February 2013, Issue 5
THE FINE ART OF PAINTING
Communication Model Self Love THROUGH SELF CARE SPECIAL CHILD QU OTES
The Eyes of Love Mental Yoga Workout MANTRAS COOL AND CONFIDENT
Be Happier TIME FOR YOU
Live Consciously Change your Mind TO FIND HAPPINESS NOW YOUR INNER MAMA
Ready to Rock
UNCONDITIONAL LOVE & NATURE
February 2013, Issue 5
Unconditional Love Mother Nature & Acceptance page # 7
Through the Eyes of Love Quotes from a Special Child
page # 8
By Jannirose Joy and Charlie Fenimore
The Art of Parenting The 5 Paints of Beautiful Communication
page # 11
By Diana Dentinger
Modelling Self Love Through Self Care
page # 12
By Dr. Donna Hamilton
Be Happier Now Find Time for You
page # 16
By April Oâ€™Leary
Ready to Rock Your Inner Mama
By Rachel Sklar 2
February 2013, Issue 5
Love Yourself full of Energy The 5 Minute Exercise Routine
page # 20
By Anne Deatly
Change Your Mind Find Happiness Today
page # 21
By April O’Leary
A Mental Yoga Workout Mantras to Stay Cool and Confident
page # 25
By Rachel Sklar
Consciously Living Your Children Greater Level of Commitment
page # 27
By Jennifer Ching Lopez
I’ve Got One Hand And a Note in my Pocket
page # 31
By Rachel Sklar
Reach out to the Contributors
page # 32-33 3
FROM THE EDITOR h"p://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmC8q-‐NCQ7I
February 2013, Issue 5
This issue is themed “Love” Well, what else do people talk about during the month of February? Sure there are a few other holidays, but Valentine’s Day wins as the one that stays in our hearts the most! As a grade school kid, I remember cutting out hearts from red cardboard paper and even adding lacy doilies to make the heart have more frilly layers around it. What fun memories. It all seemed so playful and fun and light!
Copyright 2012 Diana Dentinger Inner Peace Parenting Magazine Sviluppo CCT sas - Italy All rights reserved under the International and Pan American Copyright Conventions. Reproduction in whole or part is prohibited without written permission from the publisher. The publisher assumes no responsibility for the unsolicited materials.
Diana Dentinger, Editor Inner Peace Parenting Magazine
Never could I have imagined how intense love was, both as a wife and as a mother. Often in loving your children you are asked to use this powerful force to heal the growing pains of your children and help them overcome anger, frustration and disappointments. Love is always the best remedy to any situation. The contributors this month know you have experienced love in your life too as a mate and parent. Their sharings will help you understand how to live love and give love more! Enjoy this February issue! 4
February 2013 Contributors Pouring out Peace and Love
Jennifer Ching Lopez
Diana Dentinger Editor Inner Peace Parenting Magazine 5
Unconditional Love Mother Nature & Acceptance h"p://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLREhďŹ Z24E
PEACE WITH SPECIAL
Through the Eyes of Love Quotes from a Special Child By Jannirose Joy and Charlie Fenimore
Ever since the night 20 years ago when my friend saw a brilliant shooting star over our Alaska home, my life has been graced by everyday miracles. When I consider that celestial message, I realize it announced the arrival of a precious baby boy we would soon welcome into our family through the gift of adoption. That’s how Charlie came to live with us. And that’s also how I happened to meet the greatest spiritual teacher I’ll probably ever have. “For us on this planet, life is about loving.” Charlie Fenimore There’s something I should mention about our son before I tell any more of our story: Charlie was born with Down Syndrome. This means that every cell in his body is equipped with an extra chromosome - which causes him to relate to the world in a uniquely wonderful way. While it’s considered in poor taste to make generalizations about people, I feel safe in saying that many with Down Syndrome possess a quality of love that I’ve rarely noticed anywhere else,
especially in the adolescent and adult years. Some folks have lovingly attributed this quality to the “love chromosome” that’s still viewed by much of the population as an unfortunate error in genetics. “With love from glory, our light is holiness and bright.” Charlie Fenimore From the time Charlie was just a little boy, it became apparent that he was an expert in the art of unconditional loving. Looking back, I remember how he could reach even the most challenging individuals long before he learned to walk or talk. I believe that each one of us is born with this capacity, but so often, it fades as we progress through the various stages of our lives.
