Are your kids "acting their age?" (I guess in this moment I'm asking myself if I act MY age. What does that even mean?)
Over the last month or so, while everyone has been spending 24/7 with their kids in lockdown, I've sensed an anxiety about whether your children are "on level" or "doing well." There's been a lot of "How will they turn out?"
So, I wanted to get something out there. Every person is doing the best they can.
Even when there's no pandemic stress and overwhelm, children will explore behaviors and have ups and downs in experience. (they are people!)
Over 18 years of parenting, with 3 kids, I can tell you it wasn't always sunshine and roses.
My daughters, who are 10 months apart, used to stamp on each other’s feet and then tell me it was an accident.
Then there was the time that we spent hours searching for my daughter’s doll, only to find out that her sister had hid it under a slide because she was jealous.
My son used to have a temper that would boil up inside of him until it explodes all over the house, with a slam of his door, a few choice words and a melt down which I can’t get near.
I don’t share these stories often, not because I’m ashamed of them, but because I didn’t want to hold my kids to their past behaviors, I don’t want the stories of their off moments to define them.
So, let me balance with this.
These past few months my eldest laughs a laugh I haven’t heard for years.
She just got into art college for September, has started meditating and exploring her own magic, just because she feels called to it. (I’ve always made sure my kids found their own path to spirituality. They’ve only heard me discuss mine and the minute they need anything to explore their own, they just have to ask. No pressure.)
My second daughter asks her oracle cards what to do each day and is doing her own exercise routine each morning. She is so full of light, and we drive our family mad with our goofiness together.
My son, yesterday he came down asking about how to communicate something to his cousin. I’m hearing him talk about his feelings, and notice that before his temper rises he’s discussing his insecurities and how things feel instead.
I’ve learnt over the years of parenting and self development work that there’s no such thing as a Good Kid, or a Bad Kid… or a Good Person or a Bad Person.
People don’t “turn out”, they evolve, and as they evolve and grow they make choices based on what they know.
When I first started parenting my girls oh boy, I tried the whole getting mad thing.
I shouted, I flipped out, I ranted. I lectured.
But, I watched as my girls shut down and didn’t hear me. (and proceeded to still stamp on each other’s feet while shouting “Whoops, don’t get mad mom, it was an accident.)
Power plays were aplenty and our relationship started to fall through the cracks.
So, I started to learn myself, that maybe life wasn’t a ladder to climb, maybe it wasn’t about being a “better person" or being "good", maybe it was about allowing each person to get to know themselves and, as they made mistakes and felt bad, discuss emotional awareness and explore kindness as something that feels better.
Life is an exploration.
Just as little toddlers who want to explore all their senses and feel frustrated when we say no to tasting dirt because how are you going to know what dirt tastes like if you don’t try! (Not saying you let your kid eat dirt, but when you see it as exploration you divert them differently.)
Your children are exploring life, through lockdown, through fears, through your own stress, they are exploring what they like and what they don’t like, what they think and what they feel.
Over the past few weeks I’ve had a number of parents sigh in relief when I tell them “yeah, your child is acting the way most kids their age act.”
Your child is feeling the immense energy system that is flowing through them RIGHT NOW. They feel the Full Moon and the rising and falling of the planet’s frequency even stronger than we do.
They feel the stress and can’t intellectualize it.
They feel the fear and know that it is so far away from our natural essence of LOVE.
They know. And sometimes it all feels so big, so very, very big, that it sweeps over them and creates an explosion.
My son used to call this his blender brain, when even me trying to calm him down would add to the mix that was building pressure.
Please go slow with your darlings at this time.
They are exploring, and as they do they are feeling everything so strongly.
Breathe deep with them, don’t judge them. Ground their feet, talk in soft voices, read, laugh, play. See the world through their eyes. Because they have solutions we might all need.
And they have hearts that need holding as well as hands.
We’re all people in this, and our little people are working through a heck of a lot. (but then, aren't we all?)
I know. Sometimes, having just a few suggestions and new tools can be like fresh air through an open window. Everything just looks different.
But also, sometimes the focus can feel like it's all on the action outside of you....
So often it can feel like your energy is focused on how to parent, and how to create connection with your kids.
But, as you know, I'm all about making sure that you find connection within, so you can feel grounded and present with your children, fully tuned in to Who You Really Are.
This year, I'm excited to have my Self Development course, Step into Your Light for just $127
I feel like this is really an important addition... because as parents I know how tempting it is to want to invest in the tools to "fix" your challenges.
I hear it all the time... parents will mention a challenge they are facing with their children, either in behavior, or sleep, or potty training or teen raising... and they ask "What can I do?"
The courses in this bundle will give you concrete solutions that will work a treat.
