Have you ever thought of writing a family mission statement or a list of family agreements? Do you encourage your children to participate in the process? I would love to hear your family's or your own personal declaration for how you CHOOSE to embody this life! Please leave a comment below or on Facebook!
I have healthy kids. Many of us do. As my weewomen have gotten older, I’ve realized just how healthy they are. My oldest is almost 4 and a half and my youngest 3 and I can count the number of times they have been sick on one hand. We have never taken medications or any prescriptions so when they are “sick” it is processed through their bodies quickly and efficiently.
Here are 5 things you can do starting tomorrow to keep your kiddos healthy as well. I am not a doctor, in fact my children have not been to the doctor in over a year (or two?), not even for a well baby check up, so of course this advice is contingent on your own beliefs and best judgment when caring for your own children.
1) Let them sleep! I let my kids sleep in as long as they want and if I can’t because we have school or work, I make sure I balance it out at the end of the day.
Example: If they have to get up an hour earlier than their body normally wakes them up because we have a commitment, and bedtime is at 8, we start bedtime routine earlier and they are in bed by 7. Yes, this means that I do not jam pack our days full of obligations and commitments. We do less with more attention and go slower. Zenhabits.net is a great resource for learning to do less with more meaning. Our health is my number one priority as Mama Bear and that sometimes means missing out on events that others make time for. It totally worth it!
2) Eat organic whole foods and green things!
If you do not know by reading the ingredients what is in your food put it back! Check out www.ewg.org for some awesome resources on how to by food products and much much more! Here is a link to the Dirty Dozen list if you haven’t’ heard of it yet. Also find ways to get greens in your kids. Mine tend to eat little bits raw, sometimes in smoothies and I know other Mamas that bake them into brownies. I put an array for fruits and vegetables out at most meals so they can choose and try different things when they are ready. Let your kids pick a weird looking vegetable or fruit at the grocery store to try. Today my girls picked a red cabbage and a turnip. We got a thumbs up for the red cabbage and none of us were too fond of the turnip so I’ll chop it up with our garlic.
Full transparency for those on a budget or state benefits: When I was on the State’s health insurance and nutritional assistance program with my second child, I STILL bought mostly organic milk, meat and produce. When things were tight, I bought quality not quantity to make sure we were getting the food with the most nourishment. In our state you can also use nutritional assistance and WIC at local farmer’s markets. If this is your status…DO IT! It is the health of your family you are investing in and don’t worry about the looks people might give you for “indulging” in organic products! Think about all the money you’ll be saving everyone in the long run, including you, by having a healthy immune system and family!
3) Ignore the “it’s that time of the year” talk!
The biggest hurdle I have found to creating healthy bodies for my little family is the deeply entrenched beliefs and mindset we have about…allergy season, cold season, flu season, back-to-school sickness, holiday illness…. YOU NAME IT…and the list goes on! I even hear parents repeatedly say, “oh, well, it’s about time we get sick again, we’ve been well for 2, 3 4 weeks!” WTF?!!! If beliefs are your biggest hurdle to health, let me know and I’ll hook you up with some resources to get on that!
Nevermind that we bond over our ailments because hey, it’s something we can all relate to, right?! Wrong! I leave conversations that are focused on illness and commiserating about symptoms and dismiss the belief that, well, that’s just life! No, I choose health over building relationships based on sickness. Oh goodness, don’t get me started! :)
When my children come home having ingested some of these beliefs I just remind them, that although many people get sick, we take very good care of our bodies by eating right, sleeping and exercising/playing to stay healthy. That does the trick so far!
4) Drop the sugar! (take a spoon full of honey during “__” season!)
There is absolutely no reason to feed your children sugary snacks on a regular basis. Teach your children that sugar makes your body weak (because it does). It lowers your immune system and makes every system weaker…and I’m not talking huge amounts of sugar. Set limits and educate yourself and your children. Teach them that fruit is sweet and with all the natural sugar alternatives out there now this does not have to be hard.