As parents, we’re delighted with the capacity for loving that our children so naturally embody, and impressed by the magic their love works in our hearts.
The moments that he shines brightest are whenever the need is great. Especially for me, he does his best to reflect the things that are most important in life.
“Love is about the full heartness around the Earth.” Charlie Fenimore
After parenting my special boy for almost two decades, I’ve detected a definite theme in his offerings: The main purpose of life is for loving, and the essential nature of our human experience is joyful. Charlie reminds me of these things every day, and I’m humbly grateful that he does. “People who love will be healed from their joy.” Charlie Fenimore
In our fast-paced world, it’s easy to forget the essence of who we are. We remember our truth when we’re small, but for many of us, the knowing fades as we journey through the ever-changing territory of life. I believe we’re born with an innate sense of what’s true, but without realizing it, we can accept the illusion that says we’re unlovable, unworthy and not enough. I’ve observed my son carefully over the years, just as the serious student keeps a watchful eye on the master. While others might seek guidance through spiritual books, classes, or self help programs, I need look no further than my eldest son who shows me how to live through the pure innocence of his integrity. He reminds me everyday that I am beautiful, loved, and just perfect the way I am.
In recent months, I’ve endured some of the most challenging times I’ve ever known, and my son has been diligent in his attempts to remind me of the truth. Charlie can be a tough taskmaster, but he always does it with a twinkle in his eye and a wide-open heart. On a particularly difficult evening when I’d lost hope, he shifted his loving into a higher gear, and addressed me in an uncharacteristic bold manner. With fire in his sweet blue eyes, he challenged me to remember, “You have a beautiful spirit! You are made from the light! Your angels are all around you! You have love from God in your heart!” All the while, he gestured mightily, trying hard to shake me from the temporary amnesia that threatened my soul. That’s the closest Charlie’s ever come to reprimanding me, and he did it in a way that showed me beyond doubt who he is beneath the guise of those extra chromosomes. 8
Never before have I heard anyone convey a message with such clarity and conviction as my son did that night, and my life was changed as a result. “Joy is a smile place and everyone is open for their hearts.” Charlie Fenimore Even though I’m well into middle age, it’s only been recently that I’m able to consider what may be our entire reason for being on the planet: To love, and be loved. Living with Charlie, I’m continually reminded of this. With him, it’s that simple. And provided I keep my heart open, I receive daily lessons in the exquisite expression of the love we’re born to live. From the time he was just a little boy, Charlie’s been a living, breathing love ambassador-in-action. I’m often left in reverent silence as I watch him move so tenderly through his days - touching many souls along the way. From the front row seat that I occupy in his life, I’m privileged to witness the profound effects of his love as it reaches deep into the hearts of those who can truly see him. “The love inside us is our hope.” Charlie Fenimore
Through my resident angel, I’ve learned that every one of us is born from love. After years of mindful observation, I’ve concluded that Charlie understands perhaps without knowing - how important it is to embrace each moment with the full presence of our hearts. In a culture that labels sadness and anger, for example, as negative, my wise and simple teacher celebrates the sacredness of all God-given emotions in himself and others. While many of us are discouraged early in life from expressing these so-called “negative emotions”, Charlie made it clear from an early age that his right to feel was not to be questioned. When he’s sad, the tears flow freely, and when he’s angry, he stays with it until it shifts into calm. He takes full advantage of the healing that comes from emotional expression, and as a result, returns time and again to his sacred center of peace and joy. It’s a tremendous gift to share life with one who reflects the truth and beauty of our humanity, and for this, I’ll be forever grateful. One of my biggest blessings is watching the mystery of love unfold before me through my gentle son. Charlie is here for a very special reason, and it is through his loving eyes that I am shown the way to live.
“The spirit of love makes anyone of the clouds shine with joy.” Charlie Fenimore Jannirose Joy Jannirose JOY writes about the lessons she learns in unconditional love from her eldest son Charlie who was born with Down Syndrome. Please like the Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/LessonsFromAnEarthAngel Share your stories with Jannirose: www.JanniroseJoy.com 9
PEACE IN TALK
The Art of Parenting The 5 Paints to Beautiful Communication By Diana Dentinger
h"p://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ﾂｭ窶神EN3YgpuM0 Prepare your paper and pen to write down these 5 paints! Listen to this 15 minute interview for the International Parents and Professionals Community to improve your communication skills now!
