Let’s face it. We can try to be as present and focused with our little ones as we want, but the world around us is moving faster and faster every day As parents, we are pulled in a thousand different directions daily and try as we might, we are asking our kids to be dragged along with us. These three tools not only support your child holistically, but they are easy for kids to grasp because they are cultivated in imagination, experimentation and play.
Calm. Focus. Serenity.
Breathe. Now I know you’ve heard this one before. Even Daniel Tiger has gotten in on the action (thank you Fred Rogers Company). But seriously, the number one way to calm your wee-cubs is to teach them how to breathe…properly by consciously engaging their autonomic nervous system, specifically calming the sympathetic (involved in the fight-or-flight reflex) and flipping on the parasympathetic (rest and digest) nervous system.
Here’s how: Before bedtime or during a naturally quiet time during the day practice helping your child breathe deeply. Get your child’s favorite lovely, stuffed animal or origami paper cranes and boats work great too. Then have your her lay down on her back and put “sleepy bear” (our fav) on top of of her little belly, right about at the navel.
Breathing in (inhaling) - sleepy bear takes a ride towards the sky.
Breathing out (exhaling) - sleepy bear drops back towards the earth.
Inhale, belly expands.
Exhale, belly deflates and sleepy bear falls towards your child's spine and the earth.
Bonus: Belly breathing boosts your immune system and I know we are all looking for ways to keep our wee ones healthy.
Clearing Out “Yuckies”
Every kid gets the “yuckies.” Our kids are emotional and energetic sponges. You know this intuitively even if you ignore it. Put them in an overcrowded shopping mall, make them hang with angry Aunt Gerta or unleash your bad day on those beautiful little souls you love the most in this world (we’ve all done this - no guilt Mama, NO guilt!).
And viola! Yuckies!
Signs your child has the yuckies: He is fidgety, withdraws from physical touch, displays either physical or subtle frenetic energy, is sad, mad, frustrated AND they’re behavior cannot be categorized into Maslow’s basic needs (hungry, tired, cold/hot, etc). Got it? Then try this.
Here’s how: Acknowledge or ask (if your child is old enough) if she has yuckies in her body. Describe what you are seeing. For example, “I’m noticing that your seem really uncomfortable and are throwing your body against furniture and the dog.” :).
Then explain that sometime we get yuckies in our bodies that we can’t see, but we CAN feel! Get confirmation that she understands. Children get this easier than grown ups. Trust me.
Then ask her if she’d like help getting her “yuckies out?”
Once you have permission, ask your child to close her eyes and then tell her to “light up the yuckies” inside her body.
Again, don’t worry. Kids get it.
She will see all the places in her body that has yuckies “light up.” This is just so your child has a visual in her consciousness of this unseen reality.
Once the yuckies are lit up, tell her to flush (yes like the toilet) the yuckies into the ground so Mother Earth can recycle/compost them into something better and useful. If you garden this will make perfect sense, if not, start a garden! <wink wink>
If you have time: Have your little one do a body scan to make sure all yuckies are safely with Mother Earth. If not, repeat until they feel “clear.”
Bonus: New neuroscience and physics is showing the correlation between negative emotions and illness and even Dr. Oz says “energy medicine is the future of medicine.’ So out with the yuckies and in with vibrant health!
Bubble Up! Energetic Protection for Your WeeOnes
Speaking of yuckies, let’s learn how to prevent them. K?!
This has gotten me and my wee women through unfamiliar social events, overcrowd places, overwhelming emotional situations and everyday stressors.
Use this powerful tool when your little ones are feeling scared, anxious or just needing some protective reinforcements while those he loves most are away. This is also an effective tool to use with highly sensitive kids who are frequently overly stimulated either sensually or emotionally.
The first time you implement this you will have to explain to your wee ones that you have a special tool for them to feel safe. Ask them if the’d like to learn it and get their permission to teach it.
