anxiety-coverAnxiety is awful, to me it feels like I’m on a roller coaster ride, I don’t want to be on, can’t get off and it’s never ending. Laying down is all I want to do, which makes me feel my heartbeat and in the stillness I’m more uncomfortable.  As far back as I can remember, I would wake up with my heart beating fast and my mind racing. There are times I knew why, and other times, I had no idea, and stories of dread would form, and go on automatic repeat.

I’m inspired to share my goodies, my tools and my secrets, to absolutely changing these feelings. I have the theory if I can do it, anyone can. This is not to say I don’t occasionally have anxiety, but it is so reduced, AND when I am full on anxious it never goes into a full on downward spiral.

I offer you action steps that lead to solutions and at the minimum some ease with the anxiety you are experiencing. There are many ideas in this book, choose what works for you. Create accountability with a chart or with a sister friend. Keep this book nearby, use the sight of it as a reminder, that you are not alone, you are never alone, and anxiety is the number one complaint of women. Right now in this moment, all is ok, (re-read this as many times as you need.)

This book gives you the foundational  into the basis of the work, to move away from the roller coaster of anxiety, the roller coaster that you didn’t wait on line for, the ride that you are ready to exit.  

These tools are a great starter experience. If you are interested in more, I WOULD LOVE to GUIDE and SUPPORT YOU!

Here is how this book works.

Bolded words = actions/tools to do on your own

Pink= Journal/workbook activities,

Let’s begin! – Take a deep breath, take a few more, and make a sound, or sounds, relax you physical body, stick your tongue all the way out and flutter your lips.

I welcome you with all my heart  and a deep knowing that if I can reduce and eliminate anxiety so can you.  You are not alone, as a society we are overwhelmed with information and tragedies. Right now all is well, and you are ok.

These are the biggest anxiety causes, we will work with them in this book.

Ø Money

Ø Love

Ø Body

While there may be other seeming causes, research shows these are the biggest. If you had to put them in order, which causes the most? I recommend looking at that section first…

All of what we feel, think and predict are results of our experiences and our conditioning. There is no way around it. What we heard as children helped create a blueprint of our belief system. Two things can happen:

Ø One complains and blames

Ø One can take action and stay curious.

If you are reading this, I imagine you are desiring to take action and stay curious.  YAY!!! This is your second celebration (your first was saying YES to yourself and getting this E book!) Being open to change is a major celebration. It counts if you feel like you’ve hit bottom and you have no choice. Some folks stay in that victim mode, with the “no-choice” feeling for a very loooooong time. So BRAVA! You’ve made it.

WANT MORE?!?!?! Pre-order now  (CLICK HERE) for $21.00 the book will be released in December!

Warmly,

Shane Kulman

Want to get inspired RIGHT NOW? Mamas read up…

artistmommylife

Today was full. Open eyes. Meditate and pray.  Pillow talk. Get my beautiful brown flower child ready for school. Make her favorite breakfast a pot spoonful of yellow grits and fried plantain with eggs like auntie Vu. Finish cornrow plaits from last night. Luckily, these will keep for a full week. Off to sweat cleanse and facilitate my physical healing. Hot yoga for two hours and a power meeting with a mentor. A  friend and visionary. Then project and event planning for the corporation. Check list stuff. Check. Check. Check,. Then the checklist that cherry blossoms into  more checklists that pour out like ghetto ancestral rituals. Then one errand and another pick up the child. We read and write, she asks “What does prioritize mean?” and I get a small token of being on the right path because after my succinct explanation she says in her four year old voice…

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Mandatory credit: VisMedia +44 (0)20 7613 2555 Judging other folks is normal and natural. Brining in consciousness about it is the change can happen. Whether I am working with a family, a Mother or a woman who is seeking more confidence, there is shame of being judgmental. I easily I admit to all my clients that I am judgmental, and I have always been, the difference now is that my judgments don’t mean much, and once they come into my awareness, I actually let it out of my mind. I have done a ton of self-development work around this. Why am I sharing this?