We eat cookies and cakes and ice cream. We indulge sometimes in brownies and suckers AND we talk about how our bodies feel before, during and after so that they (and always a good reminder for me as well) are aware of how certain things feel. Instead of making sugar a daily reality, turn it into a science experiment and observe and discuss. Today my eldest told me when we went to the grocery store where she is sometimes allowed to use her Kids Club card to get a free cookie, “Mom, I think I just want one cookie because one I feel fine and two makes me crazy!” I’m glad she has this wisdom in her body at a young age. Oh and a spoonful of local raw honey in the morning and before bed.
5) Allow your children to express their emotions!
What do emotions have to do with keeping my children healthy, you ask? More and more research is being done on the direct link between how we process our emotions and the types of illnesses we create in our bodies. There are many books written about this topic. Check out one of Dr. Carolyn Myss’s books from your local library or find a B.E.S.T. practitioner in your area and ask questions. That’s where I started but, there are many other resources out there.
Now speaking practically, our children’s emotions, especially negative emotions, and especially in young children who are less able to regulate their own emotions, usually cause one of two reaction in parents:
1) Fix it, relieve it, soothe it to make it stop because,e let’s be honest, it sucks and hurts our bodies sometimes to see our children upset, angry, sad, frustrated (we call these “yuckies” in our house)
2) Cut it off, squelch it, silence it, forcefully with words or actions bring the behavior and related emotion to a sudden halt because it triggers something in us that is uncomfortable to be with.
Do this instead.
How to deal with strong uncomfortable emotions with your children for maximum health:
1) Don’t give a shit what other people think. :)
2) Breathe…..and again breathe to literally relax your own nervous system so that you can actually do steps 3-5.
3) Acknowledge your own feeling in the moment
"I feel sad or pissed, etc"
4) Acknowledge your child’s feeling whether you agree with it (the behavior or feeling) or not.
“You look upset. I see you throwing your toys on the floor.”
5) Then BE. Just imagine yourself creating a space, a bubble if you will, from your very own heart and this bubble encapsulates you and your child and inside is a feeling of safety and unconditional love. No words or actions are necessary (unless safety is a concern). I’ve done this in the middle of the store during a tantrum. Allow your child to be held and accepted, crazy tantrum and all, in this energetic space until, yes…the emotion let’s go of your child. Most emotions pass in a minute and a half if left to be processed through the body rather than fixed or pushed down. Allow it to do it’s job so that it doesn’t’ get stuck and make your child sick. We have all experienced the results of suppressed emotions in our adult life, aware or not, it is not a pretty sight when they finally surface. Allow your child to feel and then be free. <3
Of course articles and books have been written about all these topics so I cannot do them justice in one blog post, but it felt important to get at least a little bit of information out to those who may need it right now.
And of course all these safe, holistic practices also work wonders for grown-up kids too! ;)
Very important as the basis for each of these Six Alignments I learned at Eden is...
learning to become very present in your own life, day to day, moment to moment, millisecond to millisecond! When you are present body, mind and soul to yourself, your environment and to the people and energy around you, these alignments will come more naturally and produce more love, peace and inspired learning in your life.
Alignment #1: Do What You Want To Do
No...really! Stop worrying about how you will appear or offend people...just listen to yourself (there's that get present thing again) and do what you WANT!
You can rest assured you will ALWAYS get immediate and useful information back from the Universe. Use it or don't.
But for God's sake and your sanity, get in your body, listen and DO WHAT YOU WANT! ♥
This has helped me with the art of allowing...when others do what they want and don't try to guess what they SHOULD do, or what YOU want them to do, it frees all of us to allow for natural consequences good, bad or neutral, set boundaries and communicate our needs.
When I do what I want I can observe the affects on myself and the people around me. It makes me an observer of my own life and empowers me to choose based on desirable or undesirable outcomes. Doing what I want helps get me closer to living the life, relationships and purpose I truly want to be living in this world by providing immediate feedback to my choices rather than having to navigate the thinking and psychology around why I choose what I choose. I choose it because I want to! It works to bring more life or it doesn't.
As someone who's always had...well...no boundaries, accepting that others do what they want has helped me be true to myself by setting better boundaries or reaching out with authentic communication if I am uncomfortable or don't understand someone else’s choices. Not to mention making it easier for me to let go of um, well...eh hem..some...(cough, cough)...control issues! Whew! :)
Practical Tip: Stay present...pay attention and accept the feedback the Universe provides when you do what you want! Use it...or don't!
