2018-10-10T15:11:51-05:00

“You Make Me Feel So Young”

2018-10-10T15:11:52-05:00

  By Laura Mills     Last week I attended a parent meeting at my daughter’s preschool, where I discovered that learning is based on play. I love this philosophy, that children don’t require anything elaborate or high-tech to learn new skills and make solid connections in their minds. Plain and simple: children succeed by doing what they do best, by doing what they do naturally.     Since then I’ve reflected on how often I ignore the “plain and simple” in my own life. I over-think, over-plan, over-do, over-analyze….  It’s common among human beings, I think, as we rush around to check [...]

“You Make Me Feel So Young”2018-10-10T15:11:52-05:00

“Undo,” Not “To Do”

2018-10-10T15:11:53-05:00

By Laura Mills       It’s easy to put myself last when gift giving. What I give myself is often hardly a gift anyway; stress, that unwelcome yet persistent part of the holidays, sneaks in and gets cozy as I list, decorate, shop, wrap, rush and socialize. Unfortunately, over the years I’ve realized I harbor a certain over-confidence in my ability to manage stress (“Stress? Never! I teach yoga, for goodness’ sake!”); at the end of the most hectic days, I consistently find that the hardest part of stress management is remembering to do it.     Undoubtedly, I keep [...]

“Undo,” Not “To Do”2018-10-10T15:11:53-05:00

The Truth About Time

2018-10-10T15:11:54-05:00

  By Laura Mills        I admit it: I’m in denial. It should not, cannot possibly be mid-January already. Wasn’t it just Christmas? Some of my decorations are still up. And did I seriously just hear a commercial about taxes? What about my to-do items leftover from 2014…organizing the claim for my car repairs, balancing my checkbook, getting the carpets cleaned, filing away those miscellaneous papers? I refuse, absolutely, to believe we’re halfway through January already….     But I’ve said it before, and I know it to be true now: the calendar on my desk (and the one on my computer, [...]

The Truth About Time2018-10-10T15:11:54-05:00

Coffee Shop Dream Collector

2018-10-10T15:11:55-05:00

  By Laura Mills      I’m sitting in my favorite coffee shop, but only because no one showed up to class today. These days I hardly ever find myself sitting with only writing to do for an hour or so—case in point: my last blog post was mid-January. Between teaching (when people come, which thankfully is most of the time), mommy-ing, and attempting to rebuild my life after last year’s changes, sitting in a coffee shop, writing, is an artifact of a time long past. Yet here I am today, because no one showed up to class.      Ten years [...]

Coffee Shop Dream Collector2018-10-10T15:11:55-05:00

Do You Really Need That?

2018-10-10T15:12:01-05:00

  By Laura Mills     My husband, daughter and I recently drove up to Wisconsin Dells where we spent a weekend on our first vacation together as a family. The only other time the three of us had traveled together was when we actually adopted my daughter in China, a trip that had demanded a new degree of packing logistics as we prepared to live with a toddler we had never met for 11 days in a hotel in another hemisphere. Since I had survived that, I figured I could survive any trip…but just like the morning we left for China, [...]

Do You Really Need That?2018-10-10T15:12:01-05:00

Time for Time

2018-10-10T15:12:15-05:00

  By Laura Mills        I keep a notebook on my kitchen table in which I list everything I intend to do each day. It’s a dynamic list, one to which I constantly add and on which I sometimes move items around. Occasionally, I even cross items off. This is my master calendar, my manual for running my life. I keep an abbreviated version of this calendar on my phone, which comes with me everywhere—and which also gets stored on my computer, thus creating a third calendar. I also have a hanging calendar in my kitchen and a desk calendar in [...]

Time for Time2018-10-10T15:12:15-05:00

Start Fresh, Again

2018-10-10T15:12:02-05:00

  By Laura Mills       This Sunday traditional Chinese families will celebrate Chinese New Year, a holiday of abundant symbolism that honors family unity, joy, and peace. One of the customs observed in preparation for the 15-day-long celebration is the thorough cleaning of the family home; sweeping, scrubbing, polishing and painting represent the departure of bad fortune and an invitation to good. In the physical sense the cleaning clears dirt and clutter. In the mental sense it bestows the promise of a new beginning and indicates the first step towards greater things to come.    I adore this tie between literal house [...]

Start Fresh, Again2018-10-10T15:12:02-05:00

Self-Reunion

2018-10-10T15:12:17-05:00

  By Laura Mills        Last week I had the pleasure of spending nearly a day-and-a-half on retreat. With my husband off and home with our daughter—both excited for some serious daddy/daughter time—I drove out to Lake Geneva, “on break.” And it was awesome.     I’d never done anything like this before. Only once have I gone out of town alone, and that was to a yoga conference at which I attended several classes. That was also before I was a parent. But this, a total “me-cation” during which I had no obligations, was completely new. Looking back, I am [...]

Self-Reunion2018-10-10T15:12:17-05:00