Archive for 'class'

Comfort and joy

I started to spiral a little bit into holiday blues this past week. I was worrying about the consumption of it all and not exactly finding the spirit needed to bring me joyfully into this season. In an effort to combat the blues and bring in the cheer, I made a short list of what I wanted this month…

  • connection with family and friends
  • celebration of the season
  • baking
  • crafting
  • sharing my good fortunes with others
  • kindness
  • a spirit of giving
  • comfort and joy

As I looked at the list I realized all the things I want are completely attainable. And all are well within my power to make happen. We hung our Advent Calendar (finally) which consists of tiny pockets full of trinkets which get pinned onto the tree. In each pocket I also stuck a little note full of ideas for giving of the spirit. I crafted with some mama friends last night. And today, on this chilly rainy Sunday afternoon in Austin, TX I plan on doing a little holiday baking with the kids. And each time I start to spiral into overwhelm, I’ll look at my list for inspiration.

How do you create the spirit you want around the holidays? Do you know how you want the holidays to look and feel? Will you count down the days with joy this holiday? Or cross them off in a race of endurance?

If you need some ideas, we have a Creating Your Holidays e*book that will help you figure out just how you want things to look and feel.

November 09 random 171

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New mama circle

It’s been about 2 years now since Carrie and I did our first New Mama Circle together. She had done them before, on her own, and I was happy and honored to step in with my own tips, tools and ideas from my own family experience. Those little babies from that first class are all toddling two year olds now and there have been many more circles since. And many of those circles have continued to meet on their own and share and explore their role as mothers and as friends.

When you have a new baby, especially your first, it is mind boggling on so many levels. Physically, emotionally, mentally, you are thrust into another plane and led to explore regions of yourself you have never even dreamed of. And when you are in the thick of it, you wonder if anyone else has any understanding of this journey you are on.

If you are in that space now, if you are a new mama seeking guidance, understanding, comfort or community, to help you with this new role of yours, our New Mama Circle is for you. We’ll be starting up a new 4 part circle this coming Tuesday, October 13th. If you have a not yet mobile baby, we’d love for you to join us, with baby of course, and discover ways to get to a place in your mothering that is sane, satisfying, functional and fun.

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Sliding into connection

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It’s not about doing less.

It’s not about laying in the hammock.

It’s not about a family road trip, or an unscheduled weekend, or skipping out on all the parties.

Unless that’s what you want it to be.

Or it could also  just be about finding ways to connect with each other in the midst of your busy schedule.

So, if you are doing tons of stuff and you are feeling overwhelmed, find ways to do less.

But if  you’ve got tons of activities or scheduled events or trips or play dates or WHATEVER it is and you and your family are totally digging that, find ways to build connection into the process.

Slow Family Living really isn’t about doing less or doing nothing or checking out. It’s about  making connection the priority, for now and for the long haul. And finding that connection in the midst of it all.

Want to learn more about how your family can find the way that works for YOU? Want some tips and tools for creating connection in the midst of it all? Join us this Thursday, September 19th for our two hour Slow Family Living Workshop.  It’s great material.  And it’s a great way to get your family life right where and how you want it to be.

Seeing, hearing, appreciating and CONNECTING with each other are really what it’s all about. For now. And for the long haul.

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Shifting into Fall

In most places and in most minds too, summer officially ends over with the close of Labor Day weekend.  Picnics are thrown, beaches and pools are shut down and school starts up or gets into full swing. It’s a season of transition and a time of year too to set some intentions for how you want it all to go.

3 month calendar

Here in Austin, as the temperatures hover in the low to mid-nineties, it’s hard to imagine a shift into full on fall season and harder still to imagine saying goodbye to summer. But it’s true, it’s true! And even at Slow Family Living we are making the shift and setting up the calendar for a couple of great months of classes, workshops, fill-ups and more.

If you haven’t checked our class schedule lately, take a look and see what we’ve got coming up. Whether you are a little family just starting out, a seasoned mom seeking solace or a girls’ night out, a growing family needing ideas or inspiration, or a pre-teen looking to spread your wings into the babysitting world, we’ve got something on the calendar for you.

