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.
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’ve been humbled this week. I was forced to really look at the message I am sending out to people. A message I’ve tried to live, communicate and teach for years…to just “be!” I sometimes talk about “being present” (one of my rules as a classroom teacher) and last week encouraged you (and myself) to just be and allow.
This week I got an email from a beloved friend of 20 + years, pissed off that I was telling people to “just be” when our world was falling apart. He felt I was giving people an excuse to just sit on their asses all day and not lift a finger to do the work that is required to get our world back on track. I’ve built my life and business around the concept and practice of “being present” so this well meaning email caused me to take pause!
Okay, his directness stung a little (a lot :))…but it inspired me. After the sting wore off…to question my own intentions and also take a deeper look at the reasons for living, coaching and writing so much about this topic.
Was there some truth to what he was suggesting?
Was I giving people and possibly myself an excuse to be lazy?
I knew there was some truth in it because of the strong reaction I had.
Note: if you have a strong reaction to something someone else says or does there is always a lesson (and a gift) in it for YOU…it has nothing to do with the other person.
So here’s what I learned. I DO hide behind my keyboard quite often. It is safe and I can choose whether or not I respond to emails and comments about what I write. It protects my sensitive nature and in some ways keeps me from actually doing the work that I know needs to get done in real life that would make my services more accessible. Writing is one way of being present for me so if I’m writing and nurturing my own soul, thus advancing the consciousness of the world, then all is well...right? Maybe. Or is more balance called for. Hmmm...at least something for me to ponder.
So, I have now taken more action this week to do some of the things I’ve wanted to do for a long time (namely getting organization and systems in place to help boost my productivity). Whoa, did that just leave my fingertips? lol
Thanks to my amazing friend, I’ve allowed my “being” time to be a catalyst for inspired action and both the being and the doing have been more fruitful! Woot! :)
I also learned that I don’t have to be afraid to question and reflect on what I believe to be true. If any of you have had to leave a religion or have lived a life in opposition to your family’s values (I’ve done both) then you know what I mean.
I was worried that if I really looked at my motivations, intentions and “truths” about being present, I would find that I actually know jack squat about what I was trying to articulate and thus be found out to be a fraud! But the gift was that as I communicated with my friend, I became more and more convinced of the importance of becoming aware and being present in order to act, do and work from a place of authenticity. He forced me to stand up for my beliefs and also mirrored back and affirmed them as I was able to clarify my motivations.
I stand firm knowing that as we become more present to your our own life we heighten the effectiveness and meaning of our work in the world as well as create fun and ease within the process of “work” itself!
So many of us just do and do and do without ever stopping to think…what the hell am I running around doing all this for?
Why am I working so hard at a job I despise?
Why am I giving all of my time to things I really could care less about?
Because society tells you to? Your boss? Your God?
This I know, until you are able to be - just be - with yourself and until you get present enough to hear your own soul, your actions will be forced, laborious, and less effective than if you learn to get present and listen.
So there it is...the lesson that kicked my butt into action and the gift of my friend (and teacher) for speaking his own truth to help me clarify my own!
Now get busy...just being!
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 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!
Isn't it amazing...the people we love the most are the ones who are sometimes the hardest to get along with. I believe this has more to do with energy than the fact that we just "take things out" on the people that are closest to us. I believe that these people, whether our spouses, partners, parents or children, are our closest companions because they are here to mirror back to us the things we most need to learn about ourselves. The conflict or hardship we experience in these relationships is only a whisper from the Universe to look inside. It is our job to transform the energy of conflict, frustration and habitual behavior into something our bodies, minds and souls can integrate more easily into our ever evolving self. So how do we allow this learning to take place when we know WE ARE RIGHT? ;)
STOP TALKING AND BECOME AWARE
Since every relationship in your life is only a mirror of what is on the inside and the lessons you are here to learn, we can take every encounter with another, positive, negative or neutral in stride. We can CHOOSE to be an observer, not of the other but of ourselves, since this is really the only person we have direct control over. So, let's take a stressful or heated discussion with a loved one for an example (it is the holidays after all ;)).
You have within your power to control the energy of the encounter should you choose to. A little know secret is energy can be moved, transformed, manipulated at our will...I know that's out there for some of you, but bare with me. So the encounter is getting heated...first, stop (talking) and be honest with yourself...you can FEEL once a conversation hits a certain point and it no longer serving the best interest of either party. Be honest with yourself and FORGIVE yourself and the other person for, well being HUMAN and ALLOW and ACCEPT that fact! We all let things get out of hand some :) I know, tough first step for some of us...I know it is for me.
Now this is where you might begin getting a couple of stares...but that's okay, because if you want to be at the forefront of nurturing conscious healthy relationships, you may have to FEEL a little weird. :) So, after you've become aware of the situation...take a few deep, belly breaths (there's that breathing thing again). Let the party goers around you are your kids look at you funny, in about 10 seconds, you're going to have more control over everything because you've shifted your OWN ENERGY by BREATHING....okay, better? Now you can move forward from a place that is a little more centered (figuratively and literally...from your belly and heart to be exact).:)
Once you are back in your body and out of your head (thank you beautiful breath), and this is where others may not notice but you may feel a little awkward, maybe even vulnerable (I know it's a dirty word for some of us;))... DO SOMETHING! Stay committed to not talking, and move (away if necessary), smile (that's when you move both corners of your mouth towards your eyebrows), laugh (if the moment moves you) or touch, yes, touch the other person...give them a hug or a pat on the shoulder or if you feel they are still a little "prickly" give yourself a squeeze! :) You will be amazed at how movement, however small, will continue to transform the moment...our bodies are sooooo smart! If the other person can't quite FEEL the shift in energy yet, I like to put my hands together (or hug myself if I'm feeling daring) and assure myself I have taken care of my own stuff through breathing, therefore getting back in my body and releasing the blocked energy through movement. It's amazing how quickly the other person will come around once you've shifted your own energy!
So cheers to the amazing people in our lives who continue to bring about experiences that allow us to take responsibility for our own, ah hem, crap! And cheers to YOU for beginning to breathe and move and laugh again!!! You surely are changing the world one relationship at at time! Namaste!
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