Diana Dentinger Diana helps Parents be better People! She is the creator of a Parenting Program called Parent by Numbers that helps parents understand the uniqueness of their children so they grow up loving themselves, living a purposeful and responsible life. Sign up for complimentary consultation with her now: www.parentbynumbers.com/session
PEACE IN SELF CARE
Modelling Self-Love Through Self-Care By Dr. Donna L. Hamilton, MD
What do self-love and self-care have to do with your health? Everything! Health literally means “whole,” as in completely functioning at your best. When your goal becomes well-being instead of simply staying disease free, you can see how loving and caring for yourself become vital. Think about it. When you want something to last you tend to take better care of it. Don’t your prized belongings get a little extra TLC? Whether it’s a special piece of jewelry, those fabulous pricey shoes, or cherished special occasion dishes, we tend to take better care of things we appreciate or want to last. Don’t you think you deserve at least the same love and care as grandma’s engagement ring or your favorite pair of Louboutin pumps? When it comes to loving ourselves many of us talk the talk, especially to others. We consistently teach our children the importance of valuing and respecting themselves. We readily intervene if we notice our girlfriends doing something that’s potentially embarrassing or degrading.
When it comes to loved ones most of us seem wired to pump them up and set boundaries at the first sign they’re treating themselves unlovingly. Talking the talk is good. Walking the walk is better. How we treat ourselves speaks volumes when it comes to budding young minds observing us. “Do as I say, not as I do,” doesn’t erase the inconsistent behaviors our children observe. Children tend to learn what they live. Heck, many adults do too.
A growing body of research reveals the influence friends’ habits have on adults. Social circles can influence health factors like weight, smoking, and eating patterns.
Here’s the difference: selfishness happens when you put your needs first without regard for others or concern about the aftermath.
Just as love motivates us to take care of our children, aging parents, friends, and pets self-love can inspire us to take care of ourselves. That sounds logical and simple, right? Hopefully you’re nodding your head yes. If you’re squirming a little inside, however, don’t worry. You’re not alone.
Self-care means taking care of your needs so you’ll stay healthy and productive. It helps you continue to effectively fulfill your roles and responsibilities.
A lot of people find self-care challenging. Somehow “self-care” and “selfish” got wired in their thinking. For some reason it’s considered dutiful, even expected, to push yourself to physical, mental, and emotional limits you’d never allow loved ones to even consider. For some, putting yourself first even if you’re sick, haven’t eaten all day, or need to make a quick bathroom run somehow seems “selfish” if someone helpless needs you to do something first.
Everyone benefits when you make sure you’re functioning at your best. What do flight attendants tell you during pre-flight instruction for every flight? They remind everyone that in the event of an emergency put on your oxygen mask before assisting others. That’s because you’re unable to help others if you selflessly pass out. That’s self-care, not selfishness. Self-care can take many forms. It depends on the person and their current needs. It’s good to have a personal self-care plan. Put a range of activities on your list. Have a few maintenance activities you use to create a healthy lifestyle, like eating well or exercising, a few “treats” like a spa day, and some self-care intensives like getting a hotel room by yourself, for when you really need to rejuvenate. Creating your self-care plan actually counts as an act of self-care! Think about it. You carve out a little quiet time and spend it thinking about what you need and how to give it yourself. Something as simple as that can create inner peace. 12
Writing your thoughts down so they’re a handy reference during frazzled times becomes a self-care gift that keeps on giving. After all, when you’re so tired and so stressed you can’t think straight it’s frustrating trying to come up with ideas to make yourself feel better.
Creating Your Self-Care Plan Use these tips to get a few ideas for activities you can do to help maintain health and manage stress. Jot them down and put them someplace you can easily access when you need it. 1) Physical Arena:
It’s kind of like when you know your best friend needs a break and might snap if she has to take responsibility for one more thing or make another decision.
a. What activities help your body feel more energetic and comfortable? Ex: Exercising, yoga, massage, sleep, soaking in the tub.
