Live Life Now!

In just a second your entire life can change. Someone you love can be diagnosed with cancer, or get hit by a car. You can have an accident that can leave you disabled. Your perfect idea of a relationship can suddenly end in divorce. These are changes that can leave you filled with anxiety and fear. There are also many positive changes in life, such as a new partnership or marriage, the birth of a new baby, a new exciting career opportunity.  Change is inevitable, it’s all part of life. Some are planned, others are unplanned

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We forget that we are all on an inexorable journey that will end with the obliteration of our individual ego. Change is all around us but we ignore it. I can remember exactly how I felt bringing my daughter home from the hospital. She was so tiny and perfect, so helpless, unable to do anything for herself. Now she is a tall, lovely, competent ten-year old girl with her own opinions and ideas. Before I know it, she will be a teenager and there will be even more changes in my life. These are things we can’t control. When you can’t control what is happening, challenge yourself to control the way you respond to what’s happening. That is where your power is!

The end is inevitable. The journey is irreversible. We die because we are born and that begins the unrelenting odyssey. We don’t know how much time we have in life. What matters is what you do with the time you have. In fact, with each day. Live it now!

  • Spend time with the people who bring you happiness
  • Do what makes you happy
  • Don’t fall into the ‘some day’ trap
  • Use your best china
  • Go on that vacation
  • Explore the world, go somewhere new every year
  • Show your love to the people who mean everything to you, saying I love you is one thing but actions speak louder than words
  • Be kind, serve others
  • Spend one on one time with your children, parents, partners and friends you cherish

Do it now, this is not your practice life!

 

Children and Electronics

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Recently I was talking to my cousin about the amount of time he allows his two-year old to be in front of the screen. This started a conversation about how I don’t let my 10-year old watch any television during the week. Our conversation turned into whether or not the amount of time in front of the screen makes a negative impact. This prompted me to put some research into the subject and find out what the professionals suggest. I really always went to my sister, a speech therapist and my go to guru for what I should and should not allow my daughter. I trust and respect her input and her knowledge.

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So first, here is what screen time means, watching television, being on computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets.

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I found out that too much screen time has been linked to health problems in kids including obesity and emotional problems. Experts say using media while in the classroom can be helpful, but too much use outside school decreases academic performance. Using it at bedtime has been shown to disrupt sleep. Technology can also get in the way of family time. As with anything in life balance is key.img_6336

Here is a family media use plan that is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

  • Mealtimes should be screen-free.
  • Homework should be done without any electronics.
  • If homework requires a computer, have kids work on it in the kitchen or other common area.
  • Don’t use electronics during the school week; this will help avoid creating a dynamic where kids rush their schoolwork to get to their screen time.
  • Have kids earn screen time by equal time spent on physical activity or chores.
  • Make bedtime screen-free.

Here are the limits of screen time for kids in different age groups according to experts:

  • Ages 0-2, no screen time
  • Ages 2-3, 30 minutes per day
  • Ages 3-5, 1 hour per day
  • Ages 5-6, 1 and a half hours per day
  • Ages 6-12 2 hours per day

So now we know that too much screen time is harmful, but it’s important to also think about what our kids are doing online. Content matters! We can use screen time to learn, create and challenge ourselves or simply to veg out. It’s important that our children’s screen time emphasizes the first three.img_6337 img_6338

Obviously technology is here to stay and we want our kids to thrive in this digital world. They can do this with our support and involvement. Start a conversation on the risks of technology use and how much screen time Is too much.

Good luck, they aren’t going to like it now but they will thank you later in life.

Oh the joys of parenting!

Time is Fleeting

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 Let me love you a little more before you’re not little anymore. I want you to be my little girl forever but at the same time I’m excited about all the great things you will do in the life. In the meantime I cherish every minute I have with you because I know it will all end way too soon.

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You will have a newborn for a month…

An infant for a year…

A toddler for two years…

A preschooler for two years..

A child for five years…

A preteen for three years..

A teenager for five years..

And then they are off to college and life.

Be mindful and present in what you do with the years that you have with your children.

They are few. And then you’ll have to let them go. So until then, listen to them when they want to talk, hold them tight when they want a hug. Play with them even when your tired. Read to them, take in their innocence and show them that everything they do interests you. Breathe in their sweet smell, love them. Take note of how very lucky you are to have them and pay attention to how much they teach you. Appreciate what you have before time makes you appreciate what you had.

Yoga for Kids!

 

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If you’ve ever tried Yoga, you have already felt the benefits of it. Why not try it for your children? My ten-year old has been taking yoga from the very beginning. I first exposed her to it when she was just an infant. We took Mommy and me yoga together. Since then, she has been practicing yoga on and off for years. I also practice meditation with her.img_9735

I recently signed her up for a series of yoga classes that my friend teaches right in my town. Both Yoga and mindfulness have been shown to improve physical and mental health in children.

