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!
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! ;)
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! :)
1) Think about your financial situation. Now breathe and scan your body…where do you feel constriction, resistance or density? This is probably where you are holding your beliefs and energy about money in your body. (I held mine on my left side between my stomach and my heart…stuck between power/discipline chakra and love chakra!) Bring awareness to this area of your body when you are dealing with situations involving money. Breathe into it and release it by directing healing energy towards it.
2) Write down all your beliefs about money and the people that have it (or don’t have it). See blog entry Transparency and The Energy of Money for my examples. :)
3) Find a reason to be thankful for each of your limiting or undesirable beliefs. What have they taught you and what is of value moving forward into financial freedom!
4) Align your financial freedom with what you TRULY VALUE!!! If it’s time with loved ones…how will having money afford you more time with loved ones! If it’s spiritual growth…how will financial freedom allow for exponential growth of spirit! If it’s lattes and green smoothies made by someone besides you so be it! :) Begin to FEEL your inside world and outside world aligning! Ahhhhhhh! Now smile. :)
I have a problem with reacting impulsively. Verbally that is.
To my defense I chalk this up to being a "highly intuitive and sensitive child" who kept her perception of the world deep down inside for a LONG time! So now that the pity part is over (almost ;)) and I've found my voice, my emotions, intuitions, judgments, ideas, inspirations now come spewing out on those unexpecting victims I like to call my loved ones at warp speed! :)
Do you know anyone like this? ;)
Now that my feet are beginning to touch the ground, I am learning how to be "in authentic relationship" with other human beings in this earthly realm... and, well, in my earth tone living room.
I'm not talking about the kind of relationship where, you play and role and I play a role...I ignore your shit if you ignore mine. I'm talking about a whole new paradigm of being together...a welcoming, accepting and helping each other transform into more highly evolved individuals who carry the light of the Universe within our very SOULS kind of relationship!
And to be frank...I suck at this!
I'm learning every day and I wanted to share something (pretty drastic) I did this week to keep my impulsivity in check and my relationships in tact! :)
I decided to be silent!
That’s right folks…I am a non-reactionary, all accepting, completely allowing, non-attachment, loving, breathing (a lot of breathing) woman! It can be done. When emotions, reactions, intuitive feelings, judgments, perceptions want to come hurdling out of me at the speed of light (which is quite often, I might add),
take a breath…
acknowledge my feelings (very important),
take responsibility for my own stuff and
And all this in the time it would normally take me to cut someone off, mispercieve their intention, project my own fears, doubts or insecurities on them, and then make some distorted profession of my all knowing, all seeing nature! J
I choose silence!
I wrote this 7.5 years ago in my journal as a response to a conversation I must have shared with my then friend and my now partner and father of my children! If you’re feeling like your underwater, suffocating or overwhelmed…I hope you find a little relief in this.
“I understand your dream now. Either I had a dream like it, which is what I think happened, or I was all of a sudden able to completely empathize with you. Your underwater dream…
I remember being underwater, holding my breath, worried my breath wasn’t deep enough to sustain me and then all of a sudden – I realize! – I can breathe through my nose! It’s like something I should have known all along but for some reason I couldn’t remember [or forgot] and now it just seems so simple!
Maybe we [are] going through times of significant realizations in our lives or something. It was funny because I was just driving and - BAM - my body remembered the feeling of that dream!
Of course we can breathe underwater!”
Try it. :)
I get so frustrated when things don’t go MY way! There, I said it! I’m not a natural planner or a very structured person by nature, but when I DO take the time to plan or structure something you better BELIEVE I will have it go my way, or else…unless of course it doesn’t. :)
Have any of you ever had these thoughts? It happened to me twice today…where I planned things in detail and life just kind of laughed at me. I’ll tell you about the first! I hope this story helps you find a little more magic on your own journey.