You tell her you’ve arranged a babysitter for all the kids so the two of you can have an emergency girl’s night out. All she has to do is hop in your car.
b. What foods/drinks help your body feel and function better? Ex: Fruit, vegetables, fiber.
Your readymade self-care plan is your self-loving loving emergency plan.
c. What environments help you feel better? Ex: Nature walks, the city, a luxury hotel.
It’s acts like a menu during high stress induced mental fogs when thinking and planning become a chore. All you have to do is choose.
d. What can you do to help your body stay healthy? Ex: Exercise; eat well, preventive health care.
Check out these self-care ideas to get started. The prompting questions mixed with a few ideas will help you create a plan that works for your specific needs without adding the extra stress of having to start from a blank slate, just in case you’re currently approaching your own snapping point. Remember, walking the self-care walk not only helps you stay healthier it also shows your children and loved ones what loving and valuing yourself looks like. Everyone wins. Be well !!! 13
2) Mental Arena:
4) Social Arena:
a. What activities help calm down your mental chatter? Ex: Writing in a journal, meditation, talking to a friend, reading.
a. Who consistently helps you feel better when you spend time with them? Ex: Friend, family member, neighbor, co-worker, pet.
b. What helps turn negative upsetting thoughts into positive encouraging thoughts? Ex: affirmations, writing in a journal, talking to someone, music.
b. Who or what makes you laugh? Ex: a specific person, an activity, a movie.
3) Emotional Arena: a. What activities help you feel better (happier, peaceful, etc.)? Ex: Laughter, family time, friend time, quiet time, a good cry, prayer, meditation? b. What scents or sensations help you feel calmer? Ex: Fresh flowers, lavender, something warm and fluffy, a nice hug.
c. What activities help you feel peaceful or joyful? Ex: Volunteering, hobbies, art, exercise.
4) Spiritual Arena: a. What helps you find peace during challenging times? Ex: prayer, worship, art, nature. b. What helps you feel connected to something meaningful and bigger than yourself? Ex: Religion, service, nature.
Dr. Donna Hamilton, MD Dr. Donna specializes in holistic wellness promotion and speaks nationally. She teaches a comprehensive approach to health that addresses mental, emotional, social, spiritual and physical wellbeing. Visit her at: www.ManifestExcellence.com 14
PEACE IN TIME
Be Happier Now Finding Time for You By April O’Leary
Want to be happier right now? Sign up for the Video e-Course:
April O’Leary April O’Leary, B.A. Ed. is a Certified Master Life Coach, author and Founder of the University of Moms. Sign-up today for the free video e-course “Find Time for You and Be Happier Too” at UofMoms.com and get Chapter 1 of her book Ride the Wave: Journey to Peaceful Living free at AprilOleary.com.
PEACE IN RITUALS
Ready to Rock Your Inner Mama By Rachel Sklar
Have you ever stopped and noticed yourself being amazing? We all have those parenting moments when things are just working and we’re proud of how we’re doing. And then there are those other moments. Those moments when things just aren’t working. Our frustration yields impatience or impulsivity and our ability to operate from our deepest parenting values disintegrates. In those moments, the background conversation is usually something disempowering and negative While these thoughts may never cease, we can train our minds to replace them quickly with positive thoughts. One thing we know from research is that, be they conscious or not, thoughts always precede action. So, why not take a stab at adding more positive thoughts to your inner dialogue? One great way to do this is with mantras. Mantras are simple statements that you can repeat frequently to reverse your downward spiral of negative thinking.
By paying closer attention to what you want (vs. what you don’t want), you’re training yourself to have positive thoughts that will precede positive actions. And I won’t lie. It takes practice. Mantras simply remind you to stop and focus on something constructive. They help you drop into a positive place that is actually empowering and fulfilling. They are most effective when you say them as if they are already true, as if you’re already doing the action you desire. I’ve come up with my favorite 10 mantras, which I call the “Rock Your Inner Mama Mantras” to share with clients and I’d love to share a few of them with you here. Notice that they are carefully worded to have you focus on something that you can control and not some pie-in-the-sky dream of changing someone else. 16
“I Am Giving Myself Compassion and Permission To Be Imperfect” “I Am Prioritizing My Relationships Over Being Right” “I Am Flexible, Firm and Kind With My Children And Myself” Whether these particular mantras resonate with you or not, it’s a great idea to find some short phrases that you can call on in the heat of a moment. I like to print mine out and post them on the fridge. I have one client who posts them in the bathroom because that’s where she goes when things get rough. Taking a glance at my mantras when my children are whining at my feet or when the meal-time routine is turning into a disaster helps ground me in my own personal truth. For me, permission to be imperfect goes a long way in those moments. What goes a long way with you in those difficult parenting moments?