With light of our country’s politics, I see how clearly children pick up their parents judgments, and on some level this is ok. What I am here to invite parents to think about is, your judgments and feelings are bigger and magnified to extremes in the eyes of a child. When a parent is rampaging on, or feeling low and showing signs of depression, anger, sadness, fear etc. A child may begin to feel unsafe. They see their parents as they are “in trouble or doomed.” Several suggestions and offers of how to “be” with your children when you are feeling passionate about politics, world issues and anything to do with the climate of the world.

  • Let your child (of any age) “I love you and we are safe”
  • Limit watching the news, especially the channels where people are talking over each other and fighting
  • Create art with newspapers and discuss what they see, ask  curious questions
  • Ask them questions that they can answer (yes/no questions for younger kids, open ended questions to older kids.)
  • Stay neutral and curious in your tone of voice(do your best) when having a conversation around world issues
  • Check- in with them frequently to see what they think or how they are feeling.
  • Children’s behaviors may seem irrelevant to the issues at hand. Their behaviors are ALWAYS a sign of their inner life
  • When your child/children act out, respond, don’t react. A reaction is mirroring what doesn’t work. A tantrum, melt-town, acting out etc. is a reaction of something overloading the child.
  • When this reaction from your child happens, take a physical step to the side, take at least one breath into your belly, and ask them; “what happened? or “what’s happening?”
  • You don’t always have to “fix” your child’s problem, it’s healthy to have an outburst of energy, they need space to do this, as long as it’s safe, and they can move on, way quicker than we can

I welcome all comments and feedback,

Thank you,

Shane B. Kulman, MS SpEd

naked-mom-and-kid  Physically and metaphorically. Inspired to write this with a moment that happened in the gym locker room the other day. I was in the middle of changing and I was naked. A little girl, about 4 or 5, looked at me in the eyes and smiled, or maybe I smiled first. Her Mom pulled her along  strongly and appeared to be working to keep her eyes away from me. This sent me into a query of how many kids see their parents naked? Then I began thinking deeper, how many kids see their parents emotionally transparent?

I thought about my own childhood, where I don’t recall seeing any feelings, and remembering my feelings were “too much” and didn’t know what to do with them, and how hard it was for me as a child, and also as an adult who had to re-find what it’s like to actually have (big) feelings.

My intention for this email is an invitation to be curious about your own family. How did you grow up in the context of nudity at home, as well as sharing and seeing, and feeling your “nude” feelings?

I am constantly learning myself, and don’t have biological children of my own. I do spend time with my friends kids, and I get self-conscious with my getting dressed and undressed with them around (especially in the Summer, with changing of bathing suits etc.)  If my friend (their Mom) is not into the Goddess lifestyle where we love and enJOY our bodies, I contract and don’t always know “what’s right” around them, this includes with my physical body as well as my emotions. How much do I share? What angle do I share from?

All this second guessing, and no wanting to offend or be judged as “______ kind of woman.” This thinking sends me into a tailspin. The question I am left with is:

Do I follow my own freedom and intuition, or do I give in to what I assess as limited actions?

Does anyone resonate? I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject…..

Love,

Shane

 

Tips for Choosing the Best Childcare for Your Family

By: Shannon P. McNulty of http://www.savvy-parents.com

Tips for Choosing the Best Childcare for Your Family

If you are heading back to work after the birth of a child and feel overwhelmed with your choices in childcare, you are not alone! Choosing a caregiver to trust with your child’s daily care and education is one of the most important decisions you will ever make, and the sheer variety of options can be dizzying, never mind all the conflicting advice. So what can you do to ensure that you have made the best childcare choice for your family?

Know your childcare options and the benefits and challenges to each.

You may have heard stories from seasoned parents about how their daycare became not only a safe haven for their child, but also a learning community for their entire family. Or how their nanny kept their entire family organized and thriving during the early childhood years. Or how their affordable and flexible au pair made the after school pick-ups manageable. But for every great story, you will also hear stories from parents who struggled with their childcare providers and had negative experiences with their daycare’s high teacher turnover rate, their nanny’s inability to make it to work as scheduled or the adjustment to having a young au pair living in their home 24/7.