We hope this season of shifting schedules is going smoothly for you. Our goal continues to be to help families and individuals slow down, connect and truly enjoy their time together. Let us know how we can help.

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Adding a Second Child

Are you pregnant or thinking about making the leap from having an only child to creating a family of four or more? Are you worried about how a new new baby will affect your first? Are you concerned that you won’t have enough love/time/energy to go around? Do you wonder if you will be able to parent a second or third child with the attention and detail with which you welcomed your first? Are you looking for ways to strengthen your partnership in the midst of adding another child? Do you worry that there will be even less time for yourself once another baby arrives?

During our time together participants will:
* Learn ways to welcome your new baby in the midst of parenting an older child
* Discover tools for helping your first child with the transition into the role of older sibling
* Create a map for self-care which will allow you to find and maintain a calm and balanced center in the face of shifting family dynamics
* Learn simple tools for maintaining a strong, connected, love-filled partnership
* Ideas for building and surrounding yourself with a supportive community, because with two or more it really does take a village!
In addition we will discuss practical methods for ways you can choose compassion and connection over guilt and overwhelm, in the face of this huge familial transition.

This class can help get your family of four or more off to a really great start!

Join us if you can: Thursday September 24th from 7:15-9:30. Read more about it here…

And if you know someone who is having their second, we’d love it if you helped us spread the word.

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Filling up Fall

Last Friday, to segue out of summer mode and back into workshop mode, we held a Mama’s Five Hour Fill Up from 9:00-2:00. It was an awesome day with time for introspection, visualization, questions, crafting and pie! The theme was joy and we focused on ways to find more of it and to give space to the joyous things in life. It was a great day and one of the moms commented that it was like “preschool for moms”. I love that because it implies that not only are you getting your needs met, but there’s some creative outlet as well.

Carrie and I love those fill ups and have decided this fall to offer them monthly – each with a different theme: back to school, tending the partnership, setting intentions, finding joy, creating the holidays, and more. Our first one of the fall season will be on Friday, August 28th – the first week of school! And the theme will be Back-to-school and making sure that the transition into it is smooth sailing. We’ll have writing exercises, guided meditation, crafting, time to rest, relax, fill your cup, and, of course, PIE!

We lare really looking forward to creating more of these workshops and to providing mamas with the time and the space to get in touch with their joy, their partnership, their family life, and with their own self. All who have attended our past fill-ups will agree that spending 5 hours to fill your cup, is definitely 5 hours well spent. And as one mama pointed out, “I didn’t think I had time for this, so I knew it was essential that I make the time.”

We’re also putting a few other workshops on the calendar such as the Slow Family Living workshop, babysitter’s workshop and Creating a Family Mission Statement. Fall is such a time of change, we’d love to help you find ways to make that change for your family as smooth, satisfying and connected as it possibly can be.

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Slow Family Living in New Jersey

Slow Family Living Workshop

@ The Post Partum Place

55 Main Street

Chatham, NJ 07928


  • Does family life sometimes make you feel too anxious or overwhelmed?
  • Does life often feel too fast, furious and out of control?
  • Are you yearning for ways to find more satisfaction in it all?
  • Do you want to find ways to slow down, connect and truly enjoy family life?

Come join Bernadette Noll, mother of four and co-founder of Slow Family Living, for insight, inspiration and ideas for living the family life you want to live.

In this 2 hour workshop we’ll explore ways to make your family life more sane and satisfying.  We’ll go over methods for discovering which aspects of your family life are working and which ones feel like too much.  We’ll cover ways to make family life feel the way you want it to feel. And we’ll work our way through the Slow Family Living handbook to find practical tips for beginning your family’s journey into slowing down, building lifelong connection and living the family life you desire.  Join us and you’ll see that family life can be the well, not the drain.

Slow Family Living was started in Austin, TX by Carrie Contey, PhD and Bernadette Noll. It has been featured in The Newark Star Ledger, The Boston Globe, The Today Show with Kathie Lee and Hoda Kotb and most recently written about in Parents Magazine.