“I am grateful for everything I have.” Are you into reward charts? Why not give yourself a sticker every time a mantra helps you avert a dreaded tantrum (your child’s or your own)? Then go treat yourself to something special when the chart is full. It doesn’t really matter what you do. What matters is that you stay engaged in the ever challenging and ever inspiring gift of parenting. Hmm. Could that be a new mantra? To receive a refrigerator print out 10 Rock Your Inner Mama Mantras visit http://www.viaparenting.com
Other tricks of the trade? Try adding a mantra into your calendar for next week and see what happens when you get a digital reminder that says, for example:
Rachel Sklar Founder of ViaParenting, a transformational parent coaching practice, and creator of the CD Rock Your Inner Mama: Guidance for Mindful Parenting moves parents from chaos to tranquility through private phone coaching, group programs and forward thinking. http://www.viaparenting.com 17
PEACE IN CHANGE
Change Your Mind Find Happiness Today By Apri O’Leary
What is it we all want most? Happiness. It is the reason we go to school, get a job, get married, have children, change careers and the list goes on. I have a friend whose husband has changed his banking career position, from one bank to another, at least 5 times since I’ve known her. Why? Because he’s not respected, his employees are lazy and the policies aren’t right and he believes that if he makes a change the next bank will be better…he’s banking on it! This is often the case with us as parents as well. Babies are challenging. We’re stressed out. We have no time for ourselves. But the promise of them growing out of night-wakings and diapers keeps us trapped in the illusion that happiness is just around the corner. Then when they are potty trained and sleeping through the night, they give up naps, start getting more opinionated and we’re busy chasing them from one activity to the next. The happiness we thought was bound to happen ‘as soon as’ projects further into the future.
We’re convinced that when they get into school and are more independent we’ll certainly have more time for ourselves and be happier. And this illusive journey towards future happiness continues. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Wherever you go, there you are.” So if you are not happy right now, maybe it is not about changing anything on the outside. Maybe it’s about looking at what you can do today to be happy, rather than waiting for that future moment when all the stars align and your happiness is delivered to you in a golden package. 18
A recent study showed that 40% of our current happiness is determined by choice. How you spend your time, who you have relationships with and the mental state you choose account for an astounding 40% of your happiness! Sure there no less than a thousand ways you could change your life but what is going to bring about lasting change? Changing your mind! While children are a joy and a blessing, their arrival, whether through planned pregnancy, unplanned pregnancy, adoption or any other means, completely changes who we knew ourselves to be. This ‘job’ of parenting can leave us frustrated, angry and stressed-out. So here I’d like to suggest that if you are not happy right now, today, make a change… in you!
In my book Ride the Wave: Journey to Peaceful Living I share my own struggles with anger and frustration as an at-home mother of three kids under the age of 5. A large part of the problem was the fact that I was attached to thoughts that prevented my happiness…but I didn’t know it. Here are three ideas, of the nine I include in the book, you can plant in your mind that will yield a garden of peace and happiness in your life at any stage of parenting. 1. Accept your current situation Think about the word acceptance. What does it mean to you? When you accept a person for who they are, do you try to also change them? True acceptance is acknowledging that it’s okay if everything isn’t my idea of perfect right now in order for me to be happy. Let go of judgment thoughts such as: ‘this is bad’ and ‘this is good’. Sometimes (many times) the things that bring us the most challenge (or that we deem bad) in life also bring us the greatest opportunity for learning and growth. I struggled tremendously when my three girls were younger, but those times taught me how to change what I was doing, and thinking, so that now I can teach others to do the same. Maybe what you are experiencing right now is the catalyst for a huge breakthrough for you too. I bet it is! 19
Accept that things happen for a reason, remember that they will not always be this way and you can choose to accept them and move forward in the direction you choose. Happiness is inside the seed of acceptance.