And yet, deeper down there's something else.
As parents it can be such a joy to invest in our kids.
How you can make a better life for them, how can you provide them with the best platform for learning, growing and love?
You can spend and spend looking for the perfect resource and tool.
And yet at the same time, Self Care is becoming a to-do list item that rarely gets met. It's falling to the sideline and getting lost in solo trips to Target or long bubble baths.
So often, busy parents who are successfully navigating their child through day to day activity, are also craving something else.
A deeper sense of guidance, of connection... of present living.
This was my motivation in creating Step into Your Light.
I actually started the process of creating the course with a simple question posted in numerous groups...
"Do you feel lost in the role of being a Mom?"
The replies were astounding.
Now to be fair, there were many who replied, no. That being a mom was what they'd always dreamed of.
But the majority replied that they longed to connect to the still voice of themselves and it was currently lost in the chaos of it all.
At the same time though, they would invest in things for their kids, for their parenting, but were struggling in investing for "self care".
Because, with the variety of courses, you are getting a chance to invest in your parenting, in your children and at the same time, invest in creating that connection within yourself, so you can truly shine as the authentic parent you want to be from a deep, heart centred place.
Recently, as I sat imagining you purchasing the bundle, I had a little twinge of new desire.
I love working with my clients and connecting with parents who are enrolled in my programs or memberships.
I played a lot of imaginary games growing up. I had a set one that I always immersed myself in. I had a large family of dolls I did everything with.
My role; The mom, Of course.
I played it well. I did everything for my doll children. I clothed them, fed them, tended to their needs and sometimes they “got into trouble”, which for some reason was the more dramatic of events in any game day.
I fulfilled the role to the last. I slipped in and out of the game as naturally as waking up each morning.
What was once pretend is often referred to as role-playing now according to my daughters.
We all have roles to play, don't we? And we don't even need detailed costumes.
We are the employers, the employees, we're the wife, husband, doctor, lawyer, we're the bestie, the frenemy, the jock, the girlfriend. Perhaps we're even the social awkward, introvert or extrovert.
We're the woo, the witchy, the bitchy. We're conservative, liberal, or activist.
Roles show up everywhere in life.
Same as clubs... the mom club, the anti-vaxer club, the pro-lifer club... the entrepreneur club.
But, today I want to talk with you about how the role of a parent particularly is holding us in a place of management and of control, and actually keeping us from the present awareness we all would like to see nourishing between ourselves and our kids.
I then want to introduce you to the power of Relationship, which encourages us to dive deeper into who we are.
What do you want in your life, your parenting and for your kids? How does it feel?
And what contrast/challenge is stirring that desire within you?
I don't often talk about actual manifestation like this very often.
But since we've arrived in Spain, and without a doubt, truly manifested a beautiful house with a million dollar view of the Mediterranean sea, I want to talk to you about something super specific;
Yes. That's right. Did you know Spain has something called processional caterpillars which have little spikes they shoot out as defense and the spikes can kill a dog or cat and do some pretty serious damage to people as well?
Yeah... we didn't either.
But we manifested them all the same. How? What could we be visualizing or holding on to that would put us in the middle of a highly populated area of deadly insects?
I remember when my girls were 6 or 7,
They were 10 months apart, completely different temperaments and then they would disagree.
They used to fight. Oof. It would get bad.
The need to fix things fast would flood over me, but in that gush of panic, I would also feel like I was drowning.
What was the right thing to say that would build them both up? What wouldn't damage them? What would stop the fight without someone being “wrong”? What would create peace?
Why couldn't everyone just be filled with sunshine and rainbows All the Time!
Now, 10 years later... I just heard them go to their rooms to do their schoolwork for the day... and calling out “I Love you” to each other.
And I breathe.
During those frantic days, there was always a call from the back of my mind, to stop pushing, to stop worrying and to pull out the spiritual, mindful tools I'd known for years.
Sometimes, I just didn't trust my heart and I'd go down a rabbit hole of trying to “fix” things.
But then other times... I'd practice mindful awareness .and spiritual connection and it would all take a different shift. It would ease.
Just the right words would flow from my mouth... or no words at all.... I'd just sit and listen and hug and help.
I have a bit of a Holiday, Seasonal vision… for all of us.
We practice being ourselves, in a heart connected space, no matter the circumstance.
In simple terms...
We walk a little slower. Drive with a little more observance to the scenery. We let people line up in front of us at the cash, so we can stop and focus on our breath a few moments more.
We play in the toy aisle with our kids.
We let them do the decorating and make a mess.
We stop the pushing.
We take small moments of deep breathes and silent appreciations.
We give ourselves permission to fill our buckets, fill our wells, savor the smallest of joys.
