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Archive for August, 2009

Have you ever noticed that children state something they want/desire/need and within a very short period of time it seems to be in their experience?  It’s because children haven’t forgotten that they are powerful creators!  Children stay so present moment and heart-based that they believe anything is possible.  When my daughter was four she really wanted to go camping.  I could not think of anything less appealing since my idea of “roughing it” is having to stay in a 2 star hotel.  My inclination was to tell her, “No, honey, we don’t camp and I don’t want to.”  Instead, I thought I would cleverly encourage her to create what she wanted — I was underestimating her ability to manifest.  I told her, “If you really want to go camping then you have to create it.”  Two days later my nanny said, “Maggie told me she wants to go camping and you know, my boyfriend has a tent you guys can borrow.  Just pitch it in the backyard and do a camp out.”

I was in the unique situation of wanting to ring my nanny’s neck, torch the canvas tent and congratulate my daughter on her manifesting abilities.  That little four year old just knew what she wanted and brought it into her experience.

It’s only as we become hardened to our environment that we slow down this process of manifesting our heart’s desires.  Having children in our life  helps us remember that anything IS possible!

Sometimes we think the best thing we can do as parents is to prepare our children for disappointment, let downs and rejection.  Have you ever found yourself saying some version of , “Life isn’t fair,” or “You don’t always get what you want”?  Because this is what we have experienced we convince ourselves that we would rather be the bearer of that bad news than some uncaring stranger (like a future boss, teacher or bully).  As Conscious Parents we want to help our children hold on to that beautiful sense of hope and the ability to manifest.  What if you lead your child through a process of staying so in touch with his or her heart that life was filled with the experience of truly creating the life they imagined?  And, on your way through that parenting journey, you will find that you are manifesting more and more of what your heart desires too!

Now for the How To:

1) Set aside time every few months to do Vision Boards.  Using magazines, words, pictures, markers, crayons and your imagination, let every person in the house create a poster (of any size) that includes the things they would like to experience.  Hang the posters in bedrooms or on a common wall and look at the boards everyday letting your heart and mind join in the fantasy of imagining how you will feel to experience what is on the board.  Once you feel complete because you have either manifested most of the experiences or because you have other ones that are more important to your heart, it’s time to do it again.  Doing this exercise as a family helps you support each other’s aspirations.

2)  Talk regularly with your children about what they would like to experience.  Just because it seems out of touch with reality to you doesn’t mean it’s truly unattainable.  It’s important that instead of telling your child, “That’s a nice aspiration but I don’t know that it will ever happen,” say things like, “How do think it will feel to do that?”  “How do you imagine it will be to experience that?” 

3)  Support one another’s dreams.  Talk as a family about what each member wants to experience and dream the dream with them, no matter how silly it seems.  This is one of our favorite things to do on long car trips or while we are waiting for food at a restaurant. 

Manifesting your heart’s desires does not have to take a lot of time or energy and it should always feel light and fun.  The key to manifestation is remembering that the only limitations we have are what our mind can conceive.  So take your mind out of the equation and dream with your heart. 

Oh, and my daughter’s camping experience…we did pitch that tent, but my manifestation was to sleep in a warm, cozy bed with the A/C running and access to indoor plumbing without having to dodge midnight spider-webs.  My husband slept in the tent with her!

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Whether your child is in preschool, primary school, secondary education or heading off to college, it’s crunch time.  You’re hitting the local retailers stocking up on glue, paper, pencils and the perfect binders, filling out school forms and checking to see which clothes at the bottom of the dresser still fit.

Some children see all of this commotion and transition as an exciting right of passage.  They relish the school clothes shopping, getting a new backpack and the anticipation of finding out which homeroom they will be in.  For other children, this time is filled with anxiety.  They refuse to try on clothes because they don’t want to part with the pair of jeans that fit just right, a new lunch box makes them cry and the thought of walking into school that first day has them twisted in knots — literally.

You might be ready for school to start, but if you have a child who gets anxious or nervous when things change, you may be finding that your home is filled with tears, angst and disruptions.  The key is not trying to convince your Nervous Nelly that “it’s all OK,” because the fact is, no matter what you say, you cannot make it feel OK in their little body with words.  Helping your child with this transition is less about assumptions as to what the stressors are and more about actually finding out what causes the anxiety.