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Yoga can be fun and beneficial for kids. It improves balance, strength and endurance.  In fact, research has already shown that yoga can improve focus, memory, self-esteem, academic performance, classroom behavior and can even reduce anxiety and stress in kids.

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Another benefit of yoga is self-awareness. Through this practice kids begin to listen to their internal cues and emotions. By shifting self-awareness inward, a buffer forms between the yoga student and the many negative outside influences that promote poor body images.

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Thousands of schools across the country are now offering yoga. If your school hasn’t implemented the practice yet, you can always find one in your neighborhood. So go ahead and look for it at a studio near you. You will see for yourself just how great it can be for you and your child!

Namaste

 

Lavender Feilds

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Forgiveness is the smell that Lavender gives out when you tread on it.-Mark Twain

img_9311Every second of every day is an opportunity to be grateful. Grateful for the air we breathe, the beauty that surrounds us, our health, the children we are fortunate enough to raise, our loved ones, our friends. Every situation in life good or bad gives us an opportunity to grow and to be grateful. Even in the worst of times we can find something to be thankful about.  Live this way and you will see your life change for the positive.

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Here are some other ways to live a positive life

  1. Spend time getting to know yourself
  2. Appreciate what you have
  3. Accept and love yourself 
  4. See the positive in every situation
  5. Live in the moment
  6. Travel to new places
  7. Stop worrying about the future
  8. Spend quality alone time with your spouse
  9. Enjoy every second of your children, they grow fast
  10. If you are lucky enough to still have your parents, spend time with them
  11. Make time for friends that want to spend time with you
  12. Be a positive role model for your children by living authentically
  13. Teach kindness and compassion by practicing it yourself
  14. Do something for others on a daily basis, you will be surprised how much happiness this will bring you
  15. Keep on learning, a new language, knitting, dancing, cooking, something that will keep you reaching for goals
  16. Take time to make new friends and reconnect with old ones
  17. Forgive, love and let go
  18. Stay away from negative people
  19. Live your dreams and take risks, life is happening now
  20. Connect with your source, learn to meditate, pray

In all things in nature there is something of the marvelous -Aristotle

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Take time to be present, stop and smell the flowers.

 

Ride the waves

 

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In life we experience ups and downs, rocky and smooth times. People disappoint us or surprise us. New friends come into our lives while others leave. Loved ones pass away and new ones are born.

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All we can do is focus on the positive, appreciate today, enjoy the ones we have and be grateful.

imageAll we can do is live and ride the waves of life.

You Are Magnificent!

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You are not your stories, you are not your past!

You are a magnificent being with unlimited potential.

imageEverything in life, good or bad, happens to bring you into something greater.

Love and embrace yourself for who you are.

Be present and available for every experience in your life.

-Panache Desai, Spiritual Teacher

 

Girl Power

They are the apple of our eye, our sweet little girls. My child and most of her friends have now reached double digits. They are no longer little girls, soon they will blossom into lovely young ladies.IMG_8228It’s our job to empower them to grow up feeling secure in themselves. Powerful girls learn to take action, making positive choices about their own lives and doing positive things for others. Here are some ways that many parenting experts say will help us raise powerful girls….IMG_8267_peEncourage her to pursue a passion.IMG_8263Let her have a voice in making decisions.IMG_8302Let her solve issues on her own rather than fixing things for her.IMG_8353Encourage her to go beyond her comfort zone, to take physical risksIMG_8374_peEncourage your daughter to participate in team-building activities or join organizations that rely on teamwork.

Be honest with her.IMG_8524 Give her time to just play!

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Having close friends that are like-minded and most importantly kind is an important part of her growing up. Help them foster positive, loving relationships. IMG_8578_peLet her know you love her because of who she is, not because of what she weighs or how she looks.

IMG_8283.Allow her to disagree.IMG_8621_peMake time to listen to her on a regular basis.IMG_8402Listen more, talk less.IMG_8231Limit your daughter’s exposure to the media and popular culture.IMG_8635_peTalk with her about her body and sex in ways appropriate to her age and your values. Yes, it’s really time to do that!IMG_8334_peKeep her active.

Be the person you want her to be. Love yourself so that she can love herself too.IMG_8242Help foster and flourish her relationships with a powerful women in your family, like an aunt or grandmother.IMG_8277_peMost importantly, don’t forget to stop and really enjoy this special time with them. Enjoy them!

Double Digits!

