What I’ve Learned-Personal Development - mariadismondy.com


Just before a life changing event in July of 2008, I attended a workshop called Landmark Education. The changes that happened in myself after that weekend workshop were so significant that my husband wanted the experience. A few months later, he attended and inspired others in our family. It was like a ripple effect and people surrounding us kept taking the course. It was the first time that I truly realized the power of our thoughts. This personal growth journey, coupled with a drowning that I was a witness to, really rocked my world. I knew that I wanted to shift my focus in life to make a difference in the lives of others. For myself, I wanted to continue to be aware of unhealthy thoughts and to be open to learning and addressing areas that were not helping me to live a full, joyful life.

I continued with Landmark Education and completed the entire curriculum. Since then, I’ve found tune-ups in audio books and more recently, podcasts. Life is short and I want to get every last bit out of my time here. This means I work on taking risks, bringing passion into my work and putting everything I have into raising happy, healthy children with my one and only. Being married for 10 years and three children later, I have found that balance does not come naturally. It takes a lot of work, planning and I’ve had to learn and practice the art of saying no. And for this people pleaser? THAT has not come easily!

Living a life focused on value-based intentions is what I set out to do each day. But I am a human being (not a human doing people—let’s stop DOING!) and I often fall out of balance and need help getting back on track. This is how I continue to strive to live with intention and love myself and those around me with my whole heart and soul.

Nurture Relationships:

  • Show Up: When someone needs you, get there and be there for them. I was on the receiving end of this in December after an annoying surgery and I felt so thankful to have the support of loving family and friends!
  • Schedule dinners and coffee dates: I feel lucky to have a few different circles of friends. There’s my BFFS from college, one that has been by my side even since high school, a childhood friend I’ve stayed in touch with, my recipe club girls, colleagues I taught with, neighbor friends, MOPS ladies, pals from my fitness world and a set of two girlfriends that I am not sure how we came together, but they support and care about me. I try to get creative with my time and see people during the day, for lunch on days I work since I have childcare, nights out, etc. We also try to keep a healthy balance and eat dinner together as a family. So between my husband’s plans and my own, this can get tricky when I want to make time for my different circles of friends but somehow we always make it work! Next month I will be going on my first girls trip after having babies!
  • Date nights: We have a monthly date night and make it out alone together maybe once more each month depending on what’s happening. We have been doing this for 2 1/2 years now and we have never missed a month–even with births and surgeries and travel plans! Because one day, the kids will all be grown and out of the house and it will just be my husband and I again.
  • Family: Make time for family. We have a large family and this one isn’t always easy. But I am making it a point that our kids know and grow up spending time with their aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents. We take family trips with my parents and (and sometimes my sister too) every year, my mom watches our kids while I work and my mother-in-law has the cottage next door to us. We are lucky to have our parents close by 🙂

Read (or listen to) Personal Development Books:


Me Time:

  • I have more patience and less anxiety when I carve out “me time” in my day. With three kids and working from home, this means waking up early to work out, read or just drink my cup of joe in silence! I get creative with my time—taking walks around the dance parking lot instead of waiting for my daughter’s lesson to be over in a crowded room. I also workout with my children at least once a week, pulling them in the bike trailer or running with them in the double stroller. This “me time” will look different for everyone. I try to make sure my husband gets his too–he claims he doesn’t really like being alone and doesn’t need this time but I think it’s healthy for us all to take a break and just be. He goes to Home Depot at LEAST once a week and sometimes comes home empty handed. I think he found his “me time” since we had this talk about a year ago.


  • I enroll in parenting courses, attend workshops and have joined a parenting book club more recently. I love to learn and this is an area that is ever-changing, challenging and very important to me. Like I said before, I’ve done personal growth workshops too!

Additional Resources:

Old Blog Post on Date Nights

My 2013 Happiness Project

Family Dinners with Girlfriends