Noticing the small stuff

Kindness is something that happens more often than we realize or notice.  It’s just that most of the time when it happens, they are small acts-  simple and spontaneous gestures.  While these gestures may make our lives a bit better in the moment or even make us smile, most of us don’t deliberately spend energy thinking about them beyond that brief moment.  Recently though I tried to be mindful of the simple acts of kindness I experience in my life and was pleasantly surprised to find that my list was a lot longer that I had expected.  Here’s just a few examples from my list…and interestingly most of the kind acts are from complete strangers: Read more

Empowering our littles to be kind to themselves

This week I had the privilege of seeing Orly Wahba speak at a Kindness Assembly at a local elementary school, and then again during her evening “Kindness Boomerang” book signing event for community members.  Wahba is a passionate “kindness activist” who founded a nonprofit called Life Vest Inside that is focused on empowering and inspiring kindness around the world.  Her key message is that we all can and should feel empowered to make a positive difference in the world.  She says that our small acts of kindness, especially the random organic ones can have a powerful ripple effect on the world because kindness is contagious.  With each act of kindness we do, we can energize and inspire others to do the same thing.  While Wahba is a kindness activist, she says her organization is about empowerment. It starts with kindness to ourselves.  We must all realize that we have a life vest inside of us to help ourselves and believe we can do good and reach our highest potential.  Once we do, then we can touch others with kindness to find their own life vests.  And if each of us believe we have a role in this world to do good things- no matter how small- then only good things will come and positivity will spread. Read more

A Memorable “Mindless” Mama Moment

One of the common misconceptions with mindfulness is that someone who practices mindfulness is or should be mindful all the time.  I’ll be the first to tell you that that is not the case and that being “mindless” is part of our human experience. With our endless to-do lists and toggling between parenting, work and house stuff, being mindful all the time or even part of the time is not always easy to do and can sometimes feel impossible.  But mindfulness is a practice- and not an end state.  It’s a work in progress for all of us.  We all have moments of mindlessness from misplacing our cell phone for the billionth time to frantically searching for our eyeglasses while they are on top of our head.  I’ve had a ton of mindless moments and some that make me laugh more than others.  Recently I had an experience that really topped the charts of Mindless Mama Moments. Read more

One Word for the Day

In the book “Awakening Joy for Kids” as well as his adult course “Awakening Joy,” James Baraz (co-founder of Spirit Rock Meditation Center) describes ten wholesome habits to create well-being in your life. One of his first recommendations is to set a positive intention for your day to “incline your mind toward a particular vision.”  By doing so, you are more likely to pay attention to ways that you are focusing on that intention and changing old habits that don’t help you achieve well-being.  In his book, Baraz cites a quote from Dan Siegel, who describes that “Intentions create an integrated state of priming, a gearing up of our neural system to be in the mode of that specific intention: we can be ready to receive, to sense, to focus, to behave in a certain manner.”  Read more

Nothing like a stomach bug to teach you about kindness

Last week our family got hit with the stomach bug, and we all went down like dominoes- first me, then my husband, then our older daughter and even my poor mother who was in town visiting.  Somehow my younger daughter and father were spared our misery, but it was not a fun week for the rest of us…or for our washer and dryer for that matter.   I especially had impeccable timing with my illness as I got sick on my husband’s birthday.  I had originally planned an entire itinerary to celebrate his special day.  The girls and I were going to make him breakfast.  We booked him a massage, and afterwards we were going to go on a family hike and picnic. And to top it all off, he and I were going to go on a dinner date together.   It all sounded like an awesome plan, until I got really sick and couldn’t get out of bed and we had to cancel everything. Read more

We are all on this “sometimes-crazy” parenting journey together.

Last night I had the incredible opportunity to give a parent-ed talk at our local elementary school on “Mindfulness in Everyday Parenting.”  I co-facilitated the presentation with another parent, and we shared an introductory overview of mindfulness, went through some practices together and discussed practical applications of mindfulness in parenting.  The workshop was the result of a coalition effort of several parents in our community, who are all very passionate about mindfulness.  We wanted to share a bit of our personal passion with other parents in the community with the hopes of inspiring them about a topic that has become such an important part of our lives. Read more

A Peaceful Place for a Positive Time-Out

My husband got the book: Peaceful Piggy Meditation as a holiday gift for me and the girls, which is a children’s story about the importance of finding some peace and quiet during stressful and anxious times.  While the book is a good source of encouragement, meditation is not something I explicitly force my girls to do yet, as I’ve noted in previous posts.  For my children, it would be met with a lot of resistance, and I don’t want them to view meditation as another thing Mommy is making them do.  I want meditation to be something that they naturally start seeking themselves as they get older when the time is right for them. Read more