It is important to know that there are plenty of quality options for daycares, nannies and au pairs, but childcare is not “one size fits all.” So while it is wise to seek advice and ask for referrals from experienced parents, remember that every family has a different schedule, budget, family stressors, home culture, child-rearing philosophy and personality. It is critical for each family to weigh the pros and cons of each option based on their particular needs and to carefully screen their childcare choice to ensure it matches their specific standards. Click HERE to download a free comparison chart of some of the benefits and challenges of daycares and nannies to help you decide which is the best fit for your family.

Regularly communicate review your expectations with your childcare provider.

One of the most important steps you will ever take as you enter a childcare relationship is to clearly discuss and write out your expectations in detail.

If you choose a daycare, most states require the center to provide you with information on the center’s policies and procedures for topics such as: staff hiring requirements, ratio of students to teachers in the classroom, illness policy for staff and children, holidays and vacation schedules, feeding, diapering/potty, safe sleeping, outdoor play, discipline, injury, emergencies, late pick-up, allergies, vaccine requirements, curriculum and education, sanitation, etc. Be sure to read through and understand this information and what this will mean for your child, not just at their current stage of development, but also as they grow and move to the next classroom.

In addition to the policies of the daycare center, ask questions about how your child’s classroom operates. Request time to speak with the teachers in the classroom about your child’s personality and schedule, along with your parenting style, and your fears and hopes about daycare.

Unlike a daycare, when you hire a home employee (such as a nanny or an au pair), you become the caregiver’s employer. Because of the intimacy of this relationship, professional boundaries often become blurred and can be hard for many parents to manage. It is wise to write out your employment benefits and policies, household preferences, and childcare expectations at the time of hire, so that both parties understand what is required. Writing everything out will ensure that conflict is either avoided, or when conflict does arise, you can quickly turn to the documented agreement and calmly discuss any confusion.

Consider creating a nanny contract to include topics such as: hourly/ weekly pay; required schedule and the level of flexibility required; overtime rate of pay; how taxes will be handled; what vacation, sick days, and holidays will be paid to the nanny; how the nanny will be compensated for days the family does not need care; lateness; your rules for nanny’s use of social media, TV, music, and phone; meals while on duty; dress code; outdoor perimeters; basic care instructions for feeding, sleeping, diapering, discipline and bathing; public transportation preferences; play dates; nanny cameras; cleanliness in the home, household chores and errands; vaccines required for the position; areas “off limits” in the home; and anything else that is important to you! It is so much easier to discuss these topics within the first 1-2 weeks of hire, rather than waiting until issues come up many months down the road.

Evaluate and review your decision. 

After you have carefully screened, hired and trained your daycare, nanny, or au pair – work at building trust! Trust is something that should not automatically be given, but instead come gradually after time, consistent good behavior, reliability and the strengthening of the relationship.

I am a big advocate of web cameras in daycares and homes where the caregiver has been made aware of the device from the very start. However, in my experience, cameras are best used not for the sole purpose of catching “bad” or abusive behavior, but rather to ensure that your child is in the best situation for their needs. Cameras can also be helpful to assure yourself as a parent that you are actively involved in your child’s safety, care and education. With a camera, you will be able to: watch for activities and play geared toward your child’s current developmental stage; observe your child’s tantrum and see your caregiver’s response; see your child trip and get hurt, knowing that the caregiver could have done nothing to prevent it; watch your child’s joy when her caregiver plays peak-a-boo or snuggles her at story time; and see your caregiver’s level of enjoyment in the day-to-day activities of the job.