New experiences can make a child feel like their world where they have very few options already is really out of control. Instead of trying to tell your child how great school will be, give him a voice.  Ask him what he thinks about school.  Ask him what he thinks will be fun and ask him what he thinks won’t be fun.  For older children, ask them who they are looking forward to hanging out with and what teachers they hope to get.  Conversely, ask them if anything is making them feel nervous or uncomfortable as they think about the impending school year.  By asking them what they are feeling and thinking you will gain a great deal of insight into what makes them feel safe and what does not.   It may take some prodding and you may have to help your younger child find the words to describe what he is feeling.  Be sure to ask about lunch (some children are afraid they won’t like the food or won’t have someone to sit with — see, it’s not about the green lunchbox  after all.)  Ask about their transportation; just because Aunt Susie is taking them to work doesn’t mean it’s comfortable for them or perhaps they have a perception that Aunt Susie’s propensity for being late will make life difficult for them.   Talk with them about all of the different facets of the upcoming school year, breaking down the  school day if you have to in order to get to the bottom of the stress indicator(s).

Give them as much control as possible.  Let them pick out school supplies and tools.  Let them help set up their study and homework area at home.  Visit the after-school care center and let them see where they will be spending their after or before school time.  Put a picture of you on a keychain and attach it to your child’s backpack or lunchbox.  Help them make a list of foods they would like to have in their lunch or get the school’s lunch calendar before school starts to talk about food options.

Come up with a plan together for those things that make them feel unsafe.  Here’s the key part — there are no rules when it comes to keeping your child safe.  My son use to have a great deal of difficulty assimilating the first few days of school.  A new classroom was completely overstimulating.  Our elementary school does not release classroom assignments  until the night before school starts.  I’m a self-proclaimed rule follower,  but the rules went away when I became my child’s advocate.  For 3 years I would go to the school’s office when it opened in August and talk with the powers that be calmly and articulately explaining what I wanted and why and how it would benefit them as well as my child.  My son would meet his teacher and see his new room several days before school started and it helped him immensely.

So whatever it is that makes your son or daughter feel stressed, find a way to help them feel a little safer — you’ll both be more relaxed the first few days of school.

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If you joined us and www.HeartisHot.com on the Balanced Living teleclass last night you got to her Brooke’s amazing story of healing after a stroke at age 24.  Now a healthy, happy and balanced 28 she shared the following tips for living a more balanced life:

1.  Learn to Listen to Your Heart:  Make time for you, whatever that is: taking baths, getting a massage, taking a walk, exercising, meditation…whatever it is that you do that leaves you feeling more connected to your heart, more in tune with it’s messages.

2.  Listen to Your Body:  We all get messages from our body and these little whispers are indicators that we are out of balance.  So don’t ignore those headaches, backaches, bouts of constipation, chronic dry skin. . . these are all tied to emotional issues and if you listen and take care of yourself then you can avoid the “louder message.”

3.  Self-Gratitude:  You are exactly where you are suppose to be in this moment.  Take time everyday to be grateful for where you are, who you are and all that you have accomplished.

4.  Find Joy:  Find joy everyday.  Make a “Joy List” by jotting down 10 things that you can do for you that bring you absolute joy.  Each day make it a point to do at least one thing on the list.

5.  Eliminate “Shoulds,” “Musts,” “Rule Books”:  Whenever we act from a place of “I should do this,” or “I have to do that,” we are not in our heart and we are definitely not in our joy.  These are trigger words that let you know you are headed into out-of-balance territory.

And if you are noticing that your entire family is out of balance, try these tips for regaining your peace and serenity.

1.  Don’t try to correct the child’s behavior without first addressing the source of the problem.  Little Sally will not stop her tantrums if the reason she is doing it is because mom and dad are fighting all of the time.  But stop the fighting and then you can address any bad habits the child has employed to get your attention.

2.  Identify the Problem:  With the help of other adults, friends, therapists, doctors, etc, figure out what the root of the family stress is.  Do not process this with the children — they do not need the gory details of what is stressing you out.

3.  Don’t Hide Important Things from the Kids:  They will know if a secret exists and will react the same way to the secrecy as they would to you processing the problem with them.  It’s OK to say, “Mommy is sad because grandpa is ill.”

4.  Do Tell Your Child(ren) How You are Planning on Resolving the Problem:  “Dad’s been stressed because he lost his job, but he is setting up interviews and in the meantime we are going to support him by making more fun meals at home.”  Make sure the delivery of your plan is age appropriate.

5.  Give Your Kids a Chance to Tell You What is Bothering Them:  The source of a child’s stress might not be what you think it is.  Even young children can express how they feel with a little help.

6.  Play Happy Music in the Household:  This does wonders for the entire family.  Happy music is anything that makes you want to dance or feel really peaceful.  Keep it on all of the time.

7.  Create:  Instead of focusing on what is not going well, help the family focus on what is working and on their dreams.  Do a family vision board or start a family gratitude journal/jar and share the comments once a week.

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