Tag: mindful parenting
I was lucky enough to hear Geeta Cowlagi speak this past weekend on the subject of mindfulness and joyful living. This was my most-important takeaway from her lessons on staying calm.
Put your hands on your heart.
*my teen advises me to alert you all to smile to yourselves. If you smile at them, the calming effect might be lost!
Since I view this time of year as the official new year for many families, it seems a perfect time to chronicle a little bit of what family life looks like right now. What’s everyone into? What are you all wanting? What did you love about summer? What does a typical day look like? What’s working? What’s not? All of these questions and more can be answered in Look At Us Now thereby creating a time-capsule of sorts, a memoir, of your family life. Plus, the pages you fill out will serve as a good guide for moving forward with intention into this next school year.
If you need proof that everything in family life changes always, just take a look at where you were one year ago? Are things the same? Heck no. So capturing where you are right now is a great way to reflect AND project.
Wait, what? You don’t have your copy yet? You can order yours here…
Here’s some ideas people have shared with me. Find some inspiration here and then share your own ideas and pages too!
- For getting inside her teens heads one mom brings the book with them when they go out for their weekly Saturday breakfast. Of particular interest to this mom was the page where everyone describes things they really, really want. She was surprised at all the information garnered and surprised at some of her own answers too!
- For planning a family outing we used the Places We’d Like To Go page. By the time we were finished we had an entire outline of steps needed to make a particular event happen. And now that outing has become one of our favorite summer memories.
- As a Saturday morning family activity one family fills out a page before they even get out of bed. It offers a fun way to plot out the weekend, plus a little more lounge time for the parents.
- A dad who shares custody with his ex, uses Look At Us Now as a tool for jump starting conversations with his kids. It’s hard sometimes when everyone’s been apart and Look At Us Now gives them all an intimate glimpse into each other’s daily existence.
- One mom wrote to tell me she uses Look At Us Now as an incentive tool for her kids as in, “You can play XBox after we sit and fill out a page together.” And we both agreed incentive sounds way better than bribe.
- Feeling frantic? One mom says whenever she starts spinning out, she tries to find 10 minutes to sit with her kids and fill out a page.
- Need to process a bad day? One dad told me he sat and filled out the Worst Day Ever page with his son after a battle they had. By the time they were finished they were laughing about it and coming up with ways to avoid such a mess in the future.
- A mom wrote to tell me she left the book open to the page One hundred things we are so glad about and by weekend’s end the pages were full!
The ways to use Look At Us Now are endless and the connection and information it can provide are beyond measurable! Let me know how you use Look At Us Now in your home and what it’s bringing to your family’s experience. Wait? What? You don’t have yours yet? You can order one and leave a review here!
It’s a brand new year people!!
With a few big events behind us, like the Austin Maker Faire, a few house guests and getting our house on the market, I am ready for some solidly intentional days. I want to make sure that events, practices and obligations created are events, practices and obligations desired.
My goals for these next few weeks…
- Each day do my own work first.
- Ponder each invitation before saying yes. Be they meetings, parties, or other. Not always easy for me, especially when faced with so many exciting things!
- Schedule in spaciousness.
- Put family time on the calendar.
- Play outside more. And really just play more in general.
- Turn my phone off at random intervals.
- Schedule a couple of “spend nothing days” each week. Not even for the money but for the freedom from consuming. And the freedom from the many demands for impromptu spending.
- Write a note to my children’s teachers telling them how much I appreciate their love and devotion.
- Do one creative thing everyday.
- Eat outside more.
- Find a way to celebrate a school year completed by each and every one of my children.
I get this reminder rather frequently these days. Right now I’m being walloped with it. Time flies.
My baby is turning 5. Wasn’t he just born? My oldest is looking at high schools. Didn’t she just learn how to read? My mom is thinking of selling her house because she’s 86 and a half and it’s a lot of house. Didn’t she just get it how she wants it? And my calendar is nearing it’s last page of the year. Wait. What?
So in these continuous messages I am trying to catch my breath. Really and truly trying to breathe through it all very thoughtfully, consciously, intentionally. I am slowing down at yellow lights rather than trying to rush ahead. I am turning off the phone in the evenings. I am looking my family members in the eye. And I am very mindfully giving lots and lots of heart to heart hugs. Every morning when I greet my family for the first time. Big hug. Throughout the day when we encounter each other in the kitchen, the livingroom, the back yard, big hugs. And at the end of the day before bed the goodnights are deep and thoughtful and we really, really look each other in the eye. There you are. I see you. You see me too.
Because as fast as everything seems to be going, one thing we’ve definitely got is now. Right now. So I want to make sure I show up.
Especially this last page of the calendar. Which can sometimes take on a life of its own.
Oh, there you are. I see you. You see me.
Check out the interview I did with Nicole at Being Savvy Austin which is a site for parents of preschoolers.