To ensure your relationship stays healthy, consider creating monthly or quarterly review times to discuss how “the job” is going, any upcoming schedule changes, the child’s current and upcoming development, and any changes that need to be made to the child’s daily routine. It is also a great time to reevaluate if this particular childcare situation is in the best interest of the child and the needs of family, and if the caregiver is happy. Sometimes parents love daycare, but their child is really struggling with the over stimulation, illness, or group care at a particular developmental stage. Or, perhaps the family loves the nanny, but the child is ready for a preschool environment, needs someone more physically equipped to chase them at the park, or the family needs someone that can help parents with dinner and housekeeping, so they can spend more quality time with the child in the evening.

While families love the idea of a caregiver or center that will stay in their lives long-term, remember that so much changes in the life and development of an infant, toddler, and preschool-aged child in a six-month to one-year period of time. If the caregiver you first choose is not everything you hoped for or becomes unsuited for your child as they grow older, know that there are many other great options available and don’t be afraid to revaluate to find the best fit for your ever-changing family.

Freedom-Surrender-Woman.jpg

I see parents using SERIOUS, as a way to discipline and I see frustration, anger, pain and no results.  Not everyone feels their silly side, I get that, but if silly or lighter, let’s say, were a more efficient and successful way to reach your child, and could get them to listen could you learn? Would you be willing to lighten up?

Being silly and playful is a tool in disciplining. Your children are in school for enough hours a week, in between playtime, (if they still have it) there are huge expectations on them, constantly. Stand up, sit down, get on line, take this book out, sit there, time to do this, time to do that, make a choice, share, do this… etc.

It’s important to remember this and schedule in some surrendered Mommy time, where you are not giving directions or asking questions, a time where you are letting your child play and explore.

I have tried many times to explain, model, and show parents how to do this. What I have come to find is, unless a parent has official playtime in his or her own lives, surrendered parenting is nearly impossible.

What I am suggesting is for you to have your own time where there are no rules and no judgment, and you get to let completely lose and lose yourself in the moment. This is a practice, as long as you get through the first 5 minutes of judgment and self-critical time, you have made it! This will help you understand and relate to your child, who knows how to surrender to the moment like an expert!

Here are some ideas if nothing comes up:

  • Lay on the floor and roll and stretch
  • Put on a cape and twirl to your favorite music
  • Sing a song with all the completely wrong words
  • Shake your whole body for 3-5 minutes without stopping

I would LOVE to know how you find time to surrender to the moment! Please share!

Love,

Shane

Tune in to the thoughts of H&B learning…

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Trust me, its a lot easier than you think. More importantly, its often better to reassess a situation rather than endure the consequences of the mental “check-out.” But what is it about a circumstance, or about us, that makes us give up? After making my own mistakes in that area, as well as observing others, the answer is crystal clear: we mentally check-out when we no longer feel successful at something. Not the earth shattering answer you were looking for, right? But think about it. Not much unlike reopening the refrigerator expecting food to magically appear, we are often guilty of the same type of inertia in our daily lives. And instead of going food shopping, we would rather look at an empty fridge in hope that the matter simply resolved itself. Or we take a nap- the ultimate check out! So, if you’re in a position where checking back…

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“Optimize Your Child’s Mind, Body and Soul” by Nishma Shah – A Book Review

Disclaimer: The opinions presented in this book review are 100% my own.  My perspective may differ from yours, so please take the time to read the book and create your own opinions before acting upon mine.  And as always, please consult a doctor before acting upon a new health regimen.  Thanks for reading!

nishmaI am such a bookworm.  I always have been and always will be.  When I find a really good book that interests me, I can never put it down until I have at least come to a sort-of stopping point…but even then, I still read a few more pages.  And before you know it, I have read the ENTIRE book in one or two sittings.

Obviously that changes with children, but I still find time to squeeze in a few chapters (at least).

When I first connected with Nishma Shah I knew we would and do have a lot in common – including our outlook on feeding our children and nurturing their minds and bodies (as well as their souls!).  Nishma is a light within this world.  Just talking with her is delightful and enlightening.  Through her experiences with raising children and discovering ways to navigate illnesses through nutrition is beyond amazing.  I highly recommend contacting her, getting to know her and inquiring about her services to mothers and families.  (You can do that by visiting her website HERE).