I planned on my partner getting home at a 10 am this morning. I texted at 9:10 am to make sure he’s on his way (it’s an hour bike ride from where he is). He calls and says it’s going to be another hour and then he’ll ride home! This news obviously puts my carefully planned morning off by at least another hour! Frustrated…I fume…thinking thoughts of blame and judgment…all very productive things to be doing with my time, I know! :) My very efficient, effective and detailed plan of action for the day, ruined! Or was it?
I proceeded to take a breath, calm myself down and focus on what was in front of me…the children, the dishes that need to get done, the grocery list that needs to be made, the never ending piles of laundry that need to be folded and I realized this morning was MEANT to go this way.
How did I know this?
I know my morning was supposed to unfold like it did because…well…it did. To me, this is a comforting thought and you can use it in almost any situation! Now this is not to say that my partner and I can’t discuss and agree on better ways to communicate, but in that moment, I could either keeping fuming about my plans being ruined and my perception of his lack of consideration, OR I could go with it! So I went with it…and you know what? My day only got better and I was even able to see how being put off that hour ended up creating more space and opportunity later in my day…almost as if by magic! It amazing what happens when we learn to get present in our lives!
We are always working with something...a picture...a story greater than our own. When we take the lead and what we plan is right on, it feels amazing! But when it’s not, and the Universe gives you an opportunity to embrace the present moment…take it…you never know where the it will lead you!
I think we underestimate what it means to have peace in our lives! We are so used to living in the fast pace our everyday existence that when we may have a moment to cultivate a little peace, it quickly gets pushed to the back burner along with our slowly deteriorating health and sanity!
One of the words that come up when I ask people how they felt after our session is peace! They experienced a deep sense of peace within themselves. So I wanted to give you three practical things you can do, starting today, to allow more peace into your life! I think you will be amazed at how cultivating a little more peace in your life can reap even bigger benefits for your overall health and happiness.
1) Be Present! Many spiritual traditions call it mindfulness. All this means is to BE PRESENT with what ever is in front of you. If you are making coffee…BE with your coffee making. If you are folding laundry, BE with your laundry! If you working on a project, BE with your project! We’ve developed a sense of “I’m going to miss out” thinking in our society because everything moves so quickly…I mean you can blink and the next version of iPhone has already discounted on Amazon! But because we fail to slow down and actually give our full attention in the moment to our children, our cup of tea, our dinner, our work…we lose out on the potential and magic of the PRESENT. And believe me, when you are able to make your days into a series of “present moments” you will not only begin to experience the limitless potential and magic of existence but a peace that surpasses all understanding! Mmmmmm……
2) Breathe! Simple, yes! So simple that it could be dismissed…but I think by now many of you have already heard the science behind the health benefits of conscious breathing or meditation. But are you aware that breathing can also facilitate more peace in your life as well? Try this: when you are feeling anxiety, stress or tension (or hell, go crazy and use this prior to feeling any physical or metal stressors in your body) J Put your hand over your heart, take a deep belly breath (yes puff out that tummy on the inhale) and hold it for 3 seconds. Then exhale with your hand still over your heart…becoming aware of your breath leaving your body. Do it again bringing even more awareness to your breath. Breathe in peace….breathe out and smile! You did it! Now do it over and over. Get it? Got it? Enjoy it.
3) Go inside! You know those times when you are on overload but you may not be aware of it? It looks something like this…you know you have a ton to do, things need to be getting done but you keep bouncing back and forth between your email and facebook account, thinking of what you need to get done, then, oh the laundry, you get up to do the laundry, then, crap, I need to call this person, wait, did I get a gift for…., online again, “tweet”, shit, I need to pick up the kids! Or maybe you just “space out” at work and fall into habits of procrastination with anything that is a willing participant! J Okay, maybe it’s not that bad but you get the point. We all have time when we feel flustered, discombobulated, restless and just drained! Common practice is to busy yourself so you FEEL like you’re getting something done…so you are being a good little productive busy bee, but in reality our body is telling us to GO INSIDE! Not in the house, but inside yourself. So stop. Sit…bring your awareness back into your body (literally gather the pieces of yourself you’ve left strewn throughout your day back into your body using your imagination). Sit down. Close your eyes. Peace out…and peace in!