Here’s what some participants have said about the Slow Family Living workshop…

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!! Your workshop on slowing down was a total eye opener for me. Already I can feel the effects it is having on my family life. And, it’s allowing me to live the family life I want. Not the one someone else thinks I should want.

I loved loved loved the Slow Family tele-class last night! Thanks again for offering it! I hung up the phone feeling totally full of life and hope and love.

2 hour workshop

Tuesday July 14 10:30am-12:30pm

Wednesday July 15 7pm-9pm

$60.00 per individual $110.00 per couple

(includes a copy of the Slow Family Living workbook)

Register by contacting

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Parenting for a Peaceful World, written by Robin Grille, is a book for parents who want to learn to get inside their parenting with true compassion and understanding of both their children and of themselves. It is for child health professionals who want to gain insight into every infant and child, and even adult, they encounter. It is for adults who want to gain insight into their whole selves again and indeed, the whole self of every person they meet.

This book is nothing short of a manifesto for policy-makers, teachers, community leaders, and anyone who wants to deepen their connection to themselves and humanity as a whole. If the findings outlined in these pages are put into practice, the result may be a revolution of peace, humanity, and a world beyond our imagining.  And it can all begin in ourselves and in our very own families.

During our time together we will:
* Examine the whys of who we are
* Discuss the book
* Explore how our own early experiences influence what we believe about ourselves and how we parent
* Share some of the messiness and joys of parenting today
* Learn and practice mindfulness techniques that will help reduce stress and model good emotional health and regulation to partners and children

Time: 7-9pm
Dates: Every Wednesday for six classes starting July 29th
Cost: $250/person or $450/couple
Location: 919B Cardinal Lane Austin TX 78704

This is for mothers and fathers with children of all ages who are ready to explore and create new understandings of themselves, their children and their world in general.

Click here if you are registering as an individual.

Click here if you are registering as a couple.

Please contact Carrie at or 512-694-7794 if you have any questions.

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Happy Mother’s Day!

To all the mothers out there, we send a big way to go and a reminder too to take a few deep breaths along the way. However you choose to commemorate this day, with family or on your own, with big fete or quiet respite, at home or out on the town, we wish you a glorious day and a big reminder to slow down, connect with yourself and your family and enjoy your celebration.

And if you’re having trouble slowing down, here’s a few  of my favorite ways I can take pause throughout the day…

  1. Slowly drink a big glass of water (replenishing your body and giving you the necessary pause)
  2. Kick off your shoes and feel the floor underneath your feet (helps ground you)
  3. Sit up straight in a backed chair, put your feet flat on the floor and set the timer for five minutes of positive stillness. (As you sit still you’ll be amazed at how seldomly you are actually still.)
  4. Take a walk around the perimeter of your yard (don’t tell your family you’re going outside or they’ll follow you! By sneaking out you’ll be able to take the whole walk before they find you)
  5. And of course, don’t forget to breathe! Use some physical act throughout the day to serve as a reminder to take a few deep breaths. For example, everytime you wash your hands, take 3 deep cleansing breaths.

Those are some of my best tricks. And they have totally saved me from losing it completely.  Or at least have helped me come back from completely losing it! I hope you find some use in them too.

And if you want to find ways to slow your whole family life down, download our Slow Family Living Workbook and then join us for our Slow Family Workshop – either in person on Monday, May 11 7-9pm or via teleclass on Monday, May 18, 8-10pm Central Time.

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New Mama/Baby Circle

This is a four part series that will touch on different elements of bringing your life as a new parent to a place that is sane, satisfying, rewarding, enriching, functional and fun. In these sessions you will learn that it is not only okay, but necessary, to break down, cry and admit your own needs and weaknesses. In each class we will cover a different element of your new life with all its shifts, transitions, beauty, anguish, joy, sorrow and love. It is our hope that by the end of the four sessions you will learn that parenting is not about discovering a cure-all method but rather about maintaining momentum and developing support in a way that feels flowing and abundant. It is our hope also that you leave this series with another mama friend or two with whom you can share this journey together.

This class is for mamas with babes in arms.

Tuesdays: 10:30 to 12:30 on June 9, 16, 23, 30

Click here to to register.

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