What you will find is this:

Nishma is a health coach – through her coaching, she helps mothers discover underlying problems associated with nutrition and diet that could and can help overcome childhood (and adulthood) illnesses.  Nishma has an innate way of helping parents dig deep into negative habits, eating patterns and health issues – overcoming those and allowing mothers and their families to live a prosperous, healthy and happy life.

Nishma GETS IT! – What do I mean by this?  Not only is she educated in nutrition, health and wellness and has written publications for various high-level organizations, but she has also lived with a child who experienced illness at a very young age.  Nishma’s son was diagnosed at a very young age with liver disease.  For many years, Nishma researched and researched ways to help her son find comfort and healing.  What helped her son the most was implementing a healthy and tailored nutritional diet as well as mediation and yoga.

Isn’t that awesome?  So Nishma gets it – she has lived it, researched it and become educated in what she does!  And she so passionately pours herself into those she is in contact with.

Through this, Nishma wrote a book, “Optimize Your Child’s Mind, Body and Soul“.  She sent her book to me to read and I cannot even begin to tell you how eye-opening  it was to apply Nishma’s words and knowledge into my families everyday life.  It has already changed the way we eat and the way that we approach nutrition on a more healing level.

“Optimize Your Child’s Mind, Body and Soul”

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This book guides the reader through the following topics:

– Increases the reader’s understanding of how different food groups influence their child’s mind, body and soul.

– Shows the reader how simple changes in gut health can strengthen the immune system and optimize brain power. (and I can be a testament to this!)

– Introduces yoga and meditation to your child to help them keep calm and centered. (This was probably my favorite part)

– And introduces the reader to healthy and delicious recipes that every member of the family will LOVE!

As I read through, I made several notes that I would like to share with you; things that I felt were either interesting, relevant or really spoke to me:

1. Breaking Down Food Groups and Their Effects on the Body

I always knew that fast food was bad for me.  I also always knew that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) was not healthy.  But I did not know WHY.  Nishma clears all questions in her book by breaking down the food groups and explaining WHY certain carbohydrates are not processed similar to others.  She also explains why HFCS does not serve the body, what happens when we take it in through our food and how our body reacts to this foreign “food”.

Probably my favorite chapter within the food group section was that of the vitamins and minerals.  Did you know that there is a difference in “fat soluble” and “water soluble” vitamins?  And in order for your body to process these vitamins correctly, we must eat a variety of foods to aid our body in absorbing these vitamins.  But these foods must be the RIGHT foods!  Nishma walks the reader through this process in an easy to understand way.

In addition, at the end of each food group chapter, Nishma offers a summary of that particular discussion making it easy for the reader to understand the high-level points (this was especially helpful as I was taking notes).

2. Nishma Helps You Understand what a HEALTHY Body Looks and Performs Like

opthealthBefore now I never really considered the way I chewed my food, let alone why my pee was yellow (rather than clear) or why I was having a regular upset stomach after eating.  Then, after reading, I understood a little bit more why my brain was not performing at it’s best and how to protect my body from “bad bacteria” and improve mine as well as my children’s immune systems through a healthy gut (This stuff is just too good).

The next chapter walks the reader through the digestive process, how an optimized brain should and does work as well as how to improve the immunity of your body through cleaning up the gut.  Break through the need for antibiotics by a few simple changes, such as implementing a regular clean probiotic into your daily life – this, as well as other simple changes are mentioned in “Optimize Your Child’s Mind, Body and Soul“.

3. Take Baby Steps

One of the big take aways from reading was that instilling a healthier nutritional based lifestyle for your family does not have to happen over night.  Take baby steps.  For example, if you are hoping to eliminate sweets from your child’s diet, slowly begin implementing more sweet fruits that the love and less sweet processed foods and eventually you will find your child asking for fruit!