Affirming thought I am completely responsible for my feelings right now. No one can make me feel badly. I choose happiness for myself today. 3. Flexibility is the key
Affirming thought Things are the way they are supposed to be right now and I can accept them. I can look for solutions while moving forward to create more of what I do want. 2. Be responsible for your feelings The more we blame others for our unhappiness or reward them for ‘making us happy’ the more trapped we become. Do you know why? The simple answer is, we cannot control others. Sure we can cajole, manipulate, nag, pout and whine but the more we depend on others (our kids, our spouse, our friends) to make us happy the more disillusioned we’ll be. I have taught my children to stop saying, “You are making me…” when they are upset. No one can make you mad. Realize you are choosing to be mad because you falsely believe that your happiness depends on what they do.
Living in southwest Florida I am very familiar with hurricanes. I’ve weathered quite a few in the 10+ years I’ve been here. Did you know that the trees that survive hurricanes are those that are flexible? That’s why palm trees are rarely seen knocked over. Their trunks bend and their fronds easily blow in the direction of the wind. But those trees that are stiff and rigid break. So is it with life. Don’t hold on too tightly to the details. Allow yourself to look for solutions not problems. Focus on what I call the golden opportunities each day to be positive whatever comes your way.
Make a decision to focus on your own happiness. If you are not currently happy ask yourself: What would it take for me to be happy now? Whether it’s taking a bit more personal time, healing a relationship, picking up a hobby you haven’t touch in a few years or reconnecting with an old friend, list some ideas and then pursue them. Happiness is inside the seed of responsibility. 20
Just this morning my daughter realized on the way to school that she had forgotten to do her math homework. Being flexible, rather than rigid, I looked for a simple solution. I offered to allow her to sit in the car with me and finish up before school started. It worked perfectly. Happiness is inside the seed of flexibility. Affirming thought My life flows effortlessly and I am flexible. I do not get hung up on the details.
Allow yourself to choose happiness by choosing to adopt these three peaceful mindsets. See if you can accept something that you have resisted in the past. Stop blaming others and start creating your own happiness. Be flexible and let go of the details. Look for solutions not problems and you’ll soon find that happiness will not be a thing of the future, but a present moment expression of who you are. And the ultimate reward is your children will be happier too!
1. Accept your current situation. 2. Be responsible for your feelings. 3. Flexibility is the key... and 7 more.
April O’Leary April O’Leary, B.A. Ed. is a Certified Master Life Coach, author and Founder of the University of Moms. Sign-up today for the free video e-course “Find Time for You and Be Happier Too” at UofMoms.com and get Chapter 1 of her book Ride the Wave: Journey to Peaceful Living free at AprilOleary.com. 21
PEACE IN MANTRAS
A Mental Yoga Workout Mantras to Stay Cool and Confident By Rachel Sklar
The Rock Your Inner Mama CD is for you if: Your stress and lack of sleep is filtering down to your kids. You lose your patience easily, raise your voice, and regret it. You’re trying to squeeze every last drop out of your day because there’s never enough time. You’re burned out on parenting but never want to feel burned out on your kids. You’re at you wit’s end with behavioral issues at home. You’re open to a new and transformational way of thinking about your family.
Rachel Sklar Rachel Sklar, founder of ViaParenting, a transformational parent coaching practice, and creator of the CD Rock Your Inner Mama: Guidance for Mindful Parenting moves parents from chaos to tranquility through private phone coaching, group programs and forward thinking.
Consciously loving parents for a stable future for your children. Inner Peace Parenting Magazine
PEACE IN NEW YEAR
Consciously Living Your Children Great Levels of Commitment By Jennifer Ching-Lopez
Are you a conscious parent? Do you love your child(ren) consciously? What does this actually mean, in everyday practice? You probably know or have a sense of what conscious living and conscious parenting mean, since you're reading this magazine. Just to be clear, though, to me conscious living means you are very aware of what you believe and what you're passionate about. You strive to make sure your values and your life are in alignment. You also are aware that everything that you think, feel, say and do has an effect on your world...your child(ren), your home, your neighborhood, your community.
that having time for parenting is itself challenging, conscious parenting even more so! I totally get it.