Here’s how: Tell your child to imagine a big, huge egg of light around her entire body. If she is having a hard time “seeing” it, you can tell her to create it out of her heart, shooting love out of her heart into a big bubble around her entire body. Got it? Good.
Next ask her what color she would like her bubble of light to be…red, white, sparkly? My girls have started adding things like fairies and baby animals to their bubbles…anything that makes them feel safe. Perhaps they have a favorite saint or relative that they feel looks over them, anything goes as long as it is from the child. My littlest LOVES baking and her bubble now includes cupcakes. :)
Finally, and this is VERY IMPORTANT, set the intention that ONLY LOVE goes in and out of the bubble. I say, “this bubble is only permeable by love” and that seems to do the trick. <wink>
So there you have it. Three easy schmeezy energy tools to support your little ones in this fast paced, over scheduled world. Pssst…these are also good for grown ups. <wink wink>
Bonus: This tool can be used on the fly once your kids have got it down. Just the other day we were rollin’ up to a WAY overcrowded birthday shindig and my littlest started to say, my tummy hurts Mama. I quickly asked her to put up her bubble and all was well.
My work, no matter what I end up doing, always ends up being of a spiritual nature and thus far catalyzing a spark in those around me to go deeper within themselves to hear and feel and know what they are called to do on this planet.
It's astounding to watch as we awaken to this and more and more resources, information, gurus, theories, spiritualities, sciences, technologies, practices (ancient and new) emerge and reemerge AND our magnetism to go back into our default be it intellectualism, rationalism, religious like/institutionalized devotion, guru worship, or emotional irrationalism all in the name of higher consciousness and evolution...
ANYTHING to take us out of the PRESENT MOMENT and the truth that ALL of this is INSIDE you and available at any given now...now...now....just noticing...breathing....and relaxing into the simple life of the present. <3
A New 'Puter A New Life!
I am SO thrilled you are here! It has been over a year since my last blog entry and I have been working strictly from my iPhone to see how minimal I can be! :)
Turns out for what I do, a computer is necessary...especially because writing (AND sharing my writing) is like air to me! But you should see the number of journals I've filled! :)
So, enjoy the archives...there is LOTS of good, practical information and inspiration in there for you AND I look forward to sharing more love, silliness, kid inspired wisdom and practical soulful and parent practices!
Stay tuned and thanks for reading! <3
What to do when your child asks you to "play" in 5 easy steps + 3 BONUS steps if you say YES!
It's inevitable...our children are going to ask us to PLAY with them. For some big people (parents, grow-ups, caretakers, teachers) this is awesome and they are ready to jump right in! That's great! Woo hoo!
Then there are those of us who WANT to play but are flooded with a sea of emotions from excitement to guilt (because we have so much to do), to creative and openness to utter fear and incompetence (because we SUCK at "playing) all becasue of one little question:
Will you play with me?
Here are some nano steps to take yourself (and your child) through that still result in an authentic connection and build rather than deteriorate your relationship no matter what the answer is.
1) Notice how you feel in your body. Do you feel rushed, annoyed, excited, guilty, nervous, open, constricted?
2) Breathe into that emotion. Allow it to be what it is.
“I feel annoyed right now because I have 50 other things that need to get done. I accept that I feel annoyed.”
3) Look at your child and imagine what she or he is feeling. Excitement, hesitant, playful (duh!), sad, thrilled, proud?
4) Communicate aloud your child’s feelings and needs.
“You look so excited and I can tell you really want me to play with you and show you some attention right now.”
5) Decide if you desire to play with your child.
I say DECIDE because life is NEVER a “have to” or “obligation.” You don’t HAVE to do the dishes…you CHOOSE to do the dishes. You don’t HAVE to finish posting to Facebook, you CHOOSE to post to Facebook. You don’t HAVE to meet your deadline, you CHOOSE to meet your deadline!
You don’t HAVE to play with your child, you CHOOSE to play with your child. Take full responsibility for your choice!**
** If you choose not to play with your child make sure you let them know why (make sure YOU know why) and communicate it gently and set up a time to play after.