Do what you want! :)
It has been quite an adjustment this last month after returning from Eden! It's like I was on a natural high immediately when I returned...and then my body was like, wait, this is TOO good and I created situations in my life to screw myself out of manifesting in my "real" life all the wonderful things that happened inside me at Eden!
Have you ever done this?
It's called hitting your "upper limit."
It can look like picking a fight with your partner (this is my fav...blah...poor Steve), procrastinating, yelling at your kids, overeating, not taking care of yourself, really anything that will keep you from focusing on making positive change in your life and bring you right back down into the muckity-muck! I've felt this many times before I know I'm supposed to step into something bigger. It feels like you're being stretched from the inside out.
Why? Because you're expanding into new uncharted territory!!! Exciting but oh-so-scary too!
So instead of heading back to where I feel "comfortable" (which actually, after fighting about the dishes for the 400th time, I realized, really actually sucks!) I've begun LIVING what I learned at Eden and wouldn't ya know, I'm right back on track and ready to share it with ya'll.
So here a simple tool we used regularly at Eden Unplugged and I have used in many other arenas in my life throughout the years!
This works at home, work, social gatherings, classrooms, with kids, with cranky spouses, with friends and strangers alike! And yes, I've tried it with all of the above!
So please, for God's sake and your sanity,
try this at home! :)
1) Sit or stand in a circle...yes, that's right, just like in kindergarden! (also works with two people, so no excuses :)).
2) Take a deep breath together. Do it a few times if it feels a little weird. (yes, we did this in my junir high classromm almost every day)
3) Invite everyone to check in or pay attention to how their body is feeling (giggle, giggle). This could mean physically, energetically, if there is pain, or excitement in the belly, light headed, nervous energy, etc.
4) Invite everyone to share.
b) How there are feeling in there body and
c) if there is anything keeping them from feeling completely present right there and then.
Or come up with a question of your own. We used "What inspired you to come" at our last community gathering and it was so incredible to watch people (many complete strangers) simply begin to connect...
by just sitting in circle together!
Try it. You might like it! :) Let me know what you think by leaving a comment below! :)
I’m crying as I begin to write this.
I’ve been trying to find a way to express to all of you what I soaked up, practiced and learned at Eden Unplugged last week. There is so much I want to tell you but as I sit to write, my heart is heavy because writing this means I am no longer there…for reals.
I’m no longer sitting naked in the healing waters of the hot springs, I am no longer in the warm shelter of my tent/soul mate mama, I am no longer listening, connecting, crying, hugging, eye gazing, dancing and holding space with the beautiful souls I was fortunate enough to cross paths with on this desert in the journey.
Smiling through the tears now.
As I sit hear in my local coffee shop sipping a matte latte with a scarf I wore most of the time at Eden wrapped around my shoulders (I may never wash this thing again), trying to keep the hip barista guy from seeing proof of sorrow streaming down my face, I feel an incredible energy and hopefulness! My experience at Eden has proven to me that the world I have dreamed of all my life (and somewhat lived in, if only in my head :)) IS possible! We CAN be and love, allow and accept, create and fall apart with each other…in community!
We no longer have to live in the illusion of isolation!
You can be who you really are…all of you… naked and raw, vulnerable and brilliant and it will be okay...it will be enough!
Writing this, honoring what I said I would do when I got back and sharing what I have learned, is calling me out of that space in my heart I have not wanted to let go of for the past 11 days…so thank you for holding me to my promise to share…I will, in depth and in all the amazingness that is Eden and Eden unplugged share more! For now, thank you for allowing me this moment to grieve the physical experience of Eden so that I can begin to, with your help, manifest the spirit of Eden in the real world! Woo hoo!
I think it will seep out through these messages over the next few weeks but if there is one lesson to take away and one I am learning through this process of reintegration into the “default” world, it is honor where you are. If you feel yourself, trying, pulling, pushing, straining, feeling the “have tos” and shoulds…stop…no seriously,
Take a deep belly breath….
Allow whatever you are feeling to just be. Allow yourself to feel it in your body and feel it and feel it and FEEL IT until the Universe has squeezed every last beautiful, sparkling nourishing tear from you and then…
Listen... listen close to the Eden of YOUR heart!
Let’s build it together!
I’m in! Are you?