When we talk about being mindful, we start with the breath and move on from there; towards eating mindfully, walking mindfully or driving with intention; listening to our hearts.
When we are parenting children, our hearts are often intertwined with the hearts of our kids as well as our spouses’ heart. Having different interests, needs and priorities gets amplified with the number of personalities that constitute ones family.
My first step towards being a connected parent is being sure that some of my desires are met. Yes, some not all. Since some of my needs are not aligned with the needs of my children or my spouse, I listen to my heart to find the ways that I can balance our needs daily, therefore simplifying our lives.
Hard to do? Yes but possible!
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Tagged budhism, childbirth, coaching, community, consultation, counseling, creativity, culture, education, family, Home, intention, mother, parent, parenthood, parenting, peace, perspective, single family, spiritual, support, Support Groups, yoga
Language is a difficult topic to cover when thinking about parenting. There are so many different ways our culture uses language, and many families have unique ways of communicating. Most of us know to stay clear of sarcasm, condescending statements, and hurtful tones of voice, but how many of us have thought about the conflicting messages that we can send to our children?
What if we tell our children that they are unique and beautiful on the inside, yet we insist on having our kids leave the house looking a certain way each day?
Or if we talk about loving the planet, saving money, and recycling, but our favorite pastime is shopping?
Growing up so fast, no need to speed things up!
A friend of mine has the wonderful ability of talking slowly and deliberately. It is beautiful to watch. Yes, at times you want her to get to the point but each of her sentences are intentional and reflect her true thoughts. I, on the other hand, talk and talk until I figure out my point while I talk. I was named the ‘non-stop talker’ in Tibetan by a monk I was visiting in Spain.
Parents refer to their children as their babies. Then soon after they might say something like : “Be a big girl and go potty,” or “Be helpful to your mom,” or “Be a big boy and set this on the table.” Then the same child will be told they are not old enough to do something or told: “You’re too little to stay up late.”
I found that it was helpful to look into my speech habits to see if I was contradicting myself. I have worked hard to teach my daughter to step away and calm herself before reacting by breathing and thinking of a way she can be positive towards an unexpected situation. Yet I often react instantly to her actions or sibling disagreements. I’m working on taking my own advice to her, and trying to calm myself when my children present me with unexpected situations.
Does your language follow the values you instill in your children?
Do your values reflect the actions your children see you do everyday?
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Slowly becoming apparent.
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Tagged Child, coaching, community, creativity, culture, discipline, Home, intention, monk, Mothers, opinion, parenting, politics, power, pregnancy, society, support, tibet
Surrounding Yourself with Decent people
If you are concerned that your child develops strong and positive relationships then it is important that you model this kind of dynamic. Your kids learn from you. If you go out with friends and return talking about crazy stories, unhappiness, and gossiping, your kids will think that this is a key part of friendship and time away from family. Instead, cultivate positive friendships and make sure that you are having good conversations about, as well as around, your children and your spouse.
Follow your path and bring your friends and children along
Sometimes we hold on to friends because they remind us of our crazy past, they bring drama to our lives or they uplift our seemingly boring life because their life is so much more complicated than ours; be careful! Having decent people in your life is rewarding because they will support you and remind you of your values when the going gets tough.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to dump your close long-time friends because they are dramatic or have ‘unhealthy’ lives. The main part of friendship is to be compassionate and giving. Just make sure you don’t feed their bad habits or condone their lifestyle.
Decent people, at times, may seem hard to find or slightly boring (compare to your ex-boyfriends, best girlfriend, who lives out of a shoe box, and sells macaroni necklaces for a living and is a professional pole dancer) but strong friends that support you will be the ones to lean on and be an examples to your children.
Aligning your friends with your values may take time, but stick to your commitment because if you do then you will truly feel like a part of a community that you can look at and see your own values reflecting within.
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Tagged children, coach, coaching, community, family, Friendship, Home, parent, pregnancy, relationship, rituals, Services, support
Make it a good year! A year of…
It is up to you to fill in the blank.
On New Year’s Day I attended a wonderful workshop at True Nature it was a time to access yourself and invite in the new year. Rod Striker led us through a guided meditation, while Deva encouraged us to open up to a year of love.
In coaching, like in spiritual practice, or when a new year comes we are often asked to create an intention. Often these are so specific they are so easy to break, or unrealistic. ( No more ice cream or become a millionaire by fall).
Let your intentions transform your outward and inward self
When we look at our family life or our parenting style we can either break down our relationships to action and decision making, or we can look at the overall feeling of our presence around the ones we love: simple, loving, kind, accepting, conscious, and mindful. At times we realize that sometimes the essence of our parenting is not based in creativity – it can come from deep roots of fear, pain, uncertainty, frustration, or depression.
This year don’t dwell on the details or on the source of your family’s ills; rather, open yourself up to pure joyful discovering by inviting a year of … into your life!
Here are a few ideas, but I am sure you can come up with your own:
- A year of joy
- A year of curiosity
- A year of stillness
- A year of contemplation
- A year of adventure
- A beautiful year
- A creative year
- A year of happiness
- A year of silence
- A year of playfulness
- A year of simplicity
- A conscious year
Please let me know what you come up with. Have a well-thy 2013!
Becoming a Parent!
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Tagged childbirth, children, coaching, community, conscious, creativity, culture, family, goals, health, intention, kids, meditation, mental-health, mindfulness, new year, parent, parenting, play, pregnancy, resolution, simple, support, yoga