**If you choose to play but are stuck in “I don’t really know how to play, it’s pretty boring and I get frustrated when I try to engage and play with my child on their level,” please know you are NOT alone and many parents feel like that.
Here are three bonus steps for HOW to play.
1) Relax and consciously slow your body and breathing down.
2) If you forgot how to play (like I did), communicate this to your child and have them show you. “Louisa, I have to tell you something. I forgot how to play. Did you know that sometimes grown-ups forget how to play? Isn’t that silly? Will you teach me?”
3) Follow your child’s lead! Listen and say yes. They are the best teachers of play!
I've created the habit of doing every single one of these...just never at the same time. Who says you can't do it all at once? It should be like riding a bike, yes?
Join me in a month of Efficiency and Peace. What do you do that feels really productive with little effort and creates ease and peace in the process? Please share in the comments below. I would love to know!
Here are mine...all starting tomorrow...again! ;)
Things that work miracles in creating peace and efficiency in my life:
1)Meal planning once a week
2)Writing MIT list the night before (Most Important Things list- 3 things- that's it!)
3)Getting up early...like 5am every day and allowing myself quiet, reflective time, reading or writing time BEFORE the day begins with my girls or the days tasks
4) Cutting fruits/veggies, prepping and storing all snack foods for self and girls once a week
5)Light exercise...a walk or some yoga poses, shaking or dancing once a day
6) Looking at the week ahead on Sunday
7) Looking/assessing at finances (personal/biz) every day even if it's a quick check
8)Prepping any necessities for girls the night before...dance bags, lunches, etc.
9) Meditating at least 15 minutes every morning
10) Flexibly blocking my work and Mama schedule and sticking to it, staying singularly focused whether I am with girls or with a client, exercising or online
11) Technology breaks. No tech on Sundays and finishing up online by 10pm.
Welcome June...my birthday month! Woohoo!
Tonight I let the sadness come.
I feel disconnected from my children, still there and going through the motions to feed and bathe them but distant…
And tonight I choose gentleness.
Instead of judging and condemning myself again…
For closing my raw heart…
I walk to fill up another glass of milk and I say…
It is okay.
You can distance yourself.
Your heart matters too.
So I do.
And I soften.
And I am gentle…
With myself and
Even more so with my children.
I float up and just keep moving.
Allowing this space from the intensity of the ground level…
And it is okay.
I still love.
I still feel peace and presence…
I don’t want to stay here forever…
Too many years were spent floating and removed.
But for tonight
It is okay.
It is a welcomed reprieve.
An ethereal breath.
I love and forgive me tonight.
Tonight I let the sadness come.
Tonight I choose gentleness.
What is the ONE thing you can do to invite more presence, pleasure and peace into your life?
That’s right! Just as the title explicitly states, “sit your butt down!”
Just the word brings up so many feelings for people. It sounds nice, but what does it really mean and do I REALLY have to let go of ALL my thoughts?
I’m not going to take this time to tell you the thousands of benefits of meditation, the different kinds or products, apps and novelties you can use to enhance your sitting meditation practice.
Here are some links for those who are interested:
I AM going to give you simple steps that anyone can do no matter rich or poor, stationary or mobile, ridiculously busy or perfectly balanced.
Here is a short simple guide to sitting meditating:
1) IMPORTANT: Give yourself permission to just sit. This is crucial as our western mind is always coming up with better things to do with our time before we’ve even fully experienced what is right in front of us…what we are doing right now. So trust you inclination to just sit and that all good things will come from it!
It sounds something like this in your head – “All I have to do for the next 1, 2, 5 or 10 minutes is sit and breathe.”
Then if your mind still needs a reason – “I am doing more good for myself, my family and the world in these 5 minutes than I am rushing around like a like a crazy person for two hours not really accomplishing anything of meaning!”
2) You guessed it! Sit your ass down!
