Tag Archives: parent

Connected Families:

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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Helping Kids Be:

 

Most adults, at one point in their lives, have struggled with trying to figure out the purpose of their lives or have at least been conflicted about what they should do in certain situations.

Let uniqueness shine through!

Let uniqueness shine through!

Babies are all about exploration and no experience is censored; spreading their legs apart, sucking on their toes and farting with abandon! They are just trying to figure out what their bodies can and cannot do.  As they grow older they are more aware of what they do as well as that they can consciously control their body movements and what they want to accomplish.  Then we adults come in and qualify their movement, tell them what is good or bad or disgusting, “You should think this,” and “This is how you should handle yourself.”

We want to have civilized children and productive members of society, but we as parents often qualify our children’s action so much that they forget how to just be, be themselves, and have fun learning.

Next time, before you add your wisdom after witnessing a child do something: 

  •  Take a breath.
  •  Look around you.
  •  Think about what the child was trying to accomplish.
  •  If you need to, say something like:” I love seeing you dance like that” or “that is very creative.”

Letting our kids discover who they are without external judgment is a great way to make sure that the child will grow into a more self-assured adult.

Heidi Ahrens

Please email post any questions  and contact me for your Free consultation or copy of our e-Book.

Durga:

Have you ever looked at how little boys rough house?  They decide that a placid current of energy in the air is toxic, and they start pilling onto each other, growling, and after a bit of a tussle they are off playing again as gentlemen, just like (the Hindu deity) Durga and her mighty sword. She took the obstacles that were in her way and loved them to death or slashed their heads off.

A couple of years ago, I ran a play group once a week out of my home. A little boy with a French background and who was the same age as my daughter joined us every week. His full name translated  was “Throws a Rock.” This boy was raw, raw Durga.  My daughter was raw as well but raw with two feet still in the clouds.  Quite quickly this boy taught my daughter how to plant her feet and be a Durga.

Cultivate a little durga in your children

Cultivate a little durga in your children

They would play, he would get mad, she would get upset, he would plant his two feet in the ground bend his knees, growl, put his hands in front of his body, and plow and push.  She reciprocated and learned quickly how to move obstacles out of her way.  Both would get up happy after working out their tussles and keep sharing the sandbox.

I am not advocating teaching our kids to fight in the sandbox, but sometimes when we let our bodies and minds move obstacles we can learn and find our inner truth. That is one of the things I like so much about the ease that boys can get over a disagreement.

Today at yoga class the teacher asked us to do a dancing practice. We were to freely play within our sun salutations.  At one point she said that all our bodies ever want to do is play.

That exercise made me ask myself: when did I start using my body in a systematic way instead of letting myself play and explore?

My daughter can ski well. When she goes down a steep hill, we might ask her how did you do that? She says, “I just did it, I got to the top of the hill and I knew what to do.”

Yet we start teaching young children how to use their bodies – this is where you put your foot to kick the ball, this is what you do when you are frustrated, your arm goes here when you do the breast stroke, and slowly we teach them to stop playing and start doing actions that are linked to their thinking minds.

We end up modeling thinking that leads to moving, rather than teaching moving towards freedom and understanding the way fiery Durga moves through barriers – towards pure knowledge.

Our children are born with an innate understanding based in play, let’s not forget to support that.

Pillsbury

Once a week I am a dorm parent to eighteen teenage boys; it is a totally fascinating experience. I watch them navigate space with their bodies and their interactions are so awkward – full of uncertainty, strength and confusion.

When I feed my daughters everything is homemade, organic and nutritious. The boys know this (I think) since when I am in their space I read books like Mindful Birthing, The Birth Partner or I sit and crochet. They usually stay clear of me; just the way my brothers stay clear of me when I drink nursing tea.

Looking up to teenage spontaneity

Looking up to teenage spontaneity

A few weeks ago the boys were studying for exams, so I prepared 40 of those Pillsbury instant croissants and biscuits that come out of pop out tubes. I also had carrots, almonds and juice.

Well, Pillsbury doughy goodness brought all the boys to my feet. They congregated around the table, eating with abandon and joy. Seeing this level of sheer bliss reminded me that as parents we try to control everything. I wanted to feel this freedom they were experiencing from biting into something without thinking anything. I wanted to be able to just mindfully enjoying the flavor, texture and moment of filling my stomach without thinking about nutrition or the corporation that brought me the product.

So a week later I took a big step, I bought one of those Pillsbury croissant tubes and let it sit in my refrigerator. Then a week after that, once the girls were asleep, I baked the 8 croissants, sat in my bed and ate 4 of them. It was divine! I left the other 4 for my husband who was returning late from hockey and he agreed; they were divine.

Being around these boys on a weekly basis often teaches me about letting go, about just being our awkward selves. For the most part each one of these boys are very different from each other, yet they cohabitate at such a young age and are still accepting of each other (sort of!). I often want to scoop them up and bring them home. Make them my pet sons. I know this is not a possibility but at least I get to learn from them every Sunday evening.

Becoming a Parent-Heidi Ahrens

Send your questions to heidiahrens@me.com

Decent People

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

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.

Becoming “apparent”,

Heidi Ahrens

Yes you can still set up a Free 30 minute consultation or send me your questions heidiahrens@me.com

Be the Person You are not!

OK! You are looking over your shoulder and thinking thoughts about that parent near the monkey bars. Filling your head with negative energy, you either criticize yourself or the parenting style being displayed.

We all have moments in which we think we shine as parents and others don’t; we also get really embarrassed by things we say to our kids or the way we act around them.

Take perspective!

Take perspective!

My challenge for you this week is to try out these two scenarios:

1) For one whole day act differently than you do on most days. If you are a sloppy parent that does not do dishes and leaves laundry piled around the house then clean-up and be orderly. If you are super neat and put together then go out in your sweat pants, don’t bother with a home cooked meal and don’t clean the toilet. You get the idea…

2) On another day try being the super involved parent; play Legos all day, pretend to drink tea and flutter like a fairy. If you are already that parent, drag your child to the nearest coffee shop, get a coffee, go shopping and complete your to-do list.

Remember to reflect after each exercise and see what the positive outcomes are of acting differently than you normally do and how it feels to get back to your old self.

Become apparent!

Food for thought:
How do you think your child feels when you ask them to act differently than they are?
What do your children learn when they see you talking positively or negatively about others?
Can your child learn from you stepping out of your ‘regular’ self?

We would love to work with you one on one. Please email us with any questions heidiahrens@me.com

Year of Love – 2013

 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

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!

 Heidi Ahrens

Becoming a Parent!

 Please schedule your first 30 minute free consultation today! heidiahrens@me.com

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