Archives for posts with tag: health

For the longest time, 8 years, my kitchen faucets temperatures were reversed. I asked my Superintendent  to fix this, but it didn’t happen, and I understood it wasn’t a major priority. So I adjusted. I knew this was the deal in my kitchen, there were some water burns along the way, and when I approached my sink, I had to physically and mindfully stop and think, “Ok this is supposed to be cold but it’s hot” and then turn the water on. Eventually I completely adjusted. It didn’t affect how I approached any other sink anywhere else in my apartment or elsewhere, just in the kitchen.

Recently I had a leak and the super not only fixed the leak, but also corrected the hot and cold knobs. I am now newly adjusting to this updated version of hot and cold. It’s not easy and once again I must slow down, physically and mindfully and only then can I turn the water on. Several scalding hot experiences later, I must  use this sink at an even slower pace.

Why am I sharing this? I asked myself; “what can I learn from this sink ordeal?”  Along with slowing down to do a task. I realized how getting into a known routine feels safe and comfortable. I adjusted to WHAT DOESN’T WORK. One perspective is: I can find the correctness in any situation, the other perspective is: Why do I have to adjust to what doesn’t work?

08-kitchen-faucetsI think and work on and with families on radically relating to each other. How much of our relationships within our families DON’T WORK, but we adjust and work around it, ignoring the issue or challenge. How many feelings and priorities are burned along the way? Why as a society is it the norm to act as-if all is good, when it’s not?

I see and know the difficulties lie in the idea of being uncomfortable. I myself like to be comfortable. Getting the family to open up and change (getting my faucets fixed) will bring some awkwardness, some strange silences, but most of all it will bring up FEELINGS. Why are feelings avoided? We disagree, we have the same conversations over and over, nothing changes. It’s easier this way, it’s easier to adjust, but it’s not healthy and it doesn’t promote growth.

Here are some ways to integrate change or growth to radically relate to family…

  • Give compliments – offer them in a nice tone of voice, don’t expect anything in return
  • Offer help – even if it’s turned down, the offer matters
  • Do what you don’t want to do –  when a “chore” or activity pops up with family, and it’s exactly what you DON’T want to do, do it. Breathe and get through it
  • Let there be awkward silences – if a family member constantly has negative comments, let them have them, no response is warranted. Being defensiveness never feels good
  • Create limits and boundaries – Your actions will be more powerful, talking about limits and boundaries can be passive aggressive, or received as ultimatums. Not everyone is ready to make changes
  • Receive – Being able to receive anything in a heartfelt way – Be aware when family members are “giving” you something, if you can find a way to receive it without judgment, it can create a moment of peace and appretiation

I wish you all the power to DO YOUR BEST, with your family this holiday season!

Happy NEW YEAR!
Shane B. Kulman, MS SpEd

  • Why do you go on vacation? 
  • Why go to the spa?
  • Why do yoga?
  • Why go out and party?
  • Why excersize?
  • Why meditate?
  • Why pay for a massage?
  • Why go for drinks?
  • Why see friends?

The answer is: TO RELAX.

How much time, money and energy is spent on any of these activities listed above. Does it balance out? The time spent thinking and talking about relaxation versus the time and actions actually spent  doing it?

What if relaxation was easy? Would it be enjoyed so much? What if you could relax every day guaranteed? Would it be enough? If you didn’t have to save, and work and pray and complain about not having time to relax, would you want it anymore?  Your body would, and your mind wouldn’t. Research shows, as a society, we want what we can’t have and vice versa. If we don’t have to suffer to get something than we don’t want it? Isn’t that crazy?  When exactly do we learn that suffering will lead us to what we worked so hard for.

I am here to say NO. No to suffering, NO to working hard in order to achieve relaxation. If one has to work so hard, and so long in order to relax, how will it ever balance out? If  money has to be spent in order to achieve relaxation, there will never be enough money,   if we are always making relaxation happen with external activities, we’ll never be relaxed enough…

relaxandchill

How balanced is it when people count down 67 days until their vacation that lasts 7 days? It’s simple math. The answer is we MUST find ways to incorporate relaxation that comes from the inside every day. We cannot wait for others and perfect timing and specific situations to relax. It’s unfair to our bodies and minds.

If integrating relaxation could be a goal for everyone, there would be less high blood pressure, hypertension, physical pains, less traffic accidents, and less poor choices made.

There is a ton of research on how yoga and meditation are relaxing and beneficial. What if being quiet and still make you more anxious?  I use improv acting class to be loud and intense. What can you do to relax?