Here’s the kicker – it doesn’t’ matter where! You can make a “sacred space” or alter or find a beautiful setting for sure, but I can tell you I wasted years NOT meditating looking for the perfect spot! I used to sit under our fig tree but since we moved into a 700 square foot apartment, I now wake up, put my butt on the pillow my head was just laying on and sit criss-cross-applesauce first thing in the morning. You can sit on your patio, on the floor, next to your kids as they drift of to sleep…. it doesn’t matter, just SIT STILL.
3) Sit as tall as you can, spine towards the sky. If this is uncomfortable, then screw it! Just sit. :)
4) Close your eyes. Um, yeah, that’s it. J :)
5) Breathe. In and out. Inhale and exhale.
You do NOT have to breath any particular way! If your mind needs something to do simple say to yourself, “I am breathing in” (yep, when you are indeed breathing in) and “I’m and breathing out” (you guessed it, when you are exhaling).
6) ***EXTRA CREDIT FOR YOU OVER ACHEIVERS***
Do it once a day for a week and I would love to hear about your experience in the comments below!
Do you think anyone could do this? Too hard? Too easy? Just right?
Thanks for making the world a better place by sitting yo’ ass down!
If you haven’t noticed, been told, figured out or been run over by a truck with the realization that you are indeed the creator of your reality, well, let me be the first to let you know!
If this is you and your first thought is
BUT I would never CHOOSE to feel like this, or
BUT there are so many other factors involved in the my day-to-day existence, let me again tell you, YOU are indeed the CREATOR of all you see and feel!
If this is you, I encourage you to take the question, “Am I the creator of my life?” to prayer, meditation, your journal or any other practice of introspection and connection to Source you might have.
Then listen. Notice if you get and answer, or not….
If you’re on board with the statement “I am responsible for the creation of my own reality,” then read on.
If we are indeed the creators (or co-creators if you’d like) of our reality, then we all play a role in creating EVERYTHING we see happening in our world. A butterfly can flap its wings and the movement of air, however micro, will be felt on the other side of the planet. A pebble tossed in the ocean will create a nano ripple until it reaches the furthest shore. Your thoughts, actions and feelings create the same affect on our planet.
So the question of mental illness has been a hot topic recently with the mass shootings on school campuses all over the country for the last decade or so. I am always boggled by the sheer surprise and awe that people experience after one of these incidents, when innocents (specifically women and children) are subjected to horrific crimes throughout the world without much notice on a daily basis. But I understand, when it’s closer to home, the impact is felt stronger for most and as an intuitive empathy and highly sensitive person, I have grown up feeling these horrors to a more extreme degree than others.
Many assess these killers as being mentally unstable or sociopath and psychotic. I tend to agree and I wonder how is it that we’ve let ourselves get so out of control.
You may wonder why I say “ourselves.” Well, remember we are all a piece of the puzzle.
You are me and I am you. This includes the great poets, justice seekers, artists, peacemakers and saints of our time but it also includes the narcissists, sociopaths and psychos and mass killers!
Why Leslie, would you equate us with these people who have down such horrific crimes.
Let me be clear, I am not only equating you (and myself) to “them” but also those involved in exploding the Twin Towers, those who deny basic rights and freedoms to human beings all over the world, those who participate in the sex trafficking and crimes of women and children and those who create terror and havoc for innocents in worn torn countries every day on this planet!
If you have ever:
*had a violent thought directed towards your children or family member or co-worker
*lashed out at a family member and injured or even destroyed a relationship because of your actions (however justified you may feel)
*ignored, denied or dismissed the feelings, love or help of anyone around you
*sat idle by while a minor injustice happened in your community or place of work
*had thoughts (usually attached to emotions) about using your power or status to control, manipulate or create submission in those you “serve”
* chosen to remain comfortable in your life circumstances when you have had a “knowing” inside your self/soul that things need to change, but instead make a choice to remain stagnant, complacent and disregarding of the very breath that is there to co-pilot your existence (anyone ever hear of “blasphemy of the Holy Spirit?”…the only “unforgivable” sin?)