A conscious parent is keenly aware that children emulate their parents - Kids do what their parents do, not necessarily what their parents say. Being a conscious parent is often difficult in our busy, sometimes tumultuous lives.
I have worked with children in a college preparatory preschool, who had horse riding or ballet lessons after school, as well as with children who lived in lowincome housing projects of East Los Angeles, CA and Poughkeepsie, NY and who were barely getting enough to eat.
Most parents face the daily pressures of so many things to do and places to go,
Sadly, I saw similar behavior in both groups.
I am both a Mom and a Child Development Specialist.
The children of the affluent parents mostly had only their nannies to connect with, and the children of low-income parents mostly had only their grandmothers. Both groups of parents either couldn't or wouldn't provide what their children most needed - unconditional love and a real, heartfelt connection to a parent. I'm not suggesting that the nannies and grandmothers don't care for the children, or that all the children I worked with came from homes without much parental support. But many did, and it showed in the children's attitude and behavior. Most of you parents chose to have children. You probably discussed and planned it with your spouse or partner. Or if you're single, you likely considered the pro's and con's of raising a child on your own. Whatever your situation and however you concluded it was time to have a child, you took on a sacred responsibility.
In essence, you made a contract with this new little being that you brought into your life. It was a promise of your presence, your guidance, and most of all, your love. It was your choice. So, I encourage you frequently to ask yourself this: how well and how fully are you living up to your promise? Conscious Parenting takes this promise to an even greater level of commitment. The highest priority of Conscious Parenting is building and everstrengthening bond of unconditional love, something that your child can count on day in and day out. If you are not truly present for and engaged in her or his everyday life, this bond can become weak and even break, which is emotionally difficult for children to understand and cope with. When your little one comes to you, do your eyes light up with excitement and enthusiasm? Did you instantly connect with them. bot emotionally and verbally? During my 20 years of working with children and their families, I've always urged parents to show genuine delight and joy when their child walks into the room, and to greet them immediately with affectionate recognition, such as "Hello, sweet boy!" or "How's my sweet girl?" Consciously loving this beautiful being that you helped create should be as natural to you as breathing. 25
Conscious Parenting also means raising your child(ren) holistically, that is, being aware of and sensitive to every aspect of her or his unique being...physically, emotionally and spiritually. What is his favorite television show? Do you watch it with him and share his enchantment? (This is very different than the all-too-common parental practice of letting the kid(s) sit along in front of the TV for hours, entertaining themselves while munching on chips and sodas!) Ask yourself if you are consciously and consistently giving quality time and loving attention to your child.
cuddle and a story, perhaps a prayer or writing a few things in a gratitude journal.
Do you know that if you pay attention to your child(ren) for only 15 or 20 minutes each hour, they will feel deeply connected to you, as well as safe and secure in the world?
These are rituals that help your child transition from an excited state to a quieter one as he prepares to sleep.
Conscious Parenting means attending to your child's spiritual development, teaching her everything you hold as sacred in your heart. It also means focusing on the quality of food your child eats, avoiding unhealthy options such as too much sugar or fats. It means establishing and maintaining an overall environment in which your child feels protected... nurtured... respected... special. A great way to help your child(ren) practice conscious living is a nightly bedtime ritual. My nephew used to call it his "bedtime business." Brushing his teeth, going to the bathroom, putting on his pajamas, a
I highly recommend that each family create their own personalized "bedtime business." My son and I used to give each other "butterfly kisses" and "bear hugs" while saying, "I love you, goodnight, see you in the morning!" Then my son would yell, "Yes, another successful night!" I have no idea why he started saying it, but still to this day, it makes me smile and feel connected to him when I remember it. This routine kept our bond together strong and vibrant. It made him feel safe to be alone while he slept and gave me a lasting "glow" of mother's love! Often, being a conscious parent requires little more than remembering your own feelings as a child. 26
Did you generally feel appreciated and cherished? Or, on the other hand, maybe you felt unwanted or somehow not good enough. Either way, you can use your memories to strengthen your commitment to be fully present for your child as you can be. If you were cherished, then you know the special feeling of being safe and adored. Since you know it, you can share it! If you flet unloved and unwanted, you know how awful that feel and how it can lead to fear, anxiety and low self-esteem. Since you know these feelings, you wuoldn't wish them on anyone, especially your child. So, I encourage you to do it differently than what you experienced as a child.