We can achieve full relaxation when our minds and bodies are connected.   If our body is physically resting, but our minds are thinking of what should be doing instead, we cannot achieve deep relaxation. This includes watching tv or hearing the radio. Any kind of input into our minds keeps our minds too busy to completely rest.

Happy relaxation… Taking that first action is the most important step.  Thinking about doing something and doing it are miles apart. It’s the physical action that counts.

So yes to vacations, massages, yoga and dance classes, yes to tennis, bowling hanging with friends etc. BUT also consider including relaxation that comes from the inside.

Here are some easy ways to find inner relax daily:

  1. exercise every day, get it done and over with in the morning, involve your children.
  2. write in a journal
  3. breathe into your belly and drink water
  4. self massage (neck, shoulders feet, scalp)
  5. take a bath
  6. turn off the TV and lay on your back in Shavasana
  7. give yourself a foot massage, or ask for family volunteers
  8. Pranayama * Conscious breathing

Happy Relaxation!

Shane B. Kulman, MS

panda eyesI had an early talk to give, and had performed in an improv show the night before, so I wore the same makeup. So there, I said it.  It wasn’t my plan- it just happened.

I am aware of all the judgements you have while reading this, some judgment and some relief, maybe both?  This was not the plan of course, I am pretty good about washing my face before I go to bed.  This time it didn’t’ happen that way, and you know what IT WORKED.  If you know me, or have listened to my radio show, you are aware I have been lucky enough to create a work schedule that does not include being anywhere before 11am. This workshop began at 8am in midtown Manhattan.

Other than not being healthy for my skin, what reasons was this a bad thing?  When you think of these reasons, is it based on “the right thing to do?’ Who created these right things? Are you not my friend anymore, do you think I’m dirty? do you not want to follow the work I do? Once you answer those questions, ask yourself if those judgements matter to me….

Why am I writing this on my blog?  Here is why.

When you are thinking of “doing the right thing” for your child or your Self, as a parent or a human being, do you do what you think is what everyone else would consider the right thing? Or are you doing what works for your child and your Self?

This is a great question when something you are working so hard to get done, isn’t flowing,  or your child is fighting against what you think is best for him/her? Following a child’s lead (whether it’s your own, a child in view, or in your life) can show you what is really right. Children are connected to the truth WAY EASIER than we are.   My suggestion is this: if something is not working out easily and feels forced, take a step back  (literally)  and think about why you dare doing it? Is it because it’s the right thing to do according to the social norm?  Are you considering what people will say about you? Becoming mindful of these times will create less paddling up sh*t’s creek.

Life could be lived without being so hard and forced.  By squeezing too many errands or appointments into one day, each task is not done with full presence, you end up running late, and for what? To be a superhero parent? So you can you feel proud when talking about how busy you are? In the midst of the day of working hard to “do the right things” many moments are zipped through with all sorts of meaningful things ignored; thoughts, signs, beauty and most of all answers about bigger questions in your life.

As we grow, and or get older, life can become easier and more manageable. If  it isn’t, something must shift, or what usually happens is, you get sick. Your body tells you to stop and slow down.   Living a life thats based on what works, vs. what your supposed to do makes all the difference.

Louise hay asks the question, “do you have poverty in time or are you prosperous in time?”

With all my heart,

Shane

 

What is a SAFE SPACE?  Is this a new age term?  Do you have specific spaces you consider safe?  Is this a physical place or is it space between people or within oneself?  Creating a safe space is new agey,  but now that I am aware of  what this FEELS like.  It’s a new description but an age old idea. Safe space can be:

  • a physical place
  • a relationship (parent & child, spouses, friends, boss & employee etc)
  • used during problem solving (or a disagreement)
  • time used before making a decision
  •  given verbally
  • used in a conversation
  • a mindset

When I grew up the word “safe” meant free from  physically getting hurt. Now a safe space means something different to me.  Its a place where I can be free, completely free to express myself in any way I can imagine.  A space with no judgment and no criticism.  I am lucky to know how I am able to actually create this space anywhere.

This year I was faced with a recurring issue with the children. All the children presented anger issues during our sessions. Just a coincidence?  I think not.   This year, due to my acting class, I am more aware than ever before of my feelings and trust myself to show them. It’s a whole new rainbow of feelings!  What  I brought to my little clients this year, was a safe space to feel.  I allowed them to be as big and mad as they felt.    Maybe it created disagreements, but I was truthful and genuine from me. 