It takes time, the cold-turkey technique does NOT work.  Take it from me – I had attempted to give my children ONLY water throughout the day when they were so used to having juice bottles.  I feared that their teeth would rot out of their heads.  It did not work.  They were crying, screaming, and everyone was miserable.  So I started giving a juice bottle in the morning, followed by only water in a cup.  Once they drank the water, a juice bottle was the reward.  And ever so slowly we are weening the kids off of only drinking juice.

Baby steps, mamas!  Baby steps!

4. YOGA!!!!!!!!!

You know I’m all over this.  Nishma introduces yoga to the reader for both adults, but most importantly, for children.  Did you know that yoga enhances a child’s concentration?  Increase flexibility and balance? And boosts immunity?  Yoga is an amazing addition to a healthy lifestyle (take it from me, I love me some yoga).

Poses, along with detailed descriptions are included as well as a chapter solely dedicated to teaching your children how to meditate!

5. Yummy Recipes

I’m terrible at cooking home-cooked meals.  I’m getting better at this.  At the end of Nishma’s book, you will find some of the most delicious recipes that are all meant to compliment the nutritional advice and comments throughout the entire book.  From breakfast pancakes to stovetop popcorn, these healthy recipes are sure to boost the health within your family one bite at a time!

I truly enjoyed this book, if you could not tell from my comments above.  I feel more connected to the nutrition and health of my family than ever before.  We are slowly transitioning to healthier options and eliminating the habits that we have fallen into (“for convenience”).  But I would MUCH rather my children be healthy than sick based solely on what I am feeding them – that really hits home.

If you would like to purchase your very own “Optimize Your Child’s Mind, Body and Soul” by Nishma Shah, please visit her website HERE and grab your copy today.  You will NOT be disappointed.

Also!

Be on the lookout for an upcoming webinar with Nishma and Get Out Mama!  We will be offering a 6-week webinar geared towards similar topics expressed in her book.  I cannot wait!

 

Over the last seventeen years of Motherhood I’ve seen many different variations of energy. From the moment I knew I was to be a Mother, I could sense the magical whirling inside my womb, that the galaxies were gathering and expanding to create this unique star inside of me. And just as the sun is sure to dawn, babies are sure to make their way earthside. The energy that surrounds this moment in time, the waves of labor, a distinct force of nature, one that is meant for our experience alone. As the baby crowns, the sun has broken the horizon….the ring of fire; energy.

Then there is love. Love, an energy so multi-faceted, so extraordinary in its design, its execution, its availability. Love is one of those things, like breathing, where we don’t even have to think about it. It just is. We love. This energy that wraps itself around how we nurture, nourish, encourage, behave, worry, let go, trust, remind, start over, forgive; this energy is the foundation of our motherhood journey, it is the topic and the title. It is paramount to everything. Like the sun giving us warmth and nourishment to grow, this is our love as a Mother. Our Love is the Sun to those we care for.

The minute our feet hit the ground in the morning, it is the pulse of our desire to care for and create a life that keeps us going. We have breakfast to make, diapers to change, lunches to pack, school bags to get ready, teeth to brush (probably not our own), kids to get dressed, hairs to brush (ours just gets thrown into a ponytail or bun), and kisses to plant before heading out the door, or watching as everyone else heads out the door. That explosion of life first thing in the morning can leave us feeling like we’ve just experienced a tornado. Everything is compartmentalized and narrowed into such a small, finite, moment in time with an ever expanding, forward momentum; the living outward, the intention, however subconscious, to be and experience, to learn and to work, this life energy that has created the human experience.