 

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My little girl is has officially entered double digits. I can’t believe she is ten years old! Since I’ve had my daughter I have made the choice of being a stay at home mother. I feel blessed to be able to be there for my child. I am able to be at every important function and witness every phase. I was there for her first word, the first time she took her first step and many other firsts. My husband on the other hand has missed many of her important firsts. That is the sacrifice he has made in order to have a parent always present for our child. I’m beyond grateful for that.

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We live in a beautiful neighborhood in a modest house. We take fewer vacations than we would if we were both working. I miss my career as a journalist but not enough to go back to work. Working full-time would not allow me to be as fully present as I am with my daughter. It’s a choice we are lucky to be able to make. I respect everyone’s choices, be it to stay at home or be a working parent. Whatever brings balance in our lives is what should be done. I have yet to be fully balanced but I’m working on it and this blog is just one way to help bring me balance. I still get to write, express my feelings and share what I have learned. My hopes are that my journey can be of help to someone else going through the ups and downs of life.

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To be a parent is a privilege. We are blessed to have our children. They are given to us by God to care for and raise to hopefully be adults that will contribute positively to the world.

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I know that my husband and I are so grateful to have such a kind, smart, funny, articulate and compassionate little girl. She is creative, artistic and most importantly she has a heart of gold. She is blessed to have a wonderful extended family of grandparents, aunts and uncles who contribute into forming her character and self-esteem.

She has given us a decade of bliss. We live each day, moment by moment taking in all the beauty of her childhood. I hope we can make her as happy as she has made us. We look forward to many more years of growth and learning together.

We love you Sophia. Happy Birthday!

Everyday Is Valentine’s Day

I love holidays, any reason to get together with loved ones makes me happy but celebrating Valentine’s Day can be tricky. For single people, it can bring attention to the fact that they are without a partner. For couples, the pressure is on to show their love for one another. I personally don’t think we should reserve flowers, hearts and love notes for one day of the year. Instead, I think we should show our affection and love for people that we love every day.

 

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I used to always leave my husband little notes everywhere. Bringing flowers home just because you thought of your loved one is a nice way to show your appreciation. Being considerate, kind and loving every day would also be ideal.

We all have days when we are tired or busy and inattentive but carving some time to just show you care is important in a relationship romantic or otherwise. I think the best thing we can do as couples is to have one on one time every once in a while. Once a week would be wonderful, but if that’s not possible then once a month would be great too.

My best friend and I would send cards and flowers to each other on Valentine’s Day. For the first time, my little girl and her bestie exchanged cards and little tokens of love. They always connect and let each other know how important they are to one other. Valentine’s Day was just a bonus for them.

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You don’t have to buy flowers or big gifts to show your love and it doesn’t even have to be romantic. You can look at this day as just another day to express your appreciation for your parents, siblings, husband, wife, children or friends.

With this in mind, I thought I would share some meaningful ways to celebrate your Valentine.

  1. Write a Love Note

Putting your feelings down on paper is one of the most long lasting and appreciated things you can do for someone.  The note doesn’t have to be long — it just has to come from your heart.

  1. Express Words of Gratitude

We all need to hear how much we are appreciated more often. I encourage you to thank the ones you love on a daily basis.  Whether it’s that they ran an errand for you, picked up their socks, helped you with a project, or just have faithfully stood by your side through thick and thin. You never know how much a word of thanks can make someone’s day.

Praise character that you appreciate instead of just saying thank you for actions done. Tell your Valentine how much you admire their patience, their kindness, or their amazing ability.

I have my nine year old and her best friend write five things they love about one another every week. I then have them put it in a special box. When they are feeling down about themselves they can open the box and see all the great things they see in one another. I think it’s a great way for kids to learn to love the great qualities that their friend see in them.

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  1. Do Something Nice

Do something that you know your Valentine will love. You know them best, so if your partner loves a certain dish make it and make it often. If they appreciate that you show up to meet him or her for lunch in the middle of the week, do it. Buy some flowers if you know that it will make them happy.

  1. Speak Their Love Language

Everyone has a unique LOVE LANGUAGE.  It’s the way they feel loved most. If you aren’t familiar with the 5 love languages, they are: Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. Some people can be a mix of a few of these, but you’ll almost always have one that is dominant. If you aren’t sure what your love language is, you can take a quiz at http://www.5lovelanguages.com/profile/ just click on profiles and then love.

Once you know what someone else’s love language is, it will help you understand what matters to them the most. My dominant love language is Quality Time. It means that it’s important to me that my partner spends one on one time with me without any distractions.  My second dominant love language is Receiving Gifts. What can I say, I really like getting gifts.

I hope you appreciate the gifts of love you have in your life. Just look around you and express your gratitude.