I often use the word "namaste," a warm greeting in India made famous by Mahatma Gandhi. It means, "I honor the place within you where the entire Universe resides; I honor the place within you of love, of light, of truth, of peace; I honor the place within you, where, when you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, there is only one of us." This special term of endearment and unity exemplifies how conscious parents regard their little ones. They truly are gifts of the Universe and deserve to be loved and honored and cherished... unconditionally! In my view, that is Conscious Parenting!
Jennifer Ching Lopez Jennifer Ching-Lopez is a Child Development Specialist, Reiki Master and Holistic Life Coach, Reiki and Meditation Classes. She co-owns and runs an English Tearoom, and her passions include writing, life coaching parents, storytelling, and being a mom! http://www.facebook.com/LovingKindnessHolisticLifeCoaching 27
February 2013, Issue 5
REACH OUT TO OUR CONTRIBUTORS
Jannirose Fenimore and her son Charlie are a messenger team whose mission it is to carry hope and healing to the world. They are love ambassadors, peace ministers and inspirational authors who delight in helping people to remember the magic and mystery of life. They currently reside in America’s heartland with their family, and plan to move home to Mt. Shasta in northern California as soon as the opportunity arises.
Holistic Wellness Speaker and Wellness Luminary Donna Hamilton, MD has a mission to help everyone live the healthy, satisfying lives they’re meant to lead. She passionately teaches what being healthy really means and how to do it in a way that fits your unique needs. Her comprehensive approach addresses mental, emotional, social, spiritual and physical well-being. Dr. Hamilton, a former board certified pediatrician, now speaks nationally about holistically improving health and wellness. To book Dr. Hamilton for a speaking engagement visit www.ManifestExcellence.com
Anne M. Deatly, PhD, previously a Principal Research Scientist in Vaccine Research at Pfizer, changed careers in 2012. She is now a certified Eden Energy Medicine practitioner, teacher, and inspirational speaker. As Director of the Optimal Health and Wellness Center, she focuses on holistic health and energy balancing, positive inspiration, and spiritual coaching. Known as the Radiant Energy Doctor, Anne is a radio talk show host of Energy Medicine and Optimal Health on VoiceAmerica. Visit www.energizeforjoy.com. You will be glad you did.
April O’Leary, B.A. Ed. is a Certified Master Life Coach, author and Founder of the University of Moms. She enjoys helping busy moms build stronger, more peaceful relationships at home through personal coaching and virtual courses. As a formerly frustrated mother of three, April developed a system to diffuse conflict, chaos and anger in just 90 seconds. Sign-up today for the free video e-course “Find Time for You and Be Happier Too” at UofMoms.com and get Chapter 1 of her book Ride the Wave: Journey to Peaceful Living free at AprilOleary.com.
February 2013, Issue 5
REACH OUT TO OUR CONTRIBUTORS
Rachel Sklar, founder of ViaParenting (a transformational parent coaching practice) and creator of the CD Rock Your Inner Mama: Guidance for Mindful Parenting moves parents from chaos to tranquility through private phone coaching, group programs and forward thinking. Rachel helps parents struggling with discipline issues, extreme temperaments, work-life balance and burnout to find peace, joy and harmony in their parenting experience, rather than succumbing to the external pressures of doing it “right.”
Jennifer Ching Lopez has been gifted by living her life's purpose of spreading love, peace and compassion. She has taught preschool and preschool teachers. And now, she is teaching adults how to live from their beings and find their purpose in life. “Each of us has been given an amazing mission and to find out what it is that brings you to your joy.” http://www.facebook.com/LovingKindnessHolisticLifeCoaching
Could this be YOU? Would you like to be part of an upcoming issue and contribute an article to the Inner Peace Parenting Magazine? Are you a Parent, Coach, Trainer, Teacher or passionate about making parent’s lives easier with both practical tips and inspirational messages. Let’s hear from you now! The March issue is on Dealing with Change The May issue is on Finding your Purpose
The April issue is on Parenting Proactively The June issue is on Protecting your Kids
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This issue is on LOVE and how to regain that connection with your children through communication, consciousness and care.
Published on Feb 12, 2013
This issue is on LOVE and how to regain that connection with your children through communication, consciousness and care.