Currently, here in Nova Scotia, the leaves have fallen and the smallest of animals are running to prepare for a long sleep.
There’s a sense of enclosure as well as closure.
There’s a sense of Endings and appreciating of the endings before the new beginnings.
Its the natural flow of all that is.
We can all miss this moment, can’t we?
The Universe is always responding to what we're focused on. So,when life feels frantic and chaotic, sadly things just keep building on that momentum.
The law of attraction can easily pick up on a space of franticness, or on lack of time. We can hold those stories up and the universe sees them, hears them and feels them and responds to it as...
More of this please.
So, when we hold up the sign of Stress. We get more stress. When we hold up the sign of scatteredness... Boom... life fragments even more.
Oof! (as my daughters like to say.)
But, that doesn't mean we're part of a vicious cycle of momentum, which is uncontrollably barreling down the hill of each day.
Rather, we simply need to find that inner pause button, Connect, and ease up on the story.... to allow one of relief to start to build new momentum.
Over at the Spiritually Aware Parenting Community, I've been offering these simple tools to feel connection with You again.
Because when you can connect to the deeper version of YOU, everything else seems to fall into place.
Well, she's been at high school for 3 days and already it's time to have that talk.
How to find the space and mindfulness practice to keep connected to Who You Really Are when you are in chaos.
(If you thought I meant a different talk I can assure you that all took place awhile back... but even in that discussion staying true to yourself and who you want to be has been the theme.)
My daughter loved her first few days at our local high school.
She manifested courses she likes, which are easy and fun.
She has meant some great friends already, she's surprised at her own confidence and ability to talk to groups. She feels like herself.
But then she's coming home, and collapsing into bed. Exhausted.
Well, the school’s been phoned, registration is next week and my eldest starts on the 4th.
And while I sit in my room with fingers crossed that she won’t like it, my girl is eagerly excited to start her first day in high school.
She won’t like it… right? Surely!
But still, she will try it.
We’ve homeschooled since day one and the reasons behind that have been varied.
Yes, I’ve wanted them to have individual educational experiences, with the space to follow their passions and interests.
Yes, I love the freedom. We’ve not done half enough traveling as we intended and world schooling is knocking at my heart begging to give it a try… but still the ability to know we can go when we want etc. That’s important to me.
But mostly, I love being together. I love sharing our worlds together.
I’ve loved homeschooling, despite the scattered and sometimes confusing time of it we’ve had over the years.
And although my eldest is off to try high school because she’s always been curious, we still have 2 here at home with us.
So, today I thought I’d share what resources we’ll be using this year. (Because people often ask!)
I want to discuss this big homeschooler question with you... and then I'm going to share some experiences as well as talk a bit about how my daughter's use of Oak Meadow has truly supported this approach of ours.
It's a big blogpost today, as we approach August and a lot of readers are considering or embarking on homeschooling next month.
As a homeschooler, I've been planning and discussing our social studies experiences in various homeschooling reports for years now.
My kids and I have used the umbrella term to cover everything from selling eggs at a stall at the end of our drive as a way to study business, to learning about geography and different countries, cultures and then back to our own.
There was also the year I created the Emotional Awareness and Law of Attraction Sections from the Spiritual Kids Course and used them for Social Studies.
This year though, my kids and I have been truly studying the true meaning of the term.
Yes. That's right.
See a few months ago our girls asked if they could go down to the city to attend a local mini comic con. They worked for ages on their costumes, hand sewing each small detail, and we drove them down to see what would be the result.
Well, they met up with a group of new friends, whom they have been in touch with ever since. From playdates in the park to video calls, they have dove into the deep end of friendships which even resulted in the group going to an alternative prom in June. They are so happy and are loving the new paradigm shift with LOTS OF NEW EXPERIENCES.
I have really been appreciating being here in the country these past few months as it's given our girls the opportunity to practice all of this in slow motion in a lot of ways.
They go into socializing experiences and then are able to retreat, observing how things have flowed and learning from each experience. They've been "caught up" a few times, but then faced it head on and developed the skills to get clarity, shift focuses and shine as themselves each time.
When people discuss homeschooling the point most often brought up is “what about socializing?”
well after the last few months, I'm actually fascinated by this question!
3 things I've learnt with my teens which I'm finding is really vital to keep at the forefront of focus with them when discussing friends and the world.
I was visiting Brene Brown's site today and I found this image that was available as a download for your desktop. I quickly downloaded it and personalized my home screen with it... and I had to share it with you as well.
Because this... this is a powerful statement.
This weekend was the start of JULY! How did that happen?
