Where do you need some encouragement right now?

http://www.storyofmum.com/content/encourage-mama-2357What would be the bravest thing that you could do right now?

This question struck something deep in me this week.

I've been doing another inspiring course with Brene Brown (if you don't know her work yet, watch this, (it's fabulous, and funny, and was pretty much life-changing for me).

The question came up in one of the accompanying worksheets. The answer came to me very clearly, and within a couple of days I had done it..

I did it messily, and imperfectly, and although I worried about it afterwards, it didn't really matter. Because it was done. 

Wow. Realising that, I completely freaked out, and questioned myself, and wept into the shoulders of a lot of friends who are great at hugging. And I had another weep with my husband when he finally came home from working away.

But with my step into that amazing mama courage, the universe shifted. And now it actually feels good - still scary, but good.

Because just knowing that I can step into the fear, be braver than I thought possible, and celebrate that, is exhilarating

http://www.storyofmum.com/content/diy-mamas-retreat-kits-2583Everyday courage

As mothers, we do incredible brave things every single day - and yet we rarely acknowledge the bravery it takes to be a mother.

To be loving and imperfect. To keep learning from our mistakes as we go along.

Trying our best; making public fools of ourselves; getting out of bed when all we want to do is cry and sleep; being vulnerable and asking for help when we need it; supporting our friends, partners, family; letting our kids grow up and away - and stepping back to watch them make their own mistakes.

That's courage. And it can be exhausting.

Pushing through those fears over and over again without acknowledgement takes huge daily effort - an effort that can sometimes feel thankless.

http://www.storyofmum.com/content/encouragement-card-mum-wiss-2449So this month we're returning to one of our favourite activities from 2013: Encouragement Cards.  

Think of another mama you admire - someone who's finding it tough, and still doing their best.

Someone who probably doesn't realise that you see their courage, or know you respect it.  And most importantly of all, that you understand how hard it is.

Make that special person an Encouragement Card

Share your card in the gallery, and let us know how it makes you feel.

We hope it reminds you of your own bravery too.

And then maybe you can make yourself a card.

Join us on Wednesday 20th May for our next #somum Make Date (think of it as a free mini Mamas' Retreat where mums come together to get creative and share our stories on twitter...).

We'll talk about everyday courage - and we'll make cards together, sharing the stories behind any we've sent already.

And yes - this #somum Make Date is on the THIRD Wednesday of the month, (not the second for a change) and that's because we're hosting some live Mamas' Retreats in Cornwall between 12 and 14 May (come and join us for some face to face encouragement if you can!).

http://www.storyofmum.com/content/dearmummys-yes-vest-3371What happened last month?

We said YES! And it felt good. Scary sometimes, yes, but strangely freeing too. 

Did you attempt any of the things that you doodled on your Yes Vest?

Did you have a go at a Yes Day with your kids, or with yourself?

We'd love to hear how you got on - reply to this email and let us know.

And if you haven't added your doodle to the gallery yet, please do - we'd love to be inspired by your ideas.

Added bonus: since we did our Yes Day, my kids have regularly responded to me saying NO to something (yes, it happens...), with "Oh I wish it was another Yes Day", and we all smile and say yes, wouldn't that be great. And then they actually accept that they can't do whatever the thing was that I said no to. Because now they know that one day I might say yes :)

Big thanks to @thisiswiss and @dear_mummy for the images above.

http://www.mamasretreats.comMamas' Retreats in Prussia Cove any day now...!

A few child-free hours. It’s a lifetime in the world of a mother. 

It can change how you feel about yourself. It can give you focus, reawaken a hidden passion. It can remind you of what you love about your life.

Of what you love about you.

We'd love you to join us in Prussia Cove, a stunning location in Cornwall, between 12 and 14 May.

Just let us know as soon as you can as only a few places remain and we'll have to close bookings soon. Prices for a Day Retreat: NURTURE start from £80.

http://www.storyofmum.com/content/individual-and-small-group-mamas-retreats-announced-3362

Our next Sunday Morning Mamas' Retreat will take place on 5 July.

Can we come visit you?

http://www.storyofmum.com/content/were-bringing-retreat-your-house-mama-3372Have you been wishing that you could join us in Cornwall, but the journey, costs, childcare all mean it's a step too far...? 

We've had so many mums saying that they'd love to come, if only...  so we put our thinking caps on and we're hoping that we've got a solution to that problem... 

An individual or small group virtual retreat: NURTURE AT HOME:

This will be a very special one-to-one or small group retreat day, hosted lovingly by us, for you.

Rather thrillingly, they're already booking up for the year! Maybe because there are a limited number of spaces at a special introductory price if you jump in and book before 7 May... 

Find all the details over here.

Now take a moment to notice how you've been brave in the last 24 hours.

Write down 3 things you did that required a little bit of courage: it might have been getting out of bed to face the day, staying calm in a challenging situation, talking to someone you didn't know well, facing a task that seemed impossible (like the washing up...) or something else.

Just notice that you did it.

Because whether you're relaxing with us at a Mamas' Retreat, or breathing quietly on your own in the middle of a hectic day - we know that accepting that it is truly deeply honestly OK to meet your own needs requires bravery.

It takes courage to hold the critical voice away while you rest, to release all that mothering guilt, and to trust that you deserve time to rest and become stronger - so that you can be braver still.

Because you are a courageous and awe-inspiring mama. EVERY DAY. 

So pause and have a little break for yourself right now. Take a few breaths, mama, because you need and deserve them.

With love and courage,

Pippa and Penny

PS What would be the bravest thing you could do right now? Let us know if we can help.