Well that last one is explicitly what the “good News” writers are referring to. Ignoring the movement of the Holy Spirit, the breath of the possibility for change and creation with in your own body!
If you can say yes to any one of these, you too are the face of terror and “mental illness” on this planet!
So why do I even take the time to write this?
To make you feel like sh&t?
To shove your weaknesses down your throat and taste it’s bitterness?
To hurt you, to slander you, to make you feel helpless?
Not at all.
I simple write this to bring awareness to your (and my) responsibility and power to create a more loving and peaceful world!
So what can you do (this week preferably)?
Watch your thoughts.
Pick just one thought (there will be plenty).
When one that is violent, heartless, careless, cruel, condemning, demeaning (and these can be thoughts about yourself as well) comes into your awareness…
Close your eyes.
Take a deep breath.
DON’T deny it, squash it, or push it down because it is uncomfortable.
Allow yourself to feel it in your body and name the emotion that comes to the surface…. anger, sadness, judgment, apathy, numbness.
Acknowledge it. “I see you anger.”
And then release it. In our family, we call these “yuckies” and we like to move our bodies to release the yuckies into the ground and ask Mother Earth to recycle it for something more useful.
Use your own intuition and personality to create something that works for you.
If you need help, email me and I am happy to be of service without judgment or blame.
I am committed to creating world peace one soul at a time so if this resonates with you and you need support, know you have a friend.
Have you ever had a day (or week) when you just can't quite get on top of your mood. You feel hazy, foggy, you know you have a sh&t load to do, but you can't seem to prioritize it!
That was me this week.
I recently began a new part time job, upped the hours of another one, started an new cerification program (more on that later) and continue to run my coaching practice and prioritize being a present Mama to my to wee ones! All these things are related to a bigger life dream I have and am executing and I love all of them, but this week got to me!
The familiar feelings of confusion and overwhelm started to creep into my physiology again. The same feelings I would get as a young woman in my 20s who constantly overbooked myself with teaching/coaching, social, job and volunteer committments! I could feel the brain fog set in, my breathing become sporadic and short, fatigue, overstimulated by public places and ruminating on thoughts that are neither productive or nurturing to my sensitive system...mostly just thinking over and over about how and in what order I would do things but not really getting anything done. Of all the modes we women (and men) go through, this one is the most frustrating for me becasue it is the least efficient and productive.
Then I remembered...
I'm a grown-up now! And I actually believe (despite what our culture will advocate) in resting, relaxing and rejuvenation. I believe in mindfulness.
As slow as you must in order to lock back into the present moment. I now only believe in and know this stuff, but I CHOOSE it!
So for you (and me) here is a list a things you can do to gentle ease the overwhelm and confusion when it arises:
1) Slow way, way down! This does not only include your body, but also your mind. Feel like you have slowed? Great...then move to step 2.
2) Do some CONSCIOUS INTENTIONAL movement. Shake. Dance. Do a few sun salutations. Go for a walk. Move with the only intention being, well, to move. When your mind wonders, bring awareness back to your breath. "I am moving. I am breathing."
3) Engage your senses. This state of being can keep you out of the present moment very easily. Stop. Smell a flower. Make a slow cup of tea. Smell your baby's hair. Just sit and really BE with your children....just watch them, observe every little part of their play and interaction. Eat a decedent meal. Make soup.
4) DO only what is necessary for the functioning of the day. Make a decision that you will only make dinner and that's it...(or get take out and you're free and clear for the day :) )! Everything else can wait. Believe me. Life is forgiving and the Universe is conspiring for your happiness. Trust the co-creator. Lean on your co-pilot and TRUST.
5) Rest. Nap. Go to bed early. Put your feet up. Not to catch up on your reading, or write a grocery list. Rest with the intention of resting...that's it. When we are in a state of overwhelm and confusion our bodies need time to integrate and catch up...so you can either fight that natural process, or just rest. Sleep. Breathe. Rest.