And while we here in Nova Scotia celebrated Canada Day, and all of my friends and neighbors in the states are looking forward to July 4th... the truth is we all know that summer has officially arrived.
And with that, we start making plans for beach days, holidays, playdays, sunbathing days, parkdates, picnics...
We get our long sheets of paper out and start with the lists... the agendas out to figure out how to fit it all in, around our businesses, our work and our children's routine so they have stability.
We feel the summer start to slip away and it's not even begun.
And that very feeling, is what I want to discuss with you today.
I read the other day a very poignant post that someone had written.
It said "We have approximately 18 summers to enjoy with our children. Make this one count."
But as my children grow older, I happen to know this hits too close to home.
So, today my quest, my Summer mission, is to offer you some tools and opportunities that will help you drop the To-Do list, Stop in your tracks... Rest your mind, Nurture your Spirit and Play... with your children and your own inner self.
So, it’s crossed my mind that maybe people are wondering why I’ve talked so much about the journey my daughter and I have taken with the homeschool curriculum, Oak Meadow.
Why, right? When my work is focused on Spiritually Aware Parenting and really my blog should be reflecting mindfulness and spiritual alignment for parents and kids?
Well, you probably know that there’s nothing more exciting, or exhilarating than when you find something that helps support your child: especially when its something that deals with a challenge that has always been there.
Oak Meadow came at a time when I was noticing my younger daughter was struggling with not only her schoolwork, but her sense of herself, her confidence, how she learnt and how she absorbed information.
As I’ve told you in past blogs, Oak Meadow has given her the tools and awareness to delve into topics from a self aware perspective. She not only completes the projects and sets her own schedules and routines, which builds her sense of Who She is even more, but she’s also learning and reading about so many different elements of life that we never would have been able to explore before.
This winter Gia went into the Oak Meadow Grade 8. She wanted to mix things up, and since she was so eager to dive into the English Section, she chose to focus one topic at a time, rather than scattering them through the week.
I can’t blame her for wanting to work through the English.
This time, Oak Meadow exceeded even themselves.
The grade 7 English worked hand in hand with the World History section. But this time, English takes a front seat and becomes a core unit all by itself.
This is produced seamlessly through 4 elements. The course book, which breaks down all of your projects and lesson focuses, as well as how to use the rest of the supporting material.
The works of fiction, which exemplify the lesson.
From some sci-fi works such as A Wrinkle in Time, The Giver and Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, to classics such as The Hobbit and Tom Sawyer, I truly felt I could relax knowing Gia was getting a strong foundation in some important pieces of literature.
The other elements were for writing itself, and she was instructed on how to use them within the course book. These included Writing for 100 days, which Gia LOVED. Although it is written for classwork, OM guided her around the work she could do independently and she enjoyed it’s structure and space it gave her to write in.
The last element shocked me as it was the Strunk and White book The Elements of Style. I remember my sisters using this book in university, so it was rather surprising to see my grade 8-er working her way through the notes on the design of writing. She really did well with it (and is enjoying explaining semi colons, colons and various grammar to her older sister.)
Last month I was happy to be able to attend a homeschooling conference in Halifax, where I represented Oak Meadow’s amazing work. I still can’t get over how effortless it is to discuss this work side by side with my work of Spiritually Aware Parenting… because watching how my daughter has grown as herself and with the knowledge she has attained… it makes me breathe a sigh of relief. It really is exactly what I was hoping for for her.
She’s now off to work through the Science.
That’s going to be a challenge for her, as she naturally gravitates towards the English and reading, especially when it’s full of imaginary worlds. I’m fascinated to see how OM creates a platform of curiosity as she dives into further into the Scientific studies. (They did a wonderful job in the grade 7, but there's definitely a deeper element being offered with this grade 8 curriculum.)
I popped into the facebook group, after having a rather restless night with my son.
Here’s what I posted:
“My son couldn't get to sleep tonight... he was tossing and turning,
What with the storm outside and a huge clap of thunder there was a lot of electric energy in the air and he's so sensitive... After a couple of hours of him trying and also trying to help him relax... I pulled out the energy work.
After some sweeps of his energy and grounding his feet, as well as surrounding him in light... he was asleep within 10 minutes.
I could tell it was what he needed the way his body gave a jolt as it relaxed...
I used to get really stressed when my kids couldn't sleep. I would feel the tension rise up within me which would of course make them stressed as well. It was awful.
But now, I see sleep as a spiritual aspect of life and I love having the opportunity to practice little spiritual tools with my kids to help them connect as they drift off for their nightly journeys.”
Why does this work? (I'll share how further in the post)
Throughout the day our children are thinking, moving, and living fully in their physical experience. When you do an energy clearing, you are clearing any blocks of resistance all that physical observing may have created.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.