I see many parents dancing around the truth, using fear, or thinking they are helping their child by giving in to what they meltdown about. This message couldn’t be a worse lesson to learn.  By “sticking to your guns” as a parent, it shows strength and creates limits and boundaries. Children who are acting out, are acting out for a reason. They may not be happy with an answer they get, or they may be physically uncomfortable. If they are coaxed into being happy, or moving on from tears, they are not feeling or learning conflict resolution.

After there were no more tears, and there was no attention from me, other than occasionally asking “do you need me for anything?” They  came to me, joined me in what I was doing asked me if I wanted to play.  This respectful bond made our connection even deeper. In all four scenarios, after we resolved the problem, our sessions became something more special.

In one case, a little girl brought me to her room (which we hadn’t been to in the year I was working with her, in another case a little boy began greeting me and inviting me to play (which hadn’t happened in 6 months.)  Another child came to me with a boo-boo, in the past she would only go screaming to her Mother.

If we do not provide children a safe space to completely feel, they will never learn how to express themselves.  Caregivers may feel the need to do something, doing something may look like doing nothing. We now can know that giving them space –  may look like doing nothing, but it is something, and it is powerful.

Tantrums are thought of as “nightmares” or “something terrible.”  I see them as children not knowing the correct way to express themselves.  I’ve had and have tantrums.  In that moment, I am so passionate about something I am unable to express myself using any of my tools.  I understand tantrums, I am compassionate towards children I work with who express themselves this way, as well as random children on the street who have them.  I am also compassionate towards parents and caregivers who only think stopping a tantrum is the way to handle it.

How can you “teach” your child to feel?

  • Allowing yourself to feel in front of them
  • naturally demonstrating your frustration
  • showing conflict resolution
  • validating their feelings, without judgement (I understand it’s not fair, I would be upset, frustrated, angry too)

If we give people and ourselves all the space we really need, life becomes easier and more effortless…

This has become a great lesson for me, a naturally born pushy gal!

Namaste and thank you for reading

As I meet more and more parents and caregivers, I notice the reaction on their faces when  they tell me their challenges, and the solution I give is yoga.  I read their faces as  “yeah right, how is standing on my head going to help my child!?”  Yoga brings on tolerance, acceptance, trust, physical health, patience and love for all, including your challenging child.

I am here to tell you,  just by breathing you are already doing the most important part of yoga.  Now you can be mindful of how you  breathe.

I recently spoke to a Dad, who lives in the midwest. He casually asked if I could make some video clips and show him how to do yoga so he can do it with his adult son who is on the Autism spectrum. He has no opportunities to do yoga where he lives.   He went on to tell me what he does to make himself feel better, most of what he naturally does is yoga.   He inspired me to write this blog.

Every one takes a deep breath once in a while.  Everyone does some form of praying out loud, whether it be in a church, synogogue, mosque, temple, alter, or in traffic. Saying what you want out loud repeatedly is important and is a part of the yoga I know.  Most of the time we have no idea what we are doing to our bodies when we are practicing. Sometimes my goal is “just get to class.”  There are absolutely times where I literally drag myself there.

We have clogged up chakras and pains in our bodies keep us stuck and complaining.  All this complaining and negativity comes from “clogged” areas in our bodies.   Being physically, mentally and spiritually open is when we are able to be positive human beings. Yoga teaches us to handle stress, if you can get through a yoga class you can get through everything, no  matter what shape or size you are, if you can breathe you can do yoga.  Here are some benefits:

  • improve cardiovascular
  • balances organs and glands
  • cures sleep and anxiety
  • focusing skills
  • creating harmony between bones, muscles and skin promoting freedom of movement
  • raises levels of energy, breath and fluids
  • lowers cortisol and blood pressure

If you will be starting a yoga practice, here are some helpful notes:

  • take a mental note of when you feel like you want to give up, keep going
  • forgive yourself for not doing things right.  Just do it, keep going
  • You’ll have no idea what your doing but your’re helping your whole body and mind
  •  Know at some point you’ll just feel better, and your body will shine from the inside out
  • think of  everything you do on the mat as a metaphor for life
If you live in Brooklyn, on Januaray 15th at 5pm you will have a wonderful opportunity to begin a yoga practice at VeroYoga.  Vero Yoga is located at 208 Midwood Street, the lower level in Prospect Lefferts Gardens.  Linda Gastaldello will be teaching a beginners hatha, vinyasa class. The price is $14.00, bring a mat or rent one for $1.00.

Namaste and I hope to see you on the mat!

Shane

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