It is the constant flow of the living river of love that keeps me on my path. There is a mantra that I keep close to my heart “as within, so without”. I had heard this many years ago and it never resonated with me until now, as I feel my world falling apart. It has been several months that I haven’t been able to get my act together. I’ve been in a consistent face plant, falling flat on my face at every turn. Giving up, surrendering, definitely not in it to win it. Not only is my world inside falling apart, but so is what I look at every day, my life outside my body: my home, my children’s happiness, my relationship with my husband. Everything I see has been plagued by disharmony. It never once dawned on me that this disharmony had anything to do with how I feel inside, I just assumed everyone else was having a hard time too. It wasn’t until one night this week when I came to be brutally honest with myself in seeing how far down I’d let myself go. I’m merely in survival mode, my relationships are all very superficial, I spend far too much time in the past or the future. Where had my present gone? Why is it so painful to live in the now? What I know for sure is everything is as it is because I forgot about love. I instead, have unconsciously chosen to live in the energy of fear.  As within, so without, my falling apart inside is a direct correlation to the world outside my body falling apart. The energy I’ve given to feed the beast of fear living within me has oozed out and slowly poisoned the living life of me, my family, and my home. The secret is out, and because it is, the momentum to facilitate change will occur. The tides have come in and now they will recede, they will take with it all the pain and suffering, the stagnant water will be pulled away, the tides will churn and breathe life back into this holy work that I have given a vow to. The energy that we feed is the energy we create.

This is not a burden, this is part of the human condition. Leaning into our whole selves is how we continue to grow, to dig deeper, to direct our roots around the rocks into more fertile soil. What an awakening and beautiful realization that I can shift something, that the way this life feels currently will not feel like this much longer. What sweet relief to acknowledge and allow that recognition and honor the darkness while continually stretching my branches to find sunlight again. This has been my own Spiritual barren time, my own personal winter, where all my vitality has fallen to the ground, leaving me naked and vulnerable.  The magic of it all is the hidden energy beneath the surface. My body and Spirit, however wilted and appearing as though there was hardly a heartbeat, is in fact alive. What lies underneath the surface is a panoply of energetic wisdom, a collection of the heart’s essence and the Spirit’s breath. There is a slow ascension to the surface where the temperature begins to rise and the silent partnership of intention and manifestation will blossom. At the heart of this partnership is love.

I’m settling into the last little while of my Spirit’s murmuring below the surface. I am feeling the outward pull, the soft glow of a new dawn. I can sense that my Spirit is coming alive once again, full of secrets and ready to burst. As within, so without….this is the energy of love, allowing us grace for what’s within so that love can shine without. Love smoothes out the rough spots, it is the crack that allows the light to get in. Love breaks up the hard-pack of the mundane and revitalizes the foundation of our daily life. If we can soften our gaze as we look at ourselves in the mirror and see the beauty of the Soul staring back at us, if we can honor the life that has unfurled from our willingness to dedicate this time on earth for holding space for our children and partner, if we can hold ceremony in our hearts and give precious thanks for this gift of our time, here and now, than we know love. Not only or our families, but for ourselves, because it is the love that we give to ourselves to fill our own vessel that will allow us to then fill up the cups of our dear ones, truly and zealously. Love looks a lot like Grace. Go ahead and give yourself daily and hearty doses of Grace and you will begin to see that you can love yourself just as fully as you hope to love those in your midst.

It is the energy of love that supplies all that we need to keep refreshed, it is our living stream that our wandering Spirits chase after. Love is where we are able to find a settled rest. And even as we watch parts of us come and go, as we remember to feed love instead of fear, our Spirits will begin to alightin the truth that they are no more a stranger or a guest, but like a child at home. Life will look very different now, a love within is a love without and so it goes….

Written By Marcy Coalter (@wildsoul_mama)

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• The last paragraph was written, and half way though I realized I was acknowledging my favorite hymn My Shepherd will Supply my Need by Isaac Watts.

• Photos taken by my friend, the beautiful Linda Moshier at her dreamy home on Lake Oscawana.

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In our social media culture, I see many parents apologizing before sharing a bragg about   their child. I see many parents having no problem “showing off” their child in a cool outfit or a vacation spot. Why when it’s something about a child’s accomplishment is there a need for qualifying statements?   Where does this apologetic-ness come from? Why are parents apologizing for their pride? Why is it easier to say “my kid is a pain in the butt?”

Active challenge: Brag about your child! Right here in the comments! Let’s see what your kid is up to!

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